After a 2020 edition canceled due to the pandemic and that of 2021 postponed to July for the same reason, Cannes is reviving its calendar traditions by rolling out its red carpet from May 17 to 28. As always, the institution advances on its two legs: on the one hand, the glamor and the mad machine of the promotion, with the out-of-competition presentations of “prestige films” and the climbs of the steps exciting photographers and amateurs of celebrity, particularly Top Gun: maverickstarring Tom Cruise (in theaters May 25), or Elvis by Baz Luhrmann, the biopic on the King(out June 22). On the other, the “cream” of auteur cinema with, in competition, demanding creators who often depict the harsh realities of their time, such as the Dardenne brothers, in search of a third Palme d’ gold with Tori and Lokitaa film about two young African migrants in Belgium.
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Among the other highly anticipated filmmakers of the 2022 vintage: Russian Kirill Serebrennikov, a lifelong opponent of Vladimir Putin, with Madame Tchaikovsky; the American James Gray, one of the best filmmakers of his generation, often present but never rewarded on the Croisette, with Armageddon Timeevocation of New York in the 1980s and the emerging empire of the Trump family, or the Iranian Saeed Roustayi, revealed in 2021 with Tehran Law and selected for the first time in competition with Leila’s Brother.
Also in the running are regulars of the venues who are returning for the umpteenth time in competition, and whose films will be released in theaters alongside their Cannes presentation, such as David Cronenberg with Future Crimes and Arnaud Desplechin with Brother and sister, two films to which we will return next week. Stronghold of international auteur cinema, the biggest festival in the world also remains a mirror of the “French exception” and still defends (but for how long?) the model of dark rooms by not hosting, in its within, and unlike the Venice and Berlin festivals, the films produced and distributed by the platforms.
Pierre Lescure retires
The changes at the head of the Festival – Pierre Lescure, its president, will give way in July to the German Iris Knobloch, former head of the American major Warner – and the upheavals in the economy of French cinema will perhaps change the deal, and make the Festival more consistent with certain standards of globalized entertainment.
While waiting for these hypothetical metamorphoses, Cannes remains the place of all possibilities and, above all, that of all revelations. In 2019, the last “normal” year of the Festival, the sumptuous Parasiteby Korean Bong Joon-ho, with his Palme d’Or, then won over 1.7 million spectators in France, before winning the Oscars for best film and best director. If only the 2022 winner could live up to this memorable precedent…
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The Cannes Film Festival: a French exception!