La Semaine de la Critique, or Critics’ Week, has announced the lineup for its fifty-seventh edition, running from May 9 through 17 in Cannes. The opening film will be Paul Dano’s Wildlife, and I gathered a first round of reviews when it premiered at Sundance in January.
The 2018 edition will close with a special screening, the world premiere of Alex Lutz’s Guy. From Critics’ Week: “Gauthier, a young journalist, learns from his mother that he is the illegitimate son of Guy Jamet, a popular French singer whose heyday stretched unevenly from the 1960’s to the nineties. Guy is currently promoting a new album of old material and heads on tour. Armed with a camera, Gauthier decides to follow Guy, recording his daily routine and his concerts to create a documentary portrait.”
With descriptions from the festival . . .
Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino. Image at the top. “Diamantino, the world’s premiere soccer star loses his special touch and ends his career in disgrace. Searching for a new purpose, the international icon sets on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and the hunt for the source of genius.”
Benedikt Erlingsson’s Woman at War. “Halla declares a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry. She is prepared to risk everything to protect the pristine Icelandic Highlands she loves… Until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life.”
Rohena Gera’s Sir. “Ratna works as domestic live-in help with Ashwin, a man from a wealthy family. Although Ashwin seems to have it all, Ratna can sense that he has given up on his dreams and is somewhat lost . . . On the other hand, Ratna who seems to have nothing, is full of hope and works determinedly towards her dream. As these two worlds collide and the two individuals connect, the barriers between them seem only more insurmountable . . .”
Anja Kofmel’s Chris the Swiss. “Croatia, January 1992. In the midst of the Yugoslav Wars, Chris, a young Swiss journalist is found dead in mysterious circumstances. He was wearing the uniform of an international mercenary group. Anja Kofmel was his cousin. As a little girl, she used to admire this handsome young man; now a grown-up woman, she decides to investigate his story, trying to understand what really was the involvement of Chris in the conflict . . .”
Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s Fugue. “Alicja has no memory and no knowledge about how she lost it. In two years, she manages to build a new, independent self, away from home. She doesn't want to remember the past. So, when her family finds her, she is forced to fit into the roles of a mother, daughter and wife, surrounded by what seem to be complete strangers. What remains once you forget you loved someone? Is it necessary to remember the emotion of love in order to feel happiness?”
Zsófia Szilágyi’s One Day. “Anna is forty. She is always in a rush. She has three children, a husband, a job and financial stress. Anna meets deadlines, makes promises, takes care of things, brings stuff home and remembers everything. But she never catches up with her husband. She’d like to talk to him. She feels she is losing him. And she feels she can’t always evade what comes next. A clash between the everyday, the unbearably monotonous and the fragile and unique.”
Camille Vidal-Naquet’s Sauvage. “Leo is twenty-two and sells his body for a bit of cash. The men go in and out, and he stays right here . . . longing for love. He doesn’t know what the future will bring. He hits the road. His heart is pounding.”
Elias Belkeddar’s A Wedding Day. “Karim, a French crook in exile in Algiers, lives off petty scams. In this open-air prison, he drags his spleen around other hoodlums.”
Michael Borodin’s Normal. “Sasha is a school leaver from a small town. He pretends an ordinary bully in the company of his classmates not to be bullied himself and to have the opportunity to see Lisa. At home Sasha is a greedy for knowledge guy. He dreams of leaving his small town but several barriers stand in his way.”
Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s Pauline, Enslaved. “Pauline has no news from Bruce, the married man whom she has an affair with. During her break in the countryside with her friend Violette, she will spend the whole stay waiting for . . . a text message. Experimenting the thousand stages of obsessive love.”
Duarte Coimbra’s Amor, Avenidas Novas. “Manel idealizes love inspired by the relationship of his parents. Out of compassion he hands over his double mattress to Nicolau. On the way back he invades a film set where a group of young women count among the film crew. One of them is Rita. The encounter has a profound effect on Manel who sinks into a magical feeling of passion.”
Felipe Gálvez’s Raptor. “Ariel gets involved in a teenager civil arrest, the guy is accused of stealing a phone. A mob surrounds the young man and some accuse him of being guilty and some defend him. Police doesn’t show up. Ariel has to decide which side he is.”
Flurin Giger’s Schächer. “If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know the hour when I will come upon you.”
Kim Cheol-Hwi’s Exemplary Citizen. “Wasteful, filthy toilet at the back of an illicit horse racing gambling place. A neatly dressed Ho-Jun comes in. He looks around the bathroom and what he sees leaves him speechless. He decides to clean the toilet.”
Jacqueline Lentzou’s Hector Malot: The Last Day of the Year. “New Year’s Eve dawns in a moon-kissed car, and Sofia has a dream that she tells no-one: while walking on a desert, she gets to know that she is sick. She pretends she does not care. Has she lost her heart?”
Camille Lugan’s La Persistente. “A ski resort, somewhere in the French Pyrenees. Ivan only lives for his motorcycle - the sentient, loving, breathing La Persistente. When a local rival tears her away from him, Ivan's obsession becomes to win her back . . .”
Mikko Myllylahti’s The Tiger. “On a winter evening Dad returns home drunk. Tiger is in his room and Mom is sleeping on the couch. A quarrel breaks out. Dad has a shotgun. Tiger and Mom escape the house. Haunting silence falls. Tiger must return inside to see what has happened—and to take the first steps towards independency.”
Along with Wildlife and Guy . . .
Jean-Bernard Marlin’s Shéhérazade. “Zachary, seventeen years old, gets out of jail. Rejected by his mother, he hangs out in the mean streets of Marseille. This is where he meets Shéhérazade.”
Guillaume Senez’s Our Struggles. “Olivier does the best he can to fight injustice at work. But from one day to the next, when his wife Laura abandons the family home, he is left alone to juggle between the children’s needs, life’s daily challenges and his job. Faced with these new responsibilities, he struggles to find a balance. Because Laura’s not coming back.”
Boris Labbé’s La Chute. “When inhabitants of heaven go down to contaminate those of Earth, the world order is upset. It is the beginning of a tragic fall which leads to the creation of hell and, at the opposite, of circles of paradise.”
Bertrand Mandico’s Apocalypse After. “An abandoned seaside resort. The shooting for a fantasy film about the end of an era wraps up. Two women, both members of the film crew, one an actrice, the other a director, Apocalypse and Joy, are on the verge of concluding their love affair.”
Yorgos Zois’s Third Kind. “Earth has been abandoned for a long time and humanity has found refuge in outer space. Three archaeologists return to Earth to investigate the location of a mysterious five tone signal . . .”
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