Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022

The Cannes roll

Cannes festival line-up mixes Hollywood star power and world cinema

Cannes Film festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux (L) and its director Gilles Jacob pose near this year's poster after a news conference to announce the competing films at the  67th Cannes Film Festival in Paris April 17, 2014 Cannes Film festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux (L) and its director Gilles Jacob pose near this year’s poster after a news conference to announce the competing films at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Paris April 17, 2014

Hollywood star power will vie with world cinema and a large crop of French films, including New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard’s latest, for the top prize next month at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, the world’s most important cinema showcase. Godard’s Adieu au Langage will bring the accustomed Gallic flair to the swanky festival on the palm-lined French Riviera, whose top Palme d’Or prize can significantly boost a movie’s revenue and awards potential.
Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank in the frontier drama The Homesman will add Hollywood pizzazz. Eighteen films announced in the prestigious main lineup include entries from Canada, Russia, Turkey, Italy and Japan, highlighting the international breadth of what Artistic Director Thierry Fremaux called ‘cinema’s great rendezvous’. “What is important to us is that the selection at Cannes is a voyage in the world of cinema and in the world overall,” Fremaux told a news conference of film critics and journalists. One of the world’s oldest film festivals, Cannes is a glamorous affair marked by a much-watched red carpet, a phalanx of tuxedo-clad photographers, luxury yachts bobbing in the old port and a rotating cast of autograph-signing celebrities. Featuring in the main line-up are two female directors—Italy’s Alice Rohrwacher with Le Meraviglie and Futatsume No Mado (Two Windows) from Japan’s Naomi Kawase — with Oscar-winning New Zealand director Jane Campion leading its jury.
Campion is the first and only woman to have won the Palme d’Or, for The Piano in 1993, and the paucity of female directors has been criticised in recent years.
Representing French cinema are director Bertrand Bonello’s bio-pic Saint Laurent about the great yet tormented fashion designer, Olivier Assayas’ Sils Maria starring Juliette Binoche, and The Search, a drama set in war-torn Chechnya by Michel Hazanavicius, who won an Oscar for The Artist in 2012. The 39th feature film of the influential Godard whose 1960 Breathless helped kickstart the French New Wave style was shot in 3D. The lyrical film follows a married woman, a single man and a dog who brings them together. Two-time winners of the Palme d’Or, the brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne of Belgium compete with Deux Jours, Une Nuit (Two Days, One Night) starring Marion Cotillard, who won the best-actress Oscar in 2008 for La Vie en Rose.
Canadian movies feature prominently with director David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, a critique of Hollywood starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight), Atom Egoyan’s The Captive and Mommy from Xavier Dolan. Respected British auteurs Ken Loach and Mike Leigh also compete, respectively, with Jimmy’s Hall about the Irish communist leader Jimmy Gralton deported from Ireland in the 1930s, and Mr. Turner, about British painter J.M.W. Turner.
Also competing are Leviafan by Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev, Winter Sleep (Kis Uykusu) by Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Mauritania’s Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu and Relatos Salvajes from Argentina’s Damian Szifron.

Grace and Gosling

While the Cannes festival offers plenty to please global art-house fans, Hollywood pictures also feature prominently. The Homesman stars the rugged Jones as a claim jumper and Swank as a pioneer woman who team up to escort three insane women across the U.S. Midwest plains. The film is the first directed by Jones since his 2005 western The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada which won two awards in Cannes. The other U.S. main competition entry, director Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, is based on the true story of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz and the killing of his brother by an heir to the DuPont chemical fortune.
Another Hollywood offering will be the out-of-competition world premiere of the animated How to Train Your Dragon 2, the sequel of the adaptation of the successful book series about a boy growing up with a dragon as his life partner. Opening the May 14-25 festival is an out-of-competition screening of Grace of Monaco, a bio-pic starring Nicole Kidman directed by French director Olivier Dahan. The parallel Un Certain Regard festival, which focuses on emerging directors, kicks off with Party Girl by French director Marie Amachoukeli. It includes the directorial debut of Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling with Lost River and a documentary by Wim Wenders of the photographer Sebastiao Salgado. A total of 49 long-form films were chosen to be shown at Cannes out of 1,800 submitted, with 28 countries represented.
This year’s official poster, paying homage to past film greats, is a sepia-toned portrait of the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, who starred in Federico Fellini’s classic 8½ and La Dolce Vita a half century ago.

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First published on: 02-05-2014 at 10:55:35 am
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