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Cannes is set to kick off. What to know about the film festival



Cannes is set to kick off. What to know about the film festival
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The Cannes Movie Competition hardly ever passes with out cacophony however this yr’s version could also be extra raucous and uneasy than any version in latest reminiscence.

When the purple carpet is rolled out from the Palais des Festivals on Tuesday, the 77th Cannes will unfurl towards a backdrop of struggle, protest, potential strikes and quickening #MeToo upheaval in France, which for years largely resisted the motion.

Competition staff are threatening to strike. The Israel-Hamas struggle, acutely felt in France, residence to Europe’s largest Jewish and Arab communities, is bound to spark protests. Russia’s struggle in Ukraine stays on the minds of many. Add within the sorts of anxieties that may be anticipated to percolate at Cannes — the ever-uncertain way forward for cinema, the rise of synthetic intelligence — and this yr’s pageant shouldn’t lack for drama.

Being ready for something has lengthy been a helpful angle in Cannes. Befitting such tumultuous occasions, the movie lineup is filled with intrigue, curiosity and query marks.

The Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, simply days earlier than his newest movie, “The Seed of the Sacred Fig,” is to debut in competitors in Cannes, was sentenced to eight years in jail by the Islamic Revolutionary Court docket. The movie stays on Cannes’ schedule.

Arguably essentially the most feverishly awaited entry is Francis Ford Coppola’s self-financed opus “Megalopolis.” Coppola, is himself no stranger to high-drama at Cannes. An unfinished reduce of “Apocalypse Now” gained him (in a tie) his second Palme d’Or greater than 4 a long time in the past.

Even the upcoming U.S. presidential election gained’t be far off. Premiering in competitors is Ali Abbasi’s “The Apprentice,” starring Sebastian Stan as a younger Donald Trump. There may also be new movies from Kevin Costner, Paolo Sorrentino, Sean Baker, Yorgos Lanthimos and Andrea Arnold. And for a probably powder keg Cannes there’s additionally the firebomb of “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.” The movie, a rolling apocalyptic dystopia, returns director George Miller to the pageant he first turned hooked on as a juror.

A scooter drives previous the Palais des Festivals in 2019. (Photograph by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP, File)

“I obtained addicted it to easily as a result of it’s like movie camp,” says Miller, who turned enraptured to the worldwide gathering of cinema at Cannes and the pristine movie shows. “It’s form of optimum cinema, actually. The second that they mentioned, ‘OK, we’re completely happy to indicate this movie right here,’ I jumped at it.”

Cannes’ official opener on Tuesday is “The Second Act,” a French comedy by Quentin Dupieux, starring Léa Seydoux, Louis Garrel and Vincent Lindon. Throughout the opening ceremony, Meryl Streep shall be awarded an honorary Palme d’Or. On the closing ceremony, George Lucas will get one, too.

However the highlight at the beginning might fall on Judith Godrèche. The French director and actor earlier this year said the filmmakers Benoît Jacquot and Jacques Doillon sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, allegations that rocked French cinema. Jacquot and Doillon have denied the allegations.

Though much of the French film industry has previously been reluctant to embrace the #MeToo movement, Godrèche has stoked a wider response. She’s spoken passionately about the need for changes at the Cesars, France’s equivalent of the Oscars, and before a French Senate commission.

FILE – French actress Judith Godrèche attends the International Women’s Day event at Paris City Hall on March 8, 2024. Godrèche’s short film “Moi Aussi” will appear at the 77th Cannes Film Festival. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly, File)

In that same period, Godrèche also made the short film “Moi Aussi” during a Paris gathering of hundreds who wrote her with their own stories of sexual abuse. On Wednesday, it opens Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section.

“I hope that I’m heard in the sense that I’m not interested in being some sort of representation of someone who just wants to go after everyone in this industry,” Godrèche said ahead of the festival. “I’m just fighting for some sort of change. It is called a revolution.”

It’s the latest chapter in how #MeToo has reverberated at the world’s largest film gathering, following an 82-woman protest on the steps of the Palais in 2018 and a gender parity pledge in 2019. Cannes has often come under criticism for not inviting more female filmmakers into competition, but the festival is putting its full support behind Godrèche while girding for the possibility of more #MeToo revelations during the festival.

“For me, having these faces, these people — everyone in this movie — gives them this place to be celebrated,” said Godrèche. “There’s this thing about this place that has so much history. In a way, it mystifies movies forever. Once your film was in Cannes, it was in Cannes.”

Some of the filmmakers coming to the festival this year are already firmly lodged in Cannes lore. Paul Schrader was at the festival almost 50 years ago for Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” which he wrote. After a famously divisive response, it won the Palme in 1976.

“It was a different place. It was much more collegial and lower key,” said Schrader during a break from packing his bags. “I remember quite well sitting on the terrasse at the Carlton with Marty and Sergio Leone and (Rainer Werner) Fassbender came by with his boyfriend and joined us. We were all talking and the sun was going down. I was thinking, ‘This is the greatest thing in the world.’”

The Promenade de la Croisette in 2021. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

For the first time since his 1988 drama “Patty Hearst,” Schrader is back in what he calls “the main show” — in competition for the Palme d’Or — with “Oh, Canada.” The film, adapted from a Russell Banks novel, stars Richard Gere (reteaming with Schrader decades after “American Gigolo”) as a dying filmmaker who recounts his life story for a documentary. Jacob Elordi plays him in ‘70s flashbacks.

After the Cannes lineup was announced, Schrader shared on Facebook an old photo of himself, Coppola and Lucas — all primary figures to what was then called New Hollywood — and the caption “Together again.”

“I’ll be there the same time as Francis. There’s a question of whether either of us get invited back for closing,” Schrader says, referring to when award-winners are asked to stay for the closing ceremony. “I would hope that either Francis or I could come back closing night for George’s thing.”

Who ultimately goes home with the Palme — the handicapping has already begun — will be decided by a jury led by Greta Gerwig, fresh off the mammoth success of “Barbie.” But this year’s slate will have a lot to live up to. Last year, three eventual best picture nominees premiered in Cannes: Justine Triet’s Palme-winner “Anatomy of a Fall,” Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” and Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

What tends to really define a Cannes, though, is emerging filmmakers. Among those likely to make an impression this year is Julien Colonna, the Corsican, Paris-based director and co-writer of “The Kingdom.” The film, an Un Certain Regard standout, is a brutal coming of age about a teenager girl (newcomer Ghjuvanna Benedetti) on the run with her father (Saveriu Santucci), a Corsican clan leader.

“We wanted to propose a kind of anti-mob film,” Colonna says, referencing the prevalence of “Godfather”-inspired gangster dramas. “As a viewer, I’m quite bored of this. I think we need to move to something else and propose a different prism.”

“The Kingdom,” Colonna’s debut feature film, arose out of his own anxieties around the birth of his child six years ago. It’s an entirely fictional movie but it has personal roots for Colonna, who was inspired by the memory of a camping trip that he realized years later was “an entirely different matter for my father.” He shot the most of the film in Corsica within a few miles of his hometown.

“This is where I grew up,” says Colonna, smiling. “This is where I learned to swim. The shower where her kiss takes place is the shower where I kissed for the first time.”


Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle at:

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