Saturday, 14 May 2011

Cannes Film Festival 2011: The Top 10

Most of my picks from this year's sun drenched elegant event are actually from The Director's Fortnight selection (yes I remembered it this year!). As a bit of background: Director's Fortnight is an annual film event which takes place in Cannes at the same time as the film festival but is not directly attached - it's more of a companion event, if you will. It shows a range of full length and short films over two weeks, mainly promoting debut works and new talents and has a reputation for being cutting edge, off-beat and experimental. Many household names today have made their mark at the festival: Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Sofia Coppola, Spike Lee, Micheal Haneke... it's an illustrious place to get your film on board, and very hip to boot.

It's a festival just like its big sister: there's a programme, tickets available to buy, and well, if you're lucky enough to be in the area then the details of the 2011 event are here

But I've thrown a few big Can-nes (ho ho ho, STOP IT) in there as well to (slightly) mix it up. The majority of Cannes starlets this year have already been previewed on culturemouse so I'll do a quick summary at the end.

Top 10 at Cannes 2011

Apres Le Sud - Director's Fortnight
Dir: Jean-Jacques Jauffret
Adele Hanele, Sylvie Lachat, Ulysse Grosjean, Yves Ruellan


The lives of four troubled people living in the south of France intertwine one scorching hot day, leading to a spill of events which ends in tragedy.

Les Bien-Aimes (Beloved) - Closing Film
Dir:Christophe Honore
Catherine Deneuve, Ludivine Sagnier, Milos Forman


Spanning several decades and crossing countries, it's a romantic comedy, a melancholic look at life, a mother - daughter relationship full of relationships, and it's from the director of Dans Paris. It will close the Cannes Festival on May 22.

Blue Bird - Director's Fortnight
Dir: Gus Van Den Berghe
Bafiokadié Potey, Téné Potey, Nanty Libéria Bani


Two African children leave their village in search of a bluebird, and along the way encounter a number of different fantastical and spiritual people, learn about life and have transforming experiences.

Corpo Celeste - Director's Fortnight
Dir: Alice Rohrwacher
Yle Vianello, Salvatore Cantalupo, Pasqualina Scuncia, Anita Caprioli


Thirteen year old Marta feels out of place in her new life in Italy with her mother and sister, whilst at the same time discovering who she is and struggling with her Catholic upbringing in the lead up to her confirmation (yes, it's the Italian Love Like Poison!)

Eldfjall (Volcano) - Director's Fortnight
Dir: Runar Runarsson
Theódór Júlíusson, Margrét Helga Jóhannsdóttir, Benedikt Erlingsson


A lonely old man faces up to his life estranged from his children when he retires from his life-long job and his wife becomes ill. Since Kitchen Stories and White Night Wedding I'm a sucker for Scandinavian redemption cinema.

Hanezu No Tsuki - Cannes In Competition
Dir: Naomi Kwase
Tohta Komizu, Hako Oshima, Tetsuya Akikawa


Set in the ancient and spiritual region of Asuka and based on the novel by Masako Bando, the film follows the lives of two people who lead unfulfilled lives and draws upon the history of the land and the past souls who have lived there.

L'Apollonide Souvenirs de la Maison Close (House of Tolerance) - Cannes in Competition
Dir: Bertrand Bonello
Noémie Lvovsky, Hafsia Herzi, Céline Sallette, Jasmine Trinca

A Parisian brothel at the end of the 19th Century sees a prostitute hideously disfigured by a man as the other girls around her live in their joyful, painful and ardent debauchery.

La Fin du Silence (The End of Silence) - Director's Fortnight
France - Austria
Dir: Roland Edzard
Marianne Basler, Carlo Brandt, Franck Falise, Thierry Frémont

After a heated and violent argument, the youngest brother of a family is thrown out of the house into the nearby forest. He joins up with a group of hunters and becomes intent on getting revenge on those he fought with...

Play - Director's Fortnight
Dir: Ruben Ostlund
Anas Abdirahman, Sebastian Blyckert, Yannick Diakité, Sebastian Hegmar

A fascinating film from Sweden. Based on true events from a few years ago, the film documents a gang of black children on the streets of Gothenberg who used the 'brother' tactic in order to rob and bully other children, but the film's tone looks set to surprise and amuse.

The Island - Director's Fortnight
Dir: Kamen Kalev
Thure Lindhardt, Laetitia Casta, Boyka Velkova, Russi Chanev, Mihail Mutafov, Luben Dilov-Son


A devoted couple go on holiday to Bulgaria, and end up on a strange and remote island in the Black Sea where events and inhabitants begin to change their personalities and behaviour...

A few others of note that have already been given the seal of approval by culturemouse:


Melancholia - Lars Von Trier
Sleeping Beauty - Julia Leigh
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lynne Ramsay
The Tree of Life - Terrence Malick

UN CERTAIN REGARD (which has been quiet this year)

Martha Marcy May Marlene - Sean Durkin*
Restless - Gus Van Sant

*winner of Best Director at Sundance


Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen - Opening Film May 11
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - Rob Marshall

This year's jury will be headed by Robert de Niro, who will be helped out by film royalty such as Jude Law, Uma Thurman and Olivier Assayas amongst others. Who will win the Palme d'Or 2011?

News and reviews, plus the usual controversy springing up from one corner, to follow throughout the 12 days.

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