CANNES SELECTION UNVEILED | John Cameron Mitchell makes comeback

Gentlemen, start your engines!

The filmmakers, their movies, all of these, and more, were announced during a well-attended press conference at a grand movie theater on the Champs Elysées this morning.

Two notable comebacks this year are Fatih Akin, with “Aus Dem Nichts” (“In the Fade”) and John Cameron Mitchell, who was last in Cannes in 2006 with “Short bus.” This year he’ll be showing “How to talk to girls at parties” in an out-of-competition slot (see list below for the full details of this year’s program).

The Cannes Festival marks a birthday this year. It’s turning seventy. The films, memories, the legends, tributes, the acts of independence, the political resistance, and, least of all, the simple pleasure of watching a movie and then see it go on to great acclaim, make the Cannes Festival a human experience above all others.

In all, 1930 have been submitted to Frémaux’s team, up from 1665 six years ago. “We were still looking at submissions this morning at 3 a.m.” Frémaux commented during this morning’s press conference. His team and himself went through 5,000 short film submissions. 2017 also marks the tenth year that Thierry Frémaux, delegate general, has programmed the films for the festival.


“Blade of the Immortal”

This year’s program will open with Arnaud Desplechin’s “Ismael’s Ghosts.”

Forty-nine films are on tap, including, eighteen in competition, sixteen in the Un Certain Regard program, four films out of competition, three in the séances de minuit screenings. Twenty-nine countries will be represented this year, as opposed to the twenty-seven from last year, and nine films by first-time filmmakers are included in the official selection, as opposed to seven last year, and five in 2014.

Twelve women filmmakers will be showing their films this year, the gender parity at Cannes notably improving each year.

This year, a virtual reality short film by Alejandro González Iñárritu will be shown, called, “Carne y arena.” The film is part of an art installation that will take place at the Fondation Prada in Milan, and in Los Angeles and in Mexico, after that.

SHORT TAKES – “Blade of the Immortal”

Jane Campion, the only woman to ever earn the Palme D’Or, will be back in Cannes with “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” her film being shown in a special-event anniversary program to mark the festival’s seventieth anniversary. Also included will be the Kristen Stewart-directed “Come, Swim.” As tribute to recently-departed Abbas Kiarostami, the Cannes Festival has included his experimental short film “24 frames.” “L’homme de fer,” by Andrzej Wajda, will also be shown in a Special Screening program, with Lech Walesa expected in attendance. Two episodes of David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” will be shown, too, amid the special screenings.

After “An Inconvenient Truth,” which screened in Cannes in 2006 Al Gore is back, with “An inconvenient sequel,” also about the issue of climate change, with a nod to the recent Paris accords.

Raymond Depardon, one of France’s best-known photographers and the official portraitist of presidents in that country, will show “12 days.” Iranian filmmaker Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s “They” will screen this year, too. Ghazvinizadeh was the winner of the Cinefondation prize in 2016, and in keeping with Cannes tradition, she can de-facto get a new film in the official selection program.

Of note, Vanessa Redgrave’s documentary “Sea of sorrow,” about the plight of migrants, will be shown this year in Cannes. “She emails us every other day to say how proud she is to have gotten her film in Cannes,” Frémaux quipped.

Here’s the complete list of films as unveiled this morning:

Wonderstruck, Todd Haynes
Le Redoutable, Michel Hazanavicius
Geu-Hu (The Day After), Hong Sangsoo
Hikari (Radiance), Naomi Kawase
The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos
A Gentle Creature, Sergei Loznitsa
Jupiter’s Moon, Kornél Mundruczó
L’amant Double, François Ozon
You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay
Good Time, Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie
Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev
The Meyerowitz Stories, Noah Baumbach
Ismael’s Ghosts, Arnaud Desplechin
In the Fade, Fatih Akin
Okja, Bong Joon-Ho
120 Battements Par Minute, Robin Campillo
The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola
Rodin, Jacques Doillon
Happy End, Michael Haneke

Out of Competition
Blade of the Immortal, Takashi Miike
How to Talk to Girls at Parties, John Cameron Mitchell
Visages, Visages, JR and Agnès Varda
Un Certain Regard
Barbara, Mathieu Amalric
La Novia del Desierto (The Desert Bride), Cecilia Atán, Valeria Pivato
Jeune Femme, Léonor Serraille
Lerd (Dregs), Mohammad Rasoulof
En Attendant Les Hirondelles (The Nature Of Time), Karim Moussaui
Anpo Suru Shinryakusha (Before We Vanish), Kurosawa Kiyoshi
Out, Gyorgy Kristof
Posoki (Directions), Stephan Komandarev
Western, Valeska Grisebach
Las Hijas De Abril (April’s Daughter), Michel Franco
Fortunata (Lucky). Sergio Castellitto
L’atelier, Laurent Cantet
Aala Kaf Ifrit (Beauty and the Dogs), Kaouther Ben Hania
Tesnota (Closeness), Kantemir Balagov
After The War, Annarita Zambrano
Wind River, Taylor Sheridan

Special Screenings
Clair’s Camera, Hong Sangsoo
12 Jours, Raymond Depardon
They, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
Promised Land, Eugene Jarecki
Napalm, Claude Lanzmann
Demons in Paradise, Jude Ratman
Sea Sorrow, Vanessa Redgrave

Midnight Screenings
The Villainess, Jung Byung-Gil
The Merciless, Byun Sung-Hyun
Prayer Before Dawn, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire