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Follow Our Updates from the 2019 Cannes Film Festival
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.
"Why are we interfering in her life?" Strand Releasing has debuted an official trailer for an Israeli familial drama titled The Other Story, the latest from veteran Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher (of The Secrets, The Matchmaker, The Wonders, Love Letter to Cinema, Past Life most recently). Strand describes it: "Strong female protagonists have been the mainstay of many Avi Nesher films. In The Other Story, two rebellious young women – one fleeing the chaos of secular hedonism for the disciplined comforts of faith; the other desperate to transcend her oppressive religious upbringing for sexual and spiritual freedom – cross paths unexpectedly in Jerusalem, to startling consequences." The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Starring Sasson Gabai, Joy Rieger, Yuval Segal, Maya Dagan, & Maayan Bloom. View below.
"I don't want to acclimate – I want to go." A24 has revealed the second official trailer for Ari Aster's cult horror film Midsommar, the follow-up to his highly acclaimed feature debut Hereditary. Midsommar is about a woman who reluctantly joins her boyfriend on a trip to a small Swedish village, where the encounter a pagan cult conducting a "violent and bizarre" ritual. This looks very, very freakalicious. Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor star as the couple, along with Will Poulter, Julia Ragnarsson, William Jackson Harper, Björn Andrésen, Anna Åström, and Liv Mjönes. A24 teamed up with Aster to develop and produce this after releasing Hereditary, and will drop it in theaters in July in the middle of the summer. This looks mesmerizing and horrific and beautiful and frightening all at once. The music in this trailer rules.
"There are many who prey on the innocent…" Disney has revealed the first teaser trailer for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, the dark sequel to the live-action Maleficent movie from 2014. This series is originally based on Disney's Sleeping Beauty, but tells the story from the perspective of Maleficent, the "evil witch" who poisoned the princess. In this sequel, the complex relationship of Maleficent and Aurora continues to be explored as they face new threats to the magical land of the Moors. Angelina Jolie returns to star as the iconic witch, with Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith, and a cast including Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Harris Dickinson, Robert Lindsay, Ed Skrein, Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kae Alexander, David Gyasi, and Judith Shekoni. This is only a teaser trailer with a lot of establishing shots and a glimpse at the story, but it certainly does look magnificent and very wicked.
"Could she run forever?" When musicians and filmmakers collaborate and end up working in sync, we end up with something beautiful. I Am Easy to Find is a new short film / music video written and directed by the very talented filmmaker Mike Mills (of the films Thumbsucker, Beginners, 20th Century Women). This 24-minute B&W short film stars Alicia Vikander and captures an entire life in 164 moments. It's inspired by an "artsy fartsy French film" (which was not revealed) and became something greater once Mills started shooting. "Built on the fragmented style of memory-filled detours found in Beginners and 20th Century Women, Mills charts the entire life of Vikander's nameless character through these fleeting 164 moments." It's deeply moving to watch an entire life go by from start to finish in 24 minutes, and Vikander makes it all the more convincing.You can also watch this video with Mills' Directors' Commentary here for more context.
"The truth is - mutants are very real, and they are among us." It's X-Men Day! 20th Century Fox has just debuted two special "legacy" trailers / promo spots for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, in celebration of "X-Men Day" today (May 13th). The two videos take a look back at the history of the X-Men, going back through the original movie in 2000 (way back when before Avengers and the MCU) all the way up to today. There have been a total of 11 movies since the first X-Men (including Logan and the two Deadpool movies which do officially count). All this marketing makes it seem like Dark Phoenix is the big grand finale ala Endgame, but we'll see how it all plays out (and they already did Dark Phoenix once before in X-Men: The Last Stand). The cast of this X-Men includes Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Peters, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Alexandra Shipp, along with Jessica Chastain, Ato Essandoh, and Scott Shepherd. Here's to hoping this one actually turns out pretty good.
"This is real, right?" Netflix has debuted an official trailer for the indie drama Elisa & Marcela, a Spanish drama that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year. This B&W lesbian romance is set in 1901, telling the story of two women who marry (with one of them posing as a man to pull it off) fifteen years after first falling in love. Greta Fernández co-stars as Marcela Gracia Ibeas, who takes on the identity of Mario Sánchez, in to marry her lover, Elisa Sanchez Loriga, played by Natalia de Molina. The cast includes Sara Casanovas, Tamar Novas, María Pujalte, and Francesc Orella. This received some awful reviews out of Berlinale, saying it's a "plodding, protracted melodrama where provincial folk speak, behave and act like their 21st century counterparts." As stylistic and passionate as it may seem, this sounds like a film to avoid.
"Sama - I've made this film for you. I need you to understand what we were fighting for…" Wow, this looks phenomenal. PBS Distribution has debuted the first official trailer for a documentary titled For Sama, which won the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. The film is made by a young Syrian woman named Waad al-Kateab, married to a doctor, who films her life while they have a baby and war erupts around them. "Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice–whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter's life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much." It was shot over five years and looks remarkable, capturing the struggles of innocent people with a different eye than most filmmakers. I really, really want to see this doc - even the trailer itself will move you to tears.
"Je suis tout seul." Well, what do we have here? A crazy new film about haute couture, it seems. Diaphana has debuted a teaser trailer for the latest film from wacky French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux (Rubber, Wrong, Wrong Cops), which is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival which begins this week. Deerskin is the opening day film in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar section, and it stars Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin as a man who loves his deerskin jacket. Maybe a bit too much. His obsession with this special jacket causes him to blow his life savings and turn to crime. The cast includes Adèle Haenel, Albert Delpy, Coralie Russier, Laurent Nicolas, and Pierre Gommé. This doesn't seem that exciting until he suddenly starts killing people with a gigantic machete-esque blade. Yeah, this is going to be seriously bonkers. Check it out.
"You slept with her, right!?" North of Two has debuted an official trailer for indie drama titled How You Look at Me, from filmmaker Gabriel Henrique Gonzalez. This "scandalous love triangle" film is about an old mansion in rural France. When an Englishman arrives to take care of the estate his father left him, he meets a captivating and mysterious woman. Their affair sows discord in the relationship between the man and his fiancé until he learns of the past that the two women had once shared. Starring George Blagden, Anna Åström, and Ellie Turner. If you're into sappy romance, maybe you'll enjoy this. But it just looks so cheesy and so obvious and so boring. It's headed straight-to-VOD this month if anyone is into it anyway.
"Do you want to live or die?" SBS Distribution has unveiled an official promo trailer for the Brazilian film titled Bacurau, which is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival starting this week. This highly anticipated film is the follow-up to Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho's award-winning 2012 feature Aquarius. This is one of the few sci-fi films playing at Cannes, and the description hints at some kind of aliens being in this town. There's even a UFO on one of the posters. "Described as a mixture of western, adventure and sci-fi, Bacurau is set in a small town in the Brazilian backlands that disappears from the map" after the death of the town's matriarch at the age of 94. A filmmaker goes to investigate and discovers something much more mysterious. The film's key cast includes Sonia Braga, Udo Kier, Jonny Mars, Antonio Saboia, Chris Doubek, and Karine Teles. This an enticing tease - just enough to leave me even more curious to see this.
"He's so strange, this new boy." Our friends at MovieZine.se have debuted the first promo trailer for a film titled And Then We Danced, which is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival coming up this month. This dramedy is set in Georgia (the country) but is made by a Swedish filmmaker, who went back to his Georgian roots to tell this story about dancers. The story is about a carefree dancer named Irakli who arrives at the National Georgian Ensemble, causing fellow dancer Merab to push himself more all the while he falls hard for him. "This film will not only be a very interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free." Starring Ana Javakhishvili, Anano Makharadze, Bachi Valishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Levan Gelbakhiani, Ninutsa Gabisonia. There's just a small taste of footage in the trailer, but it looks excellent so far - lively and energetic and cute.