Monday, April 24, 2006

Cannes Film Festival

With the lineup recently unveiled for the 59th Cannes film fest, the big question is where is David Lynch? (It starts May 17, by the way, if you just happen to have a few thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket and want to do some stargazing.)

His upcoming "Inland Empire," described as a "Mulholland Drive"-style mystery starring Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons and Harry Dean Stanton, was rumored to be a favorite to make the feature competition list. Maybe he just didn't finish it in time.

Even without him, the festival features a strong lineup of filmmakers old and new (I'll only mention the ones I've heard of, but the full list of films in competition is at the end.)

If I had to handicap the field, I'd predict a Latin director will triumph. I'm most excited about Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Babel," which stars Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael Garcia Bernal in three interlocking (I think) stories set in Tunisia, Mexico and Japan. I loved his "21 Grams," and am ashamed to say I didn't manage to see the equally great "Amores Perros" until a week ago.

Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro should also be a favorite with "Pan's Labyrinth," set in Franco's Spain, and don't forget about Pedro Almodovar, who should return to form with "Volver," a drama about three generations of women featuring Penelope Cruz and the welcome return of Carmen Maura. If you're lucky enough to live in one of our bigger cities, keep your eyes out for an Almodovar retrospective featuring remastered cuts of eight of his best flicks.

The Americans are led by Sofia Coppola and Richard Linklater. Though I'll gladly watch Kirsten Dunst do just about anything, I just have a bad feeling about Coppola's "Marie Antionette." Don't know why, especially with Jason Schwartzman, Asia Argento, Rip Torn and Marianne Faithfull in on the fun. I hope I'm wrong, because though "Lost in Translation" got all the (mostly deserved) attention, Coppola's "Virgin Suicides" is one I've watched about five times now and is the work of a first-rate director. See it now.

Linklater will be in competition with "Fast Food Nation," an oddity that seems to be a fictionalized "Super-Size Me." Much more exciting is his upcoming take on Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly," which only has star Keanu Reeves going against it and will be shown out of competition at Cannes. Keanu's presence should at least guarantee this one makes it out here to wide-release world.

Only one more to mention: The always serious Ken Loach represents Britain with "The Wind that Shakes the Barley," featuring Cillian Murphy in a portrait of Irish Republicans.

There are many more movies in competition, but those are the ones I would want to see if I were, well, going to the festival.

As usual, the jury room sounds like a great place to party. In case he needed more proof that he's the coolest cat on the planet, Samuel L. Jackson gets to hang with Zhang Ziyi, Monica Bellucci and Helena Bonham Carter, among others, and watch and judge flicks. What a hard life.

Here's the list of flicks in competition:

Director: Pedro Almodovar, Spain

Red Road
Director: Andrea Arnold, Britain

La Raison du Plus Faible (The Weakest Is Always Right)
Director: Lucas Belvaux, Belgium

Indigenes (Days of Glory)
Director: Rachid Bouchareb, Algeria

Iklimler (Climates)
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey

Director: Sofia Coppola, U.S.

Juventude Em Marcha (Youth on the Move)
Director: Pedro Costa, Portugal

El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth)
Director: Guillermo Del Toro, Mexico

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mexico

Laitakaupungin Valot (Lights in the Dusk)
Director: Aki Kaurismaki, Finland

Southland Tales
Director: Richard Kelly, U.S.

Fast Food Nation
Director: Richard Linklater, U.S.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley
Director: Ken Loach, Britain

Summer Palace
Director: Lou Ye, China

Il Caimano (The Caiman)
Director: Nanni Moretti, Italy

L'Amico di Famiglia (The Family Friend)
Director: Paolo Sorrentino, Italy

Flandres (Flanders)
Director: Bruno Dumont, France

Selon Charlie (Charlie Said)
Director: Nicole Garcia, France

Quand J'etais Chanteur (I Did it my Way)
Director: Xavier Giannoli, France


themarina said...

I think there was some talk that Lynch was having problems finishing the latest offering. I hope we do manage to see it a little later this year.

As for "A Scanner Darkly" - I hadn't heard about it being shown at Cannes. This is good news considering that the release date has been continuously pushed back. This is a good indication that we may see it this summer.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think we will get Scanner late this summer ... Lynch's movie sounds like a real oddity, but how could it not be? It should be fun, if we ever see it