Friday, March 11, 2016
Yesterday Canal+ announced who the Maître de Cérémonie is for the 69th edition of the Festival de Cannes and is an actor that I don't know much about him, except that he is in Elle by Paul Verhoeven, a film I talk about it in this post, and has been in secondary roles in films I have seen like for example Little White Lies but I can't recall a thing he did, sigh.
Hope he's a good host and that I will be able to remember him from that moment on. The Maître de Cérémonie is Laurent Lafitte. By-the-way today Cannes official site has the announcement and if you wish to check info about Lafitte go here.
Will share that yesterday checked all over for info about Lafitte and found some French articles questioning what happened with Lambert Wilson, who is a more internationally known actor. But I imagine that after 2 consecutive years was time to have a new master of ceremonies, after all in recent times most actors have host the opening and closing ceremony twice in average. If you feel like having a fast reading of past hosts take a look at this article, available in French only.
On other news, it's "official" Canal+ has reduced the festival coverage to a minimum and some of the most iconic programs will not happen this year as they're obviously cutting costs. Usually watch some interviews they do in their magnificent outdoor studio but this year the ocean side studio is out. Hope opening and closing ceremony coverage remains intact so we can enjoy them live.
Let's continue with French cinema, French directors, French co productions and/or films made in the French-Language.
François Ozon with Frantz
One of my very favorite Contemporary French directors has a new movie and yes, it's must-be-seen for me. Could film go to Cannes? Don't know but believe there are high probabilities as he goes back to a tell a strong period drama with a good cast and there is always his background that includes several visits to Cannes, Berlin and Venice. Film stars Pierre Niney, who just won a Cesar for Best Actor, and German actress Paula Beer, last seen in The Dark Valley. Tells the story of a young mysterious Frenchman who lays flowers on the grave of Franz, the fiancé of Anna who was killed in France and the unpredictable reactions that will unravel. Mars Distribution does sales, film will premiere in France on September 14, 2016.
Katell Quillévéré with Réparer les vivants (The Heart)
The third film by acclaimed new director of outstanding Un Poison Violent and Suzanne with an interesting international cast that includes Tahar Rahim, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Dorval, and Bouli Lanners. Story seems melodramatic but in the hands of this director and script writer (she co wrote it with Gilles Taurand) could become not-easy to watch but highly engaging as her previous 2 films have been. Tells about a young man in comma, a doctor convincing his parents to allow his dead and donate the heart; a woman who will never know anything about her savior... Film Distribution handles sales and not really sure if film will be ready for Cannes but we have to consider that in her short filmmaker career her feature films have been in Cannes at the 2013 Semaine de la Critique and 2010 Quinzaine, so chances are she will be again perhaps at Un Certain Regard?
Rebecca Zlotowski with Planetarium
A French co production (with USA) that will be in English and French, directed by one the most interesting contemporary French filmmakers (remember outstanding Belle épine or Grand Central?) and with a puzzling cast that includes the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. Yes it's the third film by Zlotowski and we have to recall that her first two films premiered in 2010 Semaine de la Critique and 2013 Un Certain Regard, so it's most likely that her third also premieres in Cannes as film seems to have all the right credentials to be considered. Starring Nicole Portman, Louis Garrel and Lily-Rose Melody Depp in a fantasy period-drama about 2 sisters who are believed to possess the supernatural ability to connect with ghosts, which sounds kind of silly but then again, in the hands of this French filmmaker things could go to the very-interesting side.
Most cinema pundits say will not be ready for Cannes, but hope they rush to have it ready. Yes, very curious about young Depp and refuse to watch her first in an American production, so will wait for this movie to see if she has the acting genes of her famous parents; then can't forget that I see everything with Garell, so no matter what, film is must be seen for me.
Not French Directors with French co production and films in the French-Language
Paul Verhoeven with Elle
You have no idea of how glad I'm that this Dutch director returned to do European productions as definitively I highly enjoy his films, with the exception of the more commercial cinema he has done in the other side of the world, sigh (well to be honest perhaps the exception is 1992 Basic Instinct -lol-). So I'm truly excited to have the opportunity to watch a French, German and Belgium co production, filmed in French and starring none other than outstanding high-working-actress in France, Isabelle Huppert. Have a hard time keeping up will all Huppert films as she releases several every year and I have to see everything with her; but Huppert plus Vehoeven make it a lot more interesting for me. Know story is not an easy-to-watch but best Huppert performances are in not-easy-to-watch roles and stories; also know this assaulted at home very successful business female character could bring some of the best Huppert performances. Yes, I'm already "dying" to see this film NO matter if makes to any festival or has the critics approval (lol).
If we believe dates in cinema sites, then we have to consider that allocine registers the premiere date in France on May 26, four days after Cannes final date; then IMDb says France premiere is September 21 (yes it's the French awards preferred premiere window), which to me sounds more logical due to the film credentials. Then film has already a trailer, so maybe allocine date could be more reliable and perhaps has a Cannes out-of-competition premiere or surprises us to be in the competition. Take a look.
Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne with La Fille Inconnue (The Unknown Girl)
Twice Palme d'Or winners, Belgian Dardenne Brothers have a new movie and if what I read is correct, they will have to premiere their film in Cannes as they haven't premiere any film in any other festival. The French co production has a great cast lead by Adèle Haenel, Jérémie Renier, and Olivier Gourmet. Imagine that if they wrap-up filming last December then film probably will be ready for Cannes; hope is true as some cinema pundits speculate this film will have a "different" style, become more police procedural, than realistic female character exploration in a specific situation (like with Rosetta, Lorna or Sandra). Me, I tend to hope for their usual social very-realistic exploration, this time perhaps about the health system as Haenel plays a young new general practitioner who feels guilty for not having opened the door to her office to a girl who is found dead not long after.
Haenel comes from winning in two consecutive years the César, so perhaps is time for a Cannes Best Actress and definitively a film by Dardenne Bros is the best possible vehicle to obtain the honor. Yes been following this actress career since she was in Céline Sciamma’s Water Lilies so film is must be seen for me, but then this is a Dardenne Bros film so above all, I have to see this film no matter if makes it or not to Cannes. French distribution is by Diaphana Distribution, sales by Wild Bunch.
Surely left out some directors but there are too many film that expect could appear in the collateral sections and always hope to more great French directors to appear somewhere with another extraordinary film. Sigh.