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Entries in Cannes (2)

Friday
Apr132018

CANNES 2018 LINE-UP ADDRESSES SHIFTS IN FILM FESTIVAL LANDSCAPE

Festival Director Thierry Frémaux faced some serious challenges and undertook some bold decision-making ahead of yesterday’s announcement at a press conference in Paris of the official selection of films to screen at the 71st Cannes International Festival du Film. (Pictured, below; Frémaux, left, and festival president Pierre Lescure announce the selection.)

After pressure from the French exhibition sector, no Netflix productions would be deemed eligible in 2018 (shutting out Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Paul Greengrass' Norway and the restored version of Orson Welles’ The Other Side of The Wind); the axing of the traditional early morning press screenings, which allowed critics to pen their reviews and have them ready for publication in line with the film’s evening premiere; and, in a move met with disgust by self-absorbed film types globally, red-carpet selfies are outlawed from this year forward.

So has Frémaux, who joined the organizing committee in 2001 as artistic director before his appointment as festival director in 2004, continued in this statement-making frame-of-mind with his 2018 programme? Yeah, kind of. Despite being a longtime advocate for women filmmakers (he appointed the first female Jury President, Jane Campion, in 2013), he was not swayed by the current socio-political climate, anointing only three films with women directors in competition slots. Several Cannes alumni that most pundits expected to feature were no-shows,, including Claire Denis (in post on her 28th film, High Life) , Terence Malick (prepping his WWII drama, Radegund), Mike Leigh (readying Peterloo), Lars von Trier (the highly-anticipated serial killer thriller, The House That Jack Built) and Xavier Dolan (keen to find favour again with The Death and Life of John F. Donovan). And Frémaux has implemented a ‘World Premiere Only’ policy, effectively shutting out films that had premiered at Berlin, Venice or Sundance (hence very few American films will be competing for this year’s Palme d’Or).

The 71st Festival de Cannes will run May 8-19. Below are the full line-up of titles announced last night; films to screen in Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week programs, which run concurrenty with the strands below, and the coveted Closing Night attraction will be announced in late April (pictured, above, clockwise; Under the Silver Lake, Solo, Shoplifters, Everyone Knows)

In Competition
Everybody Knows (Dir: Asghar Farhadi) OPENING NIGHT
At War (Dir: Stéphane Brizé)
Dogman (Dir: Matteo Garrone)
Le Livre d’Image (Dir: Jean-Luc Godard)
Asako I & II (Dir: Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
Sorry Angel (Dir: Christophe Honoré)
Girls of the Sun (Dir: Eva Husson)
Ash Is Purest White (Dir: Jia Zhang-Ke)
Shoplifters (Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda)
Capernaum (Dir: Nadine Labaki)
Burning (Dir: Lee Chang-Dong)
BlacKkKlansman (Dir: Spike Lee)
Under the Silver Lake (Dir: David Robert Mitchell)
Three Faces (Dir: Jafar Panahi)
Cold War (Dir: Pawel Pawlikowski)
Lazzaro Felice (Dir: Alice Rohrwacher)
Yomeddine (Dir: AB Shawky)
Leto (L’Été) (Dir: Kirill Serebrennikov)

Un Certain Regard
Angel Face (Dir: Vanessa Filho)
Border (Dir: Ali Abbasi)
El Angel (Dir: Luis Ortega)
Euphoria (Dir: Valeria Golino)
Friend (Dir: Wanuri Kahiu)
The Gentle Indifference of the World (Dir: Adilkhan Yerzhanov)
Girl (Dir: Lukas Dhont)
The Harvesters (Dir: Etienne Kallos)
In My Room (Dir: Ulrich Köhler)
Little Tickles (Dir: Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer)
My Favorite Fabric (Dir: Gaya Jiji)
On Your Knees, Guys (Sextape) (Dir: Antoine Desrosières)
Sofia (Dir: Meyem Benm’Barek)

Out of Competition
Solo: A Star Wars Story (Dir: Ron Howard)
Le Grand Bain (Dir: Gilles Lellouche)
Little Tickles (Dir: Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Dir: Bi Gan)

Midnight Screenings
Arctic (Dir: Joe Penna)
The Spy Gone North (Dir: Yoon Jong-Bing)

Special Screenings
10 Years in Thailand (Dir: Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol & Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
The State Against Mandela and the Others (Dir: Nicolas Champeaux & Gilles Porte)
O Grande Circo Mistico (Dir: Carlo Diegues)
Dead Souls (Dir: Wang Bing)
To the Four Winds (Dir: Michel Toesca)
La Traversée (Dir: Romain Goupil)
Pope Francis: A Man of His Word (Dir: Wim Wenders).

Main photograph: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images

Wednesday
Apr202016

CANNES 2016: DIRECTOR'S FORTNIGHT LINE-UP ANNOUNCED 

CANNES, April 19: Artistic director Edouard Waintrop (pictured, below) set a solemn tone at the press conference to announce the line-up for the 2016 Director’s Fortnight sidebar. In an emotion-filled speech, he paid tribute to the late Israeli actor/director Ronit Elkabetz, who had succumbed to cancer only hours before after a long and determined fight.

In 2014, Waintrop had programmed Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, the 51 year-old auteur’s most acclaimed work. Elkabetz, a mother of four year-old twins to husband Avner Yashar, had served the Cannes Film Festival with honour in 2015 as Jury President at the Critic’s Week sidebar.

Following his kind words, Waintrop proceeded to the order of the day and the unveiling of the 2016 Director’s Fortnight selection. Slightly down in number from the traditional 20 films to a tighter 18, the selection skews heavily to European productions. Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio’s Sweet Dreams, starring Berenice Bejo, snared the Opening Night slot and is one of three films from the country to feature in the sidebar (alongside Paolo Virzi’s Like Crazy and Claudio Giovannesi’s Fiore). The region’s strong showing should go some way to silencing dissent that arose when no Italian works were for Official Competition. (Pictured, right; director Marco Bellocchio)

Homegrown fare features strongly, with French cinema accounting for seven titles in the mix. They are Sebastien Lifshitz’s Les Vies de Therese; Rachid Djaidani’s volatile racial drama, Tour de France; Claude Barras’ stop-motion drama My Life as a Courgette; Sacha Wolff’s Mercenaire; Joachim Lafosse’s L’econimique du couple, a co-production with Belgium; the late Solveig Anspach’s L’effet aquatique; and, Uda Benyamina’s Divines.

Other continental entrants include Denmark’s Wolf and Sheep, from Afghani director Shahrbanoo Sadat; Neruda, the Gael Garcia Bernal thriller from Pablo Larrain that sourced production funds from France, Spain, Chile and Argentina (pictured, left); and, the legendary Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Endless Poetry, a co-production between France, Chile and Japan. 

Tough-guy American auteur Paul Schrader closes the sidebar with his noir-ish crime melodrama Dog Eat Dog, starring Nicholas Cage (reteaming with the director after the trouble-plagued Dying of The Light) and Willem Dafoe. Other North American entrants include Laura Poitras’ Risk, a study of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange; and, Two Lovers and a Bear, the highly anticipated follow-up to War Witch from director Kim Nguyen.

Asian cinema’s sole representative is Psycho Raman, a serial killer thriller from India directed by Gang’s of Wasseypur helmer Anurag Kashyup. The cinema of the United Kingdom was shut out, as was representation from New Zealand or Australia (despite the readiness of Cannes favourite Cate Shortland's latest, Berlin Syndrome).

The Director's Fortnight/Quinzaine des Realisateurs sidebar, overseen by the French Director's Guild, runs May 12-22 as part of the 2016 Festival de Cannes.