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Cannes 2012. Directors' Fortnight Lineup

Raúl Ruiz, Pablo Larraín, Michel Gondry, Ben Wheatley...
The Daily

Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of Directors' Fortnight, has presented the lineup for this year's edition, running from May 17 through 27.

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Merzak Allouache's El Taaib. Evene claims it's an angry film aimed at the malaise of Algerian society.

Rodney Ascher's Room 237. A documentary about the plethora of theories that have sprung up over the years regarding just what Stanley Kubrick was up to when he made The Shining (1980). More here. IFC Midnight picked up North American rights just yesterday.

Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner's Ernest et Célestine. From the makers of A Town Called Panic, this is an animated adaptation of a series of books about a little mouse who doesn't want to become a dentist and a big bear who doesn't want to become a notary. Site.

Benjamin Ávila's Infancia clandestina. From the San Sebastian Film Festival: "Juan lives in clandestinity. Just like his mum, his dad and his adored Uncle Beto, outside his home he has another name. At school, Juan is known as Ernesto. And he meets Maria, who only has one name. Based on true facts, set in the Argentina of 1979, this film is 'one about love.'"

Massoud Bakhshi's Yek Khanévadéh-e Mohtaram (A Respectable Family). From Tavoos, which also has a director's statement: "A family drama set in the heart of Iran after the revolution, at the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war and today, 30 years after. The main character Arash (37) is the second son of his family. He was sent to France to study. In 2008, he's back in Iran, lives with his mother and teaches sociology at the university of Shiraz. Both have cut off all relations with the rich and powerful father and his son Jafar, who is Arash's step brother. The father dies and leaves a huge amount of money to Arash and his mother who does not want to accept this money. Arash, on the other hand, wants to go back to France and decides to accept it. He leaves Shiraz, with his friendly nephew Hamed, and goes to Tehran to attend his father's funeral. On the way, his past is revived in his mind. 1982, his father is in charge of distributing subsidized goods. When Arash's mother and older brother Amir (16) discover stolen goods in the father's basement, a fight breaks out. His violent reaction forces Amir to leave for the front. He is killed in the war shortly after. As the death of her firstborn pushes the mother into a depression, the father, who's now a 'martyr's father' climbs quickly up the social ladder and becomes extremely rich and respected. Jafar who follows his father in this 'career' becomes even richer than him. Once in Tehran, Arash has to confront a new Jafar and his enigmatic son Hamed…"

Rachid Djaïdani's Rengaine (Hold Back). Evene claims it deals with the lives of Franco-Arab women.

The We and the I

Michel Gondry's The We and the I. Opening Night Film. In September, Edward Davis wrote at the Playlist that "we've confirmed with his reps that the film centers on a group of school kids who travel into the future by mistake and discover a machine that keeps people younger. Here's the catch. That premise is evidently accurate... 'for now.' Does that mean this story is in flux as its shooting? Are they making it up as they go? Could it change from here on out?" First image via the Playlist.

Hur Jin-Ho's Dangerous Liaisons. Another adaptation of the 18th century novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. The Global Times reported in June: "With a script authored by well-known Chinese writer Yan Geling, Dangerous Liaisons will be set in 1930s Shanghai and focus on a high-class Shanghainese gentleman engaged in complicated relationships with three different women. According to Chen Weiming, CEO of Zonbo Media, the film was first planned as early as 2001, with Hong Kong film legend Leslie Cheung in talks to play the lead. Cheung’s tragic suicide in 2003, however, put the project on hold indefinitely." With Zhang Ziyi, Jang Dong-gun, Cecilia Cheung, Shawn Dou and Lisa Lu.

Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur. From the Wikipedia entry: "The film is about the coal mafia in Dhanbad (Jharkhand) and has turned out to be a two-part marathon, each two hours and 40 minutes in length. 'You won't feel the weight of the duration. The narration is that slick. Working in this film I felt I had gone back to acting school. It's a new beginning for me,' says [actor Manoj Bajpai] excitedly." With Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Richa Chadda.

Pablo Larraín's No. According to Variety, Gael García Bernal plays an advertising executive "who changes the course of history…. Inspired by true events, No takes place before the 1988 referendum staged by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to gain a further eight-year term in office. Adopting a brilliantly upbeat advertising campaign, the 'No' campaign won the plebiscite, ousting Pinochet. 'Garcia Bernal's character will be the guy who had the idea of using a nice, happy, positive message instead a dark one,' said Larraín. 'That's why they won: They didn't attack Pinochet. They just promised a better and nicer future.'"

Noémie Lvovsky's Camille redouble. Closing Night Film. From AlloCiné: Camille was 16 when she met Eric. They fell madly in love and had a daughter... 25 years later, Eric leaves Camille for a younger woman. On New Year's Eve, Camille suddenly finds herself confronted with her past. She's 16 again and has reunited with her parents, her friends, her childhood... and Eric. Will she run away and try to change the course of her life? Will she fall in love with him, even though she knows how their story will end? With Lvovsky, Samir Guesmi, India Hair, Judith Chemia, Yolande Moreau, Michel Vuillermoz, Denis Podalydès and Jean-Pierre Léaud.

Yulene Olaizola's Fogo. From the Fogo Island Arts Corporation back when Olaizola had a residency there: "Yulene's project consists of shooting a feature film during her 3-month residency period. Yulene wants to make a fiction film using a documentary approach, where the main characters are nonprofessional actors; community members from Fogo Island. The film tells the story of the deterioration of a small community in Newfoundland, where the people are forced to leave and resettle. But, in spite of the imminent change, there are a few residents who decide to remain."

Bruno Podalydès's Adieu Berthe, l'enterrement de mémé. From AlloCiné: In full midlife crisis, Armand (Denis Podalydès) navigates between his job as a pharmacist and his passion for magic. He's also torn between his wife, Hélène (Isabelle Candelier), and his mistress, Alix (Valérie Lemercier).

Jaime Rosales's Sueño y silencio. Yoland and Oriol take their family on holiday in the Ebro Delta in Spain. A car accident results in the death of their eldest daughter; the father's in a coma. Rosales tells El País that the film deals with emotions, perceptions and spirituality.

La noche de enfrente

Raúl Ruiz's La noche de enfrente. Based on stories by Chilean author Hernán del Solar, Ruiz's first film financed entirely in Chile since Little White Dove (1973) centers on a retired man facing death and reliving episodes from his childhood. A week and a half after Ruiz completed his final cut last August, he died in Paris.

William Vega's La Sirga. From the Sebastian Film Festival: "Alicia feels lost. The memory of war clings to her mind in a terrifying rumble. Thrown off her land by armed conflict, she tries to build a new life at 'La Sirga,' a rundown boarding house on the shore of a large lagoon high up in the Andes mountain range. The place is owned by Oscar, her only surviving relative, an unsociable, solitary old man. There, in a miry, unstable beach, Alicia tries to plant new roots, until her fears and the threat of war reappear once again." With Joghis Arias, Julio César Roble, David Guacas, Heraldo Romero, Floralba Achicanoy, Heraldo Romero.

Nicolas Wadimoff's Opération Libertad. From Swiss Films: "Geneva late 1970s. The GAR, a group of young leftist revolutionaries, robs a bank with known ties to a South American dictator. They film everything on video, including a statement by the bank’s director confirming the collaboration. Yet nothing of the incident is mentioned in the press afterwards. The government and the bank deny everything. Now 30 years later, the videotapes, believed lost, have re-emerged."

Elie Wajeman's Alyah. From AlloCiné: Paris 2011. Alex, 27, sells drugs and lives in the shadow of his brother Isaac. When his cousin tells him he's opened a restaurant in Tel Aviv, Alex considers starting over. With Pio Marmai, Cédric Kahn, Adèle Haenel and Aimé Vaucher.

Pablo Stoll Ward's 3. From the site: "For Rodolfo (Humberto de Vargas), life at home feels empty and cold, as if he doesn't belong there. Meanwhile, his first wife Graciela (Sara Bessio) and their teenage daughter, Ana (Anaclara Ferreyra Palfy), are going through defining moments in their lives. Subtly, Rodolfo will try to slip back into the place he once had next to them and walked away from ten years ago. 3 is a comedy about three people condemned to the same, absurd fate: being a family."

Ben Wheatley's Sightseers. In February, indieWIRE's Nigel M Smith asked Wheatley: "What can you tell me about your next film Sightseers?" Answer: "Sightseers is a comedy, so it's the funnier end of Down Terrace rather than the brutal, horrible end of Kill List so it fits within the two movies, but it's kind of the most emotionally mature of the three films. It's not as reliant, or inclusive, of the hysterics in Down Terrace or Kill List. It's a quieter movie in a lot of ways, but it's funny and it's kind of touching. But obviously I haven't escaped from killing — there's still loads of death in it." Follow-up question: "Does it take place in a similar setting to the first two films?" Answer: "No, it's a road movie so it's more of a honeymoon killers vibe to it. I was just joking with Amy [Jump], my co-writer and wife, and she was saying Down Terrace never leaves the house and Kill List leaves the house after twenty minutes, so this film has to get out of the house earlier. So we kind of get out of the domestic setting within about six minutes, then it's all kind of driving, campsites, and seeing the length of Britain and going to all these weird, kind of desolate places."

Yeun Sang-Ho's Dae gi eui wang (The King of Pigs). From Cartoon Brew's Jerry Beck, back in November: "This new animated feature from South Korea tackles adult themes and examines on the social impact of high school bullying. The film opened earlier this month in Korea; director Yeun Sang-ho discusses his inspirations with The Korea Herald."

SHORTS

Program 1

Marie-Eve Juste's With Jeff.
Franco Lolli's Rodri.
Philipp Mayrhofer's Königsberg.
Leonardo Sette and Isabel Penoni's Enraged Pigs.
Basil da Cunha's Os vivos tamben choram.

Program 2

Marcin Bortkiewicz's Drawn from Memory.
Royaume Uni's Tram.
Anita Rocha da Silveira's The Living Dead.
Quentin Dupieux's Wrong Cops. "Starring Marilyn Manson!" tweets Dupieux himself. Via the Playlist.

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