Loving Vincent (2016)
Beauty and the Dogs (2017)
The Square (2017)
Let the Corpses Tan (2017)
Giant (2017)
Spoor (2017)
On Body and Soul (2017)
previous
next
Choose your language en | es | fr | it

"I’m drawn to films that come from where you don’t expect them to"

email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+

Charles Tesson • General Delegate of Critics’ Week

by 

- Charles Tesson, the General Delegate of Critics’ Week at Cannes, comments on his selection for 2016

Charles Tesson  • General Delegate of Critics’ Week
(© Aurélie Lamachère / Semaine de la Critique)

Charles Tesson, the General Delegate of Critics’ Week (the 55th edition of which will be held from 12 to 20 May as part of the 69th Cannes Film Festival), shares the secrets behind his 2016 selection (see article). 

Cineuropa: How would you define your 2016 selection?
Charles Tesson: Each film has a different character and rhythm, but all of them are engaged in some way, with assertive methods of cinematic expression, in the way they are directed and the way they broach their subject matter. Some of the films are carried along by very strong aesthetics, as is the case with Mimosas [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Oliver Laxe
film profile
]
by Oliver Laxe, a film about an expedition to Morocco that is a human adventure and a sort of immense epic. Other films are also journeys, but in memory of a nation, a journey into its history or through the present as in Diamond Island [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Davy Chou, which is an example of what it means to be 18 years old in modern-day Cambodia in the wake of Pol Pot and the country’s globalisation. I could also cite Albüm [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Mehmet Can Mertoglu
film profile
]
by Turkish director Mehmet Can Mertoglu, which takes an inward look at the Turkish middle class with much irony. I’m also struck by the maturity of these young filmmakers, who don’t just settle for using film to reflect their generation, but tackle real adult issues pertaining to the world today and its socio-economic messes. 

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

What about the geographic distribution of your selection, most notably the absence of films from North and South America and your European choices?
It was a radical decision to make, as last year we had two Latino films, Land and Shade [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Paulina [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which took home the Caméra d’Or and the Critics’ Week Grand Prix respectively, with It Follows for the United States the previous year. That set the bar very high in terms of points of reference. And then, in the role of discovery of Critics’ Week, I’m drawn to films that come from where you don’t expect them to, which suddenly appear and bring us something new, like Tramontane [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Lebanon or A Yellow Bird [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
from Singapore. As far as Europe is concerned, Italy is represented by Happy Times Will Come Soon [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Alessandro Comodin, a beautiful and very poetic film, a sort of sensory ode to nature. A number of Italian films piqued our interest, as did many very good Scandinavian films, in particular from Denmark, which we short-listed. The United Kingdom put forward some interesting films, and our short list also included a Russian film, a Bulgarian film and a Romanian film. In contrast, young Spanish cinema didn’t really grab our attention, with the exception of Oliver Laxe who is somewhat of a special case. Last but not least, it’s the first time we’ve had a Turkish film in Critics’ Week since 2005. 

Out of competition you have selected two French comedies.
We weren’t looking specifically for comedies, and these are funny films, but that’s not all they’ve got going for them. Victoria [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Justine Triet
film profile
]
elaborates on the theme from Act of Panic [+see also:
film review
trailer
festival scope
film profile
]
 with the portrayal of a young mother who is raising her children alone and whose job takes over her life. In the more comfortable production context of this film, Justine Triet lost nothing along the way: she went into detail, made improvements, and the result is a resounding success. In Apnée [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, it is a group of anarchic eccentrics that wreak havoc. This is a film that isn’t trying to be perfect, but is very funny, and is about marriage for everyone, banks, work, the difficulty of finding somewhere to live. I really like this somewhat ill-timed tone that has wormed its way into the present day. 

This year, seven debut feature films have been selected for Un Certain Regard. Was there a lot of rivalry between the sections?
We got all the films we wanted. In fact, we got films that the other sections wanted, which means that our work is not only valued, but recognised by those in a position to choose. But overall, what’s most important for the films we like is that they feature at Cannes, and this is something that we agree on with General Delegate of Directors’ Fortnight Edouard Waintrop. Everyone has their reasons and that works very well. Each selector asks themselves questions about the positioning of their own selection. For Un Certain Regard last year it was Weerasethakul, Kawase, and Kurosawa, very well-known names, and this year, Thierry Frémaux perhaps wanted to re-balance things and send a message about debut films and new discoveries. It’s very positive because there are more films that Cannes can’t take, and there will be other success stories after us at Locarno, Venice and San Sebastián. It’s perfect because it means that film is in a good state of health.

(Translated from French)

Newsletter

EPI Distribution
LIM

Follow us on

facebook twitter rss