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CANNES 2019

A slew of masters and new faces to vie for the 2019 Cannes Palme d’Or

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- 8 filmmakers are locking horns in the Cannes competition for the first time, flanked by 9 directors who have already won awards on the Croisette; suspense still surrounds Tarantino and Kechiche

A slew of masters and new faces to vie for the 2019 Cannes Palme d’Or
Sibyl by Justine Triet

Onlookers may have thought that the daring selection successfully rustled up last year by Cannes General Delegate Thierry Frémaux was nothing more than a result of the circumstances at the time, but the unveiling of the Official Selection of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (14-25 May) today in Paris – particularly the titles in the competition line-up – was a scathing rebuttal to those who had predicted that the wind of change bringing fresh blood to the Croisette was about to completely die down, favouring the “regular” filmmakers accustomed to the upper echelons of the French gathering. Admittedly, some very big names will be participating, in particular at least four former winners, with Brit Ken Loach (Palme d’Or in 2006 and 2016 – his 14th time taking part), Belgium’s Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Palme d’Or in 1999 and 2005 – their eighth time) and the USA’s Terrence Malick (Palme d’Or in 2011 – his third time), and the coming weeks may well see the list swell with the addition of the USA’s Quentin Tarantino (Palme d’Or in 1994) and, according to Cineuropa’s sources, France’s Abdellatif Kechiche (Palme d’Or in 2013), whose movies are still at the final stages of editing. However, despite this, there is still a very strong overriding scent of freshness in the air, with eight directors in the starting blocks who are novices at this lofty level: France’s Céline Sciamma and Justine Triet, French-Malian director Ladj Ly, French-Senegalese helmer Mati Diop, Austria’s Jessica Hausner, Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu, the USA’s Ira Sachs and China’s Diao Yi’nan (Golden Bear at Berlin in 2014).

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In addition to these previously awarded names and the wave of first-time contenders, there will also be a bunch of filmmakers whose talents have already been more than borne out, including five directors who have previously won prizes (either directly or via their actors) on the grand stage of Cannes’ Lumière Theatre: the USA’s Jim Jarmusch (his eighth time taking part), Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar (sixth time), France’s Arnaud Desplechin (sixth time), Palestine’s Elia Suleiman (third time) and Canada’s Xavier Dolan (third time). Also returning to the hunt for the Palme d’Or are Italy’s Marco Bellocchio (seventh time), South Korea’s Bong Joon-ho (second time) and Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho (second time, and who has this time co-directed with Juliano Dornelles – who, for his part, will be taking his baby steps in competition).

This fine generational balance in the competition (comprising 19 titles for the time being) therefore looks set to generate a very appealing and exciting selection in terms of quality and the diversity of styles and genres, with Thierry Frémaux (flanked by the president of the festival, Pierre Lescure) having mentioned an overarching thematic flavour revolving around romanticism and politics. On a geographical level, Europe largely dominates the line-up this year, with ten titles in the running for the Palme d’Or: four from France (Sciamma, Triet, Desplechin, Ly), one from Spain (Almodóvar), one from Italy (Bellocchio), one from the UK (Loach), a duo of Belgian brothers (the Dardennes), one from Romania (Porumboiu) and one from Austria (Hausner). As things stand, North America is pinning its hopes on four films (Malick, Jarmusch, Sachs and Dolan), while Asia will be represented by three participants (Diao Yi’nan, Joon-ho and Suleiman), and Latin America by only one (the duo Mendonça Filho and Dornelles). Africa will be involved via Mati Diop’s feature debut, which was shot in Dakar. Lastly, it’s worth noting that four female directors will be in competition this year.

The Official Selection also includes a tantalising out-of-competition strand, with two episodes of the series Too Old to Die Young by Denmark’s Nicolas Winding RefnRocketman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by the UK’s Dexter Fletcher, the documentary Diego Maradona [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by his fellow countryman Asif Kapadia, and the French titles The Best Years of a Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by France’s Claude Lelouch and La Belle époque by his fellow countryman Nicolas Bedos. And that’s not to mention Special Screenings for films by Werner HerzogAbel FerraraAlain Cavalier and Pippa Bianco, and the 15 titles in Un Certain Regard (including features by Bruno DumontChristophe Honoré, Óliver Laxe and so on - read news).

Here is the list of titles announced so far:

Competition

The Dead Don't Die [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Jim Jarmusch (US/Sweden) (Opening)
Pain & Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antonio Banderas
film profile
]
 - Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)
The Traitor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
Parasite - Bong Joon-ho (South Korea)
The Wild Goose Lake [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Diao Yinan (China/France)
Young Ahmed [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne (Belgium/France)
Oh Mercy! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Arnaud Desplechin (France)
Atlantique [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mati Diop
film profile
]
 - Mati Diop (France/Senegal/Belgium)
Matthias and Maxime - Xavier Dolan (Canada)
Little Joe [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
 - Jessica Hausner (Austria/UK/Germany)
Sorry We Missed You [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Ken Loach
film profile
]
 - Ken Loach (UK/France/Belgium)
Les Misérables [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile
]
 - Ladj Ly (France)
A Hidden Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Terrence Malick (Germany/US)
Bacurau [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juli…
film profile
]
 - Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles (Brazil/France)
The Whistlers [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Corneliu Porumboiu (Romania/France/Germany)
Frankie [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Ira Sachs (France/Portugal/Belgium/US)
Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Céline Sciamma (France)
It Must Be Heaven - Elia Suleiman (France/Germany/Canada/Turkey)
Sibyl [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Justine Triet (France/Belgium)

Out of Competition

La Belle époque - Nicolas Bedos (France)
Rocketman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Dexter Fletcher (UK/US)
Diego Maradona [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Asif Kapadia (UK)
The Best Years of a Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Claude Lelouch (France)
Too Old to Die Young - Nicolas Winding Refn (US) (TV series)

Midnight Screenings

The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil - Lee Won-Tae (South Korea)

Special Screenings

Share - Pippa Bianco (US)
Living and Knowing You're Alive [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
 - Alain Cavalier (France)
Tommaso [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Abel Ferrara (Italy)
Family Romance, LLC. - Werner Herzog (US)
For Sama [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
film profile
]
 - Waad Al Khateab & Edward Watts (UK/US)
Let it Be Law - Juan Solanas (Argentina, France)

(Translated from French)

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