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 Annette—here’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).
A screening of Oscar Micheaux’s Murder in Harlem (1935) will be followed by the premiere of Francesco Zippel’s documentary Oscar Micheaux: The Superhero of Black Filmmaking. Director Jacques Doillon will attend the screening of The Hussy (1978), Irène Jacob will be in the audience for Krzysztof Kieślowski’s The Double Life of Véronique (1991), and Tilda Swinton will be on hand for the presentation of Peter Wollen’s Friendship’s Death (1987). She plays an alien who drops in on a British journalist (Bill Paterson) in war-torn Jordan in 1970. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw finds the film to be “Beckettian in its way, but with something more emollient.”
The lineup also includes Orson Welles’s F for Fake (1973), David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. (2001), Alain Resnais’s The War Is Over (1966), Max Ophuls’s Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948), Marcel Camus’s Black Orpheus (1959), Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s I Know Where I’m Going! (1945), Raoul Peck’s Lumumba: Death of a Prophet (1990), Ana Mariscal’s The Path (1964), and Kinuyo Tanaka’s The Moon Has Risen (1955), which features Tanaka in a cameo role.
Two days after Cannes wraps and two hours east by train, FIDMarseille (July 19 through 25) will honor Apichatpong Weerasethakul with a Grand Prix d’Honneur and a retrospective that will include his Cannes-bound Memoria. Lav Diaz will preside over the international jury and the festival will screen new work from Ted Fendt, Marie Losier, and Ben Russell.
While organizers in Bologna put together the catalogue for this year’s Il Cinema Ritrovato (July 20 through 27), programmer Ehsan Khoshbakht is giving us a sneak peek at the George Stevens retrospective. “No other director has been credited for filming such disparate situations and figures, of such cultural and historical importance,” he writes, “from Laurel and Hardy’s cake-throwing parties to the Crucifixion; the unique elegance of Astaire and Rogers’s dance numbers and the liberation of Dachau.”
In the UK, Cinema Rediscovered (July 29 through August 1) will open with Wong Kar Wai’s newly restored In the Mood for Love (2000) and then screen Leo Penn’s A Man Called Adam (1966) and Melvin Van Peebles’s The Story of a Three Day Pass (1967). The festival will also salute the year 1971 with five films: Monte Hellman’s Two-Lane Blacktop, Alan J. Pakula’s Klute, Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces, Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show.
Locarno will open on August 4 with Beckett, a thriller about an American tourist on the run in Greece directed by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, produced by Luca Guadagnino, and starring John David Washington, Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps, and Alicia Vikander. Before the festival wraps on August 14, Locarno will present the Pardo d’onore Manor, its lifetime achievement award, to John Landis; an Excellence Award to Laetitia Casta; the Pardo alla carriera to cinematographer Dante Spinotti; a Vision Award to director and visual effects specialist Phil Tippett; and a best producer award to Gale Anne Hurd.
Into the Fall
Telluride has invited Barry Jenkins to program a selection of films for its forty-eighth edition (September 2 through 6) as this year’s guest director. “I’m just trying to think, what am I dying to see projected on a big screen right now?” Jenkins tells the Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Keegan. “Seeing a movie projected is a really precious experience, we’ve been locked up for so damn long. And that’s my only guiding light at the moment.”
Sony Pictures announced today that Pedro Almodóvar’s Madres paralelas (Parallel Mothers) will open in Spain on September 10, which has led to speculation that the film starring Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde, and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón may premiere in Venice. So far, though, the only film confirmed for the festival running from September 1 through 11 is Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 science fiction classic starring Timothée Chalamet.
Dune then heads to a giant IMAX screen in Toronto, where the festival has just announced twelve more titles for its forty-sixth edition (September 9 through 25). The UK is well-represented with Terence Davies’s Benediction, a biopic based on the life of First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon; Edgar Wright’s giallo-inspired Last Night in Soho; and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, the story of a boy growing up in a working-class family in the late 1960s. From France come Céline Sciamma’s Petite maman, which centers on the unlikely friendship between two eight-year-old girls; Mélanie Laurent’s Le bal des folles, the story of a woman who escapes the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris in the nineteenth century; and Eric Warin and Tahir Rana’s animated Charlotte, which is based on the life of Charlotte Salomon, a German-Jewish artist who painted an autobiographical series of works before being deported to Auschwitz.
TIFF will also screen two documentaries, David Heilbroner and Dave Wooley’s Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over and Jagged, Alison Klayman’s portrait of Alanis Morissette. Antoine Fuqua’s The Guilty stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Riley Keough, Ethan Hawke, and Paul Dano in the story of a police officer who faces a harsh dilemma when he receives a call from a kidnapped woman. Naomi Watts plays a mother desperate to save her child in Phillip Noyce’s Lakewood, and Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Kevin Kline, Daveed Diggs, and Timothy Olyphant star in Theodore Melfi’s comedic drama, The Starling.
For Sarah Manvel in the Critic’s Notebook, the “emotional stakes” of Danis Goulet’s Night Raiders are “so high that it doesn’t matter the movie is a mash-up of Children of Men,Young Ones, and Leave No Trace. It’s a bilingual Cree-English futuristic re-enactment of The Scoop—that is, the forcible removable of Indigenous Canadian children to residential schools where their connection to their culture was tortured out of them.”
Following Berlin’s lead, San Sebastián has announced that starting this year its acting awards will be gender-neutral. Instead of presenting awards for best actor and actress, the festival will recognize the best leading and supporting performances. San Sebastián has also released the trailer for the retrospective of its sixty-ninth edition (September 17 through 25), Flowers in Hell: The Golden Age of Korean Cinema. Looking a bit further down the calendar, Rome (October 14 through 24) will present lifetime achievement awards to Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino, and its retrospective will be dedicated to Arthur Penn.
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