This morning, the Cannes Film Festival posted an announcement listing eleven new films that had been added to this year’s lineup. Then the announcement was yanked. Radio silence for hours. Now the announcement’s back up again. So let’s have a look at the new additions.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree. Image at the top. From Memento Films: “Sinan is passionate about literature and has always wanted to be a writer. Returning to the village where he was born, he pours his heart and soul into scraping together the money he needs to be published, but his father’s debts catch up with him.”
Sergey Dvortsevoy’s My Little One. From Cineuropa: “A young Kyrgyz girl—Ayka—lives and works illegally in Moscow. After giving birth to her son, she leaves him in hospital. Some time later, however, her motherly yearning leads her to desperate attempts of finding the abandoned child.” Dvortsevoy, by the way, is probably best known for Tulpan (2008).
Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart. Again, Cineuropa: “In the heart of the demonic Paris of the late 70s, Anne (Vanessa Paradis) made a career by producing pornographic films. To find the favors of his companion, Loïs (Kate Moran), Anne decides to change by financing a much more ambitious film, which she entrusts the direction to Archibald (Nicolas Maury). But a mysterious serial killer thwarts her plans and attacks all the actors involved in the project.”
Out of Competition
Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built. Set in the U.S. of the 1970s, it tracks “the highly intelligent Jack [Matt Dillon] through five incidents and are introduced to the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer,” according to Zentropa. “We experience the story from Jack’s point of view. He views each murder as an artwork in itself, even though his dysfunction gives him problems in the outside world. Despite the fact that the final and inevitable police intervention is drawing ever near (which both provokes and puts pressure on Jack) he is—contrary to all logic—set on taking greater and greater chances.” With Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl, and Riley Keough.
Un Certain Regard
Alejandro Fadel’s Die, Monster, Die. Reporting on the film for Screen last year, Geoffrey Macnab noted that it begins as “the body of a woman is found brutally beheaded by a remote meadow at the foot of the snowy Andes. In this isolated land, her husband, suspected of the crime, and her lover, in charge of the investigation, are thrown together.”
Sergei Loznitsa’s Donbass. Luke Harding, who recently interviewed Loznitsa for the Guardian, notes that it’s “about the war between Ukraine and Russia. . . . Loznitza hasn’t been to Russia since 2014, just before the momentous events depicted in his epic documentary Maidan. Months of anti-government protests in Ukraine culminated with security forces opening fire on demonstrators, killing 100 of them. The country’s then president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled to Russia. Vladimir Putin responded by annexing Crimea, and kickstarting a bloody conflict in the eastern Donbas region. The war continues, and has claimed more than 10,000 lives. ‘This is most painful. Two similar close people, Slavic people, have been fighting each other for three years. A lot of relationships are broken,’ Loznitsa says.”
João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora’s The Dead and the Others. It’s a documentary, and Google translates the original title, Chuva é cantoria na aldeia dos mortos, as “Rain is singing in the village of the dead.”
Damian Nenow and Raul De La Fuente’s Another Day in the Life. From the site for the animated film: “Another Day of Life is a story of a reporter seeking the truth about war, who during a mortally dangerous journey through Angola encounters situations and events forcing him to change his attitude to work and life. The film’s action takes place during the three months [Ryszard] Kapuściński spent in this war-torn country in 1975. During the expedition, the reporter realizes that he is a witness to events, the meaning of which requires him to go beyond the role of an observer. To recount the story of Angola, he will have to undergo a deep transformation himself. Another Day of Life (Jeszcze dzień życia), the book in which Kapuściński writes about his experience in Angola, bears witness to his rebirth both as a writer and as a human being.”
Ramin Bahrani’s Fahrenheit 451. “HBO's take on Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451 will be different from the source material but will stay true to it thematically,” according to Bahrani, notes the Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg. With Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon.
Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney. The documentary about Whitney Houston “includes previously unreleased recordings, never-before-seen home movie footage and live performances recorded by Houston at various stages her life, as well as original studio recordings, a capellas of some of her biggest hits,” notes Deadline’s Patrick Hipes.
Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The Guardian’s Andrew Pulver notes that the screening “comes despite an ongoing court case, arising from a dispute between Gilliam and the film’s former producer Paulo Branco. However, the filmmakers recently issued a statement denying that Branco had the power to block the film’s release. Gilliam started work on the film over two decades ago, though a previous attempt to film it (with Johnny Depp in the lead role) in 2000 was abandoned after Depp’s co-star Jean Rochefort became ill. The completed film now stars Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce, and will be released in France on the same day it screens at Cannes.”
Cannes’ seventy-first edition runs from May 8 through 19.
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