WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE CON­TENDERS Very lit­tle has been dis­closed about the of­fi­cial se­lec­tion, but we think the films be­low are cer­tain to make an ap­pear­ance.

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Movie: The Tale of Tales Genre: Com­edy, Ro­mance,Sci-Fi Coun­try: Italy Di­rec­tor: Mat­teo Gar­rone Cast: Salma Hayek and Vin­cent Cas­sel

An­other likely con­tender is ‘ The Tale of Tales’. Shot in Italy, it’s a truly am­bi­tious project that’s based on Ital­ian poet and writer Gi­ambat­tista Basile’s sem­i­nal mas­ter­piece ‘ The Pen­tamerone’. Writ­ten in Neapolitan di­alect be­tween 1634 and 1636 it is con­sid­ered one of the best Ital­ian baroque lit­er­ary oeu­vres of all time. It’s also con­sid­ered as the first mod­ern fairy tale col­lec­tion con­tain­ing the orig­i­nal ver­sions of ‘ Cin­derella’ and ‘ Sleep­ing Beauty’ as well as other well known fa­bles. It has been a source of in­spi­ra­tion for many writ­ers in­clud­ing the fa­thers of the Broth­ers Grimm and Hans Chris­tian An­der­sen. Though the in­for­ma­tion is scarce, we know that Gar­rone will be fo­cussing on only three of the 50 tales con­tained in the vol­ume. We can’t wait to see how this gritty and re­al­is­tic di­rec­tor will in­ter­pret these well known fairy tales, which are much less child friendly than their best known ver­sions. Mat­teo Gar­rone, when asked about the film, said ‘I chose to en­ter Basile’s world and make it my own be­cause when I read them I im­me­di­ately felt these sto­ries were some­thing fa­mil­iar. I re­ally con­nected with their spirit, their irony and also with their dark as­pects. In his fa­bles I found that mix of real and un­real that has al­ways char­ac­terised what I strive for as an artist. This project could seem far-re­moved from the rest of my work to date. But ac­tu­ally I think it pretty much fits in with what I’ve done so far. Among my movies, “The Em­balmer,” or “First Love” or even “Go­morra,” and also “Re­al­ity” all had fa­ble-like el­e­ments. Per­haps in those cases I took my cue from re­al­ity to trans­fig­ure it into a fan­tasy-like, or dream­like, di­men­sion. Whereas this time I’m do­ing the re­v­erse. I’ve taken fa­ble-like sit­u­a­tions and turned them into some­thing more re­al­is­tic and be­liev­able.’

Movie : The Lob­ster Coun­try: Greece Di­rec­tor: Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos Cast: John C. Reilly, Colin Far­rell, Rachel Weisz and Lea Sey­doux

Af­ter ‘ Dog­tooth’ and ‘Alps’, we’re pretty much ready for what­ever Greek di­rec­tor Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos has to throw at us next, and it looks like he has a doozy com­ing our way. He’s man­aged to round up an all-star cast for his next ef­fort ‘ The Lob­ster’. The story, as al­ways, is any­thing but con­ven­tional. It takes place in a dystopian fu­ture where sin­gle peo­ple are ar­rested and forced to find a mate in 45 days. If they don’t find one they can ei­ther be trans­formed into an an­i­mal of their choos­ing or get re­leased into the woods.

Movie: The As­sas­sin Genre: Ac­tion Coun­try: China Di­rec­tor: Hou Hsiao-Hsien Cast: Qi Shu, Chang Chen, Satoshi Tsum­abuki, Ethan Ruan and Nikki Hsieh, with Ni Da­hong, Zhang Shijun, Michael Chang, Jiang Wen, Zuo Xiao­qing

Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s long-in-the-mak­ing ‘The As­sas­sin’ may fi­nally be ready. It is no se­cret that he is a master of his art. Of the ten films that Hsiao-Hsien Hou di­rected be­tween 1980 and 1989, seven re­ceived best film or best di­rec­tor awards from pres­ti­gious in­ter­na­tional films fes­ti­vals in Ven- ice, Ber­lin, Hawaii, and the Fes­ti­val of the Three Con­ti­nents in Nantes. In a 1988 world­wide crit­ics’ poll, Hou was cham­pi­oned as ‘one of the three direc­tors most cru­cial to the fu­ture of cinema.’ In ‘The As­sas­sin’, a project long in ges­ta­tion, with ini­tial scenes film­ing as way back as 2010, pro­duc­tion on Hou Hsiao-Hsien casts his usual muse Shu Qi. Based on a short story, this about a fe­male as­sas­sin dur­ing the Tang Dy­nasty (618-907 A.D.) who be­gins to ques­tion her loy­al­ties.

Movie: Black Mass Genre: Ac­tion/Thriller Coun­try: The United States of Amer­ica Di­rec­tor: Scott Cooper Cast: Dakota John­son, Si­enna Miller, Johnny Depp, Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, Juno Tem­ple, Kevin Ba­con and Joel Edger­ton

If big names and star power is what catches your fancy then “Black Mass” should be on your books for the one to look out for. From the Unites States, Scott Cooper’s ‘Black Mass’ is an ac­tion thriller that tells the true story of Whitey Bul­ger; the brother of a state se­na­tor and the most in­fa­mous vi­o­lent crim­i­nal in the his­tory of South Bos­ton. Fol­low­ing a string of vi­o­lent ac­tions, he be­came an FBI in­for­mant for 30 years in or­der to take down a Mafia fam­ily in­vad­ing his turf.

Movie: Love in Khon Kaen Genre: Drama Coun­try: Thai­land Di­rec­tor: Apichat­pong Weerasethakul Cast: Ban­lop Lom­noi, Jen­jira Pong­pas

A pre­vi­ous Palme d’Or win­ner, Thai­land’s Apichat­pong Weerasethakul will show­case ‘Love in Khon Kaen’, which is go­ing to fo­cus a lone­some mid­dle-age house­wife who tends a soldier with sleep­ing sick­ness and falls into a hal­lu­ci­na­tion that trig­gers strange dreams, phan­toms, and ro­mance. The 44 year old has achieved mile­stones while work­ing out­side the strict con­fines of the Thai film stu­dio sys­tem, Weerasethakul has di­rected sev­eral fea­tures and dozens of short films. Themes re­flected in his films, and fre­quently dis­cussed in in­ter­views, in­clude dreams, na­ture and sex­u­al­ity, in­clud­ing touch­ing upon his own ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. Cinema cognoscenti ap­pre­ci­ate his atyp­i­cal nar­ra­tives, plac­ing ti­tles/cred­its in­be­tween the film and work­ing with non ac­tors.

Movie: Bom­bay Vel­vet Genre: Drama Coun­try: In­dia Di­rec­tor: Anurag Kashyap Cast: Ran­bir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, and Kay Kay Menon

In­dian Di­rec­tor Anurag Kashyap, who Cannes claimed as it’s own dis­cov­ery, could also be in town with his Fox Star Stu­dios-backed ‘Bom­bay Vel­vet’, a very-big bud­get 1960s noir with main­stream and crit­i­cally ac­claimed In­dian ac­tors Ran­bir Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, and Kay Kay Menon among the huge cast. Anurag has al­ready di­rected Gangs of Wasssey­pur, a 6 hour drama that pre­miered in the Direc­tors Fort­night and has re­ceived the Or­der of Arts and Letters from French Cul­ture Min­is­ter Aure­lie Filip­petti. His for­mer As­sis­tant Vas­ant Bala’s work , ‘Ped­dlers’ has also been fea­tured in the Crit­ics Week be­fore. Along with all of this, he contributed a seg­ment to om­nibus film ‘Bom­bay Talkies’ which pays homage to 100 years of In­dian Cinema and gets a spe­cial gala screen­ing at the fest. It is safe to say that he may well be the un­of­fi­cial am­bas­sador of In­dian Films at Cannes.

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