Even as the rumble of anticipation grows louder in the run-up to the Cannes Film Festival, opening on Wednesday, big news has come out of two other major festivals today. The Festival del film Locarno has announced that Apichatpong Weerasethakul will be Jury President for the Concorso internazionale (International competition) for the 65th edition, running August 1 through 11. Cannes will be presenting a Special Screening of Apichatpong’s Mekong Hotel and the Playlist‘s Simon Dang has a first batch of images. Here’s one:
The Venice International Film Festival will be awarding the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Francesco Rosi during its 69th edition, running August 29 through September 8. Meantime, following a long round of negotiations, the Rome International Film Festival has finally approved a three-year contract for its new artistic director, Marco Müller, formerly Venice’s AD. Camillo De Marco has details at Cineuropa.
Looking back on this year’s editions of the Berlinale and SXSW are Olaf Möller and Mark Asch, respectively. Also in the new May/June issue of Film Comment: Laura Kern on Bobcat Goldthwait’s God Bless America, Kent Jones on Richard Linklater’s Bernie, Dan Sullivan on Alex Ross Perry’s The Color Wheel, Nicolas Rapold on Djinn Carrénard’s Donoma, Jesse P. Finnegan on Jem Cohen’s Gravity Hill NEWSREELs and a list of the best movies never made.
Now then. Cannes. Blogging for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Robert Koehler handicaps the Palme d’Or: “Let’s work by process of elimination, taking into account the past sixteen years, an ample time period to parse trends and which also happens to include films by some directors in this year’s competition.” It’s a game, of course, but if you play along, you may be surprised by his tip for the winner. Bob Koehler, by the way, will be on the Jury for the Nespresso Grand Prize for La Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week).
More Cannes previewing: Guy Lodge has been taking it one film at a time at In Contention. Oliver Lyttelton presents the Playlist‘s “15 Most Anticipated Films.” Actually, the Playlist is on a roll today, turning up first clips from Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly, Lee Daniels’s The Paperboy and Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt. For Vanity Fair, Julie Miller reports that James Toback and Alec Baldwin may be planning to shoot a mockumentary on the Croisette with the bustling festival as a backdrop. And the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw wonders what might have happened if the icon of this year’s 65th anniversary edition, Marilyn Monroe, had ever actually attended the festival.
In perhaps the most imaginative promotional gag yet, Robert Pattinson, who’ll be starring, of course, in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, has come up with the idea of posing as characters in Cronenberg’s other films for a photo shoot for Premiere France. Movies.com‘s Erik Davis has several samples of the results.
In the works. “Roman Polanski’s next film will be the political thriller D, based on the notorious Dreyfus Affair.” Pamela McClintock has details in the Hollywood Reporter: “‘I have long wanted to make a film about the Dreyfus Affair, treating it not as a costume drama but as a spy story,’ Polanski said in announcing the project. ‘In this way one can show its absolute relevance to what is happening in today’s world—the age-old spectacle of the witch hunt on a minority group, security paranoia, secret military tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, governmental cover-ups and a rabid press.'”
“Guillermo Del Toro will co-direct Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio with Mark Gustafson, animation director on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, as a 3D stop-motion animated production of the Jim Henson Company,” reports Variety‘s Dave McNary.
In other news. Béla Tarr has given the press a preview of the curriculum for the three-year course he’ll be teaching at the the University of Split in Croatia, reports Vladan Petkovic for Cineuropa. Among those lecturing to a total of 16 students during the first year will be Jim Jarmusch, Gus Van Sant, Aki Kaurismäki (the recently announced winner of this year’s Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Film Award, by the way), Carlos Reygadas, Atom Egoyan, Fridrik Tor Fridriksson, Tilda Swinton, Tarr’s cinematographer Fred Kelemen, and film critics Jean-Michel Frodon, Jonathan Romney and Jonathan Rosenbaum.
New York. The New York Asian Film Festival, running June 29 through July 15, has announced that its opening night film will be “Pang Ho-cheung’s astonishingly filthy, extremely hilarious Vulgaria, a movie about making movies, shot in just 12 days, all about gangsters named Brother Tyrannosaur, sleazy lawyers, the sex film industry, and men who love donkeys a little too much.” Choi Min-Sik will be on hand to present Nameless Gangster, there’ll be a special focus on Taiwanese films, and Ben Umstead has more at Twitch.
Obits. Joyce Redman, nominated twice for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, once for playing Emilia in Othello with Laurence Olivier and once for playing Jenny in Tom Jones with Albert Finney, has died in Kent, aged 96, following a short illness, reports the BBC.