Thursday, March 10, 2016

#Cannes2016 Wish List - Part 1 - France One

On April 14 Thierry Frémaux and festival president Pierre Lescure will held the press conference where they will do the official announcement of the 2016 Official Selection; next Monday, April 18 is Charles Tesson turn to announce the Semaine de la Critique selection and on Tuesday, April 19, Edoudard Waintrop will announce the Quinzaine des réalisateurs selection. Then we have to recall that last year fest organizers started to give news drop-by-drop, so assume that this year they could do the same and we will learn sooner the opening film and maybe more news that will tickle our interest.

As been happening lately there are too many great French films so I'm starting my wish list with French productions (and co productions) and/or films directed by French directors and/or films in the French Language. My wish list applies to all sections in the festival and not only to the Official Selection; of course I hope some of these films make it to the main Competition but if they don't, Un Certain Regard, la Semaine or la Quinzaine are also great alternatives.

As it's really early (lol) there haven't been too many speculations about the opening film but today the buzz started when one film released its premiere date and French press went wild speculating will be/could be the opening film. Ma Loute by Bruno Dumont opening date is May 11th, the same day the festival opens and personally believe that it's possible as film has an incredible cast lead by Juliette Binoche. Still, American press is speculating about an American film opening the fest as believe Oliver Stone's Snowden has the right credentials to open a major film festival. Other films with some degree of buzz are Money Monster by Jodie Foster, On The Milky Road by Emir Kusturica, and The Last Face by Sean Penn.

So let's get into the list. In a way my wish list is about predictions but more important is about the films that I'm looking forward to see eventually, no matter if they make to Cannes or not (sigh); but obviously I'm hoping they do as festival participation assures higher film quality.

The French Directors - One
Below you will see a distilment of my previous post as there are too many French films to be considered and we know that NOT many will make it to Cannes as organizers have to consider films from all over the world. As a matter of fact buzz claims that organizers tend to select French films last, after choosing films from all corners of the world. So no matter if they're chosen last or not, these are the films I hope will make it to the festival.

Bruno Dumont with Ma Loute (Slack Bay)
Dumont is well-known in Cannes as already has two Grand Prize of the Jury awards for 1999 L'humanité and 2006 Flandres; he was also in Un Certain Regard section with 2011 Hors Satan and in 2015 Cannes with the TV Series P'tit Quinquin; now his latest film has a top-cast lead by none other than Juliette Binoche with whom he work last in 2013 Berlinale Official Selection, Camille Claudel 1915. Film also stars great Fabrice Luchini and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi. Story is set in 1910 and the period drama uses the excuse of tourists vanishing from the beaches of the Channel Coast to tell us the love story of Ma Loute and Billie Van Peteghem. Sales are by Memento Films.

Olivier Assayas with Personal Shopper
Yes, I'm "dying" to confirm that film will be as good as all Assayas films and obviously a Cannes premiere will assure me that film is great. Film was at Berlinale Market and scored "massive" pre-sales by MK2. IFC has North American rights. To the point: film is sold, now needs a great premiere and obviously Cannes has to be the best scenario. I now, if film would be an American production storyline would be a true disaster BUT film is French, so a film that "revolves around a ghost story that takes place in the fashion underworld of Paris" should be more than alright as was described as "plus poétique et bizarre que Sils Maria" (yay!). Film will be released in France on October 19, 2016.

Bertrand Bonello with Paris est une fête (Paris is Happening) ... Oops as of March 4, 2016 film has a new name: Nocturama!
Film was written by Bonello in 2011 but story became truly controversial with what has been happening in Paris as is about terrorists attacks. I highly enjoy Bonello's films so I'm looking forward to watch film but wonder if will be released in Cannes, even when was filmed in the Summer of 2015. Still films sales are by Wild Bunch.

Fanny Ardant with Le divan de Staline (Stalin's Divan)
I can't resist Ardant, have to see everything with her and by her. Film also known as Et derrière moi une cage vide. Starring Gérard Depardieu, Emmanuelle Seigner, Paul Hamy. Story set in 1950's in the Soviet Union and a young artist who is commissioned to create Stalin's monument. Now that I'm reading more about film believe will not make it to Cannes as seems will not be ready. Nevertheless is a must-be-seen film that maybe will make it to another festival.

Nicole Garcia with Mal de Pierres (From the Land of the Moon)
Garcia's latest film has a great cast, Marion Cotillard and Louis Garrel, is based on a known novel with a story set after WWII spanning 20 years following a free-spirited woman who is in a loveless marriage and falls for antoher man. The quintessential love story told once but maybe with a surely different vision as is told by a female filmmaker. Terrific casting and great storyteller filmmaker need an outstanding showcase for the film premiere. Film seems is ready so there are good odds that will make it to Cannes. Studio Canal distributes and will open on October 19 in France.

Arnaud des Pallières with Orpheline (Orphan)
Not crazy about des Pallières films but his last, 2013 Michael Kohlhnaas was a huge surprise for me, so now I'm looking forward to watch his latest, Orpheline with an extraordinary cast lead by Adèle Haenel, Jalil Lespert, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Gemma Aterton, Sergi López, and Nicolas Duvauchelle. Four moments in the lives of four female characters but actually is a lot more complex (yay!) as actually are four different sides of the same woman, story made me very curious about film but the two Adele's already made film must be seen for me. Le Pacte distributes and there is no

Not French Directors with French co productions and films in the French-language.

Xavier Dolan with Juste la fin du monde (It's Only the End of the World)
This is a French co production by the Canadian enfant terrible with a top A-List cast that includes Léa Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Gaspard Ulliel, and Nathalie Baye. I LOVE all films by Dolan and the wait for his next film is always a too-long affair, sigh. Story seems to be in the best Dolan style with character-intense troubled relations. Diaphana distributes and there is no release date yet. Most international cinema pundits "assure" film will open in Cannes, I hope happens as yes will be great to see the cast walking the red carpet (lol!) but no, I don't need a festival to know that films is must be seen for me. Sigh.

Tran Anh Hung with Eternité (Eternity)
VERY-very curious about this film by famous Vietnamese director known to me since his outstanding Scent of Green Papaya but also his other festival films (mostly Venice) like 2010 Norwegian Wood. Film has a great cast that includes Audrey Tautou, Bérénice Bejo and Mélanie Laurent; writen by Tran Anh Hugh and based o the novel L'élégance des veuves by Alice Ferney story tells a story that begins in the 19th century and ends in the next century with various men and women falling in love during the entire century. I know, when I read French films storylines, many sound so not-interesting; that's why I don't read them (lol!) as know that film probably will be a lot more that what the storyline suggests. Sigh. Film has the right credentials for Cannes but I wonder if will not go to Venice where filmmaker has been premiering his latest films.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa with La femme de la plaque argentique (The Woman in the Silver Plate)
Yes, famous Japanese director is exploring cinema making outside Japan and his first French film has an outstanding cast with the likes of Tahar Rahim, Mathieu Amalric and Olivier Gourmet. The not-so-good news according to Unifrance is that film is to premiere in Belgium on 04/05/2016 which makes film not exactly eligible for Cannes or any festival, which is VERY strange when you think about the impeccable film credentials; BUT allocine has film release date May 2016 which obviously suggests Cannes. I tend to believe film will make it.

Will stop here but there are many more French films that have to make my wish list, so this year there will be at least 2, if not more, French Directors installments.

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