I'm celebrating my 10th year attending the Cannes Film Festival, after first coming here in 2009. I love this festival, and I always love coming back, and I always say this every year. But this year, in honor of my 10th time here, I've decided to do something special. I'm giving away 10 copies of the classic Ebert book: "Two Weeks in the Midday Sun: A Cannes Notebook". Ebert wrote this book while at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival and it was first published later that year. It became lost in time, until I was introduced to it before coming to Cannes in 2014. I wrote a series of blog posts that year referencing this book and mirroring my own experiences. And I've never forgotten about it. The book was republished (with a new intro by Martin Scorsese!) a few years back and is now widely available (check Amazon) in case you want to read it yourself.
There's a new film that just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year titled Les Misérables, but it has nothing to do with Victor Hugo's famous novel (of the same name) or the musical or any of that. It's a contemporary story set in a suburb outside of Paris, France, and it's a remarkably fresh, masterful feature directorial debut of a filmmaker named Ladj Ly. The festival is just getting going, but it's one of the best films I've seen here so far - impressive in every way, especially from someone making their first feature film. But damn does it rule. It's an intense watch. This Les Misérables is one of those intense films that you take a deep breath while watching, and only start breathing again once it's over. I admire how raw and honest and ambitious it is. The story gives us plenty to chew on, while never descending into negativity or hopelessness.
Jarmusch seems pretty upset about the way things are in our society these days. So he made a zombie film. The Dead Don't Die, a zombie comedy written & directed by American indie filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (of Dead Man, Ghost Dog, Coffee and Cigarettes, Broken Flowers, The Limits of Control, Only Lovers Left Alive, Paterson), just premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival as the opening night gala film. This actually isn't so much of a zombie film, as it is social commentary covered with blood and zombie make-up, along with a couple of weary small-town cops who try their best to survive this hell. The film is an extremely obvious criticism of how miserable things are becoming, between climate change and materialism and idiots running America, and how it's all going to end badly no matter what we do. Alas, its wears out its welcome rather quickly and doesn't offer much heart humor to make-up for it, only zombie irony and meta goofiness.
Bienvenue au paradis du cinéma! The 72nd Cannes Film Festival kicks off this week down in the South of France, and I'm back here again for my 10th time. This year is just as exciting as every other, and I am so happy to be back. Every May cinephiles from all over the world pack up their bags and make the trek down to the Cote d'Azur for two weeks of cinema heaven, basking in the Mediterranean sun while watching films made by some of the best filmmakers and storytellers out there. It's exciting to be here in Cannes because it's a fantastic time to catch up with old friends, make new friends, watch new films, discuss & discover old films, and enjoy all the splendors of international cinema. I've been writing about Cannes for years, telling so many different stories, and I always hope to encourage more people to join in on the fun and make it over to the fest. It's an incomparable experience to be in the seaside town where cinema history has been made.
Every year, cinephiles wake up early for the announcement from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 72nd Cannes Film Festival taking place this May, they've confirmed a considerably impressive, enticing selection of films made by the finest filmmakers hailing from all over the world. The 2019 line-up includes new films by Xavier Dolan (Matthias & Maxime), Ira Sachs (Frankie set in Portugal), Terrence Malick (A Hidden Life formerly titled Radegund), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), Corneliu Porumboiu (The Whistlers), along with Pedro Almodóvar, Ken Loach, Arnaud Desplechin, and Marco Bellocchio. We already know that Jim Jarmusch's zombie film The Dead Don't Die is opening the fest, and Dexter Fletcher's Elton John biopic Rocketman is premiering here as well. There will likely be a few additions last minute - as these numbers are a bit low. Update: Tarantino is officially IN! He'll be at the festival. See the full list below.
"All the way up. As high as she could go. Perched on the shoulders of an impassive technician. Clinging to a camera, which seems to absorb her entirely. A young woman, aged 26, making her first film." The official poster for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival has been revealed, just a few days before the official line-up is revealed as well. The artwork features a young Agnès Varda, only aged 26, making her first feature film. The iconic photo was taken in 1955 while she was filming her film La Pointe Courte, and it has been edited and colorized to make it look gorgeous as the official artwork for the 2019 festival. Cannes kicks off on May 14th next month, running until May 25th. The opening film will be Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die, and Tarantino's latest is expected to premiere there as well. Take a closer look at the 72nd poster art below.