Sunday, 28 May 2017

Cannes 2017 watchlist

As the Cannes film festival draws to a close I thought I'd do a list for future reference of titles that have been screened at the festival that I hope to see over the coming months. If past trends are anything to go by it may take a while for some of these to reach UK screens.

Before We Vanish (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Okja (Bong Joon-ho)
In the UK we're still waiting for a release of Bong's 2013 feature Snowpiercer. There were rumours that this would only be available via streaming on Netflix.
Let the Sunshine In (Claire Denis)
Based on a True Story (Roman Polanski)

Special Mention:
Twin Peaks (David Lynch)
I've already seen the first 4 episodes of the new series and it has certainly confounded expectations. It's great to have Lynch back working on a major new project after seemingly abandoning feature films following Inland Empire in 2006. There's a lot I'm looking forward to in 2017, as you can tell from this list, but this could very well be the film/TV event of the year.

Promising Titles:
Blade of the Immortal (Takashi Miike)
This is apparently Miike's 100th film. I knew he was prolific but I wasn't fully aware until now of how much catching up I have to do with his filmography.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)
Lanthimos's transition to English language features (2015's The Lobster) managed to retain the dry, surreal, deadpan humour and satire of his Greek films so I'm eager to see what he does next.
The Day After (Hong Sang-soo)
Claire's Camera (Hong Sang-soo)
Visages, Villages (Agnes Varda & JR)
Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes)
In the Fade (Fatih Akin)
24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami)
Alive in France (Abel Ferrara)
Lover for a Day (Philippe Garrel)
Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont)

Happy End (Michael Haneke)
Haneke has been a Cannes favourite for some time now having previously won major awards for The Piano Teacher and Hidden and the Palme D'Or for The White Ribbon and Amour. After an extraordinary run of films in the early 2000s I've cooled a little on Haneke. His US remake of Funny Games was ill judged and the reserved and clinical Amour wasn't the revelation that I'd been led to expect. Like Kubrick his formal brilliance became too mannered. With his knack for challenging subjects (in this case the refugee crisis in Europe) Happy End will hopefully see the director regaining the edge and urgency of his best work.
Top of the Lake (Jane Campion)
I wasn't overly keen on the first series of this New Zealand set mystery drama. I'd much rather see a new feature film from Campion but I'll happily watch any new effort from her.

Ismael's Ghosts (Arnaud Desplechin)
The opening film of the festival was lambasted by critics but this film has a dream cast (Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg) and the hostile response actually piqued my interest.
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay)
I may have been overly harsh on Lynne Ramsay. Her first two features (Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar) announced an outstanding new talent in British cinema. Since then it's been a frustrating waiting game and after a 9 year gap her third feature (2011's We Need to Talk About Kevin) was a crushing disappointment. It seems she's now settled on making features in the US.
Barbara (Mathieu Amalric)
The Merciless (Byun Sung-hyun)
The Villainess (Jung Byung-gil)
Good Time (Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie)
Radiance (Naomi Kawase)
A Gentle Creature (Sergei Loznitsa)
The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola)
I'm not sure what this new version of Don Siegel's 1971 classic can do to improve on its predecessor but the talent involved could potentially produce something interesting.
L'amant double (Francois Ozon)
Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Napalm (Claude Lanzmann)
How to Talk to Girls as Parties (John Cameron Mitchell)
Filmworker (Tony Zierra)
The Rider (Chloe Zhao)
Golden Years (Andre Techine)
Walking Past the Future (Li Ruijun)

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