The previewing of the 68th Cannes Film Festival, opening tomorrow and running through May 24, began last month as we posted notes on each of the films lined up in the Official Selection and the Classics program as well as for the Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week. If you’re looking for a supplement to all that, Screen‘s got a smart collection of film profiles—again, every film in every program.
As for who’s looking forward to which films most, so far we’ve seen annotated lists from BFI programmer Geoff Andrew, Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan, Variety‘s Justin Chang, Peter Debruge and Scott Foundas, the Film Stage, HitFix, Indiewire, Barbara Scharres at RogerEbert.com and Twitch. Talking to Cineuropa‘s Fabien Lemercier, General Delegate Thierry Frémaux suggests that “if the young directors coming in this year sustain their momentum, later people will look back on 2015 as a pivotal year. It’s still a little early. That said, it is indeed a great year of rejuvenation.”
We’ll see. Neil Young‘s just updated his odds on the all the Palme contenders.
And then there’s the Market. Variety previews projects in the works coming from Pedro Almodóvar, Andrea Arnold, Terence Davies, Bruno Dumont, Tom Ford, Marc Forster, Rupert Friend, Florian Gallenberger, Bette Gordon, Werner Herzog, Ron Howard, John Krokidas, Claude Lelouch, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Steven Shainberg, Giuseppe Tornatore and many more.
“The Cannes film festival has always been a contradictory beast,” argues the Guardian‘s Andrew Pulver. “[I]t is an event that thrusts itself so shamelessly into the glare of the international media machine, but is dedicated to showcasing the most recondite areas of world cinema. Steepled-fingered critics rub shoulders with nickel-and-dime movie hucksters. So while the broad mass of activities in Cannes remain unchanged—bar a currency crisis or two—subtle shifts in emphasis can have surprisingly far-reaching effects. Most striking is the sense that the festival has tilted dramatically in the direction of its more serious, socially-concerned side.”
Also in the Guardian, Peter Bradshaw presents “a brief history of Cannes and erotic cinema.”
“Director Pete Docter and the cast of the new Pixar movie Inside Out, actress Salma Hayek (who’s starring in competition entry Tale of Tales) and actor John C. Reilly (who is represented by three films at this year’s Cannes—The Lobster, Tale of Tales and Les Cowboys) are among industry figures scheduled to appear at the American Pavilion.” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Gregg Kilday has the schedule of events.
And THR‘s Scott Roxborough explains why press badges come in different colors. Says “one British PR exec, a 20-year Cannes veteran”: “It’s a caste system, and your badge is your rank. Cannes’ hierarchies make Downton Abbey look like a model of meritocracy.”
Updates, 5/13: “Vilify this or that festival year, this or that selection or Palme d’Or winner,” writes Notebook editor Daniel Kasman, “but whenever I get off the plane in Nice—and this will be my eighth time—I feel a luck-giddy breathlessness.”
“Cannes is complicated,” writes producer and author Colin MacCabe in a piece for Criterion. “To the first-time visitor, it seems a blur of parties, dinners, and screenings, and wherever you are, you are constantly troubled by the thought that the really hot screening or the really hip party is happening elsewhere. After the first ten years, you become a little more relaxed, and the festival becomes a little more comprehensible. After twenty years, you achieve an inner calm and the festival takes logical form. As I head to my thirtieth Cannes this week, it all makes sense.”
Isabel Stevens, writing for the BFI, sees the programmers taking a few more risks this year.