Love it or hate it, the Cannes Film Festival exists in a class of its own, and the newly announced 2018 program is no exception. The 10-day event on the cusp of the French Riviera finds thousands of people from the international film community crowding into a small strip of land known as the Croisette, where revered auteurs compete for attention in the majestic Palais des Festivals, while photographers crowd the red carpet alongside an ocean of tuxedos and sparkling gowns. This year’s program reflects that frenzied process. While many familiar names stand out, there are a few surprises as well.
Netflix isn’t the only absent distributor
Netflix faced a challenging proposition with Cannes, which demands that all films in its competition must receive a theatrical release in France. Whether or not that winds up the case for the 17 competition films unveiled so far, the bulk of this year’s titles face an uncertain future in U.S. theaters.
So far, there are only three films in competition with American distributors: A24’s ‘Under the Silver Lake’ from ‘It Follows’ director David Robert Mitchell, Focus Features’ Spike Lee drama ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ and ‘Cold War,’ the latest from Oscar-winning Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski (‘Ida’), which was acquired by Amazon Studios last year.
Two Americans could win the Palme
American movies usually don’t dominate Cannes competition, and this year’s no exception. In a repeat of last year’s outcome, there are two American films in competition. Mitchell’s movie, ‘Under the Silver Lake,’ runs a whopping two hours and 20 minutes and follows Andrew Garfield in a loopy detective story that has been described as equal parts ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Mulholland Drive.’ (Harmony Korine’s ‘The Beach Bum’ wasn’t ready.)
So where are the women?
One of the biggest criticisms that Cannes has faced is the minimal presence of women in the lineup. In its 71-year history, only one woman has won the Palme d’Or - Jane Campion, for ‘The Piano’ in 1993 - and female filmmakers have never dominated the lineup. This year doesn’t change that. Cannes has announced three women directors in this year’s competition, the exact same number as last year’s section. Fremaux and festival director Pierre Lescure will likely see an even stronger backlash this time around, as the momentum of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements continue to highlight gender disparity in the industry.
Lebanese actress-turned-director Nadine Labaki will make her third appearance at Cannes with ‘Capernaum,’ which explores the daily lives of migrants in Beirut. Italian director Alice Rohrwacher became a breakout filmmaker in Critics’ Week with her debut ‘Corpo Celeste’ and followed that up with the irreverent rural drama ‘The Wonders,’ about a family in the countryside that auditions for a reality show. The third woman in competition will emerge as one of its big discoveries. Eva Husson’s sensual ‘Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)’ was a breakout at TIFF’s Platform section that has gone on to find an international audience… on Netflix.
Expect some last minute additions
Fremaux announced a mere 17 films in competition slots, leaving out a lot of major filmmakers who seemed like obvious locks just a matter of weeks ago. (The competition usually clocks in at around 20 titles.) The most anticipated? Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,’ a movie that has endured decades of tortured production issues even as has finally been completed with help from Amazon Studios. Most recently, the film’s May release date was scrapped after former producer Paulo Branco claimed he still had rights to the movie. Fremaux suggested that ‘Don Quixote’ might still find its way to Cannes.
‘Solo’ stands alone
Cannes previously announced that ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ would play at the festival in an out-of-competition slot. That decision arrives after a year in which no big studios brought films to the festival. Some thought that Cannes would make a terrific platform for ‘Ocean’s Eight,’ especially since previous ‘Ocean’s’ films played at the festival - but the Warner Bros. film seems to be skipping the festival route. That means “Solo” will stand alone as the sole Hollywood blockbuster at Cannes.
(under the courtesy of dailynews.lk news web)