Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Time runs slow when you are waiting but finally next week we will learn the Official Selection and then, the cinema feast turns inside out as we cinema lovers will place each film under the microscope in an effort into guessing why film made it to the selection. So, we are close to turn into film dissect mode.
After a few days with many non-pleasant analysis, tweets, and news about this year very-controversial poster there was an official communication from the festival that decided to use Claudia Cardinale words instead of their own and to my HUGE surprise among her words there was a phrase that hit me hard:
"It is only cinema, let us not forget."
If you wish to read the complete statement go official site here.
Now we have the Cannes Film Festival saying through the words of an actress that is this year icon in the official poster that "whatever" is happening in the major manifestation of cinema in the world is "irrelevant", "inconsequential" and should not be taken "seriously" as "it's only cinema". Gee, sorry Cannes but you do not say that to cinephiles and cinema lovers around the world, to those that believe cinema can be art, it is art and please listen up, Cannes and Ms. Cardinale, cinema is not "only" cinema as paintings are not "only" paintings, sculptures are not "only" sculptures, music is not only "music", architecture is not "only" architecture. It is hard for me to do not dig deeper into the mess Cannes is doing this year but will stop with only the comparison of cinema and art but as many of us know there are more comparisons we can do; so, NO, cinema is not and will never be "only cinema".
Now after getting my breath back let's talk about what we love the most, cinema and more great filmmakers with films that could end-up in Cannes this year.
Do not enjoy Michel Hazanavicius films but LOVE Louis Garrel; do not like much of the later films by Godard but LOVE Louis Garrel! So, yes will see Le Redoutable with not much expectations but will not talk too much about film as being part of my wish list. In the same category is Erick Zonca but I LOVE performances by Romain Duris and Vincent Cassel, so will see Fleuve Noir. There are other French films that surely deserve to be in Cannes but it's time to talk a bit about the Americans, American productions, and/or films in the English-language.
Todd Haynes with Wonderstruck
After Carol, Haynes turned his attention to the adaptation of Brian Selznick's novel with the same name, got the author to write the screenplay and Michelle Williams to play the adult lead along with Julianne Moore. End result is a film with high probabilities to make it to Cannes.
Not know yet if is good or bad news, but 5-days ago there were several articles commenting about the film footage shown at CinemaCon, which most describe as "unlike anything the director has done before". Let's hope all this buzz translates into positive news, sigh. Not encouraging news were also found in those articles that claim film is "unfinished", which obviously makes me wonder if is ready for Cannes.
Storyline: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.
Most interesting is to find that the young girl is played by a deaf newcomer young actress with no previous acting experience, which obviously tickles my curiosity in the most positive way as non-actors always bring something new to filmmaking, just take a look at most films from Asian master filmmakers to see what I mean.
Amazon Studios produces film along with Cinetic Media, FilmNation Entertainment, Killer Films and Picrow. Visual effects by Alchemy 24. USA distribution in all media belongs to Amazon Studios.
Bong Joon-ho with 옥자 Okja
South Korean director of films like 2009 Mother or 2008 Tokyo! segment Shaking Tokyo plus his not-so-good English-language debut Snowpiercer has a new film (again) starring Tilda Swinton and (again) in the English-language (sigh).
Okja will have limited theaters and Netflix release on June 28 with makes Cannes the ideal fest to premiere film that has the right directorial and casting credentials that besides Swinton also includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Lily Collins and more.
Film already has a teaser which suggest is ready, open to international sales -even when is a Netflix production- which somehow makes us think film will have a Cannes premiere as everyone is forecasting.
Check synopsis: For 10 idyllic years, young Mija (An Seo Hyun) has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja—a massive animal and an even bigger friend—at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when the family-owned multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where image obsessed and self-promoting CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) has big plans for Mija’s dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission, but her already daunting journey quickly becomes more complicated when she crosses paths with disparate groups of capitalists, demonstrators and consumers, each battling to control the fate of Okja…while all Mija wants to do is bring her friend home. Deftly blending genres, humor, poignancy and drama, Bong Joon Ho begins with the gentlest of premises—the bond between man and animal—and ultimately creates a distinct and layered vision of the world that addresses the animal inside us all.
Darren Aronofsky with Mother!
How can anyone be not excited about any upcoming film by Aronofsky? Not me, I am. More excitement comes when I learn lead is Jennifer Lawrence and everything goes the drain (lol) when learn movie belongs to the horror genre! Well, if many think Black Swan was horror, then have to imagine Mother! will have same style and that pleases me.
Story genre was "leaked" at recent CinemaCon (so many things happened there, should pay more attention to this annual convention) including the extended cast that includes Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ed Harris, Kristen Wiig and Domnhall Gleeson.
Film plot is about a couple's relationship that's tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence and seems film will open on October 13th, 2017.
Will film be ready for Cannes or is it really Cannes material? Don't know. Still, my best reference is Black Swan and the incredible festival-attractive cast, so maybe film has chances to make it to Cannes and if not, then to Venice. Now this film doesn't need any festival push but actually is the kind of film that brings lots of buzz to the festival and can be shown out of competition OR if is really good be in competition.
Movie is produced by Aronofsky's own Protozoa Pictures and distributed by Paramount Picture.
John Cameron Mitchell with How to Talk to Girls at Parties
British-American science fiction romantic-comedy film directed by John Cameron Mitchell and written by Philippa Goslett and Cameron Mitchell, based on the short story of same name by Neil Gaiman. The film stars Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, and Matt Lucas. Festival darling director plus cast makes film very-attractive to festival programmers and my best guess says film has high probabilities to end-up in Cannes.
Alright, not crazy about director but have seen all his films and yet, believe that his acting is somehow more impactful than his films (lol), LOVED him in a recent episode of TV-show The Good Fight
Film takes us to an exotic and unusual world: suburban London in the late 70s to tell us the following story. Under the spell of the Sex Pistols, every teenager in the country wants to be a punk, including our hopeless hero Enn. Hearing the local punk Queen Boadicea (Kidman) is throwing a party, Enn crashes the fun and discovers every horny boy's dream; gorgeous foreign exchange students. When he meets the enigmatic Zan (Fanning), it's lust at first sight. But these girls have come a lot further than America. They are, in fact, aliens from another galaxy, sent to Earth to prepare for a mysterious rite of passage. When the dark secret behind the rite is revealed, our galaxy-crossed lover Enn must turn to Boadicea and her punk followers for help in order to save the alien he loves from certain death. The punks take on the aliens on the streets of London, and neither Enn nor Zan's universe will ever be the same again.
Film was produced by HanWay Films (UK), Little Punk (US) and See-Saw Films (UK). A24 has USA distribution rights and StudioCanal UK has UK rights.
Yorgos Lanthimos with The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Festival favorite son Lanthimos has a new movie with another very-attractive cast for festival programmers as film leads are Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, which assures appeal to Cannes -or if film is not ready- to Venice.
Have to comment that Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell most likely will be walking the red carpet in Cannes as if is not because this movie then also have chances with The Beguilded by Sofia Coppola and Kidman third possibility is above film by John Cameron Mitchell.
Have a love/hate relationship with director as love his early work but unfortunately tend to not like too-much (ok, hate) his non-Greek films; so, probably will not be pleased with this film but of course, will watch it!
The story follows a young man that needs to take revenge, a doctor that has to make a decision, and his family that must survive. A psychological thriller with supernatural elements. Inspired by a Euripides tragedy, the story centers on Steven, a charismatic surgeon, and a teenage boy who seeks to integrate him into his broken family. When the boy’s actions become increasingly sinister, Steven’s ideal life starts to fall apart and he is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice.
Film was produced by An Element Pictures (Ireland and UK), A24 (US), Film4 (UK) with support of New Sparta (UK and Three Point Capital (US). A24 has USA distribution rights, Curzon Artificial UK rights and Haut et Court France's rights.
Wim Wenders with Submergence
Another hard-working actress with at least two opportunities of walking the red carpet is Alicia Vikander, now working along with James McAvoy, Reda Kateb and Charlotte Rampling in a film by none other than Wim Wenders!
Most interesting is to find that film is ready as according to world sales company info, 2017 first quarter was delivery date and is ready. Obviously news increase Cannes chances for film, so imagine film could be in competition as Wenders has been many times in Cannes competition, out of competition, and Un Certain Regard; plus he has won the Palme d'Or with his marvelous 1984 Paris, Texas, many more awards being the last in 2014 with outstanding The Salt of the Earth that won Un Certain Regard Special Prize.
Film story is based on J. M. Ledgard's novel of the same name that ranked second in New York Magazine list of 10 Best Books of 2013; with a script penned by Erin Digman.
Synopsis: In a room with no windows on the coast of Africa, an Englishman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Posing as a water expert to report on al-Qaeda activity in the area, he now faces extreme privation, mock executions, and forced marches through the arid badlands of Somalia. Thousands of miles away on the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders, a biomathematician, half-French, half-Australian, prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. She is obsessed with the life that multiplies in the darkness of the lowest strata of water. Both are drawn back to the previous Christmas, and to a French hotel on the Atlantic coast, where a chance encounter on the beach led to an intense and enduring romance. For James, his mind escapes to utopias both imagined and remembered. Danny is drawn back to beginnings: to mythical and scientific origins, and to her own. It is to each other and to the ocean that they most frequently return: magnetic and otherworldly, a comfort and a threat.
Film was produced by Green Hummingbird Entertainment, Lila 9th Productions, Neue Road Movies (Germany) and Waterstone Entertaiment in co-production with Backup Films, Morena Films (Spain) and Umedia (Belgium); in association with PalmStar Media. Embankment Films handles world sales. Film rights already sold to Lionsgate (UK), Elevation Pictures (Canada), eOne Films (Spain), Mars Distribution (France), Warner Bros (Germany).
As you can notice poster has a BIG mistake as Vikander is not Academy Award nominee but Academy Award winner! so, perhaps is not the official poster.
Christopher Nolan with Dunkirk
Major film festivals enjoy having high profile movies as opening films, so here is one with chances as checks all requirements: major production [check], great director [check], great cast: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles (lol) and more [check] and most relevant an epic story [check]. Will not spend time with this film as know will watch when release on July 21st and yes, film does not need a festival, the festival needs it as a high profile movie.
Check synopsis: Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II.
Alexander Payne with Downsizing
Another high profile production that doesn't need a festival but fest programmer would like to be the opening film; still, as is a Payne film maybe movie goes beyond the expected and could end up competing for an award. More than a Payne film this is another Matt Damon movie but the twist is in story described as a "social satire" which tells me story could be more interesting than regular Damon films.
CinemaCon audiences had chance to view 10 minutes clip with a mini-man (Neil Patrick Harris) introduces a group to his life in a mini-mansion. In his home, his wife (Laura Dern) is enjoying a bath in her mini-tub, with her mini-diamonds. One couple in the group (Damon and Kristen Wiig) are interested in the option of being shrunk down and are listening to the sales pitch. Apparently when you’re shrunk down, money goes a lot further, and so it offers the opportunity for a better life.
Downsizing is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2017 which makes Cannes a too-early pre-release and most likely will go to maybe Venice and for sure Toronto.
David Lynch with Twin Peaks
Many -including me- imagine Twin Peaks revival will premiere in Cannes with a couple of episodes and hopefully with David Lynch in attendance as series co-creator and to my HUGE and most pleasant surprise director of ALL episodes. Gee, that's really special and unexpected.
After learning Lynch directed all eps it becomes clear what he says about the 18-hour limited event: "is a feature film in 18 parts". Nobody knows what third installment is all about as nothing has been given out to the public, current synopsis tell a generic of what previous seasons were all about
TV series will premiere on May 21 via Showtime and will have 18 episodes, a premiere date that suggests leaves open Cannes premiere, in a spot just like the one given to the Young Pope last year at Venice fest. The only drawback I can find is that series was promoted at 2017 SXSW.
Love the following teaser (lol) soooo Lynch! Yes is Lynch playing a character, Gordon
There are many more films that should belong to anybody's wish list, including mine but will stop here to take a break and wait for next week announcement.