5. The Beach Bum by Harmony Korine
The philosophy of the Cannes Film Festival is to promote cinematic tendencies from around the world, and emphasizing the production of minor cinema industries. But with American cinema so underrepresented as in 2018 competition, that is something to consider.
“The Beach Bum” is one of the most anticipated American movies of 2018. The combination of Korine and Matthew McConaughey is appealing and the story – a road movie about an unconventional nomadic poet who tries to publish his work somewhere in Florida – is one more chronicle of American misfits, a twisted look at the American dream. The film is already considered a cult film and theaters on the West Coast plan to show it while curling marijuana joints.
After surprising world audiences with “Spring Breakers,” Korine hoped that this was the time to make the cut for the festival’s Palme d’Or Competition. Well, not this time!
4. Sunset by Laszlo Nemes
It was said that Nemes was looking forward to a Cannes debut for his second feature, given that “Son of Saul” won the Grand Prix just before becoming the first Hungarian movie to be awarded with the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s another historical drama – the third in this list – set in pre-World War I Hungary.
In 1913, a young woman travels to Budapest to work in her parents’ hat store. There she meets her parents’ ex-associate and learns about a brother she never knew existed. Trying to track him down, she will discover many well-hidden secrets that define the country’s fate while the war is approaching.
A carefully produced period drama, which Nemes was preparing for more than two years. While everyone was wondering if “Son of Saul” with its heretic view was his debut, how could the next one be?’
3. Vision by Naomi Kawase
“Cannes has always been very good to director Kawase in the past, playing home to seven of her films, and tapping her to serve as the president of both the festival’s forward-looking Cinefondation section and its Short Film Jury in 2016, following a stint on the Feature Film Jury in 2013.
Kawase is also the youngest winner of the Camera d’Or for her feature ‘Suzaku’ back in 1997, which she followed up with a Grand Prix award 10 years later for ‘The Mourning Forest.’ In short, if Kawase has a film, Cannes will program it, and happily so. “ – Indiewire, 03/19/2018
Add to all the above that Juliette Binoche, the almost national star of France, plays the lead in a Japanese speaking movie and you come out with the biggest surprise from both director, actors and crew. If any nomination was a given, that would be for Kawase’s movie.
The movie is set in the province of Nara, Kawase’s natal land, and narrates the story of a French ist (Juliette Binoche) who visits the place and meets a mysterious mountain man who connects with her despite the linguistic and cultural barriers between them.
It looks like a story about the acceptance of differences and the Other’s perception, a transcultural tale much needed in a divided world. Teaser trailers show a cinematically stunning film depicting Japan’s inner beauties, its mountains and autumn forests, its mists and colorful evening skies.
2. Radegund by Terrence Malick
Just nine features in 45 years! It is worth seeing every one of them. Like them or not, each one is very special. Why not his last one, a historical drama about Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who refused to fight for the Germans in World War II and was executed in 1943? (It seems like many auteurs, in the height of their age and creative activity, want to literally write history).
It is a turn toward his recent productions, a film released in Europe with European actors in German that could be the return of Malick to his early masterpiece days. Well, the jury judged it wasn’t.
Malick was presented in Cannes only twice, in 1979 and in 2011. And he won a Best Director award and a Palme d’Or, respectively. This year he won’t have the chance!
1. Peterloo by Mike Leigh
Winner of a Golden Lion and nominee five times for an Oscar, Mike Leigh is one of the most brilliant British directors of all time, a genuine auteur who has gifted us with wonderful movies like “Naked” and “Vera Drake,” films that ooze humanism and let us get a totally different perception on human relations.
His 13th film is an ambitious project. Leigh comes back in historic dramas after almost 20 years and “Topsy-Turvy,” and tells the notorious story of the Peterloo massacre, when on August 16, 1816 the British army attacked an unarmed crowd of 80,000 people who were demonstrating in Manchester for the reform of parliamentary representation. It seems the time has come for Leigh to deal with the history of his country!
The festival’s jury didn’t appreciate that as expected. Though being a nominee or even Palme d’Or winner doesn’t necessarily guarantee the acceptance in the lineup each time one submits for Cannes, Leigh was one of Cannes favorites: three nominations for the Palme d’Or, winner of one Palme d’Or, Best Director and the Prize of Ecumenical Jury. He had his two last films premiered in Cannes. I guess he would like to see this one in the Croisette as well.
Author Bio: Regina Zervou is cultural sociologist who took some fifteen years to move from carnival and popular culture studies to cinema theory. An afficionado of movies since she was twelve, she loves the way reality and ‘surreality’ is depicted on the screen. When not watching movies, she loves walking the dogs, swimming, cooking for her children or traveling someplace in Africa or South America to take some pictures.