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Cannes Film Festival 2017: the 6 Things you Need to Know

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The 2017 Cannes Film Festival is only a few days away (17th-28th of May), and as usual, everybody is talking about it, the French kermesse, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary, is the second oldest Film Festival, after the Venice one.

We will be waiting for the 28th of May to find out which film will be taking home the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) assigned by the Jury chaired by Spanish director, screenwriter, and producer Pedro Almodóvar. The other members of the jury are Maren Ade, Jessica Chastain, Fan Bingbing, Agnès Jaoui, Park Chan-Wook, Will Smith, Paolo Sorrentino, and Gabriel Yared.

In the meanwhile let’s find out something more about how this festival works and a few facts not to be missed.

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HOW IT WORKS

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Except for the connoisseurs of every small detail of the event, to have a clear picture of how the event is divided is quite a conundrum; so here are the main categories and sections of the festival:

Official Selection

It includes the films competing for the Palme d’Or, plus the “Un Certain Regarde” section and the Out of competition films, which are selected to screen at the event but are not eligible for winning the Palme d’Or.

Cannes Classics

For every edition, the Festival proposes a selection of restored films that have made the history of Cinema. This year program will focus on the films that have “made” the Festival.

International Critics’ Week

It is the oldest parallel competitive section of the Cannes Film Festival, and it selects only first pictures (sometimes seconds) by up-and-coming directors.

Cinéfondation and Short Films

The first one focuses on films made by students at film schools; the second, as the title says, includes the short movies competing for the Short Film Palme d’or.

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CANNES ROYALTY

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They are back; they will not be presenting a film, but their successful TV Series. We are talking about David Lynch, winner of the Palme d’Or for his “Wild at Heart” in 1990 (and Best Director in 2001 for “Mulholland Drive”, tied with Joel Coen for “The Man Who Wasn’t Here”) and Jane Campion (Palme d’Or for “The Piano”, 1993 and Short Film Palme d’Or for “Peel”, 1986) who is the only woman to have ever won the Palme d’Or.

Lynch will be presenting the first 2 episodes of “Twin Peaks 3” and Campion the full season of “Top of the Lake – China Girl”.

 

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SHE’S EVERYWHERE

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Speaking of “Top of The Lake”, Nicole Kidman joined the cast for the second season, but the Australian actress will be definitely pretty busy during the Festival since she stars also in the latest Sofia Coppola’s film, “The Beguiled” (Official Selection – Competition) and in “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” by Yorgos Lanthimos (Official Selection – Competition).

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SHORT FILMS

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Among the screenings of short films, to keep an eye on Kristen Stewart’s first work as a director, “Come Swim”, which premiered early this year a the Sundance Film Festival.

The American actress now also director is not the only novelty of the short film worlds, two-times Academy Award Winner Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu (Birdman, The Revenant) will present his latest short “Flesh and Sand” (Carne y Arena). The Mexican director “played” with virtual reality to create this project and he did it alongside three-times Academy Award Winner cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Birdman, The Revenant). We are definitely waiting for this one!

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NETFLIX FIRST TIME (AND MAYBE LAST)

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No need to go into the details of the dispute between Netflix and the French Festival, also because there is a bit of confusion. So let’s just enjoy the movies that the American entertainment company is bringing to Cannes:

The Meyerowitz Stories by Noah Baumbach

It is one of the 19 film competing in the Official Selection; there still is a bit of mystery surrounding this comedy-drama starring Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Emma Thompson, and Dustin Hoffman, so we’ll just have to wait to find more about it.

Okja by Bong Joon-Ho

Played by Ahn Seo-hyun, Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Devon Bostick, Byun Hee-bong, and Shirley Henderson this action-adventure (Official Selection – Competition) tells the story of Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend — a massive animal named Okja.

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3 OF THE MOST AWAITED FILMS

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Every year the buzz leading to a Film Festival circles around a few films, it might be because of the cast, a welcomed return of a director after a few years, an eccentric director or simply a story that everybody is waiting to watch on the big screen. So here are 3 of the most-talked-about film from this year Official Selection:

Wonderstruck by Todd Haynes 

This drama film, starring Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and Millicent Simmonds, is set in two different time periods and focuses on two children: the 1977 segment revolves around Ben, who runs away from his family in Minneapolis and heads to New York City, and the 1927 scenes feature Rose a deaf child who plots an escape from her home in New Jersey to NYC to see her favorite actress Lillian Mayhew (Moore).

Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Selznick, the film by Todd Haynes (Carol, 2015) will be presented partly as a silent film since one of the lead protagonists, Rose, is deaf (played by deaf actress Millicent Simmonds). The director used a number of other deaf actors for this section of “Wonderstruck” to better capture Rose’s perception of the world.

The Beguiled by Sofia Coppola

Based on the novel of the same title by Thomas P. Cullinan (1966), the film stars Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning.

The story takes place during the Civil War at a Southern girls’ boarding school. After an injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) is taken in by the sheltered women, they tend to his wounds. Conning his way into each of the lonely women’s hearts, the house is taken over with sexual tension and dangerous rivalries, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually on him.

The American director reunites with Dunst (The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette) and Fanning (Somewhere).

You Were Never Really Here by Lynne Ramsay

This British-French-American film starring Joaquin Phoenix tells the story of a war veteran’s attempt to save a young girl from a sex trafficking ring that goes horribly wrong.

For the complete list of the competing films, see the official site.

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