The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival begins on May 14 – exactly two months away, that is. But the Festival has the awesome ability to create a kind of buzz that no other event manages to. In all my 28 years at Cannes, I have hardly ever found a parallel elsewhere.
Right from announcing the jury President to listing the selections three weeks before the Festival at the French Riviera opens, the excitement is apparent. And what is more, speculations about what will be in at Cannes become a hot topic with the media and the men who throng the Croisette, Cannes' beach-front.
And here is a list of some probables that we may find on the Cannes' official selections that the Festival General-Delegate, Thierry Fremaux, will unveil in Paris in about five weeks time.
As is being widely anticipated, Fremaux would be keen on getting the streaming giants, Netflix and Amazon, into the Cannes race this time. Last year, he failed in the face of stiff opposition from France's powerful cinema exhibition and distribution lobbies. They said the web platforms cannot screen their Cannes Competition titles before releasing them theatrically. Cannes thus lost a whole lot of good movies, like Roma, to Venice!
Now, let us see some of the Netflix titles which may be keen on arriving at the Croisette. Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat and David Michod's The King, adapted from Shakespeare are some.
Besides these, the other films waiting to screen at Cannes are aplenty.
Spanish legend Pedro Almodovar -- who made both Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem into great stars, and who are now husband and wife – has been to Cannes six times with his work which included All About My Mother, Volver and Broken Embraces. Almodovar will be hopefully ready for Cannes with Pain and Glory, which will have Antonio Banderas and Cruz. Much like Satyajit Ray who was most comfortable with Soumitra Chatterjee, Almodovar appears to be fond of Banderas (with eight movies) and Cruz (with six). Banderas will play a film director in Pain and Glory ruminating over the choices he made in the past – till the past walks up to him and say's hi.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the 2010 Palm dÓr in 2010 with Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, a movie I did not much care about. But the man turned into an “arthouse darling”. His latest outing, Memoria, will have Tilda Swinton, whose adventures in the jungles of Colombia takes a frightening turn.
The Traitor, helmed by Marco Bellocchio, may see him for the eighth time at Cannes. The movie is a biopic of the first high-ranking member of the Cosa Nostra who broke the Sicilian Mafia’s oath of silence.
The Dardenne Brothers are one of my favourites. Their Rosetta – about a 17-year-old girl's struggles with her alcoholic mother – won the 1999 Palm dÓr. They made some more brilliant films like Graduation and Two Days One Night, and now in keeping with times, they have created Ahmed, a provocative story about religious radicalism and how it messes up the life of a young boy.
Canada's Atom Egoyan has also given us some wonderful stories in Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter. This year, he may be at Cannes with Guest of Honor -- a twisted psychodrama about a father and his young daughter who wants to remain in jail for an offence she did not commit.
(Author, commentator and movie critic has covered Cannes for 28 years, and will be back on the Croisette this May)
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