In its 68-year history, Cannes has never been short of stars and scandals but it seems that in more recent years the darker, bolder, more daring films are to be found in the sidebars rather than in the main Competition line-up. And while 2014 proved particularly strong with It Follows, When Animals Dream and Ryan Gosling’s Lost River, a first glance at this year’s programme promises another exciting festival to come.
Opening on 13 May with Emmanuelle Bercot’s Standing Tall , there seems to be a focus on French social drama this year, but beyond that, the Competition still includes a number of intriguing works from both new and already established directors. Having won the Un Certain Regard award in 2009 for Dogtooth, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos returns to the festival with what might be one of this year’s boldest and presumably funniest sci-fi love stories, The Lobster, while Gomorra-director Matteo Garonne presents his first English-language film with Tale of Tales, based on the collection of fairy tales of 17th century writer Giambattista Basile, who predates more familliar household names such as the Brothers Grimm, Andersen or Perrault. We will also be checking out Todd Haynes’s 50s lesbian melodrama Carol, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, his eagerly awaited follow up to The Great Beauty, as well as the latest offerings form Denis Villeneuve, Sicario, and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, starring Matthew McConaughey as an American man lost in Japan’s suicide forest. Plus, we look forward to George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road and Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, both screening ‘out of competition’.
In addition, this year’s Un Certain Regard strand features new works by exciting directors including Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Journey To The Shore), Brillante Mendoza (Trap) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Cemetery of Splendour), alongside two promising Korean entries: The Shameless by Oh Seung-Uk and Madonna by Shin Suwon. And we also look forward to a special screening of Gaspar Noé’s latest offering Love.
Elsewhere in Cannes, the films that stand out from the line-up in the Directors’ Fortnight programme are US director Jeremy Saulnier’s follows up to his brilliant Blue Ruin with Green Room, a story of punk rockers battling neo-Nazis starring Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots and Patrick Stewart, and Takashi Miike’s gangster-vampire hybrid thriller Yakuza Apocalypse: The Great War Of The Underworld, which receives a special presentation. Plus, we will also try to catch at least one of Miguel Gomes’s Arabian Nights, the three-film contemporary epic from the Portuguese director, which is loosely based on Scheherazade’s tales of ‘One Thousand And One Nights’ but essentially devolves into a chronicle of Portugal’s economic malaise.