Thursday, April 23, 2009

62nd Festival de Cannes - Official Selection Lineup

As expected today the fest had its press conference where the fest authorities announced the festival lineup and here is from the official fest site.

In Competition

À l'Origine (In the Beginning), Xavier Giannoli, France, 2008 (with Gérard Depardieu and Emmanuelle Devos -produced by Luc Besson) IMDb allocine Movie Site Trailer
Based on the true story of a smalltime crook who built a highway.

Antichrist, Lars von Trier, Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden, and Italy, 2009 (of course I have to see this and here is Charlotte Gainsbourg!) IMDb Trailer
A grieving couple retreat to ’Eden’, their isolated cabin in the woods, where they hope to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse...

Bakjwi (Thrist), Chan-wook Park, South Korea, 2009 (another horror with vampires?? Hmm) IMDb Trailer
Sang-hyun is a beloved and admired priest in a small town, who devotedly serves at a local hospital. He goes to Africa to volunteer as a test subject in an experiment to find a vaccine to the new deadly infectious disease caused by Emmanuel Virus (E.V.). During the experiment, he is infected by the E.V. and dies. But transfusion of some unidentified blood miraculously brings him back to life, and unbeknownst to him, it has also turned him into a vampire. After his return home, news of Sang-hyun's recovery from E.V. spreads and people start believing he has the gift of healing and flock to receive his prayers. From those who come to him, Sang-hyun meets a childhood friend named Kang-woo and his wife Tae-ju. Sang-hyun is immediately drawn to Tae-ju. Tae-ju gets attracted to Sang-hyun, who now realizes he has turned into a vampire, and they begin a secret love affair. Sang-hyun asks Tae-ju to run away with him but she turns him down. Instead, she tries to involve Sang-hyun in a plot to kill Kang-woo...

Bright Star, Jane Campion, UK and Australia, 2008 IMDb Movie Site Scenes
London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year old English poet, John Keats, and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, an outspoken student of fashion. This unlikely pair started at odds; he thinking her a stylish minx, she unimpressed by literature in general. It was the illness of Keats’s younger brother that drew them together. Keats was touched by Fanny’s efforts to help and agreed to teach her poetry. By the time Fanny’s alarmed mother and Keats’s best friend Brown realised their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept into powerful new sensations, "I have the feeling as if I were dissolving", Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that deepened as their troubles mounted. Only Keats’s illness proved insurmountable.

Chun Feng Chen Zui De Ye Wan (Spring Fever), Lou Ye, Hong Kong and France, 2009 (gay interest check photos here ) IMDb Trailer
Nanjing 2009. Luo Haitao has been hired by Wang Ping’s wife to spy on the passionate relationship between her husband and another man, but slowly loses control of the situation. With his beautiful girlfriend, Li Jing, he is drawn in to the affair, overcome by the fever of drunken spring nights. All are possessed by an exhilarating madness of the senses, a dangerous malady that leads the heart and head astray...

Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon), Michael Haneke, Austria, Italy, France and Germany, 2009 IMDb Movie Info Info Scenes
A village in Protestant northern Germany. 1913-1914. On the eve of World War I. The story of the children and teenagers of a choir run by the village schoolteacher, and their families: the baron, the steward, the pastor, the doctor, the midwife, the tenant farmers. Strange accidents occur and gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual. Who is behind it all?

Enter the Void, Gaspar Noé, France, Germany and Italy, 2009 (Gosh this really calls my attention even if is horror -well is more sci-fi- and in English and Japanese) IMDb Movie Site allocine Teaser
Oscar and his sister Linda are recent arrivals in Tokyo. Oscar's a small time drug dealer, and Linda works as a nightclub stripper. One night, Oscar is caught up in a police bust and shot. As he lies dying, his spirit, faithful to the promise he made his sister ­ that he would never abandon her - refuses to abandon the world of the living. It wanders through the city, his visions growing evermore distorted, evermore nightmarish. Past, present and future merge in a hallucinatory maelstrom.

Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold, UK, 2009 IMDb Movie Info Scenes
Fifteen year old Mia’s life is turned on its head when her Mum brings home a new boyfriend.

Inglorious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino, USA and Germany, 2009 (well, seems that what many have been saying is true, that the film is great but its being promoted wrong… Very Hard to imagine a Tarantino movie with this synopsis, but definitively a must be seen for me) IMDb Trailer
In the first year of the German occupation of France, Shosanna Dreyfus witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine organizes a group of Jewish American soldiers to perform swift, shocking acts of retribution. Later known to their enemy as "The Basterds", Raine’s squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own...

Kinatay (The Execution of P), Brillante Mendoza, Philippines and France, 2009 IMDb Scene
Peping, a criminology student, is recruited by his schoolmate, Abyong, to work as a part-time errand boy for a local syndicate that collects protection fees from various businesses in Manila. The easy money Peping earns is spent mostly on his girlfriend, Cecille, who’s also a student. Peping decides to marry her, but in order to do so he’ll need more money. Abyong contacts Peping to join a "special project" that pays more than normal.

Les Herbes Folles (Wild Grasses), Alain Resnais, France, 2008 (with Mathieu Almalric and Emmanuelle Devos) IMDb allocine Movie Info Scenes
A wallet lost and found opens the door - just a crack - to romantic adventure for Georges and Marguerite.

Looking for Eric, Ken Loach, UK, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium, 2009 IMDb Trailer
Eric the postman is slipping through his own fingers... His chaotic family, his wild stepsons and the cement mixer in the front garden don’t help, but it is Eric’s own secret that drives him to the brink. Can he face Lily, the woman he once loved 30 years ago? Despite outrageous efforts and misplaced goodwill from his football fan mates, Eric continues to sink. In desperate times it takes a spliff and a special friend from foreign parts to challenge a lost postman to make that journey into the most perilous territory of all - the past. As the Chinese, and one Frenchman, say: "He who is afraid to throw the dice will never throw a six."

Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embrances), Pedro Almodóvar, Spain, 2009 IMDb Trailer
A man writes, lives and loves in darkness. Fourteen years before, he was in a brutal car crash on the island of Lanzarote. In the accident, he didn’t lose only his sight, he also lost Lena, the love of his life. This man uses two names: Harry Caine, a playful pseudonym with which he signs his literary works, stories and scripts, and Mateo Blanco, his real name, with which he lives and signs the film he directs. After the accident, Mateo Blanco reduces himself to his pseudonym, Harry Caine. If he can’t direct films he can only survive with the idea that Mateo Blanco died on Lanzarote with his beloved Lena.

Map of the Sounds of Tokyo, Isabel Coixet, Spain, (VERY interesting -is in Japanese and English, with Rinko Kikuchi and Sergi Lopez…) IMDb Movie Site Trailer
Ryu is a solitary girl whose fragile appearance is in stark contrast with the double life she leads, working nights at a Tokyo fishmarket and sporadically taking on jobs as a hit-woman. Mr. Nagara is a powerful impresario mourning the loss of his daughter Midori, who has committed suicide. He blames David, a Spaniard who runs a wine business in Tokyo. Mr. Nagara's employee, Ishida, was silently in love with Midori and hires Ryu to murder David. A sound engineer, obsessed with the sounds of the Japanese city and fascinated with Ryu, witnesses this love story which searches the shadows of the human soul, reaching deep into places where only silence has the power of eloquence.

Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee, USA, 2009 (yes is about the music fest and is absolutely Gay Interest) IMDb Trailer
It’s 1969, and Elliot Tiber, a down-on-his-luck interior designer in Greenwich Village, New York, has to move back upstate to help his parents run their dilapidated Catskills motel, the El Monaco. The bank is about to foreclose; his father wants to burn the place down, but hasn’t paid the insurance; and Elliot is still figuring how to come out to his parents. When Elliot hears that a neighboring town has pulled the permit on a hippie music festival, he calls the producers, thinking he could drum up some much needed business for the motel. Three weeks later, half a million people are on their way to his neighbour's farm in White Lake, NY, and Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life, and popular culture, forever.

The Time That Remains, Elia Suleiman, France, Belgium, Italy and UK, 2009 IMDb Teaser
The film is a semi biographic film, in four historic episodes, about a family -my family - spanning from 1948, until recent times. The film is inspired by my father’s diaries of his personal accounts, starting from when he was a resistant fighter in 1948, and by my mother’s letters to family members who were forced to leave the country since then. Combined with my intimate memories of them and with them, the film attempts to portray the daily life of those Palestinians who remained in their land and were labeled « Israeli-Arabs », living as a minority in their own homeland.

Un Prophète (A Prophet), Jacques Audiard, France, 2009 IMDb allocine Photos Trailer
Condemned to six years in prison, Malik El Djebena cannot read nor write. Arriving at the jail entirely alone, he appears younger and more fragile than the other convicts. He is 19 years old. Cornered by the leader of the Corsican gang who rules the prison, he is given a number of "missions" to carry out, toughening him up and gaining the gang leader’s confidence in the process. But Malik is brave and a fast learner, daring to secretly develop his own plans...

Vengeance, Johnnie To, Hong Kong, 2009 (in English??!! Starring Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Testud – wow!) IMDb Movie Site Trailer
A father comes to Hong Kong to avenge his daughter, whose family was murdered. Officially, he’s a French chef. Twenty years ago, he was a killer.

Vincere, Marco Bellocchio, Italy, 2009 (with Giovanna Mezzogiorno!) IMDb allocine Trailer
There is a secret in the life of Mussolini: a wife and a son, who was born, acknowledged and then denied. The secret bears a name: Ida Dalser. It is a dark page in history, one ignored in the official biography of the Duce. When Ida meets Mussolini in Milan, he is the editor of Avanti and an ardent Socialist who intends to guide the masses towards an anti-clerical, anti-monarchical, socially emancipated future. Ida already had a fleeting encounter with him in Trento and remained thunderstruck. Ida truly believes in him and his ideas: Mussolini is her hero. In order to finance Popolo d’Italia, a newspaper he has founded and the nucleus of the forthcoming Fascist Party, Ida sells everything she has: her apartment, her beauty salon, her furniture and jewelry.

Visage (Face), Tsai Ming-Liang, France, Taiwan, Netherlands, and Belgium, 2009 (obviously a must be seen for me as is with Fanny Ardant, Jeanne Moreau, Mathieu Amalric and Laetitia Casta!! Is this lesbian interest, or just my imagination? Check the photo in allocine. It was really filmed inside Le Louvre! and the synopsis makes it more must be seen!) IMDb allocine Scenes from Movie Trailer
A Taiwanese filmmaker makes a film based on the myth of Salomé at the Louvre. Even though he speaks neither French nor English, he insists on giving the part of King Herod to the French actor Jean-Pierre Léaud. To give the film a chance at the box-office, the production company gives the role of Salomé to a world famous model. But problems arise as soon as filming begins... Amidst all this confusion, the director suddenly learns of his mother’s death. The producer flies to Taipei, to attend the funeral. The director falls into a deep sleep where his mother’s spirit does not seem to want to leave her old apartment. The producer has no choice but to wait, alone and lost in a strange city. As after a very long voyage, filming will resume with all who were lost in the underground of the Louvre.

Feature Film Jury

Isabelle Huppert, President
Asia Argento, actress/director/screenwriter, Italy
Nury Bilge Ceylan, director/screenwriter, actor, Turkey
Lee Chang-dong, director/writer/screenwriter, Korea
James Gray, director/screenwriter, USA
Hanif Kureishi, writer/screenwriter, UK
Shu Qi, actress, Taiwan
Robin Wright Penn, actress, USA
Shrmilla Tagore, actress, India

This is one truly heterogeneous and eclectic jury, with excellent choices for members, which probably –and hopefully- will translate into a very unexpected win. Also from the little information that I have read about each film the Official Selection seems VERY interesting, not only because the stories in each movie but also because the great directors and well, the truly excellent casting of some films. This year even the out of competition films seem great, so we now know that after the fest we will be able to watch -eventually- many great films. Bravo!

To check the films in the official site go here but there is only the list, as information about each film will be up one week before the fest begins, meaning May 6th. To read the official press release go here. This year I’ll be posting the selections in different posts and as soon as I finish posting all, I will start to look for more info about the movies and well, trailers! If you feel like watching the Press Conference go here.

To read more information about each film please go here.

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