One month before the competition for the Palme d’Or, the 75th Cannes Film Festival unveils an official selection on Thursday that promises to combine art and glamour, but will probably not forget politics, in the midst of the war in Ukraine.
Directors from all over the world will have their eyes riveted on the Champs-Elysées cinema at 11 a.m. where the general delegate, Thierry Frémaux, will announce the list of elected officials. Perhaps he will also reveal the name of the person who will succeed Spike Lee as president of the jury. The specialized magazine Variety is betting on Penelope Cruz or Marion Cotillard.
More than 2,000 films were submitted for this anniversary edition. The Festival, which returns to its usual dates before the pandemic, from May 17 to 28, could offer a platform to Ukrainian filmmakers, or to Russians breaking with the Putin regime. After the invasion, Cannes immediately announced that it would not host official “Russian delegations”, but could invite well-known filmmakers like Kantemir Balagov (“Tesnota”), 30, who fled Russia, or his senior Kirill Serebrennikov (“Leto”), 52 years old, enfant terrible of contemporary creation who, as a director, is to open the Festival d’Avignon. On the Ukrainian side, we could count on the filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, who submitted a film on the destruction of German cities by the Allies at the end of the Second World War.
Twenty contenders for the Palme d’Or are expected to compete, ten months after the July 2021 edition, which crowned the Frenchwoman Julia Ducournau for “Titanium”. Big names would be in the ranks: professionals are hoping for a return to competition from David Cronenberg, a horror science fiction film for which he rallied Viggo Mortensen, Kristen Stewart and Léa Seydoux, or from the Australian George Miller, the father from “Mad Max”. Also mentioned are the Swedish Ruben Ostlund, Palme d’Or 2017 with the grating “The Square”, which once again dissects contemporary mores in “Triangle of Sadness”, or the ambitious project by Terrence Malick on the life of Christ, with Mark Rylance as Satan. Few female directors are mentioned, apart from the American Kelly Reichardt, prized by critics, or the French Rebecca Zlotowski or Alice Winocour, each for films with Franco-Belgian Virginie Efira, who is also mistress of the ceremonies. opening and closing this year. Cannes could be tempted to play the South Korean card again, after betting right in 2019 by crowning “Parasite” by Bong Joon-ho, which then won the Oscar for best film. The latter could return with his latest film, just like his compatriot Park Chan-Wook.
If French cinema will probably once again be well represented, the Cannes rules, which exclude from the competition platform films that are not released in French cinemas, should on the other hand exclude from the Croisette the Netflix film “Blonde”, a re-reading of the life of Marilyn Monroe with Ana de Armas. While the great authors no longer hesitate to go on the platforms (Scorsese or Jane Campion at Netflix, soon Ridley Scott at Apple…), and the habits of the spectators evolve, Thierry Frémaux would like this rule to change, but the French exhibitors, on the festival’s board of directors, oppose it. Very little information has filtered so far on this 75th edition, the last of President Pierre Lescure, who announced that he would hand over control in July to a lawyer, Iris Knobloch, ex-WarnerMedia. It is marked by the end of the partnership with Canal+, replaced by a France Télévisions/Brut team, and the arrival as a partner of TikTok.
Out of competition, the Festival announced the presence of Tom Cruise, back in the cockpit to present, 35 years later, a sequel to the mythical “Top Gun”, and the highly anticipated biopic “Elvis” by Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin rouge” ). (Belga / Belgium)
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Who will go up the stairs? The Cannes Film Festival unveils its official selection on Thursday