Emmanuelle Devos in Amin (2018)
Here are the films playing in 2018 Cannes Film Festival
Matteo Garrone’s Dogman.
“Dubbed an ‘urban Western,’ the pic is inspired by a homicide committed by a coked-out dog groomer during the late 1980s in the gangland outside Rome,” writes Variety’s Nick Vivarelli.“The case, involving hours of torture in a dog cage, is considered among the most gruesome in Italian postwar history.” Marcello Fonte plays a “small and gentle dog groomer named Marcello” who “finds himself involved in a dangerous “relationship of intimidation” with a former violent boxer who bullies the entire neighborhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello will exact an unexpected act of vengeance. ‘It might seem like a revenge film, but I think that Dogman is also a film about the desperate need for dignity in a world where the law of the strongest prevails and violence seems to be the only way out,’ Garrone said in a statement.”
Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman.
As Anthony D’Alessandro notes at Deadline, the film is “based on Ron Stallworth’s real life as Colorado Springs’s first African-American police officer who went undercover to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Unbelievably, Detective Stallworth (John David Washington) and his partner Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver) penetrate the KKK at its highest levels to thwart its attempt to take over the city.”
Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War.
From mk2: “Cold War is a passionate love story between two people of different backgrounds and temperaments, who are fatally mismatched and yet fatefully condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in the 1950s in Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris—the film depicts an impossible love story in impossible times.” With Tomasz Kot, Joanna Kulig, Agata Kulesza, Jeanne Balibar, and Cédric Kahn.
Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto.
“A tale of rock, love and friendship, Leto takes place in Leningrad over the summer of 1981, when the underground rock scene started blossoming, influenced by Western rock stars like Led Zeppelin and David Bowie,” writes Variety’s Elsa Keslassy. “The film delivers a snapshot of this vibrant era and charts the coming of age and rise to fame of young rock singers, including Viktor Tsoi, who turned out to become a pioneer of Russian rock. Rather than a biopic of Tsoi, Leto depicts the love triangle between Viktor, his mentor Mike, who is also a musician, and his beautiful wife, Natasha.” In black and white. Serebrennikov is currently under house arrest and, as France 24 reports, “faces up to ten years in prison on fraud charges that critics allege are Kremlin payback for his outspoken views.”
Alice Rohrwacher’s Lazzaro Felice.
Shot in Super 16. It’s “about a man living on the margins of society who travels through time,” reported Variety’s Nick Vivarelli last summer. “Rohrwacher is collaborating with her regular director of photography, Helene Louvart, who is also known for work with auteurs such as Wim Wenders, Agnès Varda, and Claire Denis. . . . Details of the story are being kept under wraps beyond the fact that it’s about the present from the point of view of a man who travels through time for about fifty years, but it’s not science fiction. It also takes place in summer and winter within both the countryside and a city.”
David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake.
A24 calls it “a delirious neo-noir fever dream about one man’s search for the truth behind the mysterious crimes, murders, and disappearances in his East L.A. neighborhood. Sam (Andrew Garfield) is a disenchanted thirty-three-year-old who discovers a mysterious woman, Sarah (Riley Keough), frolicking in his apartment’s swimming pool. When she vanishes, Sam embarks on a surreal quest across Los Angeles to decode the secret behind her disappearance, leading him into the murkiest depths of mystery, scandal, and conspiracy in the City of Angels.”
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s Asako I&II.
From mk2: “One day Asako’s first love suddenly disappears. Two years later, she meets his perfect double.” With Masahiro Higashide and Erika Karata.
Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun.
Lee-Chang Dong’s Burning.
Lee’s first feature in eight years stars Yoo Ah-in and Steven Yeun and is “an adaptation of famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s short story ‘Barn Burning,’ telling the story of two young men and a woman in their twenties getting involved in a mysterious incident,” writes Park Jin-hai for the Korea Times. “One of the men makes the unusual claim to be an arsonist. ‘It’s a story of young people in the world nowadays. When young people look at the world thinking about the world or their lives and wonder if it’s a mystery that can’t be understood—I can say the movie is made with such an intention,’ director Lee said at the 2016 Busan International Film Festival about the mystery thriller.”
Jia Zhang-Ke’s Ash Is Purest White.
From mk2: “Qiao is in love with Bin, a local mobster. During a fight between rival gangs, she fires a gun to protect him. Qiao gets five years in prison for this act of loyalty. Upon her release, she goes looking for Bin to pick up where they left off. A story of love, betrayal and loyalty set in China’s underworld.” With Tao Zhao and Liao Fan.
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Meyem Benm’Barek’s Sofia.
It’s “set in Casablanca and charts the life of twenty-two-year-old Sofia, the only daughter in a rather traditional family,” notes Variety’s Nick Vivarelli. “While having dinner with her siblings, she discovers she is about to give birth.”
Ali Abbasi’s Border.
From Nordisk Film & TV Fond: “When a border guard with a sixth sense for identifying smugglers encounters the first person she cannot prove is guilty, she is forced to confront terrifying revelations about herself and humankind.” Based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In).
Antoine Desrosières’s Sextape.
Yasmina and Rim, two Muslim sisters, aged seventeen and eighteen, explore their sexuality. When a sex tape of Yasmina and Salim emerges, she seeks help from her sister—who rebukes her.
Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s The Gentle Indifference Of The World.
After her father’s untimely death, Saltanat is forced to trade her idyllic countryside life for the cruel city. She has to find money to pay off the large family debt that her father left behind, in order to save her mother from jail. Friends since their village childhood, her loyal, but penniless admirer Kuandyk follows her just to make sure his sweetheart is safe. Saltanat’s uncle introduces her to a possible groom, who promises to pay off her family’s debts. But Saltanat’s hopes are dashed, when she discovers that the men in this city don’t keep their word. When Kuandyk tries to help Saltanat get the money through other ways, he ends up finding himself in more trouble than he bargained for. Although life keeps dealing them bad hands, Saltanat and Kuandyk never give up, no matter what the odds.
Luis Ortega’s El Angel.
Variety’s John Hopewell tells us that it “turns on a real-life criminal who shocked Argentine society: Carlos Robledo Puch, a merciless teen killer dubbed ‘The Angel of Death’ because of his beatific good looks, who now ranks as the longest-serving prison inmate in Argentine history.” With Chino Darin, Mercedes Morán, Daniel Fanego, Luis Gnecco, Cecilia Roth, and Peter Lanzani. “The film introduces Lorenzo Ferro as the titular Angel.”
Ulrich Kohler’s In My Room.
Ioncinema’s Nicholas Bell notes that it “concerns Armin, a fortysomething bored man who suddenly discovers everyone around him has disappeared.” With Hans Low and Elena Radonicich.
Etienne Kallos’s The Harvesters.
From Cinema Defacto: “The Harvesters charts the emotional and spiritual unraveling of an obedient Afrikaans teenager whose Christian-fundamentalist parents bring a mysterious and manipulative city orphan back to their remote farm to foster.”
Gaya Jiji’s My Favorite Fabric.
From uniFrance Films: “Damascus, Spring 2011. It’s the early stages of the civil war. Twenty—five-year-old Nahla is torn between her desire for freedom and the hope of leaving the country thanks to her arranged marriage with Samir, a Syrian expatriate in the USA. When he chooses her younger, more docile sister Myriam, Nahla finds refuge at her neighbor’s, the mysterious Ms Jiji.”
Valeria Golino’s Euphoria.
“Matteo is a young successful businessman, audacious, charming and energetic,” writes Gabriele Niola for Screen. “Ettore instead, is a calm, righteous, second grade teacher always living in the shadows, still in the small town from where both come from. They’re brothers but with two very different personalities. A dramatic event will force them to live together in Rome for a few months, bringing up the opportunity to face their differences with sympathy and tenderness, in a climax of fear and euphoria.” With Riccardo Scamarcio, Valerio Mastandrea, and Jasmine Trinca.
Vanessa Filho’s Angel Face.
8-year-old Elli and her mother, Marlène, live in a small town by the French Riviera where they act out to relieve boredom and hide from social services. When Marlène caves in to yet another night of excess, she chooses to leave Elli behind for a man she just met. The young child must confront her mother’s demons in order to get her back.
Lukas Dhont’s Girl.
Screen’s Tom Grater tells us that it’s “the story of a fifteen-year-old girl, born in a boy’s body, who dreams of becoming a ballerina and will push her body to its limits in order for her dream to succeed.”
Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night.
From Wild Bunch: “Luo Hongwu has returned to the town of his birth twelve years after having committed a still-unpunished murder. Memories of the enigmatic and beautiful woman for whom he killed resurface, confronting him with unbearable revelations. Past and present, realism and dream combine in a profoundly visual and highly innovative film noir ballet.” With Tang Wei, Sylvia Chang, and Huang Jue.
Alejandro Fadel’s Die, Monster, Die.
Rural police officer Cruz investigates the bizarre case of a headless woman’s body found in a remote region by the Andes Mountains. David, the husband of Cruz’s lover Francisca, becomes the prime suspect and is sent to a local mental hospital. David blames the crime to the inexplicable and brutal appearance of the “Monster.” Cruz stumbles on a mysterious theory involving geometric landscapes, mountain motorcyclists and a mantra stuck in his head: Murder Me, Monster.
OUT OF COMPETITION
Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built.
USA in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years and are introduced to the murders that define Jack’s development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack’s point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork. Along the way we experience Jack’s descriptions of his personal condition, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge – a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and psychopathic explanations. The House That Jack Built is a dark and sinister story, yet presented through a philosophical and occasional humorous tale.
2018 CANNES DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT LINEUP
(The Directors’ Fortnight runs May 9-19.)
Philippe Faucon’s Amin.
Arantxa Echevarria’s Carmen y Lola.
Lola, a sixteen-year-old gypsy girl who sings in a choir and is the first in her family to be heading to university, falls for Carmen, a hairdresser who, at seventeen, is planning to marry her boyfriend.
Gaspar Noé’s Climax.
IndieWire’s Zack Sharf has the synopsis for the project originally known as Psyché: “In the mid-90s, twenty urban dancers join together for a three-day rehearsal in a closed-down boarding school located at the heart of a forest to share one last dance. They then make one last party around a large sangria bowl. Quickly, the atmosphere becomes charged and a strange madness will seize them the whole night. If it seems obvious to them that they have been drugged, they neither know by who nor why. And it’s soon impossible for them to resist to their neuroses and psychoses, numbed by the hypnotic and the increasing electric rhythm of the music . . . While some feel in paradise, most of them plunge into hell.”
Pierre Salvadori’s En Liberté.
From the IMDb: “In a town on the French Riviera, detective Yvonne is the young widow of police chief Santi, a local hero. When she realizes her husband was not exactly the model of virtue so idolized by their young son, and that an innocent young man, Antoine, has spent eight years in prison as Santi’s scapegoat, she is thrown into turmoil. Yvonne wants to do everything she can to help this very charming Antoine get back to his life and his wife. Everything, that is, except telling the truth. But Antoine is having trouble adjusting to life on the other side, to say the least, and soon blows a fuse leading to a spectacular sequence of events.” With Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, and Audrey Tautou.
Marie Monge’s Joueurs.
When Ella meets Abel, her life changes. In the wake of this elusive lover, the girl will discover the cosmopolitan Paris and underground gaming circles, where adrenaline and money reign. First a bet, their story is transformed into a devouring passion. With Tahar Rahim, Stacy Martin, and Bruno Wolkowitch.
Romain Gavras’s Le monde est à toi.
Fabien Lemercier tells us that “the story apparently centers on a former drug dealer who wants to set up a small business in Algeria and who is counting on the money he earned while dealing, which his mother is supposed to have hidden away for him. But unfortunately, she has gambled it all away. He is then forced to go back to a life of crime and, together with a friend and his ex, agrees to one last deal to get his plans back on track.” With Karim Leklou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, and Oulaya Amamra.
Guillaume Nicloux’s Les Confins du monde.
From Nicholas Bell at Ioncinema: “Written by scribe Jerome Beaujour (who worked in Nicloux’s version of The Nun, based on a novel by Denis Diderot and initially filmed by Jacques Rivette in 1966), this is Nicloux’s third feature in a row to feature Gerard Depardieu (following Valley of Love and The End), and promises to be one of the director’s most ambitious projects as it follows the life of a military chief during the 1940 Indochina war and his affair with a Vietnamese woman (Lang Khê Tran).”
Ming Zhang’s Ming wang xing shi ke.
A film that deals with cinema itself, politics and the relationship between the city and the countryside.
Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s Birds of Passage.
The official synopsis via Jude Dryat IndieWire: “Birds of Passage charts the origins of the Colombian drug trade, through the epic story of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youth in the 1970s. When greed, passion and honor collide, a fratricidal war breaks out that will put their lives, their culture and their ancestral traditions at stake.”
Jaime Rosales’s Petra.
Ognjen Glavonić’s Teret.
From Neil Young in the Notebook: “Glavonić’s documentaries Živan Makes a Punk Festival and Depth Two augur very promisingly for the Serbian writer-director’s segue to fiction with the decidedly grim-sounding delve into his country’s bloodstained past. Set in 1999, it’s a road-movie about a truck-driver who slowly becomes perturbed by his latest cargo as he navigates the bombed-out terrain of a war-ruined Yugoslavia.”
Gianni Zanasi’s Troppa grazia.
Screen’s Melanie Goodfellow notes that it stars Alba Rohrwacher “as an architect battling to save a beautiful valley earmarked for a development.”
2018 CANNES CRITICS WEEK LINEUP
(The Critics’ Week Lineup runs May 9-17.)
Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s Fugue.
“Alicja has no memory and no knowledge about how she lost it. In two years, she manages to build a new, independent self, away from home. She doesn’t want to remember the past. So, when her family finds her, she is forced to fit into the roles of a mother, daughter and wife, surrounded by what seem to be complete strangers. What remains once you forget you loved someone? Is it necessary to remember the emotion of love in order to feel happiness?”
Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino.
Zsófia Szilágyi’s One Day.
“Anna is forty. She is always in a rush. She has three children, a husband, a job and financial stress. Anna meets deadlines, makes promises, takes care of things, brings stuff home and remembers everything. But she never catches up with her husband. She’d like to talk to him. She feels she is losing him. And she feels she can’t always evade what comes next. A clash between the everyday, the unbearably monotonous and the fragile and unique.”
Jean-Bernard Marlin’s Shéhérazade.
Zachary, seventeen years old, gets out of jail. Rejected by his mother, he hangs out in the mean streets of Marseille. This is where he meets Shéhérazade, a young girl who prostitutes herself in a popular district of Marseille.
Bertrand Mandico’s Apocalypse After.
2018 CANNES ACID LINEUP
Anne Alix’s Il se passe quelque chose.
“Avignon. Irma, who doesn’t seem to find her place in the world, crosses paths with Dolores, a free and uninhibited woman who is in a mission to write a gay-friendly travel guide on a forgotten area in Provence. The unlikely duo takes to the road and contrary to the sought-after, picturesque, and sexy Provence.”
Marta Bergman’s Seule à mon mariage.
“Pamela, a young Roma, insolent, spontaneous, and funny, embarks on a journey into the unknown, breaking away from the traditions that suffocate her. She arrives in Belgium with three words of French and the hope that marriage will change her and her daughter’s destiny.”
Michaël Dacheux’s L’Amour debout.
“Martin, in a last ditch hope, comes to meet Léa in Paris. They are both twenty-five and shared their first love story together. They are both now striving to mature.”
Olga Korotko’s Bad Bad Winter.
“After the passing of her grandmother, a businessman’s daughter goes back to her birthplace. After a little while, she receives the visit from her former classmates but their reunion take an unexpected turn.”
Hanna Ladoul and Marco La Via’s We the Coyotes.
“Amanda and Jake are in love and want to start a new life in Los Angeles. Will they make the right decisions? The first twenty-four hours of their new life will take them all around the city, bringing them more surprises and frustrations than expected.”
Pedro Cabeleira’s Damned Summer.
Screened at Locarno in Los Angeles. It’s “in that very American summer-before-school genre, though in this case the summer before looking for employment—and for the Euro-clubbing set.” Daniel Kasman in the Notebook: “Most of its two hours take place watching a Lisbon youth (Pedro Marujo), a bearded goon but successful ladies man, get high and go to one dance party or another, fueled by an inexhaustible supply of weed and ready access to harder drugs. . . . I’m not sure there is much impulse beyond extended lifestyle immersion, but the steady accumulation of lost time, great tunes, and aimless play grows to capture the sense of all the world falling away but for this sensual, senseless, endless moment.”