Film preview: Cannes Film Festival 2018

Written By: Rita Di Santo
Published: April 12, 2018 Last modified: April 12, 2018

General delegate Thierry Frémaux has unveiled 18 of the titles that will play in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (May 8-18).

At first glance, it is a wide-ranging, global selection, light on English-language titles, placing veteran directors alongside younger filmmakers, a programme that seems to stretch its vision to the international geographic movements of cinema while searching for something new.

As ever, there will be a solid presence of French filmmakers, among them Stéphane Brizé, Jean-Luc Godard and Christophe Honoré.Only three films are from female directors but these three are certainly promising: the Lebanese Nadine Labaki with Capharnaum, the Italian Alice Rohrwacher with Lazzaro Felice ,and Eva Husson with Les Filles du Soleil, the story of a journalist embedded with Kurdish fighters.

Among other titles from Europe to look for include the Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski with Cold War and the Italian Matteo Garrone with Dogma.

The US is represented by Spike Lee with Blackkklansman about a black American infiltrating the KKK and David Robert Mitchell with Under the Silver Lake, a noir thriller with starring Andrew Garfield. Notable titles from Asia are led by Jia Zhangke with Ash is Purest White and Hirokazu Kore-Eda, in competition for the fifth time with Shoplifters. Ryusuke Hamaguchi Netemo Sametemoand  Lee Chang-Dong will also be in the competition. And among the most eagerly anticipated titles is the latest from Iranian dissident Jafar Panah: Three Faces.

Not so many English title so far, and not so much glamour and celebrity on the red carpet, apart from the presentation of Ron Howard’s Star Wars spin-Off, the 71 edition of the festival program seems set to go back to its roots, with works by “film d’autor” concerning international issue and politics. Though the female presence is again rather small, it will be interesting to see what a jury led by Cate Blanchett will favour. This is could be the year that a female director will grab the Palme D’Or.

It certainly looks like a year of commitment and dedication to thoughtful cinema, with opening title Everybody Knows by the Iranian Ashgar Fahradi, setting the tone. There are likely more titles to be added and among those could be Lars Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built. The director was made persona non grata by the festival several years ago after controversially describing himself as a “Nazi’ at a press conference.