Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cannes '07 Festival Slate

Man, I didn't even know that Shawn Levy had another movie coming out...

Just kidding guys. But seriously, is this year's official competition lineup looking awesome or what?

Fatih Akin- Auf Der Anderen Seite
Catherine Breillat- Une Vielle Maitresse
Joel and Ethan Coen- No Country For Old Men
David Fincher- Zodiac
James Gray- We Own the Night
Christophe Honore- Les Chansons d'Amour
Naomi Kawase- The Mourning Forest
Kim Ki-duk- Breath
Emir Kusturica- Promise Me This
Lee Chang-dong- Secret Sunshine
Cristian Mungiu- 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Raphael Nadjari- Tehilim
Carlos Reygadas- Silent Light
Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud- Perseopolis
Julian Schnabel- The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Ulrich Seidl- Import Export
Aleksandr Sokurov- Alexandra
Quentin Tarantino- Death Proof
Bela Tarr- The Man From London
Gus Van Sant- Paranoid Park
Wong Kar-wai- My Blueberry Nights
Andrei Zvyagintsev- The Banishment

Pretty sweet, huh? If even half those movies turn up at TIFF this year, I'll be elated. Many of these I'm looking forward to passionately, like the Coen brothers' supposed return to form, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, which should be their most serious film since BLOOD SIMPLE. But the one I'm really pumped for is the new Bela Tarr- not only is this the master's first film in 7 years, but it's an adaptation of a fucking Simenon novel, which sounds like a fascinating combo of director and author. Hell, even the directors whose previous films I haven't liked much- Reygadas, Zvyagintsev- have shown promise in the past, and maybe this time they'll finally live up to it.

All this in mind, I wonder if there might actually be a dark horse winner this year instead of one of the cavalcade of world cinema heavyweights. The jury- president Stephen Frears, plus Sarah Polley, Michel Piccoli, Maggie Cheung, Marco Bellocchio, Abderrahmane Sissako, Toni Collette, Maria de Medeiros, and writer Orhan Pamuk- is quite eclectic, but I get an artsy vibe from the stronger presences in the bunch. My early, no-clue-in-hell prediction? Schnabel, who'll make with the artsy for those so inclined while telling an "inspirational true story" for the more mainstream types (also, keep an eye out for James Gray, who doesn't get much love in the States but is a Cannes veteran). One thing's for sure- playing a severely impaired character makes Schnabel's lead actor, the awesome Matthieu Amalric, the one to beat for best actor, barring an impressive nonprofessional kid performance anyway.

And hey look- I've even seen two of the movies. Only one in its Cannes cut, but what can ya do.

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