Cannes 2017 Lineup
Hong, Coppola, Haynes, Ramsay, Lanthimos, the Safdies…
Thierry Frémaux, artistic director and general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, and festival president Pierre Lescure have announced the lineup for the 70th edition, running from May 17 through 28. In all, 49 films from 29 countries have made the Official Selection, chosen from 1932 submissions, and nine of these are first features.
Update, 4/27: The festival's announced a fresh round of additions to its lineup today: Ruben Östlund's The Square (Competition), Roman Polanski's Based on a True Story (Out of Competition), Santiago Mitre's The Summit and Li Ruijun’s Walking Past the Future (Un Certain Regard), Barbet Schroeder’s Le Venerable W. and Eric Caravaca’s Carré 35 (Special Screenings) and Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord's Zombillénium (Children's Screening).
Scroll down for notes on all seven of these.
And "upon the occasion of the 70th anniversary, the detailed program of which will be announced soon," the festival's presenting a tribute to André Téchiné and his new film, Nos années folles, and an event with Tony Gatlif that includes a concert and his film Djam, screening as part of Cinéma de la Plage.
Updates, 4/28: Variety's Leo Barraclough has more on Nos années folles, or Golden Years: Téchiné "describes the film as both 'an odyssey of sexual identity' and 'an extraordinary love story.' He co-wrote the script with Cédric Anger, based on the book La Garçonne et l’assassin by Fabrice Virgili and Danièle Voldman. The story centers on Paul and Louise, who get married on the eve of World War I. After two years on the front, Paul injures himself and decides to desert, risking execution. Louise dresses him up as a woman to hide him and he becomes 'Suzanne,' a Parisian celebrity, enjoying a life of lust and pleasure in the Roaring Twenties. Louise plays along, willing to sacrifice anything for him. When Paul is granted amnesty in 1925, he is challenged to live as a man again."
At Cineuropa, Vassilis Economou tells us about Gatliff's film: "Djam, a young Greek woman, is sent to Istanbul by her uncle Kakourgos to find a rare engine part for their broken boat. There she will meet Avril, a young French woman who is broke and lost, and who travelled to Turkey to work as a volunteer in a humanitarian organization. Djam, with her liberal, generous and unpredictable soul, will take Avril under her wing, and together they will take a trip to the city of Mytilene on Lesbos, discovering the local music, hope and the pleasure of sharing."
Fatih Akin's In the Fade. Nearly a year ago now, Screen's Melanie Goodfellow noted that Aus dem Nichts is "about a man who is tipped over the edge by his experiences of prejudice." With Diane Kruger. Screen's Fionnuala Halligan adds that it's "a thriller set in Hamburg’s German-Turkish community in the immediate aftermath of an explosion."
Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories. Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. notes that it's been "described as an intergenerational tale of adult siblings contending with the influence of their aging father." With Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Grace Van Patten and Emma Thompson. Netflix picked up global rights a few days ago.
Bong Joon-ho's Okja. From Yoselin Acevedo at IndieWire: "Co-written by [Bong] and Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats), Okja tells the story of Mija (played by South Korean actress Ahn Seo-hyun), a young girl who lives in the deep woods of the Gangwon Province of South Korea. Mija will do everything in her power to prevent a powerful company from taking her best friend, a massive beast named Okja. 'It’s a very shy and introverted animal. It’s a unique animal that we’ve not seen before,' the director told Entertainment Weekly."
Robin Campillo's 120 Battements par Minute. From Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: "Written by the director in collaboration with Phillippe Mangeot, the screenplay is an intimate self-portrait of the ACT UP activist group at the beginning of the 1990s, before the advent of triple therapies." With Adèle Haenel, Yves Heck and Nahuel Pérez Biscayart.
Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled. It's a "remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood-starring Southern Gothic film," wrote Daniel Kreps in Rolling Stone in February, "set in a Virginia all girls' school in 1864. The Civil War's final battles play out while the Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies is insulated from the violence until a wounded Union soldier [Colin Farrell] is found in the nearby woods. As Farrell's character recovers, however, he begins to have affairs with at least two of the women (Elle Fanning and [Kirsten] Dunst) at the school." With Nicole Kidman, too.
Jacques Doillon's Rodin. From Wild Bunch: "At 42, Rodin [Vincent Lindon] meets Camille Claudel [Izïa Higelin], a young woman desperate to become his assistant. He quickly acknowledges her as his most able pupil, and treats her as an equal in matters of creation. More than a decade of work and passionate engagement ensues. Breakup follows reconciliation until Camille makes the final separation from which she will not recover, and from which Rodin himself will emerge deeply wounded. The film also recounts the artist's numerous affairs with assistants and models, as well as his relationship with Rose Beuret [Séverine Caneele], his lifelong partner. We discover Rodin as an erotically charged sensualist, for whom art is a profoundly sexual delight—a sculptor of flesh in movement, who gives life to the very stone itself."
Michael Haneke's Happy End. From Ashley Lee in the Hollywood Reporter: "Written and directed by Haneke, the film is described as a snapshot from the life of a bourgeois European family and stars Jean-Louis Trintignant, Isabelle Huppert, Mathieu Kassovitz and Toby Jones. It's set against the backdrop of the European refugee crisis…. 'The film is a portrait of a very wealthy family running this big company in Calais, not far from the camp where the migrants are. And it says a lot about how in our lives, in our privileged world, we are too often deaf and blind to the harsh reality of the world—about the privileged world,' Huppert told THR of Happy End at the Toronto Film Festival."
Todd Haynes's Wonderstruck. "Based on the bestselling 2011 young adult novel by Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)," wrote Graham Winfrey for IndieWire in March, “Wonderstruck follows the interconnected stories of two deaf children across the span of 50 years. Ben (Oakes Fegley) lives with his family in Minnesota in 1977 and escapes to New York, trying to find his father. Rose (13-year-old deaf actor Millicent Simmonds), a young girl locked in a house in 1927 New Jersey, escapes to New York to see her favorite film actress."
Michel Hazanavicius's Redoubtable. From Wild Bunch: "Paris 1967. Jean-Luc Godard [Louis Garrel], the leading filmmaker of his generation, is shooting La Chinoise with the woman he loves, Anne Wiazemsky [Stacy Martin], 20 years his junior. They are happy, attractive, in love. They marry. But the film’s reception unleashes a profound self-examination in Jean-Luc. The events of May ’68 will amplify this process, and the crisis that shakes the filmmaker. Deep-rooted conflicts and misunderstandings will change him irrevocably. Revolutionary, off-the-wall, destructive, brilliant, he will pursue his choices and his beliefs to the breaking point… As he did with The Artist, Academy Award winning director Michel Hazanavicius delivers another tribute to classic cinema, both wildly funny and deeply moving."
Hong Sangsoo's The Day After. It's "framed in black-and-white," evidently, according to Screen's Fionnuala Halligan. Still looking for more.... Ah: The Hollywood Reporter tells us it "stars Min-hee Kim and Hae-hyo Kwon."
Naomi Kawase's Radiance. From mk2: "Misako is a passionate writer of film versions for the visually impaired. At a screening, she meets Masaya, an older photographer who is slowly losing his eyesight. Misako soon discovers Masaya’s photographs, who will strangely bring her back to her past. Together, they will learn to see the radiant world that was invisible to her eyes."
Yorgos Lanthimos's The Killing of a Sacred Deer. From the British Council: "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." With Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy and Bill Camp.
Sergei Loznitsa's A Gentle Creature. From Wild Bunch: "A woman lives alone on the outskirts of a village in Russia. One day she receives a parcel she sent to her incarcerated husband, marked ‘return to sender.’ Shocked and confused, the woman has no choice but to travel to the prison in a remote region of the country in search of an explanation. So begins the story of a battle against this impenetrable fortress, the prison where the forces of social evil are constantly at work. Braving violence and humiliation, in the face of all opposition, our protagonist embarks on a blind quest for justice." With Vasilina Makovtseva, Valeriu Andriuta, Sergei Kolesov and Dimitry Bykovsky.
Kornél Mundruczó's Jupiter's Moon. From what I can make out from a couple of stories at the Hungarian site HVG, the film will take on the refugee crisis via the story of a boy who can levitate and a doctor facing a moral quandary.
Ruben Östlund's The Square. "A satire on the art world, The Square takes place at a prestigious museum where a famous American contemporary artist, played by Dominic West, is exhibiting his latest work, an installation meant to promote altruism," wrote Variety's Elsa Keslassy at the top of her interview with Östlund in February. "West plays opposite Elisabeth Moss and Claes Bang."
François Ozon's L'amant double. From Films Distribution: "Chloé, a fragile young woman, falls in love with her psychoanalyst, Paul. A few months later she moves in with him, but soon discovers that her lover is concealing a part of his identity." With Jérémie Renier, Marine Vacth and Jacqueline Bisset.
Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here. It's "adapted from a novella of the same name by the American author Jonathan Ames. It tells the story of a war veteran who attempts to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring," notes the BFI. With Joaquin Phoenix.
— A24 (@A24) April 14, 2017
Benny and Josh Safdie's Good Time. Starring Robert Pattinson, the film "follows a bank robber’s race to evade the police dragnet that threatens to send him behind bars," reported Brent Lang and Elsa Keslassy for Variety in October when A24 picked up North American rights. "Josh and Benny Safdie directed the movie from a screenplay by Josh Safdie and Ronald Bronstein. Good Time also stars Jennifer Jason-Leigh and Barkhad Abdi." Follow the fan account on Twitter if you're so inclined.
Andrey Zvyagintsev's Loveless. From Wild Bunch: "After Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev once again depicts a brutal and pitiless humanity—fragile, broken—in this uncompromising portrait of the struggles of a loveless family."
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Mathieu Amalric's Barbara. It's "a fictional tribute to iconic French chanteuse Barbara," according to Screen's Melanie Goodfellow. "Jeanne Balibar co-stars as an actress preparing to play the late singer in a film, studying her character, voice, songs, gestures and character in depth. Almaric co-stars as director Yves who seems equally caught up in the world of the singer, meeting people who knew her and doing archive research. He appears to be obsessed with the character he is creating but it is not clear whether his obsession linked to the late singer or the actress."
Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato's The Desert Bride. It "stars Paulina Garcia, a Berlin best actress winner for Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria, as a 54-year-old woman who works as a live-in maid in Buenos Aires," reports Variety's John Hopewell. "When the family sells the house, she is obliged to take a job in the town of San Juan, a provincial capital surrounded by arid plains. It proves her salvation."
Kantemir Balagov's Closeness. Anybody?
Kaouther Ben Hania's Beauty and the Dogs. From Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: "The story revolves around Mariam, an attractive Tunisian student who had everything planned out: she was going to enjoy an evening of dancing. But it all came crashing down... Despite the trauma she went through, she is determined to press charges. But what can she do when her only chance depends entirely on her attacker?"
Laurent Cantet's The Workshop. From Cineuropa: "La Ciotat during the summer. Antoine (Matthieu Lucci) has agreed to take part in a writing workshop, where several young people are being integrated into the world of work by penning a noir fiction with the help of Olivia (Marina Foïs), a widely respected novelist. This writing task will force them to revisit the town’s industrial past and its dockyard that has been shut for the last 25 years—a whole rush of nostalgia that Antoine has no interest in. Feeling more closely connected to the anxieties of the modern world, the young man quickly starts rebelling against the group and against Olivia, who is simultaneously startled and drawn in by Antoine’s violent nature."
Sergio Castellitto's Lucky. Last year, Camillo De Marco noted at Cineuropa that it "tells the story of a young mother (Jasmine Trinca) with a failed marriage behind her, who fights everyday for her dream: to open a hairdressers by challenging fate, in an attempt to emancipate herself and acquire her independence and the right to happiness. 'Fortunata ("lucky" in English) is a singular female qualitative adjective in Italian,' explains the director. 'But it is also the name of a woman. And above all, a destiny. And that’s not to say that that destiny is deserved. There are men in this story who don’t agree with Fortunata’s happiness. We’ll see how that works out…'"
Michel Franco's April's Daughter. From Ioncinema: "One of Mexico’s most lauded independent filmmakers following the success of his 2012 sophomore film After Lucia (which won the top prize out of Un Certain Regard) and his 2015 film Chronic, which won Best Screenplay at Cannes (and was recently nominated for a pair of Independent Spirit Awards), Franco focuses once more on fractured families with his latest, the tale of a strained mother-daughter reunion instigated by the pregnancy of the younger woman. Emma Suarez of Almodóvar’s recent Julieta stars as the mother."
Valeska Grisebach's Western. From German Films Quarterly: "A group of German construction workers moves to a construction site in the border region between Bulgaria and Greece. When the men realize there is a village nearby, they are confronted with their prejudice and mistrust. Two of the men turn the village into a stage on which they compete for the recognition and favor of the villagers." With Meinhard Neumann, Reinhardt Wetrek, Syuleyman Letifov, Veneta Fragnova, Vyara Borisova and Aliosman Deliev.
Stephan Komandarev's Directions. "Based on real events [in Sofia], the script written by Simeon Ventsislavov and Stephan Komandarev interweaves six contemporary taxi drivers’ stories and a free interpretation of Anton Chekhov’s short story 'Grief,'" reports Film New Europe. "'I changed the title during the shooting, because I found out that Directions reflects better the heart, the soul and the true dynamics of the film,' Komandarev told FNE. "Vasil Vasilev-Zueka, Irini Jambunas, Assen Blatechki, Vasil Banov, Gerasim Georgiev-Gero and Dobrin Dosev play the six main characters. Popular Ivan Barnev, Georgi Kadurin, Hristo Mutafchiev, Julian Vergov, Nikolai Urumov, Stefan Denolyubov, Sofia Bobcheva and Stefka Yanorova are co-starring. Vesselin Hristov is the DoP."
Gyorgy Kristof's Out. From Sentimental Film: "The power plant is closing—unemployment takes over a town in eastern Slovakia. Ágoston, a tall, family man in his 50s ventures through eastern Europe in desperate attempt to get a job and fulfill his dream—to catch a big fish. In Baltic, he finds himself alone and deserted. His voyage leads him deeper and deeper into the ocean of bizarre events and encounters, with tall friendly woman, Russian friend with unfriendly intentions, and sad stuffed earless rabbit. Waves grind on sandy beaches and return to sea. New wave comes to wipe off the preceding one. The sea doesn’t end here and it definitely doesn’t start here."
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Before We Vanish. From Wild Bunch: "The internationally acclaimed director of Tokyo Sonata and Journey to the Shore reinvents the alien movie as a unique and profoundly human tale of love and mystery. Three aliens travel to Earth on a reconnaissance mission in preparation for a mass invasion. Having taken possession of human bodies, the visitors rob their hosts of the very essence of their being—all sense of good, evil, property, family, belonging—leaving psychological and spiritual devastation in their wake."
Li Ruijun’s Walking Past the Future. Not much seems to be known yet about the new film from the director of River Road.
Santiago Mitre's The Summit. From Binquin Black at the IMDb: "The president of Argentina, Hernán Blanco, is facing a very important decision. He is participating in a meeting between different state leaders, which takes place in La Cordillera. From there, in the middle of the Summit of Latin American presidents, he will have to be able to solve a very complicated personal matter that can affect both his private and public life." With Ricardo Darín, Christian Slater, Paulina García and Elena Anaya.
Karim Moussaoui's The Nature of Time. From mk2: "Algeria today. Past and present collide in the lives of a newly wealthy property developer, a young woman torn between the path of reason and sentiment and an ambitious neurologist impeded by wartime wrongdoings. Three stories that plunge us into the human soul of a contemporary Arab society." With Mohamed Djouhri, Aure Atika, Sonia Mekkiou and Mehdi Ramdani.
Léonor Serraille's Jeune Femme. The story centers on Paula, according to Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa. "Joachim, an artist with whom she has shared the last ten years of her life, has just left her, and she finds herself on the streets of this new part of Paris she had followed him to. But Paula is not a melancholic woman, and so she chooses to stay, to be swallowed up by this unknown city, which is so attractive and so abusive at the same time. She is so close to her obsession, her goal, Joachim, but is invisible to him. But her solitude, odd jobs, fleeting encounters and her own bedroom flip everything she knows for certain on its head." With Laetitia Dosch, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Grégoire Monsaingeon, Léonie Simaga and Erika Sainte.
Taylor Sheridan's Wind River. When it premiered at Sundance, Noel Murray wrote at the Playlist: "It’s rare for someone’s directorial debut to be 'highly anticipated,' but Taylor Sheridan’s police/western hybrid Wind River definitely qualifies, given that over the past two years, his scripts for Sicario and Hell or High Water have been made into excellent, high-class action films. Sheridan’s stock-in-trade thus far has been earthy procedurals, populated by laconic, philosophical men and women who solve crimes as much through winding conversations as they do through chases and gunplay. Wind River is no exception. Directing his own screenplay for the first time, Sheridan pares his story and characters down to their barest essentials, making a movie that comes off sometimes as slight, but which ultimately delivers the goods for those who like smart takes on life-or-death macho adventure." More from Jason Bailey (Flavorwire), Nicholas Bell (Ioncinema, 2.5/5), A.A. Dowd (AV Club, B-), David Ehrlich (IndieWire, B), David Fear (Rolling Stone), Lawrence N Garcia (Notebook) and Matt Singer (ScreenCrush).
Annarita Zambrano's After the War. At Cineuropa, Fabien Lemercier tells us that the story "begins in 2002, as the murder of a labor court judge reopens old political wounds between Italy and France. Marco, a journalist and former left-wing activist taking refuge on the other side of the Alps during the Mitterrand presidency, is forced to flee with his 15-year-old daughter. In a remote, isolated house somewhere in the depths of the Landes forest, their lives will be turned upside down forever, as they also sweep along Anna and her everyday middle-class life, and she finds herself in Rome paying for the mistakes that her brother made in the past." With Giuseppe Battiston, Charlotte Cétaire, Maryline Canto and Jean-Marc Barr.
OUT OF COMPETITION
Arnaud Despleschin's Les Fantômes d'Israël will open this year's edition. From Wild Bunch: "Ismaël Vuillard makes films. He is in the middle of one about Ivan, an atypical diplomat inspired by his brother. Along with Bloom, his master and father-in-law, Ismaël still mourns the death of Carlotta, twenty years earlier. Yet he has started his life over again with Sylvia. Sylvia is his light. Then Carlotta returns from the dead. Sylvia runs away. Ismaël rejects Carlotta. Driven mad by these ordeals, he abandons the shoot for his family home in Roubaix. There, he lives as a recluse, besieged by his ghosts." With Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marion Cotillard and Louis Garrel.
Takashi Miike's Blade of the Immortal. It's "about a warrior cursed with immortality who cannot free himself unless he kills 1,000 evil men," according to Vikram Murthi at IndieWire. "Based on the manga by the same name, the film stars Hana Sugisaki, Ebizô Ichikawa, Sôta Fukushi, Hayato Ichihara, Erika Toda, Kazuki Kitamura, Min Tanaka, Takuya Kimura and Tsutomu Yamazaki."
John Cameron Mitchell's How to Talk to Girls at Parties. A24 tells us that it'll take us "to an exotic and unusual world: suburban London in the late 70s. Under the spell of the Sex Pistols, every teenager in the country wants to be a punk, including our hopeless hero Enn (Alex Sharp). Crashing local punk queen Boadicea’s party, Enn discovers every boy’s dream—gorgeous foreign exchange students. When he meets the enigmatic Zan (Elle Fanning), it’s love at first sight. But these teens are, in fact, aliens from outer space, sent to Earth to prepare for a mysterious rite of passage. When their dark secret is revealed, the love-struck Enn must turn to Boadicea (Nicole Kidman) and her followers for help in order to save the girl he loves from certain death. When the punks take on the aliens, neither Enn’s nor Zan’s universe will ever be the same again."
Roman Polanski's Based on a True Story "stars Emmanuelle Seigner as a Parisian author with writer’s block who discovers a mysterious woman—played by Eva Green—at a book signing," reported Variety's Dave McNary in February. "Olivier Assayas and Polanski adapted the movie from Delphine de Vigan’s novel of the same name." Sony Pictures Classics has picked up North American rights.
Agnès Varda and JR's Visages, Villages. Last year, Variety's Elsa Keslassy reported that it'll "focus on faces, encounters, huge images related to people and mostly the growth of an unlikely friendship between a 33 year old youngster and an 88 year old lady. 'As my life draws to a close, I find myself wanting to see ever more faces, to film or photograph them, to keep them in images if not in my memory. JR, with his imagination and talent, gives me the opportunity to create with him new ways to share images,' said Varda."
Jane Campion and Ariel Kleiman's Top of the Lake: China Girl. Nicole Kidman again! Elisabeth Moss is back "as Detective Robin Griffin, who returns to Sydney from New Zealand shortly before the body of an Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach," noted Michael Nordine at IndieWire in December. "Robin, top-tier gumshoe that she is, realizes that 'China Girl' didn’t die alone; one presumes that things get thornier and stranger from there. Kidman, meanwhile, is to co-star as an Australian mother named Julia whose own story intersects with Robin’s."
For the first time, the festival will present a virtual reality experience, Carne y Arena, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and shot by Emmanuel Lubezski. Last fall, IndieWire's Zack Sharf passed along word from Legendary that it'll "explore the intense and excruciating experience of a group of immigrants and refugees crossing the border between Mexico and the United States." From Iñárritu via Yoselin Acevedo at IndieWire: "My intention was to experiment with VR technology to explore the human condition in an attempt to break the dictatorship of the frame—within which things are just observed—and claim the space to allow the visitor to go through a direct experience walking in the immigrants’ feet, under their skin, and into their hearts."
Abbas Kiarostami's 24 Frames. From Ioncinema: "Passing away at the age of 76 in July of 2016, the cinematic community mourned the surprise loss of Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami, who had been working on several projects, including a proposed narrative film set in China and a project set in Apulia which he co-wrote with Jean-Claude Carrière. At Cannes 2016, more footage was shown from Kiarostami’s experimental project, 24 Frames, a collection of four-and-a-half minute tableaus the director shot over a three year period. Initially, the project was revealed during a Lumiere tribute to Martin Scorsese in the fall of 2015, while more footage was revealed at Venice 2016 following Kiarostami’s death. More of an installation project than anything resembling a traditional film, we’ll look forward to finally seeing the prestigious auteur’s final film project."
Kristen Stewart's Come Swim. "Starring actor Josh Kaye with murmured snatches of voice-over from Stewart herself, it was by far the most avant-garde entry in last night’s Sundance shorts program, eschewing narrative in favor of evocative, waterlogged imagery," wrote Vulture's Kyle Buchanan back in January. "As near as I could tell, it follows Kaye’s character in the aftermath of a relationship gone bad, capturing that post-breakup moment where you’re drowning in despair, but instead of coming up for air, you willingly take big gulps of more water…. Accompanied by a fuzzy score from St. Vincent, Kaye guzzles from water bottles until they’re an empty husk like him, and when he’s not drinking, he’s drowning…. As Stewart shifted back and forth in her tennis shoes after her screening, she left her intent as ambiguous as possible, offering the genesis of some of that voice-over—'I’ve written the same poem again and again and again,' she said, 'and I was like, maybe [I should] do something with it'—then handing the microphone to one of her fellow filmmakers like a hot potato."
Eric Caravaca’s Carré 35. A documentary in which, according to Cinémage, the director returns to a place in his childhood to investigate what happened to his older sister, who died at the age of three.
Anahita Ghazvinizadeh's They. From the top of Adomeit Film's rather long synopsis, which is followed by a statement from the director: "J has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, goes by the selected pronoun 'they,' and takes hormone blockers to suspend their puberty. J is in their early teens and lives with their parents in the countryside. While J’s parents are away on a trip, their older sibling Lauren and her boyfriend Araz are assigned the duties of house-sitting and looking after J. Through a series of activities, performances and events, J’s growth and complex gender identity are explored within the precarious family dynamic."
Hong Sangsoo's Clair's Camera. Hong "was spotted filming a new project with Isabelle Huppert on the streets of Cannes in 2016, their second collaboration following 2012’s In Another Country," notes Ioncinema. The "scant details about the project... only indicate the film is about a part time schoolteacher and writer."
Eugene Jarecki's Promised Land. Composer Robert W. Miller tells us that the documentary "ingeniously juxtaposes contemporary American socio-political history with the biography of Elvis Presley."
Claude Lanzmann's Napalm. During this morning's press conference, Frémaux mentioned that this will be a documentary about North Korea.
Jude Ratnam's Demons in Paradise.
Vanessa Redgrave's Sea Sorrow. Dissent Projects tells us that it "features Lord Alf Dubs–who escaped the Holocaust via the Kindertransport and has since been a passionate campaigner for refugee rights–and actors Ralph Fiennes, Emma Thompson and Juliet Stephenson. The piece is a meditative reflection on the current refugee-migrant crisis mixing past and present, documentary and drama, framed within the ongoing struggle for human rights."
Barbet Schroeder’s Le Venerable W. Les Films du Losange tells us that this is "the last installment in the director’s 'Trilogy of Evil,' which began with General Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait (1974) and continued with Terror’s Advocate (Certain Regard Cannes 2007 and winner of the César for Best Documentary in 2008). This time the director goes to Burma, into the heart of everyday racism, to explore how Islamophobia and hate speech transforms itself into violence and destruction in a country that is 90 percent Buddhist—the world's most peaceful of religions, founded on a tolerant, non-violent way of life."
Byun Sung-hyun's The Merciless. From AsianWiki: "Jae-Ho (Sol Kyung-Gu) is a prisoner. He wields the most power among the inmates and makes rules for the inmates. Jae-Ho is also the #2 guy in a criminal gang outside of prison. He is ambitious enough to go after the #1 spot upon his release. One day, Jae-Ho meets new prisoner Hyun-Soo (Siwan). Hyun-Soo doesn't follow the rules of the prison and he doesn't submit to anyone."
Jung Byung-gil's The Villainess. Again, AsianWiki: "Sook-Hee (Kim Ok-Vin) is a killer. She was raised and trained in Yanbian, China. She hides her real identity as a killer and comes to South Korea. She dreams of having a different type of life, but she becomes involved with two men. Joong-Sang (Shin Ha-Kyun) is a mysterious man who trains killers and Hyun-Soo (Sung Joon) watches Sook-Hee."
Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire's Prayer Before Dawn. From the British Council: "In Klong Prem, there are 10 rules. If you break them, you will almost certainly die. If you don’t break them, you will definitely die. This is the true story of Billy Moore—jailed in one of the world’s toughest prisons, Klong Prem, the notorious 'Bangkok Hilton.' Refusing to die there, Billy becomes a student of the lethal art of Muay Thai Boxing and in the process finds a brotherhood that will help guide him on an incredible journey to redemption."
Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord's Zombillénium. An animated feature based on Arthur de Pin's comic strip about an amusement park where zombies work without needing to hide from humans. A family comedy.