Thursday, April 19, 2018

71st Festival de Cannes Official Selection - Update 1

As announced during the press conference of April 12th, today, April 19, organizers announced the films added to the composition of the Official Selection 2018.

There is some relief to my not positive feeling that this year there is an incredibly great official competition jury and there are not many great films for them to select winners from.  But now things can change a bit as, ladies and gentlemen, please notice that Nuri Bilge Ceylan is as of now in the competition to win the Palme d'or and perhaps has become the top contender along Jia Zhangke.  Well, at least their films have become must-be-seen for me no matter whatever happens in Cannes.

In the competition two more films by Yann Gonzalez and Sergey Dvortsevoy (remember Tulpan?) to make a total of twenty-one (21) films in the competition.  Still the list of great directors with films ready -and not in Cannes- is long, very-long, longer than the 21 films selected to be in competition.  To be positive, seems now other film festivals will have in the selection films by great directors, the kind of directors that used to premiere their films in Cannes.  Just to get a glimpse of what's going around, let me share that industry top film journalists are questioning if is time for America to have their own Cannes!!!  What the world needs is another film festival as if there where too-many; but we get the message, Cannes is becoming fragile and losing its once very solid luster.

No doubt that the most surprising -and somehow controversial (due to the #Metoo movement)- news is Lars von Trier coming back to Cannes.  Don't get me wrong, I do not like what many are talking about this controversial director BUT then ... I love his movies (sigh).  Have more love to European films not in the English language, so not pleased that again he goes with well-known American actors speaking their own language with a story about an American killer.  Sigh.  Film is in the Out of Competition section.

The festival renews (or goes back to the good-old-past) with the Closing film tradition and this year the honor goes to Terry Gilliam's latest film which of course will be out of competition as the screening will take place on Saturday May 19 after the Closing ceremony.

In Un Certain Regard three films were added; most pleased with Sergey Loznitsa film that will open the section plus films by Alejandro Fadel and co-directors Joao Salviza and Renee Nader Messora.  Special Screening has one more film by co directors Damian Nenow and Raul De La Fuente, film is animation. 

Last, two films for the Midnight Screenings, one a documentary by Kevin Macdonald and a film by Ramin Bahrani remake (they call it second adaptation of a novel) of a film by none other than Francois Truffaut (!!!).

The following is the updated list with all films in each section.  Also the main international jury has been updated with the most interesting jurors that only Cannes could assemble to work together.

Opening Film: Todos Lo Saben (Everybody Knows), Asghar Farhadi, Spain, France and Italy
Ahlat Ağacı (The Wild Pear Tree), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, France and Turkey
Айка Ayka (My Little One), Sergey Dvortsevoy, Russia, Germany and Poland
버닝 Beoning (Burning), Chang-dong Lee, South Korea
BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee, USA
كفرناحوم Capharnaüm (Capernaum), Nadine Labaki, Lebanon and France
Dogman, Matteo Garrone, Italy and France
En guerre (At War), Stéphane Brizé, France
Lazzaro Felice (My Bitter Land), Alice Rohrwacher, Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany
Le Livre d'image (The Image Book), Jean-Luc Godard,  France
Les filles du soleil (Girls of the Sun), Eva Husson, France, Belgium, Georgia and Switzerland
Ле́то Leto (The Summer), Kirill Serebrennikov, Russia
江湖儿女 Jiang Hu Er Nv (Ash is Purest White), Jia Zhangke, China, France and Japan
万引き家族 Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters), Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan
寝ても覚めても Netemo Sametemo (ASAKO I & II), Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan
Plaire, aimer et courir vite (Sorry Angel), Christophe Honoré, France
Three Faces, Jafar Panahi, Iran
Un couteau dans le cœur (Knife + Heart), Yann Gonzalez, France
Under the Silver Lake, David Robert Mitchell, USA
(*) يوم الدين Yomeddine, A.B. Shawky, Egypt, USA and Austria
Zimna wojna (Cold War), Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland, France and UK

Out of Competition
Closing Film: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Terry Gilliam, Spain, UK, France and Portugal
Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ron Howard, USA
Le Grand Bain (Sink or Swim), Gilles Lellouche, France
The House That Jack Built, Lars von Trier, Denmark, France, Germany and Sweden 

Check available info and trailers @MOC

The Jury
President: Cate Blanchett, actress and producer, Australia
Chang Chen, actor, China
Ava DuVernay, writer, director and producer, USA
Robert Guédiguian, writer, director and producer, France
Khadja Nin, songwriter, composer and singer, Burundi
Léa Seydoux, actress, France
Kristen Stewart, actress and director, USA
Denis Villeneuve, director and writer, Canada
Andrey Zvyagintsev, director and writer, Russia

Un Certain Regard
Opening Film: Donbass, Sergey Loznitsa, Germany, France, Ukraine, Netherlands and Romania
A genoux les gars (Sextape), Antoine Desrosières, France
Chuva e cantoria na aldeia dos mortos (The Death and the Others), João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messor, Portugal and Brazil
(*) Die Stropers (The Harvesters), Etienne Kallos, France, Greece, Poland and South Africa
地球最后的夜晚 Di qiu zui hou de ye wan (Long Day's Journey Into Night), Bi Gan, China and France
El Angel (The Angel), Luis Ortega, Argentina and Spain
Euforia (Euphoria), Valeria Golino, Italy
(*) Gueule d'ange (Angel Face), Vanessa Filho, France
(*) Girl, Lukas Dhont, Belgium and Netherlands
Gräns (Border), Ali Abbasi, Sweden and Denmark
In My Room, Ulrich Köhler, Germany and Italy
(*) Les chatouilles (Little Ticklets), Andréa Bescond and Eric Métayer, France
Manto, Nandita Das, India
(*) Mon tissu préféré (My Favourite Fabric), Gaya Jiji, France, Germany and Turkey
Muere, Monstruo, Muere (Die, Monster, Die), Alejandro Fadel, Argentina and Chile
Rafiki (Friend), Wanuri Kahiu, South Africa, Kenya, France, Nethrlands and Germany
(*) Sofia, Meryem Benm'Barek, France and Qatar
The Gentle Indifference of the World, Adikhan Yerzhanov, Kazakhstan and France

Un Certain Regard Jury
President: Benicio del Toro, actor, USA
Annemarie Jacir, director and writer, Palestina
Kantemir Balagov, director, Russia
Virginie Ledoyen, actress, France
Julie Huntsinger, executive director of Telluride Film Festival, USA

Special Screenings
10 Years in Thailand, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Aditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, and Chulayarnon Sriphol, Thailand (short films collection)
A Tous Vents (To The Four Winds), Michel Toesca, France (documentary)
Another Day of Life, Damian Nenow and Raúl de la Fuente, Poland, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Hungary (animation)
La Traversée, Romain Goupil, France (documentary)
O Grande Circo Místico (The Great Mystical Circus), Carlo Diegues, Brazil, Portugal and France
Pope Francis - A Man of His Word, Wim Wenders, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland (documentary)
死魂灵 Si Hun Ling (Dead Souls), Wang Bing, China and France (documentary)
The State Against Mandela and The Others, Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, France (documentary)

Midnight Screenings
Arctic, Joe Penna, Iceland
Fahrenheit 451, Ramin Bahrani, USA  (TV movie)
공작 Gongjak (The Spy Gone North), Yoon Jong-Bing, South Korea
Whitney, Kevin Macdonald, UK (documentary)

(*) First Film. Competes for the Camera d'or

Camera d'Or Jury
President: Ursula Meier, director, Switzerland
Marie Amachoukeli, director, France
Iris Brey, director, writer and critic, USA
Sylvain Fage, president of Cinephase, France
Jeanne Lapoirie, cinematographer, France
Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, directors and writers, France

Short Films Competition
According to the official news this year the selection committee received 3.943 short films; which is a lot less than the 4, 843 that received last year. The 2018 selection comprises eight films, 7 works of fiction and 1 animation.

These are the short films running for the 2018 Short Film Palme d'Or.  Awards will be presented at the festival Official Ceremony on May 19th.

III (III animation movie), Marta Pajek, Poland, 12'
All These Creatures, Charles William, Australia, 13'
Caroline, Celine Held and Logan George, USA, 12'
Duality, Masahiko Sato, Genki Kawamura, Yutaro Seki, Masayuki Toyota, and Kentaro Hirase, Japan, 14'
Gabriel, Oren Gerner, France, 15'
Judgement, Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, Philippines, 15'
On The Border, Wei Shujun, China, 15'
تاریکی Tariki (Umbra), Saeed Jafarian, Iran, 14'

Check available short films info and trailer @MOC

Cinéfondation Selection
The Cinéfondation Selection has chosen 17 films this year, 14 live-action and 3 animated films from among the 2,426 submitted by film schools all over the world.  Submissions were slightly lower as last years there were 2,600 short films.

Fourteen countries on four continents are represented plus twelve of the twenty-two directors selected to program current edition are women.

The Jury will hand over the three prizes at a ceremony on Thursday May 17th in the Buñuel Theatre.

These are the short films in the 2018 Cinéfondation Selection

Albastru şi roşu, în proporţii egale (Equality Red and Blue), Georgiana Moldoveanu, UNATC I.L. CARAGIALE, Romania, 21'
Cinco Minutos Afuera (Five Minutes Outside), Constanza Gatti, Universidad del Cine (FUC), Argentina, 10'
Così in terra (As It Is On Earth), Pier Lorenzo Pisano, Centro Sperimentale di cinematografia, Italy, 13'
Dolfin Megumi (Rubber Doplhin), Ori Aharon, Steve Tisch School of Film and Television, Tel Aviv University, Israel, 28'
Dong Wu Xiong Meng (The Storms in Our Blood), Di Shen, Shanghai Theater Academy, Chin, 31'
Dots, Eryk Lenartowicz, AFTRS, Australia, 23'
El verano del león eléctrico, Diego Céspedes, Universidad de Chile - ICEI, Chile, 22'
End of Season, Zhannat Alshanova, The London Film School, UK, 23'
Fragment de Drame (A Piece of Tragedy), Laura Garcia, La Fémis, France, 24'
I Am My Own Mother, Andrew Zox, San Francisco State University, USA, 23'
Inanimate, Lucia Bulgheroni, NFTS, UK, 8'
Inny (The Other), Marta Magnuska, PWSFTviT, Poland, 5'
Kalendar (Calendar), Igor Poplauhin, Moscow School of New Cinema, Russia, 28'
Los tiempos de Héctor (Hector's nightfall), Ariel Gutiérrez, CCC, Mexico, 29'
Mesle Bache Adam (Like a Good Boy), Arian Vazirdaftari, Tehran University of Dramatic Arts, Iran, 20'
Palm Trees and Power Lines, Jamie Dack, NYU Tisch School of Arts, USA, 15'
Sailor's Delight, Louise Aubertin, Éloïse Girard, Marine Meneyro, Jonas Ritter, Loucas Rongeart, and Amandine Thomoux, ESMA, France, 6'

Check available Cinéfondation short films info and trailers @MOC

Short Films and  Cinéfondation Jury
President: Bertrand Bonello, director, screenwriter, music/soundtrack composer, actor, and producer, France
Valeska Grisebach, director, writer and producer, Germany
Khalil Joreige, filmmaker and artist, Lebanon
Alantė Kavaitė, director and screenwriter, Lithuania
Ariana Labed, actress, France

Check short films list at official site here.

Check Movie Posters at my Pinterest here.

Cannes is no stranger to surrealism but today's press conference was pure surrealism in the question/answer section or how can someone comprehend about 10+ minutes talking about selfies?  Absurd.

Yes, things are getting out-of-reality too much and even do, Cannes is the number one festival in the world if they keep doing crazy stuff like banning selfies or changing the rules for press screenings or not allowing films in distribution platforms where audiences are watching films (I know, I know-France has the 36 months window) then great films will start to not be interested in festival, which obviously will make festivals like Venice and Berlin to start getting those films and eventually, one of those two could become number one. Sigh.

With Netflix announcing yesterday that pulls out of Cannes all his films is no surprise that Alfonso Cuaron's Roma is not in the competition plus much awaited Orson Wells documentary is absent of Cannes Special Screenings or Cannes Classics and will not compete for the L'oeil d'or.  For me these are perhaps the saddest news to surface from all the controversy.

There is a very long list of GREAT directors that are not selected this year like Xavier Dolan, Paolo Sorrentino, Steve McQueen and Claire Denis which probably didn't had their films ready; but it's incomprehensible that films by past Palme d'or winners like Nuri Bilge Ceylon or Jacques Audiard are not in the official selection with their latest films.  List of snub directors include Olivier Assayas, Mia Hansen-Love, Nadav Lapid, Thomas Vinterberg, Ulrich Seidl, Joachim Lafosse, Laszlo Nemes, Yorgos Lanthimos, Mike Leigh, Zhang Yimou, Naomi Kawase, Julian Schnabel, Pablo Trapero, Ciro Guerra and most of all, Carlos Reygadas (!!!) plus many more that have ready their films and hopefully could appear in the parallel sections that will be announced in the following days.  As a matter of fact I'm appalled by the absence of Latin American cinema in the competition.

Trying to be positive there are some really nice surprises, perhaps the biggest is to learn that Nadine Labaki is back to Cannes (remarkable Caramel was in 2007 Directors' Fortnight) but now she is In Competition!!! Bravo!  Then will not deny being pleased with Jia Zhang-ke, Alice Rohrwacher, Pavel Pawlikowski, Christophe Honore, and Matteo Garrone being all in competition too.

We know that in the following days, organizers could add one or two films to the competition and today's rumors talk about Fremaux "suggesting" Audiard could make it, which obviously will be absolutely great news for me.  Let's hope makes it and the other spot will be assigned to any of the Latin American directors that have ready outstanding films.

Most are commenting about the new/young directors showcased in this edition but after checking basic info for all films can share that most of them come from other festivals and somehow have "advanced" to reach Cannes.  But fest programmers had to know about them as they do learn what is going on in other major film festivals and well, most new/young directors have already won significant awards in the festival circuit.  Even some of those with first film have accolades for the film project or previous work with short films. Interesting, isn't?

The following list shows the eighteen films that are already announced and hopefully will increase as 18 is too low, especially in a year where there are lots of options.

One day before the much awaited press conference festival organizers release the short films lineup in the two sections where filmmakers of the future can be identified, the Short Films and the Cinéfondation competitions.

But before going into list let me share that many news have come to light before this moment and no, wasn't able to do posts as got sick; but if you follow my twitter you will easily find everything that has been going until this moment, like for example the Cinéfondation Atelier 2018 projects, poster for La Semaine, La Quinzaine and as of a few hours ago, the festival official poster (finally).

We can't forget that current edition will be longer than recent previous editions as has one more day, but will run for exactly the same length of time.  Will take place from Tuesday May 8th to Saturday, May 19th, with opening ceremony on the evening of May 8th and the awards ceremony on May 19th.  There is one inconsequential change, no more selfies on the red carpet (lol) and another more relevant, press screenings will happen at film premiere time or after, so all press reactions before the premiere via wonderful twitter are over, sigh.

Yes, tomorrow we will learn the feature films in the Official Selection and in the following days films in the parallel sections La Semaine, La Quinzaine and ACID.  We already know the projects in the 2018 edition of la Fabrique Cinéma de l'Institut Français where Cristian Mungiu is the Parrain this year.  So will be busy in the next days trying to figure out how Cannes 2018 looks like this year and which films will become must be seen for the coming calendar year.

Post will be in progress until after tomorrow's press conference when the Official Selection will be announced.

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