By Pratishtha Dobhal
“The festival is an apolitical no-man’s land, a microcosm of what the world would be like if people could make direct contact with one another and speak the same language”.
Jean Cocteau (*As quoted on the ‘About‘ page of the festival website)
Sorry, not anymore Jean, we are a sum total of our politics.
At the final press conference of the 70th Edition of the festival this year, Jessica Chastain remarked, “One thing I got to take away from this experience is how the world views women, from the female characters I saw represented. It was quite disturbing to me, to be honest”.
Finally, someone stated the obvious.
Eventually, things will just have to change.
With two brilliant films debuting at the festival, and the 70th Anniversary Prize behind her, Nicole Kidman, who turns 50 this month, is at her peak, as she continues to draw you in with her craft as an actor, performance after performance. On the other hand, Sofia Coppola, has become the second director in the history of the festival to win the ‘Best Director’ award. Yuliya Solntseva won the award in 1961 for her film, ‘Chronicle Of Flaming Years’.
Little victories, waiting to become monumental.
Amidst all the controversy and commercial theatrics of showbiz remains the celebration of cinema that lives under the watchful eye of Jury members.
What started in 1946, has now grown to become a mega event where everything is on display – cinema, opinions, art and fashion – making it the most talked about harbinger of cinematic representation from across the globe.
This year signaled the growing interest of the Chinese and Asian film markets at the festival, disruption via Netflix, political statements stitched into compelling screenplays and, oh yes, the domination of Nicole Kidman and Sofia Coppola.
And what if you or I were not a part of the secret screening and selections, here’s a Top Ten Cannes #Lovelist that’ll make you feel a lot more keyed in.
Curious? These are the ones to watch:
- The Square
Directed by ‘Force Majeure’ director, Ruben Östlund, people gather at a city square where there are no rules and you can do whatever you want.
2. The Killing Of A Scared Deer
After ‘The Lobster’, Yorgos Lanthimos returns with Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman this year. The movie revolves around a teenager’s attempts to bring a brilliant surgeon into his dysfunctional family that takes an unexpected turn.
3. 120 Battements Par Minute (120 Beats Per Minute)
The protagonists of the films are passionate about fighting the indifference that exists towards AIDS, and Director Robin Campillo promises to deliver.
4. You Were Never Really Here
Directed by Lynne Ramsay, Joaquin Phoenix plays a war veteran whose attempts to save a young girl from sex trafficking go horribly wrong.
5. Nelyubov (Loveless)
Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsey, who gave us ‘Leviathan’, if the trailer is anything to go by, I can’t wait for how the synopsis of the film unravels itself. FYI: Teaser on IMDB reads: A couple going through divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments.
6. Good Time
This may not be the Pattinson you are accustomed to watching. Directed by Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie, the film revolves around a bank robber who finds himself unable to evade those looking for him.
7. The Beguiled
Directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst. Still need a summary? Here: At a girls’ school in Virginia during Civil war, a wounded union soldier is taken in.
After ‘Snowpiercer‘, Director, Bong Joon Ho tells the story of Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend in this fantasy drama.
9. A Gentle Night
First time Director, Qui Yang’s 15 minute short film tells the story of a mother searching the streets at night for her young daughter.
10. Visages (Faces Places)
An unusual documentary that explores the friendship between accomplished French street artist JR and Belgian Director Agnes Varda, who have a 55 year age difference, Visages guarantees an exquisite insight into art and artistes.
For a complete list of all the selections, click here
For the winning list, head here