The Cannes Film Festival has announced the lineup for its seventy-first edition, running from May 8 through 19. Artistic director Thierry Frémaux has declared that this year’s Official Selection represents “a great renewal,” a new generation of filmmakers reflecting the state of cinema in 2018. Frémaux says that more titles will be added in the coming days. And yesterday, the festival revealed the lineups for the Short Films Competition and Cinéfondation Selection.
Update, 4/20: The festival has added eleven titles to the lineup, and you can read about all eleven here. The titles:
- Competition: Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree, Sergey Dvortsevoy’s My Little One, and Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart
- Out of Competition: Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built
- Un Certain Regard: Alejandro Fadel’s Die, Monster, Die, Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass, and João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora’s The Dead and the Others
- Special Screening: Damian Nenow and Raul De La Fuente’s Another Day in the Life
- Midnight Screenings: Ramin Bahrani’s Fahrenheit 451 and Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney
Stéphane Brizé’s At War. From mk2: “Despite heavy financial sacrifices on the part of their employees and record profits that year, the management of Perrin Industries decides to shut down a factory. The 1100 employees, led by their spokesman Laurent Amédéo, decide to fight this brutal decision, ready to do everything to save their jobs.” With Vincent Lindon.
Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows. When the festival announced that the film would be opening this year’s edition, it noted that it was “shot entirely in Spanish on the Iberian Peninsula” and “charts the story of Laura, who lives with her husband and children in Buenos Aires. When they return together to her native village in Spain for a family celebration, an unexpected event changes the course of their lives. The family, its ties and the moral choices imposed on them lie, as in every one of Farhadi’s scripts, at the heart of the plot.”
Matteo Garrone’s Dogman. “Dubbed an ‘urban Western,’ the pic is inspired by a homicide committed by a coked-out dog groomer during the late 1980s in the gangland outside Rome,” writes Variety’s Nick Vivarelli. “The case, involving hours of torture in a dog cage, is considered among the most gruesome in Italian postwar history.” Marcello Fonte plays a “small and gentle dog groomer named Marcello” who “finds himself involved in a dangerous “relationship of intimidation” with a former violent boxer who bullies the entire neighborhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will exact an unexpected act of vengeance. ‘It might seem like a revenge film, but I think that Dogman is also a film about the desperate need for dignity in a world where the law of the strongest prevails and violence seems to be the only way out,’ Garrone said in a statement.”
Jean-Luc Godard’s Le livre d’image. From Wild Bunch: “Nothing but silence. Nothing but a revolutionary song. A story in five chapters like the five fingers of a hand.” Frémaux's referred to it as an essay film. And you can see the first few images at Casa Azul Films.
Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I & II. From mk2: “One day Asako’s first love suddenly disappears. Two years later, she meets his perfect double.” With Masahiro Higashide and Erika Karata.
Christophe Honoré’s Sorry Angel. Once again, from Melanie Goodfellow. Emmanuelle Bercot “co-stars as journalist Mathilde who is embedded with the female fighters to cover the early days of the offensive. . . . Husson was inspired to make the film after reading about the exploits of real-life Kurdish women who were taken hostage by Islamic State fighters as they swept across Syria and Iraq, but managed to escape and then took up arms against their former captors.”
Jia Zhangke’s Ash Is Purest White. From mk2: “Qiao is in love with Bin, a local mobster. During a fight between rival gangs, she fires a gun to protect him. Qiao gets five years in prison for this act of loyalty. Upon her release, she goes looking for Bin to pick up where they left off. A story of love, betrayal and loyalty set in China’s underworld.” With Tao Zhao and Liao Fan.
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters. From Wild Bunch: “After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them . . .” With Lily Franky, Ando Sakura, Matsuoka Mayu, Kiki Kilin, Jyo Kairi, and Sasaki Miyu.
Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum. Back in 2016, Variety’s Elsa Keslassy noted that the film “is based on an original story penned by Jihad Hojeily whose credits include Caramel and Where Do We Go Now,” which became the first two films Labaki directed in 2007 and 2011. “A political and contemporary fable in the vein of Labaki’s first two movies, Capernaum centers around a child who rebels against the life he’s been imposed and launches a lawsuit.”
Lee Chang-dong’s Burning. Lee’s first feature in eight years stars Yoo Ah-in and Steven Yeun and is “an adaptation of famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s short story ‘Barn Burning,’ telling the story of two young men and a woman in their twenties getting involved in a mysterious incident,” writes Park Jin-hai for the Korea Times. “One of the men makes the unusual claim to be an arsonist. ‘It’s a story of young people in the world nowadays. When young people look at the world thinking about the world or their lives and wonder if it’s a mystery that can’t be understood—I can say the movie is made with such an intention,’ director Lee said at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival about the mystery thriller.”
Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. As Anthony D’Alessandro notes at Deadline, the film is “based on Ron Stallworth’s real life as Colorado Springs’s first African-American police officer who went undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Unbelievably, Detective Stallworth (John David Washington) and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) penetrate the KKK at its highest levels to thwart its attempt to take over the city.”
David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake. A24 calls it “a delirious neo-noir fever dream about one man's search for the truth behind the mysterious crimes, murders, and disappearances in his East L.A. neighborhood. Sam (Andrew Garfield) is a disenchanted thirty-three-year-old who discovers a mysterious woman, Sarah (Riley Keough), frolicking in his apartment’s swimming pool. When she vanishes, Sam embarks on a surreal quest across Los Angeles to decode the secret behind her disappearance, leading him into the murkiest depths of mystery, scandal, and conspiracy in the City of Angels.”
Jafar Panahi’s 3 Faces. Frémaux says that the festival is making a special request to the government of Iran to allow Panahi, who has been under house arrest, to travel to Cannes and return home again. Screen’s Melanie Goodfellow reports that Celluloid Dreams has has just picked up world sales rights to this story of “three actresses at different stages of their career.” Memento Films CEO Alexander Mallet-Guy: “Leaving the noise and bustle of Tehran for the mountain slopes, Jafar delivers a film with a mesmerizing beauty and thrills which once more is a fascinating radioscopy of the Iranian society. 3 Faces leaves an unforgettable impression.”
Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War. From mk2: “Cold War is a passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatally mismatched and yet fatefully condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris—the film depicts an impossible love story in impossible times.” With Tomasz Kot, Joanna Kulig, Agata Kulesza, Jeanne Balibar, and Cédric Kahn.
Alice Rohrwacher’s Lazzaro Felice. Shot in Super 16. It’s “about a man living on the margins of society who travels through time,” reported Variety’s Nick Vivarelli last summer. “Rohrwacher is collaborating with her regular director of photography, Helene Louvart, who is also known for work with auteurs such as Wim Wenders, Agnès Varda, and Claire Denis. . . . Details of the story are being kept under wraps beyond the fact that it’s about the present from the point of view of a man who travels through time for about fifty years, but it’s not science fiction. It also takes place in summer and winter within both the countryside and a city.”
A. B. Shawky’s Yomeddine. From FestivalFocus: “After having spent most of his life living in a leper colony, Beshay decides to leave and search for his family. He travels with his donkey and apprentice along the Nile, and, for the first time, comes face-to-face with the curse of being an outsider.”
Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto. “A tale of rock, love and friendship, Leto takes place in Leningrad over the summer of 1981, when the underground rock scene started blossoming, influenced by Western rock stars like Led Zeppelin and David Bowie,” writes Variety’s Elsa Keslassy. “The film delivers a snapshot of this vibrant era and charts the coming of age and rise to fame of young rock singers, including Viktor Tsoi, who turned out to become a pioneer of Russian rock. Rather than a biopic of Tsoi, Leto depicts the love triangle between Viktor, his mentor Mike, who is also a musician, and his beautiful wife, Natasha.” In black and white. Serebrennikov is currently under house arrest and, as France 24 reports, “faces up to ten years in prison on fraud charges that critics allege are Kremlin payback for his outspoken views.”
Out of Competition
Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. From the official site: “Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.”
Gilles Lellouche’s Le Grand Bain. From Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: “Written by Gilles Lellouche, Hamed Hamidi and Julien Lambroschini, the story unfolds as we follow forty-year-old Bertrand, who has been suffering from depression for the last two years and is barely able to keep his head above water. Despite the medication he gulps down all day, every day, and his wife’s encouragement, he is unable to find any meaning in his life. Curiously, he will end up finding this sense of purpose at the swimming pool, by joining an all-male synchronized swimming team.” With Guillaume Canet, Leïla Bekhti, Mathieu Amalric, Benoît Poelvoorde.
Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 10 Years in Thailand. When they launched their Indiegogo campaign, the filmmakers wrote that they were “imagining their country ten years into the future. Our hope is that 10 Years Thailand will create dialog and reflection in a Thailand currently in the midst of great change and uncertainty.”
Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte’s The State Against Mandela and the Others. According to Allocine, this will deal with the landmark, nine-month-long trial in South Africa of Nelson Mandela (who would have turned 100 this year) and seven co-defendants who were all eventually sentenced to life imprisonment. The filmmakers draw on archival images and 256 hours of sound recordings.
Carlo Diegues’s The Great Mystical Circus (O Grande Circo Místico). The story of five generations of a circus family from 1910 to the present.
Romain Goupil’s La Traversée. Goupil travels across France with an old friend, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, to observe the state of the country fifty years after the upheaval of May 1968.
Michel Toesca’s To the Four Winds. Sanosi Productions tells us that it “relates the encounters and ensuing relationships between inhabitants in the Roya valley and refugees who have arrived there after crossing the border between France and Italy.”
Wang Bing’s Dead Souls. From the treatment published in Wang Bing, Filming a Land in Flux: “During the late 1950s, over half a million Chinese citizens were accused of ‘rightist’ political tendencies or ideological transgressions; many were imprisoned in gulags in Gansu and other Chinese provinces, and untold numbers died of starvation, mistreatment, and overwork. Jiabiangou”—a stretch of Gobi desert located approximately thirty kilometers northwest of Jiuquan—“is one small but telling microcosm of the ruthless political persecution that occurred during the Anti-Rightist Campaign. Through footage and interviews with over eighty now-elderly survivors of Jiabiangou, this film seeks to lay bare the truth about that period in Chinese history, to show the suffering and after-effects it inflicted on these accused rightists, and to illustrate the disastrous impact it had on Chinese society as a whole.” Frémaux mentioned that Dead Souls runs eight hours and fifteen minutes.
Wim Wenders’s Pope Francis: A Man of His Word. Wenders “was given unprecedented access to the Pope over a two-year period,” notes Variety’s Nick Vivarelli. “The documentary revolves around a long dialogue with the pontiff, who answers questions ‘about the main global challenges of the contemporary world: death, social justice, immigration, ecology, inequality, materialism, and the role of the family,’ according to a Vatican TV Center statement.”
Un Certain Regard
Ali Abbasi’s Border. From Nordisk Film & TV Fond: “When a border guard with a sixth sense for identifying smugglers encounters the first person she cannot prove is guilty, she is forced to confront terrifying revelations about herself and humankind.” Based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In).
Meyem Benm’Barek’s Sofia. It’s “set in Casablanca and charts the life of twenty-two-year-old Sofia, the only daughter in a rather traditional family,” notes Variety’s Nick Vivarelli. “While having dinner with her siblings, she discovers she is about to give birth.”
Andréa Bescond and Eric Métayer’s Little Tickles. From Cinando: “Odette is eight years old, she likes to paint and laugh. Of course, she trusts adults, why would she be afraid of her parent’s friend? Why would she refuse to play ‘little tickles’ with him? Odette doesn’t say anything, no one would believe her. To be understood, she dances. Odette is now thirty-something. Funny, intense and completely wild. A very promising dancer, but still broken by her lost childhood. Finding the perfect balance between her life and her dances, the horror and the comedy, Odette leads us through her story with her laugh, her supreme elegance and sublime protection. She will fight for her moral reconstruction, reconciliation and, above all, resilience.”
Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. From Wild Bunch: “Luo Hongwu has returned to the town of his birth twelve years after having committed a still-unpunished murder. Memories of the enigmatic and beautiful woman for whom he killed resurface, confronting him with unbearable revelations. Past and present, realism and dream combine in a profoundly visual and highly innovative film noir ballet.” With Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang, and Huang Jue.
Nandita Das’s Manto. This film about Saadat Hasan Manto “is not a conventional biopic as it chronicles four turbulent years of the writer’s life—before and after the Partition,” noted the Hindu in January. With Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the title role.
Antoine Desrosières’s Sextape. Yasmina and Rim, two Muslim sisters, aged seventeen and eighteen, explore their sexuality. When a sex tape of Yasmina and Salim emerges, she seeks help from her sister—who rebukes her.
Lukas Dhont’s Girl. Screen’s Tom Grater tells us that it’s “the story of a fifteen-year-old girl, born in a boy’s body, who dreams of becoming a ballerina and will push her body to its limits in order for her dream to succeed.”
Valeria Golino’s Euphoria. “Matteo is a young successful businessman, audacious, charming and energetic,” writes Gabriele Niola for Screen. “Ettore instead, is a calm, righteous, second grade teacher always living in the shadows, still in the small town from where both come from. They’re brothers but with two very different personalities. A dramatic event will force them to live together in Rome for a few months, bringing up the opportunity to face their differences with sympathy and tenderness, in a climax of fear and euphoria.” With Riccardo Scamarcio, Valerio Mastandrea, and Jasmine Trinca.
Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki. The first feature from Kenya to ever screen in Cannes is “a story about Kena and Ziki who live in a housing estate in Nairobi. The girls are unlikely friends and their fathers are rivaling politicians. When they become friends and the community find out, the girls are forced to choose between their ideals and safety.”
Gaya Jiji’s My Favorite Fabric. From uniFrance Films: “Damascus, Spring 2011. It’s the early stages of the civil war. Twenty—five-year-old Nahla is torn between her desire for freedom and the hope of leaving the country thanks to her arranged marriage with Samir, a Syrian expatriate in the USA. When he chooses her younger, more docile sister Myriam, Nahla finds refuge at her neighbor’s, the mysterious Ms Jiji.”
Etienne Kallos’s The Harvesters. From Cinema Defacto: “The Harvesters charts the emotional and spiritual unraveling of an obedient Afrikaans teenager whose Christian-fundamentalist parents bring a mysterious and manipulative city orphan back to their remote farm to foster.”
Ulrich Köhler’s In My Room. Ioncinema’s Nicholas Bell notes that it “concerns Armin, a fortysomething bored man who suddenly discovers everyone around him has disappeared.” With Hans Low and Elena Radonicich.
Luis Ortega’s El Angel. Variety’s John Hopewell tells us that it “turns on a real-life criminal who shocked Argentine society: Carlos Robledo Puch, a merciless teen killer dubbed ‘The Angel of Death’ because of his beatific good looks, who now ranks as the longest-serving prison inmate in Argentine history.” With Chino Darin, Mercedes Morán, Daniel Fanego, Luis Gnecco, Cecilia Roth, and Peter Lanzani. “The film introduces Lorenzo Ferro as the titular Angel.”
Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s The Gentle Indifference of the World. Looks like we may have to wait a bit before hearing about this latest film from the Kazakhstani director of The Owners (2014).
Joe Penna’s Arctic. Mads Mikkelsen “plays a man stranded in the polar wastes after a tragic accident,” notes Leo Barraclough at the top of his interview for Variety.
Soon Jong-bing’s The Spy Gone North. “The story involves a South Korean secret agent who hatches a deal with North Korea on the eve of the 1997 (South Korean) presidential elections,” notes Patrick Frater for Variety.
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