The 72nd Cannes Film Festival opens on May 14th with “The Dead don’t die”, the new movie by Jim Jarmusch: the title could also be an affectionate epitaph-caption to this year’s poster dedicated to the great French filmmaker Agnes Varda who recently passed away.
The horror comedy in which Bill Murray and Adam Driver hunt for zombies will be released in French movie theaters concomitantly with its presentation on La Croisette.
The protagonists will be flanked by a stellar cast including Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits and Iggy Pop.
The festival will also star a music idol, Elton John, portrayed by Dexter Fletcher in “Rocket Man” and the Out of Competition section features another legend, this time from the world of soccer, “Diego Maradona” by Afis Kapadia.
The procession of legends continues with Alain Delon who will be celebrated by the Festival with an Honorary Palme D’Or.
Lots of habitués of La Croisette will be returning to the competition, from big names (like Quentin Tarantino with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” Pedro Almodóvar with “Dolor y Gloria”; the Dardenne Brothers with “E Jeune Ahmed”; Ken Loach, with “Sorry we missed you”; Xavier Dolan with “Matthias et Maxime”; Terence Malick with “A Hidden Life”), to names that are less well-known to the general public but are dear to the Festival such as the Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu (“The Whistlers”), the Palestinian Elia Suleiman (“It must be Heaven”), the Austrian Jessica Hausner (“Little Joe”), and the Korean Bong Joon- ho (“Gisaengchung”- Parasite).
Italy will be in competition with “The Traitor” by Marco Bellocchio who returns to Cannes three years after “Sweet Dreams” which was presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight) in 2016.
The film focuses on the figure of Tommaso Buscetta, an intimate tale studded with vendettas and betrayals in which the human story is “immersed within a well-defined historical and political context that fits into the furrow of civil cinema of which Bellocchio remains one of the masters”, declares Paolo Del Brocco, CEO of Rai Cinema which will be distributing the movie in Italy on May 23rd, the anniversary of the Capaci Massacre in which Giovanni Falcone lost his life.
“The Traitor” is produced by Ibc Movie – Kavac Film with Rai Cinema, in coproduction with Match Factory Productions (Germany) which will also handle the international sales, Ad Vitam Production (France) and Guallane Entretenimento (Brazil).
Another “Tommaso” provides the title of the movie that Abel Ferrara filmed in Rome (produced by Simila(r) and Vivo Film) starring William DeFoe, which will be presented among the Special Screenings, together with, amongst others, “Family Romance, LLC” by Werner Herzog.
DeFoe will also be present in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, alongside Robert Patterson in “The Lighthouse” by Robert Eggers.
There are only four women in competition: in addition to the already mentioned Hausner, these are three young French filmmakers, all of whom have already passed through Cannes in one way or another: Justine Triet with “Sybil”, Céline Sciamma with “Portrait de la jeune fille en feu” and Mati Diop with “Atlantique”.
There is also a first work in competition, the debut of the director from Mali Ladj Ly, “Les Misérables”.
Un Certain Regard features total of six directing debuts including “Port Authority” by the US director Danielle Lessovitz who attended the Torino Film Lab in 2016 when the director and his French producer, Virginie Lacombe of Madeleine Films, took part in the Feature- Lab program.
During the TFL Meeting Event 2016, the TorinoFilm- Lab’s coproduction forum, the film received the support of the TFL Co-Production Fund (€50,000) dedicated to coproductions between European and international producers which is provided thanks to the European Union’s Creative Europe – MEDIA sub-program.
The movie is, in fact, coproduced by the production house of Martin Scorsese, Sikelia Productions (USA) and its partner RT Features (Brazil), who together launched a production fund in support of emerging directors.
This also marks the first investment by the MUBI streaming service. The international sales will be handled by MK2.
Another italian presence: the animation film “ La fameuse Invasion des Ours en Sicile ” by Lorenzo Mattotti, produced by France’s Prima Linea with the Italian Indigo Film, Rai Cinema has been selected at the last minute for Un certain Regard: great visibility for this movie which has already been selected for the Annecy Festival to be held in June.
In Un Certain Regard we also find many filmmakers who are dear to Cannes such as Bruno Dumont with “Jeanne”, Oliver Laxe with “O que arde”, Karim Aïnouz with “A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão” and the young Kantemir Balagov who returns to Cannes with his second work “Dylda”.
They will be judged by a jury led by the Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki who last year won the Jury Prize with “Capharnaum”.
The president of the competition jury will instead be Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu.
We find another piece of Italy in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs which hosts the special screening of the medium-length movie by Luca Guadagnino “Staggering Girl” starring Julianne Moore and Alba Rorhwacher, produced by IBLAfilm Production with Rai Cinema (there will also be a special screening of “Red 11” by Robert Rodriguez), and the short “Quello che verrà è solo una promessa” by Flartform, a coproduction between Italy, Netherlands and New Zealand (Dugon Films, Serious Film, Blueskin Films, Rai Cinema, with the contribution of the MiBAC (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities), and the support of the Ministero dell’Ambiente della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare- Ministry of the Environment, Protection of the Territory and the Sea, and the Netherland Film Fund).
This is also the first year that this non competitive section organized by the Société des réalisateurs de films is guided by the Italian Paolo Moretti who, in line with previous editions, has built a selection which features an abundance of up-and-coming directors.
They are joined by the famous faces of Lav Diaz (“Hang Upa” – The Halt), Takashi Miike (“Haysukoi”- First Love) and Lech Kowalski (“On Va Tout Péter”- Blow It to Bits).
Who knows whether the independence of this section from the festival and its claimed freedom of thought will be sufficient to avoid the controversy surrounding the presence of a movie distributed by Netflix: “Wounds”, starring Dakota Johnson and Armie Hammer, the second work by the British-Iranian director Babak Anvari, which already premiered at Sundance.
It is a psychological horror, like the previous “Under the Shadows”, which also passed through Sundance and was acquired by Netflix.
And finally there will be a tribute to a maestro of horror, John Carpenter, who will receive the career Carrosse d’Or at the Quinzaine.