CANNES 2009: IN WITH THE OLD!

May 4, 2009

Though primarily a celebration of the best of today’s world cinema, the Cannes Film Festival has for some time now also been making room for the past, with its sidebar Cannes Classics. A program of restored and rediscovered films, Cannes Classics is in its sixth edition, this year overseen by honorary president Martin Scorsese and headlined by a new print of Powell and Pressburger’s Technicolor dance masterpiece The Red Shoes, restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive (in association with the British Film Institute, the Film Foundation, ITV Global Entertainment Ltd., and Janus Films). The stellar lineup also includes Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day, Joseph Losey’s Accident, and a number of other Criterion titles: L’avventura, Eyes Without a Face, M. Hulot’s Holiday, and Pierrot le fou.

Additionally, a restoration of the omnibus Far from Vietnam, featuring shorts by Agnès Varda, William Klein, Chris Marker, Jean-Luc Godard, and Alain Resnais, will be screened. And in two particularly newsworthy presentations, filmmakers and preservers Serge Bromberg and Ruxandra Medrea will show their “recomposition” of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s lost, unfinished 1964 film L’enfer, called To Hell and Back, Memories of Henri-Georges Clouzot, made from found footage of screen tests and scenes from the film; and Stig Bjorkman screens his documentary Images from the Playground, featuring footage from Ingmar Bergman’s unseen home movies.

The lineup for the festival’s main competition also includes some Criterion friends, with new works by Marco Bellocchio, Jane Campion, Ang Lee, Alain Resnais, and Lars von Trier. Check it all out here. The festival runs from May 13 to 24.