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CANNES 2018

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A new phase for Cannes?

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- As Asghar Farhadi’s new effort is revealed as the opening film, here’s a summary of the rumours flying around one week before the unveiling of the 71st Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection

A new phase for Cannes?
Dogman by Matteo Garrone

By moving to ban selfies on the steps of the Palais des Festivals in order to preserve the sheer glamour of the red carpet, and by giving precedence to official screenings over press screenings so as to protect the artists and allow them to get the most out of the world premieres of their films, General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux has clearly got his message across: he is making an attempt to recover the festival in the face of the social network-obsessed part of society and its downward spiral.

But will this change of direction also apply to the choice of films in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival (8-19 May)? This is the rumour doing the rounds in Paris at any rate, hinting at a number of surprises to be expected and the absence of any of the great “regulars” in competition.

For the time being, though, we know that a bankable star will be opening proceedings at the gathering, with Everybody Knows [+see also:
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 by Iran’s Asghar Farhadi (carried by its trio of stars Penélope CruzJavier Bardem and Ricardo Darin – produced by Spain, France and Italy), which will be shown in competition (see the article). 

So which titles are currently generating the biggest buzz in Paris? The Italian duo of films Dogman [+see also:
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 by Matteo Garrone and Loro [+see also:
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 by Paolo Sorrentino (with uncertainty surrounding the form of the film, the two instalments of which may potentially be combined into one single version), Cold War by Poland’s Pawel PawlikowskiThe House That Jack Built [+see also:
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 by Denmark’s Lars von Trier (who would be returning to the Croisette for the first time since he was banished in 2011; the content of the film is once again pretty explosive, by all accounts) and The Wild Pear Tree by Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

Several names from North America continue to pop up rather insistently – namely, Under the Silver Lake by David Robert MitchellDomino by Brian De Palma and Black Klansman by Spike Lee.

Proudly occupying pole position for Asian cinema are Three Faces by Iran’s Jafar PanahiAsh Is Purest White by China’s Jia Zhangke (even though several problems related to the classification bureau in its home country still have to be resolved) and Burning by South Korea’s Lee Chang Dong

The titles from Latin America starting to rear their heads include Tremors by Guatemala’s Jayro Bustamante and The Quietude [+see also:
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 by Argentina’s Pablo Trapero, while Roma by Mexico’s Alfonso Cuarón remains shrouded in considerable mystery.

Still in with a chance are Lazzaro felice by Alice Rohrwacher and Sunset by Hungary’s László Nemes, which the selection committee is due to watch in the coming days, as well as Long Day’s Journey Into Night by China’s Bi Gan, which has an immense buzz around it. And obviously, we mustn’t underestimate the chances of Donbass by Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa (any trace of which he seems to be keeping under the radar), while a great deal of uncertainty is hovering over the fate of Peterloo by the UK’s Mike Leigh.

Emerging among the main outsiders are Summer by Russia’s Kirill SerebrennikovThe Nightingale by Australia’s Jennifer KentAngelo by Austria’s Markus SchleinzerThe Souvenir – Part 1 by the UK’s Joanna HoggRoads by Germany’s Sebastian Schipper and Quién te cantará by Spaniard Carlos Vermut.

The heavyweight French hopefuls (the selection of which is traditionally made on the eve of the press conference) are Maya by Mia Hansen-LoveAt War [+see also:
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 by Stéphane Brizé and An Impossible Love by Catherine Corsini, but apparently Amanda by Mikhaël Hers, Sorry Angel by Christophe Honoré and Mademoiselle de Joncquières by Emmanuel Mouret are also still involved in the second round of voting for the Official Selection. Also, bear in mind that Non Fiction by Olivier Assayas and The Summer House by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi have not yet been viewed. 

Animated film could well secure a prominent place on the Croisette with Dilili in Paris by France’s Michel Ocelot and The Tower by Norway’s Mats Grorud

Lastly, standing out among the films whose directors’ names come up time and time again for a place in the parallel sections, including in Un Certain Regard, are Petra by Spaniard Jaime RosalesGirl by Belgium’s Lukas DhontMonos by Colombian-Ecuadorian director Alejandro Landes and Mister Freeze [+see also:
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 by Romain Gavras, among others.

For various reasons (release strategies, post-production lagging too far behind, the selectors’ choices and so on), the latest movies by Xavier DolanClaire DenisBarry JenkinsLuca GuadagninoNaomi Kawase and Jacques Audiard will allegedly not be taking part (although who knows – one could still envisage the odd last-minute entry). 

Of course, in the shifting sands of all these rumours, this list of possible contenders must be considered with the utmost caution. The final verdict will be made on 12 April during the press conference in Paris, where Thierry Frémaux will reveal the identities of the happy few titles in the Official Selection and the list of the candidates duking it out for the Palme d’Or, which will be handed out by a jury chaired by Australian actress Cate Blanchett (see the news).

(Translated from French)

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