Following its founding by the French Directors Guild in 1969, the year after the Cannes Film Festival was cancelled, a casualty of the tumultuous events of May 1968, the independent parallel section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, aka Directors’ Fortnight, has presented the first screenings in Cannes of films by Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese, Dusan Makavejev, Theo Angelopoulos, Sofia Coppola, Atom Egoyan, Michael Haneke, Spike Lee and the Dardennes. Today, artistic director Edouard Waintrop presented the lineup for this year’s edition, running from May 15 through 25.
John Boorman’s Queen and Country. When Philip Horne interviewed Boorman for the Telegraph in March, he noted that this will be “another autobiographical film like Hope and Glory (1987), this time about his harsh National Service in the early Fifties. ‘What’s really at the heart of the film is the generational changes that were beginning to take place. The regular soldiers had all been through the war, there was pride and a sense of Empire and all those things—which were being challenged…. This will probably be my last film,’ he says. ‘I should have stopped making films some time ago,’ he laughs. ‘I’m 80 now.'”
Thomas Cailley’s Les Combattants (Fighters). Screen‘s Melanie Goodfellow notes that it’s “about a teenage boy who falls for a military-obsessed, young woman who is preparing for a mysterious, future war.”
Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash. Check the reviews from Sundance.
Fabrice Du Welz’s Alleluia. “Loosely based on the true life crime story of Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez, Alleluia stars Lola Duenas and Laurent Lucas as a pair of destructive lovers on an escalating crime spree,” notes Todd Brown, who’s got a few images at Twitch. For those who understand French, Du Welz discusses the film here.
Bruno Dumont’s P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin). From Variety: “A detective yarn set in the French village of Boulogne, this four-part, 200-minute Arte miniseries reps a first foray into television for the Gallic provocateur, as well as a return to Directors’ Fortnight, which presented his 1997 debut, Life of Jesus.”
Ronit and Shlomi’s Elkabetz’s Gett – Le Procès de Viviane Amsallem (Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsallem). From Films Distribution: “The trial story of Viviane Amsallem’s five year fight to obtain her divorce in front of the only legal authority competent for divorce cases in Israel, the Rabbinical Court. Viviane and her lawyer must face the uncompromising attitude of Elisha, the husband, who doesn’t even respond to the rabbis convocations. When he is finally obliged to come to court, he keeps refusing the divorce (Gett) even though they’ve been separated for years. Witnesses are called, the procedure drags on, while Viviane is still unable to recover her dignity.”
Zach Hilditch’s These Final Hours. From the Facebook page: “A young man makes his way to the party to end all parties on the last day on Earth but ends up saving the life of a little girl searching for her father, who ultimately leads him on the path to redemption.”
Toby Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), the 4K restoration.
Jean-Charles Hue’s Mange Tes Morts (Eat Your Bones). From Capricci: “15-year-old Jason Dorkel belongs to a community of travelers. He is preparing for his baptism when Fred, his half-brother, returns after several years in prison. Along with their impulsive and violent brother, Mikael, the three Dorkels go on trip into the ‘gadjos’ looking for copper. Eat Your Bones is a coming-of-age road movie in which an adolescent has to choose between his gangster heritage and his religious beliefs.”
Seong-Hun Kim’s Moo-Deom-Kka-Ji Gan-Da (A Hard Day). From AsianWiki: “Detective Gun-Soo (Lee Sun-Kyun) is involved in a car accident which he attempts to cover up. He then falls into an unexpected situation with the only witness Chang-Min (Cho Jin-Woong) threatening him. Chang-Min hides his true purpose and identity from Gun-Soo.”
Asaf Korman’s At Li Layla (Next to Her). From 2 Team Productions: “Rachel, 27, is raising her mentally retarded sister Gabby, 24, all by herself. When the social worker finds out she leaves her sister alone in the house while at work, she is forced to place her in a day-care center. For the first time in her life she shares the upbringing of her dear sister with someone else, her daily routine collapses and the huge void, left by her sister’s absence, makes room for a man in Rachel’s life. That man, Zohar, tears another crack in the symbiotic relationship of the two sisters. Rachel hangs on to his love as if it was a life belt. But her inability to lead a normal, intimate and emotional relationship with anyone but her sister, forces them into a twisted threesome, where boundaries between love, sacrifice, nurturing and torturing—are broken.”
Stéphane Lafleur’s Tu Dors Nicole. From Ioncinema‘s Eric Lavallee: “A third feature for Quebecois helmer Stéphane Lafleur, we fully expect to stick to the same black humor template found in his previous pair: the festival favorites Continental, un film and En terrain connu.” The gist: “Enjoying the family home while her parents are away, Nicole (22 years old) is quietly spending the first weeks of her year off until her older brother Rémi shows up with his music group. The summer then takes an unexpected turn for Nicole and her best friend Véronique.”
Diego Lerman’s Refugiado. Seven-year-old Matthew and his mother Laura are forced to leave the house when his father turns violent. According to Cronista, this’ll be a unique road movie shot through with humor and emotion.
Jim Mickle’s Cold in July. I’ve just posted a roundup of reviews that includes the trailer and interviews with Mickle and his cast.
Céline Sciamma’s Bande de Filles (Girlhood). From Films Distribution: “Marieme is 16 and her life seems only made of constraints: the tough street codes, the school offering no prospects, and the family oppression. When she meets a group of three free-spirited girls, her life changes. She lives her youth embracing street life, friendship, and sometimes violence.”
Isao Takahata’s Kaguya-hime no Monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya). “Likely to be the last film by 78-year-old Ghibli anime maestro,” writes Mark Schilling in the Japan Times, “this retelling of this 10th-century Japanese folktale is also among his best. Beautifully animated, exhilaratingly imaginative and heartbreakingly sad, it exemplifies better than any film in recent memory the aesthetic of mono no aware—the pathos inherent in all things.”
Matthew Warchus’s Pride. From Variety‘s Elsa Keslassy: “Set over the summer of 1984 during the Margaret Thatcher era, pic follows a group of gay and lesbian activists who decide to raise money to support the families of National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) members who are on strike. While the Union seems embarrassed to receive their support, the activists are not deterred. They decide to identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. The two communities end up forming a surprising and triumphant partnership.” With Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West.
Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery. From the LEF Foundation: “A portrait of the day-to-day operations of the National Gallery of London, that reveals the role of the employees and the experiences of the Gallery’s visitors. The film portrays the role of the curators and conservators; the education, scientific, and conservation departments; and the audience of all kinds of people who come to experience it.”
Daniel Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy. From the British Film Council: “A girl in her late teens has run away from her family with her drifter boyfriend. Holed up together in a Yorkshire town on the edge of the moors, they live a hand-to-mouth existence. Aaron’s AWOL from the army, while Laila knows her family won’t let her run without a fight. Two carloads of bounty hunters roll into town asking questions and flashing a photo of Laila. Hardmen hired by the girl’s father with her brother in tow. They find her. There’s a confrontation. Her brother is killed. The stakes have gone up. They’ve got to get out of town. They head onto the moors, pursued by men who will stop at nothing to bring Laila back to Daddy. Propelled to a violent conclusion, father and daughter come face to face in a terrible confrontation.”
Davy Chou’s Cambodia 2099. I can’t seem to find anything on this followup to Golden Slumbers, a terrific 2012 documentary about the golden age of Cambodian cinema between 1960 and 1975.
Jenna Hasse’s En août (In August). From Swiss Films: “Margaux, six years old, awakens early on this August morning. She goes to the window and sees her father putting objects and cardboard boxes into the car… Her mother is still sleeping. This summer morning promises to be a singular one for the little girl, who is about to experience a significant moment in her life.”
Demis Herenger’s Guy Moquet. Anybody?
Elmar Imanov and Engin Kundag’s Torn. From the Facebook page: “Two parts, two lives: a man and a kid. A kid which wants to be a part of the kids in the yard. A man who dates a woman on a roof. The world of adults and the world of children. They are related but they are torn.”
Dahee Jeong’s Man on the Chair. Jeong Dahee has stills at her site and notes that the titular man “is tormented and constantly doubts his very own existence. It is just merely a picture that I created… Perhaps could I be also an image crafted by others?”
Radu Jude’s Trece Si Prin Perete (It Can Pass Through the Wall). According to Cinemagia, it’s a “free adaptation” of a Chekhov short story with Sofia Nicolaescu, Ion Arcudeanu, Marcel Horobeţ, Gabriel Spahiu and Alecu Jude.
Nara Normande and Tião Tiao’s Sem Coração (Heartless). Rafhael Barbosa reports for the Gazeta de Alagoas that it’s the story of Leo, a kid from the city who vacations in a fishing village, where he falls for the thirteen-year-old daughter of a fisherman. Her heart is weak, and she’s picked on by the other kids for being so frail.
Margarida Rêgo’s A Caça Revoluções (The Revolution Hunter). From Rêgo herself: “I started my research looking for a revolution and that took me to study the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal. I started with this idea that if I understood what they, the ones who participated in the revolutionary process, were fighting for in 1974, I could understand what I should fight for in the present time, or at least realize how the same kind of revelation could happen in the present. But the answers that we get from the past are not exactly the answers we need in the present. Nostalgia fools us, and makes us believe the past is the solution for the present. But if we take away History, what stays?”
Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre’s Jutra. From MJSTP Films: “Ingeniously combining archival material and animated sequences, Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre has created a cinematic and clever portrait of the man who gave us Mon oncle Antoine, filmmaker Claude Jutra. Continuing work begun in 2006 with McLaren’s Negatives, which focused on Norman McLaren, Saint-Pierre hones her quest for a unique form of animated documentary, skillfully and boldly synthesizing the life and career of another giant of cinema.”
Frank Ternier’s 8 Balles (8 Bullets). Via Ideal Crash, where you can see a few images, this is evidently about Gabriel Douard, who lives in Taipei where he’s recently lost his wife.
Aga Woszczynska’s Fragmenty (Fragments). There’s the teaser. With Agnieszka Żulewska, Dobromir Dymecki, Sławomir Orzechowski, Sebastian Stankiewicz, Tomasz Borkowski, Katarzyna Wajda, Grzegorz Wolf, Dorota Kuduk and Paweł Tomaszewski.