Cannes Film Fest 2018: Modest (Less Starry and High-Profile) Competition

New movies from Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), Jean-Luc Godard (“The Image Book”) and Oscar-winning “Ida” director Pawel Pawlikowski (“Cold War”) are in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Fest.

They join the previously announced Solo: A Star Wars Story, making for a lineup that’s considerably less Hollywood starry than in years past.

In general, US films are few and far between.

It Follows director David Robert Mitchell will present his thriller Under the Silver Lake.

Egyptian-made “Yomeddine” was directed by NYU Tisch graduate A.B. Shawky.

and Brazilian director Joe Penna (whose English-language “Arctic” will bow in the Midnight section) resides in Los Angeles.

At the press conference in Paris, artistic director Thierry Frémaux explained that his programming team deliberately selected work by lesser-known and in some cases unheard-of directors.

Absences include a number of “the usual suspects” — established directors such as Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Mike Leigh to whom Cannes typically invites high-profile spots for each new film.

Also missing is Naomi Kawase from a lineup that is otherwise heavy with Asian directors, including a pair of Iranians: Jafar Panahi with “Three Faces” and Asghar Farhadi, who made opening-night selection “Everybody Knows” (starring Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem) in Spain.

The competition program includes just three female filmmakers, prompting Frémaux to reiterate his position that “the films that were selected were chosen for their own intrinsic qualities,” not the gender of their directors. Acknowledging the importance of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, he said, “The world will never be the same again … and we will question our own practices about the gender parity” in salaries and jury representation, but stressed that “there will never be a selection with a positive discrimination for women.”

Cannes: Losing Power and Prestige?

Frémaux countered criticisms that the festival may be losing its power to attract high-profile films, suggesting that prize-winning directors Xavier Dolan and Jacques Audiard had not turned down a formal invitation to screen in Cannes, but rather, were still editing their respective films, “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” and “The Sisters Brothers.”

He noted that American companies in particular can get nervous about how a film’s reception  in Cannes can impact its awards and box office chances, admitting, “When you are on a strategy of a late fall release, Cannes might not be the ideal place to show a film.”

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Speak Your Mind

*