Yesterday evening NZ time Cannes rolled out its main feature announcements, including the official competition and Un Certain Regard line-ups. The announcements followed that of shorts and Cinéfondation selections earlier in the week.
Australian director Justin Kurzel returns to Cannes in the main competition with Macbeth four years after his The Snowtown Murders won two Special Mentions after screening in Critics Week. Macbeth isn’t technically an Australian title, being financed from France, the UK and US and featuring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the ill-starred couple.
Claiming the selection was beautiful and risk-taking, festival director Thierry Fremaux announced 17 films in competition. The festival drew a record 1,854 submissions this year, and Fremaux also referred to criticism of Cannes as a closed shop, noting that eight titles announced across various programmes today were from first-time directors. Fremaux then rather undercut the promotion of new blood by adding that several festival alumni hadn’t completed their present projects in time to be selected.
The impression of the old boy’s club is a hard one for Cannes to shake, however, with eight previous Critics Week directors (including Kurzel) named in the selection – four in the main competition. Several former Directors Fortnight directors are also named.
The three directors from Asia named in the official competition, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Jia Zhang-Ke and Kore-Eda Hirokazu, are all serial Cannes attendees with 15 previous selections between them. Last year HOU was named the winner of the Asian Film Awards’ Lifetime Achievement gong.
As per last year, only two films by female directors made the competition line-up.
Fremaux noted that the announcement made the official programmme about 90% complete. Further titles will be teased out over the coming weeks, including an opening title for Un Certain Regard and the festival’s closing film. Also still to be announced are the titles for the Critics Week and Directors Fortnight line-ups.
The selections announced Thursday were:
Official Competition line-up:
Jacques Audiard, Dheepan (Temporary Title)
Stéphane Brizé, La Loi du Marché (A Simple Man)
Valérie Donzelli, Marguerite et Julien (Marguerite And Julien)
Matteo Garrone, Il Racconto Dei Racconti (The Tale Of Tales)
Todd Haynes, Carol
Hou Hsiao Hsien, Nie Yinniang (The Assassin)
Jia Zhang-Ke, Shan He Gu Ren (Mountains May Depart)
Kore-Eda Hirokazu, Umimachi Diary (Our Little Sister)
Justin Kurzel, Macbeth
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster
Maïwenn, Mon Roi
Nanni Moretti, Mia Madre
László Nemes, Saul Fia (Son Of Saul)
Paolo Sorrentino, Youth
Joachim Trier, Louder Than Bombs
Gus Van Sant, The Sea Of Trees
Denis Villeneuve, Sicario
Un Certain Regard:
Neeraj Ghaywan, Masaan
Grímur Hákonarson, Hrútar (Rams)
Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Kishibe No Tabi (Journey To The Shore)
Laurent Larivière, Je Suis Un Soldat (I Am A Soldier)
Dalibor Matanic, Zvizdan (The High Sun)
Roberto Minervini, The Other Side
Radu Muntean, Un Etaj Mai Jos (One Floor Below)
Oh Seung-Uk, Mu-Roe-Han (The Shameless)
David Pablos, Las Elegidas (The Chosen Ones)
Ida Panahandeh, Nahid
Corneliu Porumboiu, Comoara (The Treasure)
Gurvinder Singh,Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction)
Shin Suwon, Madonna
Alice Winocour, Maryland
Out Of Competition:
Emmanuelle Bercot, La Tête Haute (Standing Tall) (opening film, not in competition)
Woody Allen, Irrational Man
Pete Docter & Ronaldo Del Carmen, Inside Out
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Mark Osborne, The Little Prince
Hong Won-Chan, O Piseu (Office)
Asif Kapadia, Amy
Samuel Benchetrit, Asphalte
Souleymane Cisse, Oka
Elad Keidan, Hayored Lema’ala
Natalie Portman, Sipur Al Ahava Ve Choshech (A Tale Of Love And Darkness)
Barbet Schroeder, Amnesia
Pavle Vuckovic, Panama