Nine Europeans for the Directors’ Fortnight
by Fabien Lemercier
- Five French filmmakers, three Italians and a Lithuanian are set to be showcased in the Fortnight; Claire Denis, Dumont, Garrel, Ferrara and Gitai top the bill
An impressively solid backbone of French-American-Italian titles, a variety of cinematic genres and a plethora of great filmmakers spicing up a programme underpinned by numerous films that keep a close eye on reality: these are the initial trends visible in the selection of the 49th Directors’ Fortnight, which will take place from 18-28 May as part of the 70th Cannes Film Festival. Presented late this morning in Paris by General Delegate Edouard Waintrop, the 19 features on the menu (including five debut films, seven helmed by female directors and three documentaries) give star billing to European works: the Continent can boast no fewer than nine of its filmmakers in the showcase.
France is in pole position with five representatives, three of whom are key figures who are highly renowned in the world of global arthouse cinema: Claire Denis, who will open this edition of the Cannes parallel section with Dark Glasses, which has been billed as a comedy (the director’s first foray into this particular genre), Bruno Dumont and his musical comedy Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc [+see also:
interview: Bruno Dumont
film profile], and Philippe Garrel with Lover for a Day. They are joined by Carine Tardieu with Just To Be Sure (starring Belgium’s Cécile de France and François Damiens, among others) and the documentary Nothingwood by Sonia Kronlund (which revolves around a highly prolific actor-producer-director who is a household name in Afghanistan but is totally unknown everywhere else).
The Directors’ Fortnight has confirmed its penchant for Italian cinema by including three films by the emerging generation of directors: the feature debut by Roberto De Paolis (Pure Hearts) and the sophomore efforts by Jonas Carpignano (A Ciambra, co-produced by France and Germany), who rose to prominence in the Critics’ Week in 2015 with Mediterranea [+see also:
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile], and Leonardo di Costanzo (Intruder, co-produced by Switzerland and France), a documentarian who made the leap to fiction with The Interval [+see also:
interview: Leonardo Di Costanzo
film profile] (FIPRESCI Award in the Horizons section of Venice in 2012).
The European contingent is rounded off by Lithuania’s Sharunas Bartas with Frost (co-produced by Lithuania, France, Ukraine and Poland – the filmmaker has thus racked up his third selection in the Fortnight after appearances in 2005 and 2015) and Zambia’s Rungano Nyoni, whose feature debut, I Am Not a Witch, was produced by the UK and France.
Also set to be unveiled are six North American films (five of which hail from the USA, including the new opus by Sean Baker and a documentary by Abel Ferrara, plus one Canadian title), two Asian movies (an Indonesian feature debut and a doc by Israeli director Amos Gitai) and one Colombian flick. All of this makes for a 2017 selection whose overall geographical spread is incredibly narrow but which promises a fairly broad array of genres, ranging from a dystopian tale of civil war in New York to an immersion in the Gypsy community in Calabria, from the rodeo milieu to African witches, and from comedy (two of which are on the programme) to musical comedy adapted from Charles Péguy – all topped off by the closing film, Patti Cake$, which made waves at Sundance.
It now remains to be seen which additions the Official Selection will make to its competition and to Un Certain Regard; only then will we be able to work out which movies preferred a trip to Venice or Toronto instead of embracing the vibrant energy of a premiere screening in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.
As previously reported, the Carrosse d'Or handed out by the French Directors’ Association (SRF) will this year be bestowed upon German director Werner Herzog (see the news), who has chosen to screen Bad Lieutenant and has requested to subsequently converse with young filmmakers (these will be Alice Diop, Arthur Harari and Guillaume Brac).
Dark Glasses - Claire Denis (France) (opening film)
A Ciambra - Jonas Carpignano (Italy/France/Germany)
Alive in France - Abel Ferrara (US/France)
Lover for a Day - Philippe Garrel (France)
Bushwick - Cary Murnion, Jonathan Milott (US)
Pure Hearts - Roberto De Paolis (Italy)
The Florida Project - Sean Baker (US)
Frost - Sharunas Bartas (Lithuania/France/Ukraine/Poland)
I Am Not a Witch - Rungano Nyoni (UK/France/Germany)
Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc [+see also:
interview: Bruno Dumont
film profile] - Bruno Dumont (France)
Intruder - Leonardo Di Costanzo (Italy/Switzerland/France)
La defensa del dragón - Natalia Santa (Colombia)
Marlina: The Murderer in Four Acts (Marlina si pembunuh dalam empat babak) - Mouly Surya (Indonesia)
Mobile Homes - Vladimir de Fontenay (Canada)
Nothingwood - Sonia Kronlund (France/Germany)
Just To Be Sure - Carine Tardieu (France/Belgium)
The Rider - Chloé Zhao (US)
West of the Jordan River (Field Diary Revisited) - Amos Gitai (Israel/France)
Patti Cake$ - Geremy Jasper (US) (closing film)
The Nothing Factory - Pedro Pinho (Portugal)
Água mole - Laura Gonçalves, Alexandra Ramires (Portugal)
La Bouche - Camilo Restrepo (Colombia)
Copa-loca - Christos Massalas (Greece)
Crème de menthe - David Philippe Gagné, Jean-Marc E. Roy (France)
Farpões, baldios - Marta Mateus (Portugal)
Min börda - Niki Lindroth von Bahr (Sweden)
Nada - Gabriel Martins (Brazil)
Retour à Genoa City - Benoit Grimalt (France)
Tijuana Tales - Jean-Charles Hue (France)
Cherries (Tresnje) - Dubravka Turić (Croatia)