Following lineup announcements from the Cannes Film Festival and Critics’ Week, the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, or Directors’s Fortnight has presented the slate for its fiftieth edition, running from May 9 through 19.
“As per the tradition of the parallel section,” writes Screen’s Melanie Goodfellow, the 2018 edition will open “with the presentation of the Carrosse d’Or award, honoring a filmmaker whose work is imbued with ‘innovative qualities, courage and independent-mindedness.’ This year’s recipient, as previously announced, is Martin Scorsese who will attend for an on-stage conversation after a screening of Mean Streets, which first played in Directors’ Fortnight in 1974.”
Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s Birds of Passage will be the opening film. The official synopsis via Jude Dry at IndieWire: “Birds of Passage charts the origins of the Colombian drug trade, through the epic story of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youth in the 1970s. When greed, passion and honor collide, a fratricidal war breaks out that will put their lives, their culture and their ancestral traditions at stake.”
Gianni Zanasi’s Troppa grazia will be this year’s closing film. Screen’s Melanie Goodfellow notes that it stars Alba Rohrwacher “as an architect battling to save a beautiful valley earmarked for a development.”
Mohamed Ben Attia’s Weldi. From the Doha Film Institute: “Riadh is about to retire from his work as a forklift operator at the port of Tunis. The life he shares with his wife Nazli revolves around their only son Sami, who is preparing for his high school exams. The boy’s repeated migraine attacks are a cause of much worry to his parents. But when he finally seems to be getting better, Sami suddenly disappears . . .”
Panos Cosmatos’s Mandy. When it premiered in the Midnight program at Sundance, A.V. Club’s A. A. Dowd wrote that, at “over two gonzo hours, it combines giallo, Clive Barker, Death Wish, prog rock, heavy metal, Heavy Metal, Guy Maddin, Mad Max, the dueling-chainsaw climax of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Nicolas Roeg, and Nicolas Cage at his most bugging-out unhinged. Were scientists to engineer an uncut, 100-proof cult sensation, it would probably look, sound, and kick like this.”
Arantxa Echevarria’s Carmen y Lola. Lola, a sixteen-year-old gypsy girl who sings in a choir and is the first in her family to be heading to university, falls for Carmen, a hairdresser who, at seventeen, is planning to marry her boyfriend.
Philippe Faucon’s Amin. From Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: “Written by the director along with Yasmina Nini-Falcon and Mustapha Kharmoudi, the plot focuses on Amin, a man who has come from Senegal to work in France, leaving behind his wife Aïcha, and their three children. He leads a solitary life in France, where the only space he occupies is his home and the building sites on which he works. Most of his earnings are sent to Senegal. One day, he meets a woman, Gabrielle, and a relationship is born.”
Romain Gavras’s Le monde est à toi. Again, it’s Fabien Lemercier who tells us that “the story apparently centers on a former drug dealer who wants to set up a small business in Algeria and who is counting on the money he earned while dealing, which his mother is supposed to have hidden away for him. But unfortunately, she has gambled it all away. He is then forced to go back to a life of crime and, together with a friend and his ex, agrees to one last deal to get his plans back on track.” With Karim Leklou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, and Oulaya Amamra.
Ognjen Glavonić’s Teret. From Neil Young in the Notebook: “Glavonić’s documentaries Živan Makes a Punk Festival and Depth Two augur very promisingly for the Serbian writer-director’s segue to fiction with the decidedly grim-sounding delve into his country’s bloodstained past. Set in 1999, it’s a road-movie about a truck-driver who slowly becomes perturbed by his latest cargo as he navigates the bombed-out terrain of a war-ruined Yugoslavia.”
Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace. Dispatching from Sundance to the Village Voice, Bilge Ebiri wrote that, following Winter’s Bone (2010), this is “another movie focusing on the experiences of a young woman living on the margins of society—this time, rather than a seventeen-year-old trying to hold her impoverished family together, it’s a thirteen-year-old trying to survive in the woods with her father. It might not have the genre elements that helped make Winter’s Bone something of a breakout, but Leave No Trace rivets and terrifies in its own way.”
Julio Hernández Cordón’s Cómprame un revólver. The synopsis from Cinélatino: “In a world overcome with violence, where women are prostituted and murdered, a girl wears a Hulk mask and a chain around her ankle to hide her gender and help her dad, a tormented addict, take care of an abandoned baseball field where drug dealers play. He has successfully kept her safe until the day when he, who is a bass drum musician addicted to crack, is asked to play at a drug lord’s party out in the desert. The father has no choice but to bring the girl along. The party is huge; there’s even a concert stage. Hulk explores around until the main artist goes on stage and congratulates the drug lord. In seconds, the place is flooded with the red lights from laser sights and a shootout begins. Hulk’s father hides her in a cooler. The next day, Hulk wakes up to find herself surrounded by chaos and death. In this stage, the girl fights for her freedom and tries desperately to escape.”
Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai. Variety’s Elsa Keslassy tells us that the animated tale “centers on a four-year-old boy who feels his place in his parent’s affections threatened by the arrival of a baby sister, Mirai. Then she reveals herself as a girl from the future.”
Ming Zhang’s Ming wang xing shi ke. It seems to be part of a trilogy, may be set in the mountains, and might have something to do with a funeral. Hope to learn more soon.
Marie Monge’s Joueurs. At Cineuropa, Fabien Lemercier tells us that it’s “a story of love and addiction set in the world of Parisian gambling rings.” With Tahar Rahim, Stacy Martin, and Bruno Wolkowitch.
Guillaume Nicloux’s Les Confins du monde. From Nicholas Bell at Ioncinema: “Written by scribe Jerome Beaujour (who worked in Nicloux’s version of The Nun, based on a novel by Denis Diderot and initially filmed by Jacques Rivette in 1966), this is Nicloux’s third feature in a row to feature Gerard Depardieu (following Valley of Love and The End), and promises to be one of the director’s most ambitious projects as it follows the life of a military chief during the 1940 Indochina war and his affair with a Vietnamese woman.”
Gaspar Noé’s Climax. IndieWire’s Zack Sharf has the synopsis for the project originally known as Psyché: “In the mid-90s, twenty urban dancers join together for a three-day rehearsal in a closed-down boarding school located at the heart of a forest to share one last dance. They then make one last party around a large sangria bowl. Quickly, the atmosphere becomes charged and a strange madness will seize them the whole night. If it seems obvious to them that they have been drugged, they neither know by who nor why. And it’s soon impossible for them to resist to their neuroses and psychoses, numbed by the hypnotic and the increasing electric rhythm of the music . . . While some feel in paradise, most of them plunge into hell.”
Jaime Rosales’s Petra. According to Alfonso Rivera at Cineuropa, the story “tackles the personal and family conflicts of various artists who are caught up in a complex web of concealment, violence and resentment.” With Álex Brendemühl and Bárbara Lennie.
Pierre Salvadori’s En Liberté. From the IMDb: “In a town on the French Riviera, detective Yvonne is the young widow of police chief Santi, a local hero. When she realizes her husband was not exactly the model of virtue so idolized by their young son, and that an innocent young man, Antoine, has spent eight years in prison as Santi’s scapegoat, she is thrown into turmoil. Yvonne wants to do everything she can to help this very charming Antoine get back to his life and his wife. Everything, that is, except telling the truth. But Antoine is having trouble adjusting to life on the other side, to say the least, and soon blows a fuse leading to a spectacular sequence of events.” With Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, and Audrey Tautou.
Stefano Savona’s Samouni Road. From Dugong Films: “In the rural outskirts of Gaza City a small community of farmers, the Samouni extended family, is about to celebrate a wedding. It’s going to be the first celebration since the latest war. Amal, Fuad, their brothers and cousins have lost their parents, their houses and their olive trees. The neighborhood where they live is being rebuilt. As they replant trees and plow fields, they face their most difficult task: piecing together their own memory. Through these young survivors’ recollections, Samouni Road conveys a deep, multifaceted portrait of a family before, during and after the tragic event that changed its life forever.”
Beatriz Seigner’s Los Silencios. From Enquadramento Produções: “Nuria (12) and Fabio (9) arrive at dawn with their mother Amparo (40) at an unknown island on the border between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. They are fleeing armed conflicts in Colombia and learn that their father, who had allegedly been killed in a landslide caused by a mining company, is hiding in the stilt house where they come to live. Fearful of betraying this family secret, Nuria goes silent, whereas Fabio seems to have no problem with the matter. In the midst of this process, the family tries to receive compensation for the father’s death and to obtain a visa to emigrate to Brazil. By covering this story, they uncover others about the family’s past; people who have been involved in the armed conflicts of Colombia, which already lasts for over half a century. Gradually, they discover that the island where they are is populated by ghosts, who unite to interfere in the living’s destiny.”
Agustín Toscano’s El motoarrebatador. From Murillo Cine: “A robber regrets having brutally hit an elderly woman in order to snatch off her handbag and attempts to make up for the damage he inflicted. But his past deeds as moto-snatcher hunt him, keeping him from re-starting his life anew.”
Marco Bellocchio’s La lotta.
Nicolas Boone’s Las cruces.
Patrick Bouchard’s Le Sujet. From Regard: “In the secret of his studio, a clinician-artist and animation filmmaker, looks into a human-looking body to autopsy him. Who is this living thing stretched out before him? And what does an artist find when he opens an inanimate body?”
Patrick Bresnan and Ivette Lucas’s Skip Day. From Neil Young: “School’s almost out. For seniors in Pahokee—a small, mainly African-American industrial town on Florida’s Lake Okeechoboee—the Monday after prom is ‘Skip Day.’ Multitudes of long-time friends miss their lessons, instead driving sixty miles to hang, chill, and ponder their futures on the windy dunes of the Atlantic shoreline. The film intimately observes the shared joys of communal activity and extravagant display which bind these engaging teens in rites of passage toward an uncertain adulthood.”
Emma De Swaef and Marc Roels’s Ce magnifique gâteau. From Flanders Image: “An anthology film set in colonial Africa in the late 19th-century telling the stories of five different characters: a troubled king; a middle-aged Pygmy working in a luxury hotel; a failed businessman on an expedition; a lost porter; and a young army deserter.”
Gabriel Harel’s La Nuit des sacs plastiques.
Félix Imbert’s Basses.One evening towards the end of summer, Logan meets his friend Theo at the door to a psychiatric clinic. Before Theo’s mother arrives, they run off to the biggest rave party of their lives.
Carolina Markowicz’s O órfão.
Juanita Onzaga’s Our Song to War. From Flanders Image: “Crocodile-men, a mystic river, some kids that like fishing and a war that ends share the same Colombian land: Bojaya. In this place, villagers have strange beliefs and celebrate the ‘Novenario’ death ritual. This might be the beginning of a very long story, where spirits and humans meet each other to learn what is there to life after the end of war.”
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