Updated through 5/9.
Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux announced that, out of 1715 submissions, 49 features from 33 countries have been selected in total for this year's Cannes Film Festival — four of them made by women, a record. 19 titles are lined up for the Competition so far, leaving room for surprise announcements from here on to the Opening Ceremony on May 11.
Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Inhabit. As noted yesterday, here's what Variety's Justin Chang had heard as of this past weekend: "In late March, it seemed that Almodóvar, a Cannes veteran who won prizes for All About My Mother and Volver, might skip the event altogether this year. Since 2004's Bad Education, the helmer has presented every one of his films in competition at the May fest, usually following a spring local release. The Sept 2 Spanish release date for The Skin That I Inhabit (which Sony Classics will release Stateside in November) may have led Almodóvar to initially target one of the fall festivals. Cannes officials have apparently convinced him to reconsider. Described as a rare foray into horror-thriller territory, pic reteams Almodóvar with star Antonio Banderas for the first time since Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990). Its Cannes presence would bolster a competition that was looking lighter on star wattage and auteurial heft than many had anticipated." Update, 4/19: The Playlist has new stills. Update, 4/20: Guy Lodge at In Contention on what we might expect. Update, 5/8: First teaser (30 seconds).
Bertrand Bonello's L'Apollonide: Souvenirs de la maison close (House of Tolerance). From Films Distribution: "At the dawn of the XXth century, in a brothel in Paris, a man disfigures a prostitute for life. She is marked with a scar that draws a tragic smile on her face. Around the woman who laughs, the life of other girls, their rivalry, their fears, their joy, their pain...From the external world, nothing is known. Their world is closed. " Update, 4/21: In Contention's Guy Lodge looks into it. Update, 4/29: Blake Williams has a poster at Ioncinema.
Alain Cavalier's Pater. From Pathé: A comedian and cinéaste create a fiction...? Update, 4/25: "The internet is currently not rife with details on this entry, but we do know that the film is a two-hander of sorts, headlined by the veteran director himself and sturdy 51 year-old French star Vincent Lindon (seen most recently in last year's Mademoiselle Chambon), both seemingly appearing as themselves," writes Guy Lodge at In Contention. "In the last decade, Cavalier has shifted from narrative cinema to more self-reflexive video diaries straddling drama and documentary. His latest, pitched as a comedy, appears to be a further excursion in that vein, though the synopsis offered by French distributor Pathé is otherwise cryptic, promising viewers a glimpse of the director and his leading man 'at once in real life and in the fiction they have invented together.'"
Joseph Cedar's Footnote. From Ioncinema: "Cedar's long awaited follow-up to the Oscar-nominated Beaufort. Surprisingly enough, Cedar shied away from big productions after the impressive war movie he directed in 2007. His new film is expected to be much more humble. It will tell the story of two professors competing each other, as both of them are up for a prestigious award. Those two professors are also father and son. The film will see the return of Shlomo Bar-Aba to the big screen after 22 years (he spent most of this time on the theater stage. The son will be played by Lior Ashkenazi (Late Marriage)." Ioncinema's just added links to trailers and posters. Update, 4/27: Notes from Guy Lodge at In Contention.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. In January, Christopher Bell wrote at the Playlist, "Little is known about the project other than the fact that it is his 'biggest production yet' and that the entire movie will be set in the Anatolia steppe, a vast ecoregion between the Mediterranean and Black Sea that takes up most of Turkey. The grassland plains and prominent sky seems right up NBC's alley, and we're excited to see whether this leans toward his early slice-of-life non-narratives or the more genre-focused [Three Monkeys]." Update, 4/28: At In Contention, Guy Lodge assesses what little we know so far. Update, 5/6: Trailer.
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike). From Ioncinema: "Sick of waiting for a father who has placed him in a children’s home after promising to come back for him, 11-year-old Cyril runs away and returns to the apartment where they lived together. He knocks at the door — no answer. Pursued by youth workers from the home, Cyril seeks refuge in a medical office located on the ground floor. Unable to escape his pursuers, He rushes into the arms of a young woman (Cécile de France) sitting in the waiting room…" More on the production at Wikipedia. The Playlist has a poster. Update, 4/15: And now the Playlist has a trailer, too. Update, 4/30: Notes from Guy Lodge at In Contention.
Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre. #32 on Ioncinema's list of the top 100 most anticipated films of the year. Wikipedia notes that the film stars André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Blondin Miguel and Elina Salo. "It tells the story of a shoeshiner who tries to save an immigrant child in the French port city Le Havre… It is Kaurismäki's second French-language film, after La Vie de Bohème from 1992… Kaurismäki had the idea of a film about an African child arriving in Europe three years before the production started. He considered setting the story in Marseille and port cities in Spain and Portugal, but found Le Havre to be the ideal location: 'It is a great place to work and Le Havre is a perfect name for the movie.'" Update, 5/2: More from Guy Lodge again.
Naomi Kawase's Hanezu no Tsuki. As noted yesterday, Eric Lavallee points out that the "film is set in the Asuka period which was known for its significant artistic, social, and political transformations — we're talking only 500 years AD." Update, 5/4: At In Contention, Guy Lodge notes that Thierry Frémaux has "described the film as one that tackles 'the issue of the future of the globe, from a philosophical point of view.' The film's cryptic official synopsis (peppered with helpful lines like 'the mountains were an expression of human karma') suggests an across-the-centuries study of Japan's rural Hasuka region, landing upon two young protagonists in the present day, their story 'representing the uncountable souls that have accumulated in this land.' I suppose it'll add up when we see it, while the film's environmental themes could prove timely in light of Japan's recent misfortunes." Update, 5/6: Séptimo Vicio has three stills.
Julie Leigh's Sleeping Beauty. Back in September, the Playlist noted that Emily Browning was replacing Mia Wasikowska in the lead and that the film ha been described as "a haunting erotic fairy tale about a student who drifts into prostitution and finds her niche as a woman who sleeps, drugged, in a 'Sleeping Beauty chamber' while men do to her what she can‘t remember the next morning." FirstShowing has a trailer. Update, 4/29: Two posters, one from Australia, another from France. Update, 5/5: At In Contention, Guy Lodge notes that the buzz is impressively loud for a first features.
Maïwenn's Polisse. Fabien Lemercier for Cineuropa back in September: "With a script written co-written by Maïwenn and Emmanuelle Bercot (who also co-stars), the plot centres on how Fred, a rebel at the juvenile division in Paris, falls for Mélissa, a photographer appointed by the Ministry for the Interior to do a documentary on him. Torn between Fred and the world that is open to him, and her fickle and rich conductor husband, François, how will Mélissa, from her very bourgeois 16th arrondissement of Paris cope with understanding the violent reality of Fred's life?" Update, 5/6: Guy Lodge's notes at In Contention.
Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (image above). What's left to be said at this point about one of the most anticipated films of the year? You'll find Fox Searchlight's plot synopsis on the film's page. Here's the trailer. The site. The tumblr. Perhaps most interestingly for now, from the Wikipedia page: "In an October 2008 interview, production designer Jack Fisk, a longtime Malick collaborator, suggested that the director is attempting something radical. He also implied that details of the film are a close secret. In early March 2009, visual effects artist Mike Fink revealed to Empire Magazine that he was working on scenes of prehistoric Earth for the film. The similarity of the scenes Fink describes to descriptions of a hugely ambitious project entitled Q that Malick worked on soon after Days of Heaven has led to speculation that The Tree of Life is a resurrection of that abandoned project. The website aintitcool.com has since reported that the prehistoric scenes are being filmed for a separate, IMAX-specific project 'depicting the birth and death of the universe.' That film is being described as 'not narratively connected' to The Tree of Life; rather they are 'thematically complementary pieces.' In a March 2011 interview, the visual effects supervisor, Dan Glass, stated that the film would feature microbial and astronomical imagery, along with dinosaurs. He summarized the film as 'a very powerful movie about memories, emotions, and our place in the world.'" Update, 5/4: For Total Film, Josh Winning recaps what we know about the long road to the making of this film.
Radu Mihaileanu's La source des femmes (The Source). Last July, John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy reported in Variety that Luc Besson's EuropaCorp had teamed up with Paris-based Elzevir Films to produce the screenplay Mihăileanu's written with Alain-Michel Blanc, "his co-scribe on The Concert, which was one of Europe's biggest arthouse breakouts in 2009… The Source is set in an isolated village where women threaten to withdraw their sexual favors if the men don't bring water to save them from an uphill walk to the area's sole well." Update, 5/7: Guy Lodge's notes at In Contention.
Takashi Miike's Ishimei (Hari-Kiri: Death of a Samurai). Evidently a remake of Masaki Kobayashi's classic Harakiri — in 3D. "And this just after his remake of the 1963 samurai film 13 Assassins played Venice and Toronto," noted Ben Umstead at Twitch in September. "Tatsuya Nakadai starred in the original 1962 film as a disillusioned samurai who exacts revenge on the clan leaders who forced his son-in-law to commit ritual suicide (aka seppuku, the cutting or disemboweling of the stomach). Miike's version will star the current holder to the Kabuki stage name Ebizo Ichikawa, aka Shinosuke Ichikawa VII." Update, 4/29: Twitch has a 30-second teaser. Update, 5/8: Guy Lodge, notes, In Contention.
Nanni Moretti's Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope). The site. Eric Lavallee has a trailer and adds, "Written by Moretti with Francesco Piccolo and Federica Pontremoli, this is about a Pope (Michel Piccoli) who decides he doesn't want the job as soon as he's elected. Moretti will play a psychiatrist called in by the Vatican to resolve the problem." Updates, 4/15: News of the film's selection arrived just as it'd screened for the press in Italy, and Vittoria Scarpa was there for Cineuropa: "'It's hard to say who I identified with,' said the director, winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes 2001 for The Son's Room, 'probably both the psychotherapist and the depressed Pope. A Pope that, not coincidentally, I wanted to shoot in civilian clothes in Rome, taking a bus, going to the theater.'" The Hollywood Reporter's Deborah Young predicts that "fans of Moretti, the political activist and beacon of uncomfortable truths, will wonder where he left the mordant, oft-times savage humor and fierce political satire of Mass Is Over and his Silvio Berlusconi send-up, The Caiman. Here the storyteller overpowers the moralist in every sense. Not a hint of clerical sex scandals clouds the surreal image of frolicking white-haired Cardinals; the most critical line in the film suggests the Church needs a leader who will bring great change, but even that plays as an offhand remark. Those looking for a probing study of religious faith, in the vein of Marco Bellocchio's The Religion Hour/His Mother's Smile, are knocking on the wrong church door." Update, 4/19: The film's received mixed reviews from the Vatican, reports Ben Child for the Guardian. Update, 5/8: Guy Lodge, notes, In Contention.
Lynn Ramsey's We Need to Talk About Kevin. In February, when Sterling Wong reported for MTV that Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood would be writing the score, he included a synopsis: "[Tilda] Swinton plays Eva, a loving and strong-willed mother who raises a troubled son, Kevin, who eventually become a high school mass murderer. In an attempt to come to terms with her son's actions, she writes a series of letters to her estranged husband ([John C] Reilly) recounting the events that might have led to the tragedy. If it's anything like its critically acclaimed source material, the film will be disturbing and thought-provoking, tackling heady issues of nature versus nurture and the psychology behind teen murders. The tone of the accompanying score, then, must be dark and bordering on creepy, something Greenwood undoubtedly has a firm handle on. After all, his previous scoring credit was for Paul Thomas Anderson's brilliant and menacing There Will Be Blood, an effort that led to a slew of awards." Update, 4/15: The Playlist's got stills. Update, 5/9: Guy Lodge's notes at In Contention.
Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. For Indie Movies Online, Paul Martin talks with Ryan Gosling about turning to Refn for this adaptation of James Sallis's novel. "With the plot centering on an anonymous Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as an ace underworld getaway driver, an impressive supporting cast for Drive was swiftly assembled. Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks and Christina Hendricks all joined, with Carey Mulligan signing up as the neighbor in need of Gosling's speed freak's help (Mulligan apparently told Refn that her character might be clichéd if anyone but her played to it, to the director's delight)." Set to open in the US on September 16. Update, 5/7: Trailer. Update, 5/8: The Playlist has a batch of new images.
Markus Schleinzer's Michael. From the Austrian Film Institute: "Michael describes the last five months of 10-year-old Wolfgang and the 35-year-old Michael's involuntary life together." Schleinzer co-runs a casting agency and has appeared in numerous films himself; filmportal.de lists the highlights. Update, 4/28: Cineuropa's Fabien Lemercier has a statement from Agathe Valentin, head of international sales at Les Films du Losange: "Michael is a very strong film from a psychological point of view. Markus Schleinzer, who is Michael Haneke's casting assistant, was very surprised by the number of child disappearances and decided to look into this issue. But his approach to the subject is not at all sensationalist and his directing is very rigorous. Its selection in competition at Cannes is obviously good news: fewer than ten debut features have had this chance over the last decade. It really marks the birth of a director." Update, 5/9: Notes from Guy Lodge.
Paolo Sorrentino's This Must Be the Place. Simon Dang's report for the Playlist back in January probably makes for the most interesting read on this one. "Sorrentino made a name for himself at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival with his film Il Divo but he'll more than likely soon be better known worldwide for his upcoming music-centric revenge tale, This Must Be The Place, starring Sean Penn and Frances MacDormand. The project won't just share a title of a song by New York New-Wavers Talking Heads though, as that band's lead singer David Byrne is going meta in scoring and writing original music for the film." With Will Oldham, no less. Dang nabs quotes from David Jenkins's interview with Byrne for Time Out London, in which he notes he'll have a "tiny role" himself though he hopes audiences won't notice him. "'[Sorrentino] works amazingly well with his cinematographer, Luca Bigazzi,' Byrne added. 'I don't know if they had it figured out ahead of time, but they had a really specific way of covering each scene. It looked very beautiful and precise.'" Update, 4/15: The Playlist has what looks to be an outtakes reel, albeit one put together with some care. Update, 5/4: From Vittoria Scarpa at Cineuropa: "'With This Must Be the Place I wanted to use some autobiographical elements as well. And seek out a more essential approach to directing,' he said in an interview with the magazine Sette of Italian daily paper Corriere della Sera. 'It is about a father-son relationship with numerous gaps, as mine very much was with my own father.' He added: 'Until now I’ve used a lot of fireworks in my visuals. I wanted to take a step back and give more room to the authenticity of the characters. I saw the very first film of the Lumière brothers when they invented cinema and they documented their life in their neighborhood in Lyon. Those silent images enchanted me with their simplicity, joy, the sense of life they conveyed.'" Update, 5/10: Guy Lodge's notes.
Lars von Trier's Melancholia. From Russ Fischer at /Film in February: "Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Alexander Skarsgård, Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier, and explores the responses of two different women (played by Dunst and Gainsbourg) to the impending end of the world…. And if you missed his comments last year, the director has already revealed that some of the most explosive moments in the — the physical ones, at least — come right at the beginning. Lars Von Trier had a few things to say about Melancholia as quoted in Politiken: 'In Melancholia I start with the end. Because what is interesting is not what happens but how it happens! So we begin by seeing the world being crushed, then we can tell the story afterwards… In this way you don't have to sit and form theories about what will happen, but can delve down into some other levels and become interested in the pictures and the universe — that's what I imagine.'" Update, 4/28: New poster.
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Bakur Bakuradze's The Hunter. 'Sbout "an ordinary Russian man, Ivan, leading a rural life, working, loving, existing," reports RT. "Bakuradze was quoted as saying that he wanted to make a film about 'a man's love of soil, of his daughter, to a woman, to the past generation.' The challenge was to 'watch a person who lives on his own soil, and is dependent entirely on himself. He kills, he creates and takes responsibility for his world.'" More.
Andreas Dresen's Halt auf freier Strecke. From The Match Factory: "Frank and Simone Lange haven't got a care in the world. Their dream has come true. They live with their two children in a little terraced house in the suburbs. Their lives are completely on track. That is until the day that Frank is diagnosed with a brain tumour and the family is suddenly confronted by death. They try to pull together but often they find themselves miles apart. Frank's thoughts are on dying while Simone and the children worry about what will happen afterwards." Update, 5/7: Revolver has stills.
Bruno Dumont's Hors Satan. According to Ioncinema, it's "about a strange character who leads a secluded life in the Pas de Calais dunes where the demon roams. Near a hamlet, river and marshes, dwells a strange fellow who lives from hand to mouth, poaches, prays, and lights fires. He is close to a farmer's daughter who looks after him and feeds him. By murdering the girl's father, who is violent towards her, helping a kid who is seized by strange pains and killing a guard, this fellow drives evil away from the hamlet and its inhabitants, in a fight against the Devil, until a miracle occurs."
Sean Durkin's Martha Marcy May Marlene. Premiered at Sundance, so we've already got a hefty roundup, including a video interview with Durkin featuring clips. Update, 5/4: And now there's a trailer.
Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas's Trabalhar cansa (Travailler fatigue) (Hard Labor). According to Último Segundo (with the help of Google's translator), the title refers to a poem by Cesare Pavese though the screenplay's not based on it. Helena Albergaria and Marat Descartes play a couple start their own business, a mini-market. Dutra and Rojas have had shorts in Un Certain Regard before and are now working on a horror project. Update, 5/9: Anny Gomes interviews Dutra for Ioncinema.
Robert Guédiguian's Les neiges du Kilimandjaro (The Snows of Kilimanjaro). From Screenrush.co.uk: "In a safari hunting camp at the bottom of Kilimanjaro, the adventurer writer Harry Street lies dying from an infection. Helped by whisky and the support of his loving wife, he tries to come to terms with his own death through reflecting on his own life."
Oliver Hermanus's Skoonheid (Beauty). From the Global Film Initiative: "A middle-aged man struggles to suppress his latent sexual desires, only to realize that among many other problems, he has an unhealthy and destructive obsession with his friend's teenage son."
Hong Sang-soo's The Day He Arrives. Surprised by how little there is to be found at present. At the very least, here's one image. Update, 4/27: From Ask Drama: "Sang-Joon (Yu Jun-Sang) is a professor in the film department at a provincial university. He goes to Seoul to meet his senior Young-Ho (Kim Sang-Jung ) who works as a film critic. Sang-Joon stays in a northern village in Seoul for 3 days..." Terrific trailer.
Cristián Jiménez's Bonsái. From the San Sebastian Film Festival: "Julio is studying literature in Valdivia and he falls in love with Emilia. Years later, he meets a writer who needs someone to transcribe a novel. A secretary who charge less than him get the job, but Julio doesn't give it up and decides to produce a manuscript that seems identical to the one he saw during his job interview. Without a plot, he turns to the novel that had linked him to Emilia when he was a student."
Eric Khoo's Tatsumi. Twitch's Todd Brown introduces the trailer: "A tribute to the work of celebrated manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi by Singaporean director Eric Khoo, Tatsumi is a most unusual film. Using elements from Tatsumi's autobiographical A Drifting Life, and short stories 'Hell,' 'Beloved Monkey,' 'Just A Man,' 'Occupied,' and 'Good Bye' the film is partial fiction and partial biography as based on Tatsumi's own autobiography as brought to life by someone other than Tatsumi. Got that clear in your head?"
Kim Ki-duk's Arirang. A documentary, evidently. Still looking for more on this one. Anybody? Update, 4/27: Various sources suggest that this will be a personal film for Kim Ki-duk in which he addresses his “disappearance” over these past three years in which he’s been dealing with health problems. Trailer.
Nadine Labaki's Et maintenant on va où? Wikipedia on this followup to Labaki's debut, Caramel (2007): "Where do we go now? tells the story of a Lebanese village inhabited by both Muslims and Christians. Women inside the village are determined to protect their community from some outside forces that are trying to bring inter-religious tensions inside."
Catalin Mitulescu's Loverboy. "Mitulescu's film tells the story of Luca, a 20 year-old young guy who lives in Hârşova, a small town near the Danube," writes Marin Apostol at Ioncinema. "Luca seduces girls, makes them fall in love with him and passes them on to a human trafficking network in Constanţa. The policemen call this technique the 'falling in love' method and the ones doing it are named 'loverboys.' Luca's life changes when he falls in love with a girl named Veli. He's willing to give up everything he did before to be with her." The trailer's more of a making-of music video.
Na Hong-jin's Yellow Sea. From Korean Cinema Today: "The Yellow Sea is an action thriller that portrays the story of a down-and-out man from the Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture in China who crosses the sea to Korea to find his wife and pay off his debts by carrying out a contract killing — but ends up framed and being chased by the police and hitmen. It is also the first Korean production to get investment from 20th Century Fox. Earlier on in its pre-production stage, when it was tentatively titled The Murderer, the project won the Hong Kong Asian Film Financing Forum's 2009 HAF Award and pre-sold to French distributor Wild Side Films. Mostly all of this was based on the strength of the director's first offering, The Chaser."
Gerardo Naranjo's Miss Bala (Miss Bullet). Site. Twitter. Based on the story of Laura Zúñiga, a Mexican model who won the title of Miss Sinaloa in 2008, was arrested two months later for her alleged ties to the Juárez Cartel and stripped of her titles. Zúñiga was released from the detention center on January 30, 2009 after the judge found no evidence that tied her to any criminal activity. Update, 4/29: Watch a clip on our page for the film.
Pierre Schoeller's L'exercice de l'Etat (The Exercise of State The Minister). From Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: "Scripted by Schoeller, the film centers on Transport Minister Bertrand Saint-Jean ([Olivier] Gourmet) and his principal private secretary ([Michel] Blanc). It opens with the latter waking the former in the middle of the night to tell him that a coach has left the road in an accident. 'How many fatalities? Any children? Let’s go. We have no choice.' Thus begins the odyssey of a statesman in an increasingly complex and hostile world. Fast pace, power struggles, chaos, economic crisis… Everything connects and conflicts. One emergency quickly follows another. How is democracy doing? It’s shaky but still standing, on the move and still on track…"
Ivan Sen's Toomelah. From the site: "The film is set entirely in the remote Indigenous community of Toomelah, located on the NSW, QLD border. It was created as a mission during the 1930s, bringing together Gamilaroi and Bigambal people from the surrounding area. The story centers on Daniel, a small ten year old boy who dreams of being a gangster. He is kicked out of school and befriends a local gang leader, until a rival gangster arrives back from jail to reclaim his turf. A showdown ensues and Daniel is caught in the middle, leaving him with a choice to make about his uncertain future."
Joachim Trier's Oslo, August 31st. "One man, one city, 24 hours." The Norwegian Film Institute notes that this film "by Joachim Trier and the team behind the highly acclaimed Reprise" is "inspired by the cult novel Le feu follet. Oslo, August 31st is a portrait of contemporary Oslo. A visually striking and quietly shattering drama about a man in deep existential crisis." Update, 4/15: The Playlist has stills.
Gus Van Sant's Restless opens the program on May 12. From the IMDb: "The story of a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII." With Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper. Trailer.
Update, 5/4: At Ioncinema, Eric Lavallee reports that Un Certain Regard will close with Andrei Zvyagintsev's Elena, adding that "the Russian filmmaker who gave us The Return (Venice 2003) and The Banishment (Cannes 2007) will be working the film until the very last minute with the story of an elderly woman who has lived with her rich husband in a large, comfortable home tries to rescue her alcoholic son from poverty and give his family the opportunity for a better life that she alone could not provide."
OUT OF COMPETITION
Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. You can watch the trailer just about anywhere, but also at the site. From the Facebook page: "This is a romantic comedy set in Paris about a family that goes there because of business, and two young people who are engaged to be married in the fall have experiences there that change their lives. It's about a young man's great love for a city, Paris, and the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better. It stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni, among others."
Frederikke Aspöck's Labrador (Out of Bounds). From the Swedish Film Database: "An isolated, windswept island. A young couple, Stella and Oskar, visit Stella's father Nathan, who lives alone with his Labrador. Stella is pregnant and looking forward to the birth of their child, but Oskar seems less certain. Confused by the relationship between father and daughter, Oskar falls victim to Nathan's provocations and a conflict between the two men becomes inescapable, with Stella caught in the middle."
Peter Chan's Wu Xia. For the Wall Street Journal, Dean Napolitano met Chan on the set back in November and asked, "How do you plan to 'redefine' the martial-arts genre with Wu Xia?" Chan: "All our period films seem to be mixed with martial arts and action. But period films actually have many different genres — love stories, thrillers, crime dramas — and I think we never see these period films in complete authenticity. We never see the details of life, and we never feel like we're transported in time." WSJ: "What attracted you to the story?" Chan: "Wu Xia is about a man who's in hiding, but his identity is unraveling and he needs to deal with his past. I always believed that wu xia and the gangster genre are pretty similar. Once you step into that world you can never get out." Update, 5/6: Twitch has pix.
Xavier Durringer's La conquête (The Conquest). The trailer pretty much says it all, but in Variety, Boyd van Hoeij does add that "Fremaux insisted in Paris that reports in some local papers about outside pressure concerning a possible selection were not true." Update, 5/8: "Sarkozy has been brandishing a three-page handwritten letter from the actor who plays him," reports Angelique Chrisafis in the Guardian. "Denis Podalydès is one of France's biggest theatre stars, a leftwinger whose line in Shakespearean figures like Richard II has set him up well for playing right-winger Sarkozy's 2007 rise to power. He recently wrote to Sarkozy explaining his role in the film, which the president has taken as an admission that the film isn't too cruel." And here's the poster.
Jodie Foster's The Beaver. Gathered up a big healthy round of first reactions when the film premiered last month at SXSW. Scroll about a third of the way down. When you see Mel Gibson, stop. As one would.
Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist. A silent comedy set in Hollywood in 1927. Star George Valenin (Jean Dujardin) sees the onset of sound as a threat to his career, while young dancer Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) sees it as an opportunity. Update, 5/4: It's competing now; see below.
Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Number 4. Ok, the IMDb: "Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too." We might safely assume here that the only real difference between this one and the previous three is that Keira Knightley has been replaced by Penélope Cruz.
Update, 4/25: "Last year's main competition juror Shekhar Kapur will return to Cannes this year as producer of an out-of-competition film Bollywood, The Greatest Love Story Ever Told," reports Patrick Frater for Film Biz Asia. "The festival describes Bollywood as a film 'that brings together the most beautiful moments in the history of Indian musical films, with all their moving pageantry and dance,' and the film as 'a swirling and poignant montage.'"
First, expect plenty of coverage this year. Accreditations are up ten percent over 2010.
Eric Lavallee at Ioncinema: "Making Venice extremely happy we don't find: Giorgos Lanthimos, Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, Aleksandr Sokurov, Christophe Honoré, Lou Ye, Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Brillante Mendoza." Read on for further instant analysis of the lineup.
"Cannes re-establishes a kind of cultural brand-identity by rehearsing the names of those heavyweight auteurs in which it has made a long-term investment." The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw scrolls through the lineup, commenting along the way.
And the 2011 Short Film Competition: "Completing the list of the Official Selection of the 64th Festival de Cannes, and composed this year of nine films from nine different countries, the 2011 competition brings together a great variety of cinematographic concepts, differing in style, genre, length and national origin."
Update, 4/26: And here's the Cannes Classics lineup.
Update, 4/27: The Festival has posted an update, noting, "Amongst the innovations of the 2011 edition is the idea of welcoming a guest country to Cannes each year; Egypt will be the first country, chosen this year to begin the tradition." The tribute, happening on May 18, will feature screenings of 18 jours, "a work grouping the short films of Sherif Arafa, Yousry Nasrallah, Mariam Abou Ouf, Marwan Hamed, Mohamed Aly, Kamla Abou Zikri, Sherif El Bendari, Khaled Marei, Ahmad Abdallah and Ahmad Alaa," a new copy of Facteur (Al Bostagui) by Hussein Kamal (1968) and Le Cri d’une fourmi by Sameh Abdel Aziz (2011).
Special screenings have also been added: Plus jamais peur by Mourad Ben Cheikh (Tunisia), "a documentary about the Tunisian revolution. A delegation of Egyptian filmmakers will also take part in the opening night upon the invitation of French Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand." And The Big Fix by Josh Tickell (USA), a documentary produced by Peter Fonda.
Updates, 5/4: The Festival made three announcements today, one of them rather odd: Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist, originally slated to screen Out of Competition, has been added to the Competition to make for a lineup of an even 20. Several of us have been hoping that at least one of the films mentioned in that first round of reactions a few paragraphs above would be added; instead, we wait and carry on hoping.
The other two items are about completing the juries. The Jury Un Certain Regard, presided over by Emir Kusturica, will include Elodie Bouchez, Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw, Tribeca's Geoffrey Gilmore and Daniela Michel, director of the Morielia Festival. And this section sees an addition to its lineup, too; see above.
Added to the Camera d'Or jury, presided over by Bong Joon-ho: French critic Danièle Heymann, Eva Vezer, head of Magyar Filmunio, cinematographer Robert Alazraki, Daniel Colland, manager of Cinedia Laboratory, Jacques Maillot and critic Alex Masson.
Update, 5/5: Guy Lodge posts his thoughts on The Artist's promotion to the Competition lineup at In Contention.
Updates, 5/6: 50 interviews with directors and actors who've made their debuts in Critics' Week.
Adrian Curry looks back over the decades at the best posters for the festival.
Update, 5/7: A weekend surprise from the Festival. Even though they each face a sentence of six years in prison and a 20-year employment ban, Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof will have new films in the Official Selection.