Cannes Classics and a Toronto Dozen

Bill Duke’s The Killing Floor (1984)

As Cannes puts the finishing touches to its 2021 lineup, Toronto has announced a first round of titles, and Locarno has selected its opening night feature. It’s turned out to be a busy week for festival news, so let’s start with Cannes and work our way through the calendar.

Before Cannes officially opens on July 6 with Leos Carax’s Annettehere’s a new trailer—the festival will present The Story of Film: A New Generation, a two-hour-and-forty-minute “journey into contemporary world cinema” and the final chapter in Mark Cousins’s fifteen-part documentary. Cannes has also added seven more titles to its official selection, all of them addressing the climate crisis: six documentaries and one fictional feature, Louis Garrel’s The Crusade, which was cowritten with the late Jean-Claude Carrière. During the closing ceremony on July 17, Cannes will present an honorary Palme d’Or to Marco Bellocchio, seven of whose features have premiered in competition over the past four decades. Bellocchio will bring his latest film, Marx Can Wait, a documentary in which the eighty-one-year-old director seeks to understand why his twin brother killed himself at the age of twenty-nine.

The jury is now set as well. Judging the films in competition alongside jury president Spike Lee will be Mati Diop, Mylène Farmer, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hausner, Mélanie Laurent, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Tahar Rahim, and Song Kang Ho. But the most exciting news to come out of Cannes this week has to be the lineup for the Classics program, which includes new restorations and documentaries on cinema. As a tribute to Bill Duke, the festival will present his first feature, The Killing Floor (1984), which screened not only in Critics’ Week but also at Sundance and Locarno in 1985. The seventieth anniversary of the launch of Cahiers du cinéma will be celebrated with a screening of one of the films reviewed in the first issue, Roberto Rossellini’s The Flowers of St. Francis (1950).

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