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The Croisette in the crosshairs


- Favourites, outsiders, likely bets and possible candidates: here are a few leads to help navigate the swarm of potential hopefuls for the 71st Cannes Film Festival (8-19 May)

The Croisette in the crosshairs
l-r: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Paolo Sorrentino, Mike Leigh, Asghar Farhadi, László Nemes, Jacques Audiard, Olivier Assayas, Alice Rohrwacher and Mia Hansen-Løve

As the 68th Berlin Film Festival enters the home stretch, the global film industry’s professionals are now starting to turn their attention towards an event that can be considered the heavyweight champion of the international seventh art: the 71st Cannes Film Festival (8-19 May). As always, theories have started swirling concerning the selection that will be unveiled in April by General Delegate Thierry Frémaux, but we can already say that on paper, the 2018 edition looks to be utterly breathtaking, making the hunt for this year’s Palme d'Or (which will be handed out by a jury chaired by Australian actress Cate Blanchett – see the news) all the more exciting.

Standing out among the most eagerly awaited titles are The Wild Pear Tree by Turkey’s Nuri Bilge CeylanLoro [+see also:
film profile
 by Italy’s Paolo SorrentinoPeterloo by British director Mike LeighEverybody Knows by Iran’s Asghar FarhadiThe Death and Life of John F. Donovan by Canada’s Xavier DolanAsh Is Purest White by China’s Jia ZhangkeSunset by Hungary’s László NemesThe Favourite by Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos, Donbass by Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa (principal photography for which has now wrapped), Where Life Is Born by Mexico’s Carlos ReygadasThe Sisters Brothers by France’s Jacques AudiardNon Fiction by his fellow countryman Olivier Assayas, Burning by South Korea’s Lee Chang DongVision by Japan’s Naomi Kawase and Shoplifters by her compatriot Hirokazu Kore-eda.

The top-drawer Italian contenders are particularly notable this year on account of the sheer number of them, as they also include Lazzaro Felice by Alice Rohrwacher (which is still shooting over the rest of the winter), Dogman by Matteo Garrone and Suspiria by Luca Guadagnino.

We also hope to see Roma by Mexico’s Alfonso CuarónWidows by British director Steve McQueen (even though the previously announced November release date leaves little room for hope), Cold War by Poland’s Pawel PawlikowskiThe Image Book by Switzerland’s Jean-Luc Godard and Radegund by US filmmaker Terrence Malick at Cannes.

The outsiders include La Quietud [+see also:
film profile
 by Argentina’s Pablo TraperoSynonyms by Israel’s Nadav LapidThe Little Stranger by Ireland’s Lenny Abrahamson, Roads (formerly Caravan) by Germany’s Sebastian SchipperBirds of Passage by Colombian duo Ciro Guerra and Cristina GallegoEvil Games by Austria’s Ulrich Seidl, and potentially Sisters by Turkey’s Emin Alper (the shoot for which wrapped on 1 February).

As for the Asian hopefuls, we could also mention such films as Long Day’s Journey into Night by China’s Bi GanDi Jiu Tian Chang by his fellow countryman Wang Xiaoshuai and The Man from the Sea by Japan’s Koji Fukada, not to mention another as-yet untitled Chinese feature by Lou Ye.

For various reasons unrelated to the festival itself, we might be forgiven for wondering whether the Cannes team will feel like delving into the realms of possible controversy with The House That Jack Built by Denmark’s Lars von Trier and the next part of Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno [+see also:
film review
film profile
 by Abdellatif Kechiche, two filmmakers whose artistry is nonetheless easily up to the huge demands of the competition.

European cinema may also be pinning its hopes on Quién te cantará by Spaniard Carlos Vermut and Petra by his fellow countryman Jaime RosalesI Do Not Care Whether History Remembers Us as Barbarians by Romania’s Radu Jude and Alice T. by his compatriot Radu Muntean, Keep Going by Belgium’s Joachim Lafosse and Mothers’ Instinct by his fellow countryman Olivier Masset-DepasseThe Souvenir: Part 1 by British director Joanna HoggAngelo by Austria’s Markus SchleinzerGoliath by Sweden’s Peter Grönlund, Winter Flies by Slovenia’s Olmo OmerzuA Woman at War by Iceland’s Benedikt Erlingsson, Sister by Bulgaria’s Svetla Tsotsorkova, History of Love by Slovenia’s Sonja Prosenc, and the Russian films Jumpman by Ivan TverdovskyLeto by Kirill Serebrennikov and The Factory by Yuri Bykov. And as for the rest of the world (the list is obviously lengthy), we could put forward such titles as Domingo by Brazilian duo Fellipe Barbosa and Clara LinhartWho Killed Lady Winsley? by Iraqi-Kurdish director Hiner SaleemMonos by Colombian-Ecuadorean filmmaker Alejandro Landes and Tremors by Guatemala’s Jayro Bustamente.

On the French side, besides Audiard and Assayas, the titles generating the biggest buzz are One Nation, One King by Pierre SchoellerHigh Life by Claire DenisMaya by Mia Hansen-LøveAt War by Stéphane BrizéAmin by Philippe Faucon and The Summer House by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Serious overcrowding is to be expected, though, as mention should also be made of the film version of Coincoin and the Extra Humans by Bruno Dumont, Close Enemies by David OelhoffenOur Wonderful Lives by Fabienne GodetTo the Ends of the Earth by Guillaume NiclouxGirls of the Sun by Eva Husson, Paul Sanchez Is Back by Patricia MazuyMademoiselle de Joncquières by Emmanuel Mouret, Claire Darling by Julie BertuccelliAn Impossible Love by Catherine CorsiniI Feel Good by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, and Sorry Angel by Christophe Honoré. And that’s not to mention Knife + Heart by Yann Gonzalez, Amanda by Mikhaël Hers, Keep an Eye Out by Quentin DupieuxSavage by Vincent MarietteLe monde est à toi by Romain Gavras and C’est ça l’amour by Claire Burger.

As for feature debuts, we should highlight Mon tissu préféré by Syria’s Gaya JijiPassed by Censor by Turkey’s Serhat KaraaslanGirl by Belgium’s Lukas DhontOutside by the Czech Republic’s Michal HogenauerThou Shalt Not Kill by Romanian duo Gabi Virgina Sarga and Catalin RotaruBy a Sharp Knife by Slovakia’s Teodor Kuhn, and the French titles Jessica Forever by Jonathan Vinet and Caroline PoggiUne jeunesse dorée by Eva IonescoMarche ou crève by Margaux BonhommeL’ordre des médecins by David Roux and Treat Me Like Fire by Marie Monge.

The animated genre could also be taking aim at the Croisette, with Dilili in Paris by France’s Michel OcelotFunan by his fellow countryman Denis DoAnother Day of Life by Mexican-Polish duo Raúl de La Fuente and Damian Nenow, and The Tower by Norway’s Mats Grorud.

Lastly, among the star attractions out of competition, Solo: A Star Wars Story by Ron HowardOcean’s 8 by Gary RossSicario 2 - Soldado by Stefano Sollima and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote by Terry Gilliam would seem to be the ideal candidates.

Tune in again in the spring to discover the identities of the lucky Cannes-selected titles.

(Translated from French)

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