Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 Cannes Wish List - Part 2

Wishing or predicting? Trying to do both but from this exercise what really comes out are the films that I want to see hopefully sooner than later during the rest of the current year and -sadly- next year.

Since the last post we have some news. On Wednesday, April 25 organizers announced that Georges Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road will be part of the Official Selection as an Out of Competition film with screening on May 14, which means that is NOT the opening film. When the official poster was unveiled they also announced a film in the Cannes Classics section: a documentary by Stig Bjorkman, Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words. Then we know by now that Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Vinterberg will not be in Cannes as is in competition at the Istanbul Film Festival that runs from April 4 to 19. Most unpleasant news relate to Nanni Moretti's Mia Madre opening in Italy on April 16, so there are high possibilities that film will NOT make it to Cannes.

The official selection will be announced at a press conference on April 16 and before that date we expect the traditionally revealed in advance opening film with European buzz still predicting a French film plus non-European buzz speculating on the chances Disney's Tomorrowland has.

But perhaps the most interesting news is my latest discovery: a site by Thomas Gastaldi called wask.fr that is in process of listing "100 films pour Cannes 2015"; yes site is French but you can always translate with Google. Strongly suggest you visit site here.

There are some "new" films that we have to consider as buzz started after I published the long list.

France: La Blessure (The Real Wound) by Abdellatif Kechiche - with Gérard Depardieuis an adaptation of the novel by François Bégaudeau (writer of Laurent Cantet's 2008 Palme d'Or winner The Class). Seems film is ready and yes, has all the right credentials to make it to Cannes.
Italy: L'Attesa (The Wait) by Piero Messina - with Juliette Binoche, Lou de Laâge. Another Italian director with Cannes probabilities -director used to be Sorrentino collaborator and everybody will love to see Juliette Binoche in Cannes!
Germany: Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade
Spain: Ma Ma by Julio Medem - with Penelope Cruz (has strong Cannes buzz BUT I think will go to Venice not Cannes)
USA: Irrational Man by Woody Allen - with Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey and Emma Stone.
USA: Chronic by Michel Franco -with Tim Roth. Mexican director debut feature in English
USA: Viena and the Fantomes by Gerardo Naranjo - with Dakota Fanning, Evan Rachel Wood. Acclaimed Mexican director debut feature film in English.
USA:  A Tale of Love and Darkness by Natalie Portman.  Her debut feature film has buzz as highest-profile contender for the Camera d'Or and tells the story of Israeli writer Amos Oz; Portman plays Oz mother in the Jerusalem set story during the 1940s and '50s.

A few days back read a tweet that make me laugh hard. Was about believing what everyone is predicting for Cannes and a summary that gave 500+ films! Obviously the list of potential films is HUGE but even I know that Thierry Fremaux and his colleagues have no physical time to watch that amount of films before the announcements are made. So no matter how many good films are swimming around Cannes, many will have to continue swimming toward Locarno and Venice festivals! (lol)

Here is a selection of films from the Rest of the World (Minus France and Italy)

Jaco van Dormael - Le Tout Nouveau Testament
Just check the story line: Did you know that God is alive and lives in Brussels with his daughter? Nothing more to say to make it must be seen for me; still film star is Catherine Deneuve plus also Yolande Moreau and Benoît Poelvoorde. I enjoyed very much his Venice in competition film Mr. Nobody but he has also been in Cannes with two films and won the Golden Camera in 1991.

Thomas Vinterberg - Kollektivet (The Commune)
A Danish production with a script written by Vinterberg and Tobias Lindholm (remember A Hijacking?) a most successful collaboration since they wrote together fantastic Jagten (The Hunt). Film is set in 1970s and is inspired in Vinterberg's own childhood in an academic commune north of Copehagen. Film has been already sold to many European countries, which makes Cannes fest a possibility even when most think film will go to American and/or Canadian film festivals later in the year. By the way film was in 2014 Toronto market, where TrustNordisk promoted film to international buyers.

Yorgos Lanthimos - The Lobster
Lanthimos does films that are not easy to watch but yes I always end up watching them perhaps later than sooner. We know that now he is considered one of the best European young directors that has already won accolades in Cannes and Venice. So if his latest film does not make it to Cannes then there is always Venice later in the year. No surprise when The Lobster has an odd storyline: In a dystopian near future, single people are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days or are transformed into animals and released into the woods. Cast makes me wish to see movie sooner than later as includes Léa Seydoux . An European (Greece, UK, Ireland, Netherlands and France) production in English, which I believe that in this case could ease a bit watching the end result.

Todd Haynes - Carol
It's been a while since Haynes was in Cannes (1998 with Velvet Goldmine) but maybe this British-American co production could be his Cannes comeback.  No matter what, I'm "dying" to watch film and obviously is must be seen for me as according to film stills, period film seems to have awesome cinematography plus consider that leads are Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in a story by Patricia Highsmith called The Price of Salt, a novel that absolutely blew my mind and hope film adaptation will do the same.

Justin Kurzel - Macbeth
Kurzel came to international fame with his Cannes honored and not-easy-to-watch film Snowtown, his debut feature film.  Just imagine that your second feature film is none other than Macbeth with Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender in the leads and it's impossible to assume that film has to open in a major festival.  Yes, no matter how crazy sounds Kurzel second feature film is Macbeth and somehow imagine that will be as not-easy-to-watch as his debut feature.  Buzz is that his version will be a Gothic take on original story and will be as bloody as Snowtown.  TWC promoted film in Cannes 2014, so it is easy to believe that end-product has to be consider for this year edition.

Gus Van Sant - The Sea of Trees
Gus van Sant first Cannes visit was in 2003 with Elephant that went to win the Palme d'Or; since then he has been back three times with Last Days, Paranoid Park and Restless.  The Sea of Trees seems could be visually awesome as most films are when filmed in Japanese forests; add that the two men lost in the forest are Matthew MacConaughey and outstanding Ken Watanabe and film becomes must be seen for me.  Besides I watch everything by Gus Van Sant!  So film has the correct credentials to open in Cannes, let's hope it does.

Jeff Nichols - Midnight Special  ...

This is the short version due to traveling.  See you soon. Happy Holidays.

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