Here Are All The Films Premiering in Competition at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival
Cannes is the film festival. It’s generally considered the most prestigious, and certainly the one with the richest cultural and historical significance. That’s not to say it’s infallible. Thierry Fremaux, the head honcho, has a reputation for favoritism and generally ignoring anyone who isn’t a white dude or one of his pets. Generally, women directors don’t get much of a look-in at Cannes (only one woman has ever won the Palme D’Or, and that was Jane Campion), and black directors are near non-existent.
This year, the festival has two big issues to contend with - the aftermath of #MeToo, and the war with Netflix. The streaming service is officially banned from entering the main competition, and in protest, they pulled all their films from consideration. I hate to take sides in this debate - both suck, to be honest - but in the long-term, this is a bad look for Cannes. They adore tradition, and there’s a place for that, but you still need to look forward to where film is heading. When Scorsese is in the Netflix camp, you have bigger things to worry about than keeping the moral high-ground (it’s worth keeping in mind that French law also played a huge part in Cannes’ decision, as there has to legally be a several month gap between cinema and home releases, in order to protect theatre owners. It’s not just snobbery on Fremaux’s part, although that is certainly in play).
Anyhoo, there are some surprises in the competition line-up this year - No Claire Denis or Jacques Audiard, two beloved French film-makers who are making their English language debuts this year; no Paolo Sorrentino or his rumoured 4-hour long biopic on Silvio Berlusconi; No Naomi Kawase, the Japanese director beloved by Cannes but basically nobody else. It’s all very anti-Hollywood this year too, with only two American movies in contention (although Solo: A Star Wars Story will premiere out of competition). There’s not a lot of A-List star power here. As prestigious as Cannes is, it’s also a total star-fuck-fest, and yet we see very little of that in the competition line-up. Are they changing their ways? Oh I wish.
Here’s the full competition line-up:
Everybody Knows (Asghar Farhadi) - opening film
“Laura (Penélope Cruz), a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown with her Argentinian husband (Ricardo Darín) and children.”
At War (Stéphane Brizé)
“The management of Perrin Industries decides to shut down a factory, forcing 1100 employees out of work. Led by their spokesman, the workers decide to fight to save their jobs.”
Dogman (Matteo Garrone)
“Described as an ‘urban Western’, the story is inspired by a murder committed in 1980s Rome, one that’s considered one of the most brutal in postwar Italian history.”
Le Livre d’Image (Jean-Luc Godard)
“Not much is known about Godard’s latest, although it’s claimed that the director is shooting without actors and filmed in various Arab countries.”
Asako I & II (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
“A woman named Asako struggles to deal with the disappearance of her great love. Two years later, she meets his exact double.”
Sorry Angel (Christophe Honoré)
“A writer living in Paris meets a young student, and romance ensues.”
Girls of the Sun (Eva Husson)
“A top commander in an all-female battalion of Kurdish soldiers prepares to fight in order to take back her home town from extremists.”
Ash Is Purest White (Jia Zhang-Ke)
“A young woman in early 2000s China goes to jail after protecting her mobster lover, and looks to pick up the relationship where they left off after she’s released.”
Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
“A poverty-stricken family who turn to petty crime to feed themselves take in a homeless young girl, which tests their tight bonds when secrets are revealed.”
Capernaum (Nadine Labaki)
“A contemporary satire where a child serves a lawsuit against those who he feels run his life.”
Burning (Lee Chang-Dong)
“Based on a short story by the legendary Haruki Murakami, three young people (including Steven Yeun) deal with a mysterious incident.”
BlacKKKlansman (Spike Lee)
An African American detective (John David Washington) in Colorado Springs, Colorado infiltrates the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and eventually becomes the head of the chapter.
Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell)
“A young man (Andrew Garfield) becomes an unwitting detective as he seeks to uncover why his neighbour has mysteriously disappeared, sending him across Los Angeles in search of clues.”
Three Faces (Jafar Panahi)
“The story of three Iranian actresses: One from the pre-revolutionary era, one a contemporary megastar, and the other a young girl in drama school.”
Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski)
“A period romance that takes place across Europe during the 1950s, a time of great political turmoil.”
Lazzaro Felice (Alice Rohrwacher)
“Details have been under wraps for this one, but apparently it’s about a man who travels through time for about 50 years, but it’s not sci-fi for some reason.”
Yomeddine (AB Shawky)
“A leper and his orphan apprentice leave the leper colony for the first time and embark on a journey across Egypt.”
Leto (L’Été) (Kirill Serebrennikov)
“An edgy, musical drama set in the underground rock scene Leningrad of 1981. The story partly follows Viktor Tsoi, a pioneer of Russian rock.”
If you too are way too interested in Cannes, share with us in the comments the films you’re most looking forward to. What are you sad isn’t in the line-up? What are your thoughts on the Netflix kerfuffle?
(Header photograph from this morning’s Cannes press conference courtesy of Getty Images)
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