Film industry weapons for a fresh start at Cannes

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Paris (AFP) – The Cannes Film Festival hopes to revive the industry’s hopes with another star-studded lineup to be announced on Thursday.

After a slow return to cinema following the Covid-19 pandemic, the movie business is expecting a boost on the French Riviera when the 75th edition of the world’s biggest film festival returns from May 17-28.

Tom Cruise is already confirmed for the festival promoting the world premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick,” the sequel to his 1986 blockbuster. Also in attendance is Tom Hanks, who co-stars in “Elvis” as the rock’n’roll star’s manager. roll, Colonel Tom Parker.

The latter is the latest show from Australian director Baz Luhrmann, who previously lit up Cannes with “Moulin Rouge!” and “Gatsby”.

The rest of the lineup will be announced on Thursday, including the 20 or so films competing for the Palme d’Or.

The selection committee, which has worked its way through more than 2,000 entries in recent weeks, has a tough act to follow after last year’s vintage edition.

After the festival was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020, it released several films that were successful worldwide, most notably “Drive My Car.”

After garnering three awards at Cannes, it won this year’s Oscar for best international film and was the first Japanese film to be nominated in the best film category.

Last year’s Cannes jury awarded first prize to Julia Ducournau’s body horror film ‘Titane’. Christopher Simon AFP

Big name speculation

Last year’s jury, headed by American director Spike Lee, awarded the Palme d’Or to Julia Ducournau’s body horror film “Titane”, ensuring that the festival maintained its reputation for pushing forward-thinking, audacious cinema alongside exciting entertainment. stellar.

The organizers have been slow to announce who will chair the jury this year, but Penélope Cruz and Marion Cotillard are among the favorites according to industry experts.

Movie insiders have also been combing through release schedules for ideas on who might be in competition.

Many are hoping to see the return of David Cronenberg, whose upcoming sci-fi/horror crossover stars Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart and Lea Seydoux.

Also tipped well is Aussie George Miller, the man behind “Mad Max,” who takes a new direction with “Three Thousand Years of Longing” about a djinn (played by Idris Elba) who offers Tilda Swinton three wishes.

Another possibility is Terrence Malick, who previously won for “Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt. His new movie follows the life of Jesus Christ and stars Mark Rylance as Satan.

Although women have had a greater presence on the festival circuit, they remain underrepresented.

A possible candidate to compete in Cannes could be the American director Kelly Reichardt, with her new film, “Showing Up”. Her lo-fi hit “First Cow” was on many critics’ year-end lists in 2021.

Many movie fans are hoping to see director David Cronenberg's new film announced on the festival's lineup.
Many movie fans are hoping to see director David Cronenberg’s new film announced on the festival’s lineup. Alberto PIZZOLI AFP

shadow of war

Like everything in the arts at the moment, the Russian invasion of Ukraine hangs over the selection.

Possible names include exiled Russian filmmaker Kantemir Balagov, 30, whose film “Beanpole” won the Un Certain Regard directing award in 2019.

Or there may be the return of Kirill Serebrennikov, who was unable to attend Cannes last year for his Palme-nominated “Petrov’s Flu” after being banned from travel due to a controversial court case.

A possible Ukrainian entry is a film about the Allied destruction of German cities at the end of World War II by director Sergei Loznitsa.

Meanwhile, festival director Thierry Fremaux has been pushing for a change to the rule barring streaming platforms from competing at Cannes.

But French film distributors, who have a seat on the festival’s board, continue to block the move even as big-name directors like Martin Scorcese and Jane Campion have turned to Netflix and other streaming services for financial support.

In the short term, that means the long-awaited Marilyn Monroe biopic “Blonde,” starring Ana de Armas, a Netflix movie, can’t compete for Palme, though fans are still hoping it will open on the Côte d’Azur. . .

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