For its 70th festival, Cannes breaks with its well-guarded tradition of opening the festival with a Hollywood movie. Festival regular Arnaud Desplechin takes that significant honor with “Ismael’s Ghosts,” about a filmmaker (played by Mathieu Amalric) whose life is upended when a lover from his past shows up as he’s about to start shooting his latest picture. Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Louis Garrel also star.
Hollywood's absence at Cannes extends across the films in competition for the Palme d'Or, and across the entire festival. Hollywood has clearly lost its place on the premiere stage for Global Cinema. — R.I.P. Hollywood. Superhero Movies Killed The Motion Picture Star.
Conventional wisdom has it that Cannes traditionally skips a year as regards the quality of films shown every year. It is yet to be decided if this year’s selection will pale in comparison to last year’s imperfect lineup. Palme d'Or Competition films by Michael Haneke, Hong Sangsoo, François Ozon, Naomi Kawase, Todd Haynes, and Lynne Ramsay promise to give critics and jury judges some high-quality films to choose between.
French New Wave veteran Agnès Varda’s “Visages, Villages” is sure to be a hot ticket at a determinedly French festival that never forgets its own. Oh Cannes, how we adore you!
Laura Poitras's new documentary [about Julian Assange] premiered at Cannes last year where I saw the film in a packed house on the croisette. Global action heroes don't come any smarter or more composed than Julian Assange in the face of massive corporate and political malfeasance. "Risk" arrives this summer. If you only see one documentary this year, make sure it's RISK.
As an eminent representative of the Romanian New Wave, Cristian Mungiu enjoys a long and glittering history with the Festival. Having won the Palme with his astounding second feature film, 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, he went on to garner the Best Screenplay and Best Actress prizes for Beyond the Hills and the Best Director prize for Graduation.
The filmography of this demanding and socially engaged director has been widely acclaimed by successive juries because it offers such an uncompromisingly sharp and exacting view of Romanian society, but packs a universal message. His ambitious works take a scalpel to human nature and treat it with rare intelligence: a gentle satire on the dreams of young Romanians in the post-communist period (Occident, 2002); a chilling tale of a clandestine small-town abortion (4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, 2007); surreal and deadpan urban legends under the Ceauşescu system (Tales from the Golden Age, 2009); exorcism against a background of religious fundamentalism and communist heritage (Beyond the Hills, 2012); and a moral tale of dishonest compromises and corruption in Romanian society (Graduation, 2016).
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