What are the best films out of this year's Cannes Film Festival? Which ones should you be taking an interest in? What are the priorities? After 12 days at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, after 28 screenings, it's time to present my 2016 list of my Top 7 Favorite Films. I love Cannes and this year it was a particularly fantastic year of films, with so many that will stick with me well beyond the festival. Many of these will be well received outside of the festival, too. Jim Jarmusch's Paterson is already one of my all-time favorites, seriously, it's a perfect film and I went to see it twice because I'm so in love with it. There are many others worth checking out, and this is my final recap of the festival (with a full list of all the films I saw at the end).
"How far does a scream travel out here, Wyatt?" "Not too far…" IFC Midnight has debuted the trailer for the "pure-pulp thrill ride" Carnage Park, directed by Mickey Keating. The film premiered in the Midnight section at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and is described as a "gritty, grisly homage to the glory days of grindhouse cinema." Carnage Park features Ashley Bell and Pat Healy as well as James Landry Hébert and Michael Villar. This trailer definitely has a grindhouse vibe with the saturated look, and seems like a great film to see at midnight in some old junky theater with a big bag of popcorn. Dive in.
When covering film festivals in the press, most reports are about the many films (with hundreds of reviews published daily) or the celebrities on the red carpet or the business deals being made in the market. Rarely is there any discussion about the people who attend the festival, the die-hard cinephiles from all over who spend two weeks in the South of France watching films. Whenever I'm asked to describe the Cannes Film Festival, there's always one thought that comes to mind first - it's the most well known film festival in the entire world. Sundance draws mostly American crowds, with some international coverage. But Cannes is the place where the world comes together to experience cinema history. I'm inspired by the way this unites us.
"You have to do something with your life. What are you good at?" IFC Films has debuted this excellent full-length trailer for Steven Caple Jr.'s skateboarder indie drama The Land, which we featured the teaser trailer for just a few weeks ago. The film is about four teenage boys who spend their summer trying to figure out how to escape the streets of Cleveland, but end up caught in a drug deal gone bad. The cast features Erykah Badu, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Ezri Walker, Machine Gun Kelly, & Kim Coates. This seriously looks damn good, don't skip it just because you don't think you'll be into it. The Land looks like a stylish coming-of-age indie gem poised to break out.
"Witness the birth of a terrifying ego." The first trailer has debuted for a film called The Childhood of a Leader, which is the feature directing debut of the talented actor Brady Corbet, who has appeared in a number of excellent indie films over the last decade. Loosely inspired by the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre and Margaret MacMillan, the film tells a coming-of-age story of a young French choirboy whose father is a diplomat assisting President Woodrow Wilson in the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Tom Sweet plays the boy, and the cast includes Bérénice Bejo, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Yolande Moreau and Robert Pattinson. This certainly does look like something we've never seen before. Take a look below.
"Our parents are involved in a business matter…" Magnolia Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for Ira Sachs' Little Men, a film about two boys growing up in New York City. I was a huge fan of Ira Sachs' previous film, Love is Strange, and while I didn't love this one as much as that film - I still suggest seeing it. Greg Kinnear stars as the father of one of the two boys, who are played by Michael Barbieri and Theo Taplitz; the full cast also features Jennifer Ehle, Alfred Molina, Talia Balsam and Paulina Garcia. This is a rather wonderful trailer that really does a great job of setting up the story and hopefully grabbing the attention of a few curious cinephiles. But then again, it's worth watching any of Ira Sachs' films. Enjoy.
"I'm afraid something terrible will happen…" Summit & Roadside have released an official trailer for James Schamus' Indignation, an adaptation of the Philip Roth late novel, starring Logan Lerman as a boy from New Jersey attending a small, conservative college in Ohio. What the synopsis fails to leave out is that he's atheist, clashing with the head of the school, but still intelligent in his own way. Besides Lerman, the full cast features Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein and Ben Rosenfield. This premiered at Sundance to mostly positive reviews, a strong debut for Schamus. It's not exactly the best film of the year, but it does have a wonderful score by Jay Wadley, and great performances from the entire cast.
"This is all we have…" "We have each other." A24 has revealed the first official trailer for a post-apocalyptic survival thriller (we seem to be getting a lot of these recently) called Into the Forest, which premiered at the Toronto and Vancouver Film Festivals late last year. Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood star as two women living in a remote ancient forest when the world goes crazy all around them. There's kind of a The Road vibe to this, but it's much more about hope and sticking together to survive. The full cast includes Max Minghella, Callum Keith Rennie, Michael Eklund and Wendy Crewson. Check this out below.
"Destroy everything that threatens anything or anyone that you love! That's the yoga way." Invincible Pictures has released the first trailer for Kevin Smith's new indie comedy Yoga Hosers, which stars Smith's own daughter Harley Quinn Smith. She's joined by Johnny Depp's daughter, Lily-Rose Melody Depp, and the two play teenage yoga enthusiasts from Winnipeg who unearth some weird ancient evil and must battle a sausage army. It's as totally wacky as it sounds, and you'll even see some shots of Kevin Smith as the Bratzi. The full cast includes Johnny Depp, Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Conroy, Jason Mewes, Justin Long, and Vanessa Paradis. You'll either love or hate this trailer. Have fun with the Colleens.
"A house with wheels?" "Exactamundo!" Screen Media Films has debuted the official US trailer for Michel Gondry's latest feature film, called Microbe & Gasoline, about two funky kids named Microbe & Gasoline. I wasn't a fan of Gondry's last film, Mood Indigo, but this is one is fantastic - he gets back to his roots, telling a very charming story of two quirky friends escaping on a road trip and what it means to have a real friend who is just as weird as you are. Starring Ange Dargent and Théophile Baquet, plus Audrey Tautou, the film is actually a must see if you're a fan of Michel Gondry's films or coming-of-age adventures. I'm glad I had the chance to see this and do recommend it to anyone who is curious to give it a watch. Enjoy.
"Do you even care about your future?" IFC Films has debuted a great teaser trailer for a film called The Land, which originally premiered at Sundance earlier this year. The film is about four teean "buddies" Cisco, Boobie, Junior, and Patty Cake skateboarding around the streets of Cleveland, Ohio. They find a bag of pills and think it might be their ticket to glory, that is until they encounter the "cold, calculating, and notorious drug queenpin, 'Momma,' who runs the toughest gang in town." The cast features Erykah Badu, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jorge Lendeborg Jr, Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Ezri Walker, Machine Gun Kelly, & Kim Coates. This actually looks like it might be pretty damn good. Check this out.
"This war might last longer than me…" Film Movement has debuted a trailer for the indie drama Men Go to Battle, about the story of two brothers during the American Civil War. This is kind of the opposite of Free State of Jones, another Civil War movie due this year, with more of a mumblecore vibe and it even has a darkly comedic side - though that's hard to tell. The cast includes Timothy Morton, Charlotte Arnold, Steve Coulter, Samantha Jacober, Rachel Korine, David Maloney, Emily Cass McDonnell. The film follows two brothers trying to keep their crumbling estate together outside a Kentucky town. Have fun.
"Pretty good setting to bring a girl…" Roadside Attractions has debuted a fantastic trailer for Southside with You, the film from Sundance this year that retells Barack Obama's first date in Chicago in 1989. Parker Sawyers plays Obama, and Tika Sumpter plays Michelle Robinson, and they're perfect together in this - they have chemistry that just works wonders. The film is being compared to Before Sunrise and you'll see why with this trailer - there are many gorgeous shots of them strolling around Chicago, and it has that magical romantic feeling every frame. It's a wonderful film - read my Sundance review. Don't miss this.
"So what do we do now?" "We run." The Orchard has unleashed the official US trailer for Taika Waititi's new comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which is another one of our favorite films from Sundance this year (Captain Fantastic being another). Newcomer Julian Dennison plays Ricky Baker, a troublemaker kid from the city who ends up with a foster care family in a rural part of the country, with his new parents, Aunt Bella and Uncle Hec, played by Rima Te Wiata and Sam Neill. Eventually Ricky and Uncle Hec go on the run out in the New Zealand bush. This film is hilarious, heartfelt, and so much fun to watch. We've already featured two trailers from Australia, but one more to convince everyone it's worth seeing won't hurt.