FESTIVAL de CANNES
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.
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.