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CANNES 2018

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.

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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:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 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:
film review
trailer
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
 by Matteo Garrone and Loro [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 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 [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
 by Poland’s Pawel PawlikowskiThe House That Jack Built [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lars von Trier
film profile
]
 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 [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
 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 [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 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:
trailer
film profile
]
 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 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
film profile
]
 by Alice Rohrwacher and Sunset [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: László Nemes
film profile
]
 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 [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by China’s Bi Gan, which has an immense buzz around it. And obviously, we mustn’t underestimate the chances of Donbass [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sergei Loznitsa
film profile
]
 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 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mike Leigh
film profile
]
 by the UK’s Mike Leigh.

Emerging among the main outsiders are Summer [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ilya Stewart
film profile
]
by Russia’s Kirill SerebrennikovThe Nightingale by Australia’s Jennifer KentAngelo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Markus Schleinzer
film profile
]
 by Austria’s Markus SchleinzerThe Souvenir – Part 1 by the UK’s Joanna HoggRoads by Germany’s Sebastian Schipper and Quién te cantará [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Vermut
film profile
]
 by Spaniard Carlos Vermut.

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

Animated film could well secure a prominent place on the Croisette with Dilili in Paris [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by France’s Michel Ocelot and The Tower [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mats Grorud
film profile
]
 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 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jaime Rosales
film profile
]
 by Spaniard Jaime RosalesGirl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lukas Dhont
film profile
]
 by Belgium’s Lukas DhontMonos by Colombian-Ecuadorian director Alejandro Landes and Mister Freeze [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Romain Gavras
film profile
]
 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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