Cannes 2023: Thomas Cailley's One-of-a-Kind 'The Animal Kingdom'

The Animal Kingdom Review

One of the first great discoveries at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival so far (we're only just getting going!) is this French film titled The Animal Kingdom, originally known as Le Règne Animal in French. Made by the French director Thomas Cailley, the upbeat genre film takes place in a world where humans suddenly start turning into animals. It's not as cheesy or as a dumb as it sounds when I put it like that, it's much more realistic and gritty, utilizing impressive prosthetics and SFX to show the day-to-day progress as humans very slowly begin to transform into beasts. The current title is The Animal Kingdom but I'd rather call it We Are All Animals instead, which is not meant to be a spoiler. When the film opens in Paris, the world has already started to accept that this transformation is happening (randomly to different people) but they can't really explain it and don't really know what to make of it. The story focuses on a teenage boy and his father.


 Posted on May 18 in Cannes 23, Review | Comments

The Evolution of Film Festivals - Back at the 76th Cannes Film Festival

76th Cannes Film Festival

Tonight in the lovely beach resort town of Cannes, France, the 76th Cannes Film Festival is kicking off with the world premiere screening of Maïwenn's Jeanne du Barry after the opening ceremony. This is my 13th year attending and covering Cannes, starting back in 2009, and I am always happy to return. I skipped the opening film because it's just not my jam, but I am excited to watch plenty more films over the next 11 days in France. I come to Cannes year after year, spending more than I have in my bank account to be here, because I am here for the films. For the love of cinema. For the spirit of discovery and for all the hours of watching and discussing new films with my friends and colleagues. This is why I always come back. Yes, it can be annoying and frustrating to deal with. Yes, it the festival has problems like EVERY festival does. But I come anyway and make the most of it. It makes me happy that we're ALL here together to celebrate cinema.


 Posted on May 16 in Cannes 23, Editorial, Indies | Comments

Trailer for Amat Escalante's 'Lost in the Night' - Premiering in Cannes

Lost in the Night Trailer

"Why did you hire me if you know who I am?" The Match Factory has unveiled a Cannes promo trailer for Lost in the Night, premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival kicking off soon this month. This is the latest film by Mexican filmmaker Amat Escalante, best known for his more recent indie hits Heli and The Untamed. It's premiering in the Cannes Premiere section at the fest, not in the competition, Though it looks like it could be in there nonetheless. Emiliano lives in a small mining town in Mexico. Motivated by a sense of justice, he searches for those responsible for the disappearance of his activist mother. He finds a clue that leads him to the wealthy Aldama Family - soon he gets a job at their home. In search of the truth & justice, Emiliano plunges into a dark world full of secrets, lies and revenge. Starring Juan Daniel García Treviño as Emiliano, Bárbara Mori, Ester Expósito, Fernando Bonilla, and Maria Fernanda Osio. Well I'm impressed, this looks like it could be terrific. Plays like Mexico's Parasite with a a complex and twisted plot.

Cannes Trailer for Moroccan Documentary Film 'The Mother of All Lies'

The Mother of All Lies Trailer

"The graves, you dug them up. But the truth, you've shut it up." An early promo trailer has debuted for a documentary film titled The Mother of All Lies, which is premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival this month. It's rare that Cannes shows documentaries, so this is a good sign this one is something special. It's made by a Moroccan filmmaker named Asmae El Moudir, telling a story about her own life and her own mother. The title is a double entendre, since the phrase "mother of all" is common - but it seems to also be about her own mother's lies. A Moroccan woman's search for truth tangles with a web of lies in her family history. As a daughter and filmmaker, she fuses personal and national history as she reflects on the 1981 Bread Riots, drawing out connections to modern Morocco. On a handmade set recreating her Casablanca neighborhood, a young Moroccan filmmaker enlists family and friends to help solve the troubling mysteries of her childhood. This looks riveting, certainly a new film to keep an eye out for if you enjoy watching docs.

First Teaser for Wei Shujun's Haunting Mystery 'Only the River Flows'

Only the River Flows Trailer

"Fate is all the truth we cannot see." Cinetic Marketing has unveiled a festival teaser trailer for the Chinese indie thriller titled Only the River Flows, the latest creation from a filmmaker named Wei Shujun (also of Striding Into the Wind and Ripples of Life before). This is premiering next week at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section. A police chief investigates a series of murders in a riverside town in rural China in the 1990s. An arrest is made quickly, though mysterious clues push the policeman to dive deeper into the hidden behavior of the locals. All the synopsis end there, without giving any more hints as to what's going on. The film stars Zhu Yilong, Chloe Maayan, Hou Tianlai, and Tong Linkai. This is a very mysterious trailer with a number of fly-by shots at the end showing how this is much more expansive then just a simple story of a murder. Keep an eye out for buzz on this from Cannes soon - looks damn good.

Quick Teaser for Kim Jee-woon's Meta Filmmaking Comedy 'Cobweb'

Cobweb Teaser Trailer

The Jokers has unveiled a flashy 30-second teaser trailer for Cobweb, the comedy from acclaimed Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-woon (The Good the Bad the Weird, I Saw the Devil, Age of Shadows). It's premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival this month, hence the French teaser out now. The story is set in Seoul in 1970 and focuses on Kim, a director who is dissatisfied with the ending of his project entitled "Cobweb". Despite many obstacles and interference from censorship authorities, disgruntled actors & producers, Kim is determined to rework the ending of his film in just two days, in hopes of making it a masterpiece. He must overcome this chaos to get it done… It's a meta film about filmmaking, described as "an experimental and genre-defying drama shot entirely on sound stages in support of a film-within-a-film narrative." The cast includes Song Kang-ho (!!!), Im Soo-jung, Oh Jung-se, Jeon Yeo-been, and Krystal Jung. I have always enjoyed Kim Jee-woon's work and this looks great so far - always fun to make fun of making movies.

First Trailer for Aki Kaurismäki's 'Fallen Leaves' Premiering in Cannes

Fallen Leaves Trailer

"I don't even know your name." "I'll tell you next time." The Match Factory has revealed a trailer for Aki Kaurismäki's latest film Fallen Leaves, his light-hearted romantic "tragicomedy". This is premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival later this month, playing in the Main Competition, not his first time either (he won the Grand Prix once before in Cannes for The Man Without a Past). Two lonely people who meet each other by chance in the Helsinki night and try to find the first love of their lives. "With this film, Kaurismäki tips his hat to Bresson, Ozu and Chaplin, wanting to tell a story about the things that may lead humanity to a future: longing for love, solidarity, hope, and respect for another human being, nature and anything living or dead." The movie is inspired by the song “Les feuilles mortes" (translates to "Dead Leaves”), composed by Joseph Kosma with lyrics by Jacques Prévert. Fallen Leaves was shot in Helsinki and is the master's fourth film on the working class, after Shadows in Paradise (1986), Ariel (1988), The Match Factory Girl (1990). Starring Alma Pöysti as Ansa & Jussi Vatanen as Holappa. This looks like it might be wonderful. I'm in.

First Look Trailer for Takeshi Kitano's Epic 'Kubi' Premiering in Cannes

Kubi Trailer

Kadokawa has revealed the first look teaser for a movie called Kubi, a historical epic from iconic Japanese actor Beat Takeshi. This will be premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival later this month in the Cannes Premiere section. This film was conceived by director Takeshi Kitano around the same time as Sonatine, one of his early masterpieces, and has been in the works for 30 years. It depicts the "Honnoji Incident" along with the ambitions, betrayals, and fates of various characters, including warlords, ninja, comedians, and peasants. The ambitious new film has assembled a splendid and unique cast! Takeshi plays Hideyoshi Hashiba, who plots the "Honnoji Incident," and Hidetoshi Nishijima plays Mitsuhide Akechi. Ryo Kase gives a dubious performance as the mad genius Nobunaga Oda, while Tadanobu Asano and Nao Omori play the military strategist Kanpei Kuroda, who supports Hideyoshi, and his brother Hidenaga Hashiba with a great sense of humor. Also with Shido Nakamura, Yuichi Kimura, Kenichi Endo, Kenta Kiritani, Kaoru Kobayashi, and Ittoku Kishibe. It's called "a rare film, on a scale similar to Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai and Kagemusha, with a tragicomic quality that feels Shakespearean." Bring it on, Takeshi.

One More Super Seductive Teaser Trailer for Sam Levinson's 'The Idol'

The Idol Teaser Trailer

"When was the last truly f*&!ing nasty, nasty bad pop girl?" A24 + Sky TV have unveiled a fourth teaser for the upcoming series The Idol, the controversial new creation from "Euphoria's" Sam Levinson (also of Assassination Nation, Malcolm & Marie). It was just announced that this will premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. As a film? Only the first two episodes? The series is also co-created by the famous Canadian singer / rapper The Weeknd, who is an exec producer and co-star. Set against the backdrop of the music industry, the series will focus on a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult who begins a relationship with the rising pop idol. Lily-Rose Depp and Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) star, with Troye Sivan, Debby Ryan, Rachel Sennott, Steve Zissis, Hari Nef, and Juliebeth Gonzalez. Everyone seems to be up in arms, scoffing at this, making fun of it, saying it will be bad, etc. It's premiering in Cannes, which is a huge deal no matter how it turns out. Will it be any good? We'll find out… Looks like it's trying to act as commentary on how over-sexualized music has become (again). "I ain't seen no shit like this since the 90s."


 Posted on April 17 in Cannes 23, Streaming, To Watch, Trailer | 2 Comments

Japanese Trailer for Hirokazu Kore-eda's Cannes 2023 Film 'Monster'

Monster Trailer

Toho in Japan has revealed a full-length official trailer for Monster, the latest film from prolific Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda. He already won Palme d'Or a few years ago for Shoplifters, and premiered his Korean film Broker in Cannes last year, and is back at the festival again. This trailer dropped moments after the film was announced as a major premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, playing again in the competition. The story spun by Hirokazu Kore-eda this time is colored by the world-class music of Ryuichi Sakamoto (who sadly passed away recently). The film's cast features the talented Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama, and Yuko Tanaka, who overwhelm the audience with their transformative performances, and rising stars Souya Kurokawa and Yota Hiiragi, who play the two boys with freshness and emotion, as well as Mitsuki Takahata, Akihiro Tsunoda, Shidou Nakamura. The Rashomon-esque story follows a boy at school, examining who a "monster" really is - told from three perspectives: the mother, the teacher, and the boy, revealing the ultimate truth. This is a strong trailer, an intriguing look at Kore-eda's evolution.

2023 Cannes Film Festival Selection - Kaurismäki, Glazer, Rohrwacher

Cannes 2023

Every year, cinephiles wake up early for the announcement from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 76th Cannes Film Festival taking place this May, they have revealed a worldwide selection of intriguing new films, featuring new works from well-established filmmakers (the usual for this festival), as well as some first-timers (including one from Senegal in the main comp). Cannes is continuing in its usual spot in late May, running from May 16th to 27th. Just over a month until the fest opens. The selection last year included a number of my Top 10 fave films, including The Eight Mountains and Godland. This year's line-up is not as exciting – at least at first glance… Returning to Cannes: Alice Rohrwacher, Ken Loach (Palme winner), Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Palme winner), Wes Anderson, Wim Wenders, Todd Haynes, and Hirokazu Kore-eda (another Palme winner). The final tally is 65 films in this year's fest line-up. As always, a few last minute additions will join the selection (all are now added). View the full list of 2023 films below.


 Posted on April 13 in Cannes 23, Foreign Films, Movie News | Comments

First French Trailer for Maïwenn's 'Jeanne du Barry' with Johnny Depp

Jeanne du Barry Trailer

Le Pacte has revealed an official French trailer for the film Jeanne du Barry, which was just revealed as the opening night film at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival in May. Directed by Maïwenn, this stars Johnny Depp as King Louis XV, her lover in this story. It would seem Cannes is all about the attention that will come from Depp on the red carpet more than the quality, as this seems lavishly redundant and derivative. We've seen all this before in other ball & gown films. In this film, Jeanne Vaubernier, a young working-class woman hungry for culture and pleasure, uses her intelligence and her allure to climb the rungs of the social ladder one by one. She becomes the favourite of King Louis XV who, unaware of her status as courtesan, regains through her his appetite for life. They fall madly in love. Against all propriety and etiquette, Jeanne moves to Versailles, where her arrival scandalizes the court… Aside from Maïwenn and Depp, the full cast includes Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud, Pierre Richard, Pascal Greggory, and India Hair. This definitely isn't my jam, and it just doesn't look that interesting anyway. Maybe someone will be into it?



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