Cannes 2018: ACID Lineup

The past couple of days have seen lineup announcements from Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight, and of course, last week, the main event, the Cannes Film Festival presented the bulk of its lineup for the seventy-first edition running from May 8 through 19. Artistic director Thierry Frémaux promised a few more additions and, as Andreas Wiseman and Nancy Tartaglione report for Deadline, Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built may be one of them. It’s “set in Washington State and covers the life and crimes of a serial killer over a 12-year period. Matt Dillon, Riley Keough, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman star.”

ACID, the Association for Independent Film Distribution, has been presenting a program in Cannes since 1993, and it, too, has announced its 2018 selections, nine feature debuts screening from May 9 through 18. With descriptions from ACID . . .

Anne Alix’s Il se passe quelque chose. “Avignon. Irma, who doesn’t seem to find her place in the world, crosses paths with Dolores, a free and uninhibited woman who is in a mission to write a gay-friendly travel guide on a forgotten area in Provence. The unlikely duo takes to the road and contrary to the sought-after, picturesque, and sexy Provence.”

Marta Bergman’s Seule à mon mariage. “Pamela, a young Roma, insolent, spontaneous, and funny, embarks on a journey into the unknown, breaking away from the traditions that suffocate her. She arrives in Belgium with three words of French and the hope that marriage will change her and her daughter’s destiny.”

Caroline Capelle and Ombline Ley’s In the Mighty Jungle. “Within the large wooded grounds of the pedagogical medical institute La Pépinière, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, a dozen eager, frank, and spontaneous teenagers engage in a game of staging and cinema. An occasion for experimenting with music, poetry, love, and philosophy, the institute becomes a stage for confidence and escape—revealing the inner tug of war between the quest for the mundane and the extraordinary.”

Jim Cummings’s Thunder Road. Image at the top. “Officer Arnaud raises his daughter as a love letter to his Mom.” Thunder Road won the Grand Jury Award in the 2018 SXSW Narrative Feature Competition, and I gathered reviews in March. John Fink at the Film Stage: “Abruptly switching tones from the serious to the absurd, Cummings seems to be channeling both the verbal and physical humor of Will Ferrell in certain key passages, and yet the result is an often unexpectedly moving portrait of a fractured man.”

Michaël Dacheux’s L’Amour debout. “Martin, in a last ditch hope, comes to meet Léa in Paris. They are both twenty-five and shared their first love story together. They are both now striving to mature.”

Olga Korotko’s Bad Bad Winter. “After the passing of her grandmother, a businessman’s daughter goes back to her birthplace. After a little while, she receives the visit from her former classmates but their reunion take an unexpected turn.”

Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via’s We the Coyotes. “Amanda and Jake are in love and want to start a new life in Los Angeles. Will they make the right decisions? The first twenty-four hours of their new life will take them all around the city, bringing them more surprises and frustrations than expected.”

Marie Losier’s Cassandro the Exotico! “After twenty-six years of spinning dives and flying uppercuts on the ring, Cassandro, the star of the gender-bending cross-dressing Mexican wrestlers known as the Exoticos, is far from retiring. But with dozens of broken bones and metal pins in his body, he must now reinvent himself . . .”

Clément Schneider’s Un violent désir de bonheur. “1792. Far from the epicenter of the French Revolution, the monastery of young monk Gabriel is requisitioned by the revolutionary troops to serve as barracks. The new ideas Gabriel discovers through the forced cohabitation between monks and soldiers don't leave him indifferent.”

There’ll also be a special screening of Hervé Le Roux’s Reprise (1996). Soeren Ney at the IMDb: “The starting point is a short film from 1968, showing the end of the strike in the Wonder factory in Saint-Ouen (France): A female worker is dissatisfied with the negotiated compromise and refuses to return to work. The Team takes up the lane trying to find this woman and gives all those involved the chance to reassess the situation which happened twenty-seven years ago.”

In March, Fabien Lemercier reported at Cineuropa that, “for the second year in a row, be offering a programming slot to a foreign independent filmmakers’ association involved in the challenging areas of circulation and audience education. After Serbia in 2017, it’s now Portugal’s turn to be the star of ACID TRIP #2, and a carte blanche comprising three screenings has been given to the APR (Portuguese Directors’ Association).” The selections:

Pedro Cabeleira’s Damned Summer, which just screened at Locarno in Los Angeles. It’s “in that very American summer-before-school genre, though in this case the summer before looking for employment—and for the Euro-clubbing set.” Daniel Kasman in the Notebook: “Most of its two hours take place watching a Lisbon youth (Pedro Marujo), a bearded goon but successful ladies man, get high and go to one dance party or another, fueled by an inexhaustible supply of weed and ready access to harder drugs. . . . I’m not sure there is much impulse beyond extended lifestyle immersion, but the steady accumulation of lost time, great tunes, and aimless play grows to capture the sense of all the world falling away but for this sensual, senseless, endless moment.”

Leonor Teles’s Ashore.Cineuropa notes that it “portrays the life of a singular fisherman in an ancient riverfront community near Lisbon. Divided between the quiet solitude of the river and the family ties that wash him ashore, the film follows Albertino Lobo, as nature renews itself with each season cycle.”

Teresa Villaverde’s Colo, which screened in Competition at the Berlinale last year: “In Portugal, a father, a mother and a daughter’s daily lives are being subsumed by the effects of the economic crisis. This is a process which begins to influence their life together by degrees while their nicely furnished high-rise flat continues to tell a tale of different, bygone times. The unemployed father spends his days on the roof gazing at the horizon which no longer offers him a future. The mother returns home exhausted from working double shifts. Their adolescent daughter keeps her secrets to herself and wonders if there is enough money to pay her bus fare to school. Each time, the camera takes a step back—wide shots being preferred—in order to capture the mood. And yet what we are observing is not stasis but a tentative forward motion.”

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