Cannes takes on Trump with highly politicised lineup for 2017 film festival

  • August 27, 2017
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Al Gore, Vanessa Redgrave and Claude Lanzmann among those who will screen films on the Croisette, alongside new work from Lynne Ramsay and Sofia Coppola

The Cannes film festival reinforced its status as the home of politically charged cinema with the announcement of a lineup that encompasses the refugee crisis, climate change, mental health and the exploitation of animals.

Celebrating its 70th year, the festival has attracted the usual roster of star names, including Dustin Hoffman, Marion Cotillard and Nicole Kidman, the latter of whom will appear in four films across the festival fortnight. There was also a nod to the future, with concessions made to the growing clout of streaming services Netflix and Amazon, as well as the increased influence of television, with a screening of David Lynchs Twin Peaks follow-up.

Politicised film-making will be present both in and out of competition. Appearing as special screenings at the festival are An Inconvenient Sequel, Al Gores continuation of his climate-change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and a directorial debut for Vanessa Redgrave with Sea Sorrow, a documentary providing historical context to the current migrant crisis. Shoah director Claude Lanzmann returns to the festival with Napalm, a documentary about North Korea, and Raymond Depardon debuts 12 Jours, a documentary filmed in a psychiatric hospital.

Among the films competing for the Palme dOr, meanwhile are Hungarian director Kornl Mundruczs refugee drama Jupiters Moon, Robin Campillos 120 Battements par Minute, about the Aids crisis.Bong Joon-Hos Okja, a Netflix-funded fantasy film starring Tilda Swinton that was described by Cannes director Thierry Frmaux as a very political movie about the way we exploit animals.

Tilda
Tilda Swinton and Ahn Seo-Hyun in Okja Photograph: PR

Announcing this years lineup, festival president Pierre Lescure maintained the political theme, saying that since we have a new surprise every day from Donald Trump, I hope Syria and North Korea will not cause a shadow on the festival.

In the wake of a furore over the apparent airbrushing of actor Claudia Cardinale on this years poster, the festival was keen to play up its female-friendly credentials. Twelve female directors will appear at this years edition. Three of those are in competition: Scotlands Lynne Ramsay brings her Joaquin Phoenix-starring drama You Were Never Really Here, about a sex-trafficking ring, to the festival; Japanese director Naomi Kawase returns to the festival with Radiance, about a photographer with failing eyesight; and Sofia Coppola appears with The Beguiled, a new adaptation of the southern gothic novel, starring Colin Farrell, Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman. Kidman and Farrell also appear in competition with The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimoss new film The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Cannes is never short on auteurs and this years lineup is no exception. Austrian director Michael Haneke is looking to become the first three-time Palme DOr winner with his new film Happy End, whose title doesnt match the content, Fremaux quipped. Also present in competition are Fatih Akin with In the Fade, a tale of revenge set in the German-Turkish community, and Cannes regular Franois Ozon with LAmant Double, about a woman who falls in love with her psychoanalyst, while eastern Europe is represented by Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa, with the Dostoevsky-inspired A Gentle Creature, and Russian formalist Andrey Zvyagintsev, whose new film Loveless had to be made without funding from his home country after the Russian Culture Ministry were angered by his last film Leviathan.

Two legendary directors will be present in spirit, if not in person, at the festival. Nouvelle Vague icon Jean-Luc Godards latest film Image et Parole will not appear at Cannes, but Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius biopic of the director, Redoutable, will be in competition. Meanwhile, a new experimental work by the late Abbas Kiarostami, entitled 24 Frames, appears as a special screening.

Other notable films appearing in competition include Noah Baumbachs The Meyerowitz Stories, starring Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman (another work supported by Netflix), and Todd Haynes Amazon-funded period drama Wonderstruck, while Robert Pattinson makes a return to the festival, starring in Benny and Josh Safdies genre movie Good Time. Opening the festival, meanwhile, is Arnaud Desplechins relationship drama Les Fantmes dIsmal, which stars Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Not
Not so vague … Louis Garrel as Jean-Luc Godard in Redoubtable. Photograph: PR

Television will also play an unusually large role at this years festival, with the first two episodes of the revival of David Lynchs Twin Peaks and an early screening of series two of Jane Campions atmospheric detective drama Top of the Lake, another project featuring Kidman. Cannes has also embraced virtual reality with Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu and Emmanuel Lubezkis short work Flesh and Sand. Another short film likely to attract attention is Come Swim, which is the directorial debut of actor Kristen Stewart.

Bad Education and Julieta director Pedro Almodvar is president of this years jury, which will award the Palme dOr and the other major prizes. Cristian Mungiu, whose film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days won the Palme dOr at the 2007 festival, will head the student and short film jury, while French actor Sandrine Kiberlain will head the Camera dOr jury.

The Cannes film festival will be held from 17-28 May.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/apr/13/cannes-2017-film-festival-takes-on-trump-political-al-gore-vanessa-redgrave

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