2017 Cannes Film Festival Lineup Includes New Films from Sofia Coppola, Noah Baumbach, and More

“Could you turn on the lights in the house?” Thierry Frémaux wants to see the media gathered inside the UGC movie theater on the Champs-Elysees for the annual rendez-vous where he announces the selection for the Cannes Film Festival. Frémaux and Pierre Lescure, festival director and president respectively, revealed the contenders for the 70th Palme d’Or as well as the side competitions and special screenings.

For this anniversary edition, 1,930 features films were submitted, with only 18 making the cut in competition (although a couple of more films will likely be added).

This year’s Cannes is held in an interesting context, both for the French and the international community. The festival will open only a few days after the French presidential election. There is also the shadow of current affairs lingering, namely Syria, North Korea and anything President Trump does – or tweets. “We want the 70th anniversary to be festive,” Lescure said today. Yet the selection is politically and socially charged. “Cannes is a breathing space, but cinema is reflection of the world and Cannes cannot ignore that.”

Image via Netflix

French director Arnaud Desplechin opens the festival on May 17 with the out-of-competition Les Fantômes d’Ismaël, and the following ten days promise to be rich in diversity. Michael Haneke will contend for his third Palme d’Or with Happy End (an ironic title if you’re familiar with his style), where he revisits his own cinema and his political and aesthetic motivations. François Ozon, who releases a movie each year, is rarely seen on the Croisette, but this year he competes with L’Amant Double, a story which Frémaux describes as “Hitchcockian/De Palmian/Cronenbergian.” Another Gallic director rarely seen on the Croisette is Jacques Doillon, who will screen Rodin, while Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicius is presenting his third film in competition. The Artist director returns with Le Redoutable

Some of the not anticipated films include Wonderstruck by Todd Haynes; The Day After by Hong Sangsoo; In the Fade, starring Diane Kruger, by Fatih Akin; The Meyerowitz Stories, starring Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman, by Noah Baumbach marking his first time in competition; and Okja, by Bong Joon-Ho, marking the first original Netflix production in competition. The festival also accepted Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here which Frémaux said was not yet done but was accepted with three scenes still to shoot.

Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell will spend a great deal of time on the red carpet stairs together as they both star in The Killing of a Sacred Deer by Yorgos Lanthimos and The Beguiled by Sofia Coppola.

There are no Coen or Dardenne brothers this year, but I’ very excited about the Safdies. Benny and Josh Safdie will present Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson.

Image via Sundance

While films from former Eastern Bloc countries are regularly on the festival circuit, Russia and Ukraine have been sadly “lagging behind.” But Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature, a road movie taking place in deep Russia, looks promising.

Current events inspire filmmakers and Kornel Mandruczo’s Jupiter’s Moon tackles the refugee and migrant issue in competition. The special screenings certainly reflect the social and political upheaval. As Frémaux said, “The festival itself is not political; it is the auteurs who are.

A decade ago (already?), Al Gore presented An Inconvenient Truth in Cannes. The former vice president returns with An Inconvenient Sequel, directed by Bonny Cohen and Jon Shenk.

Claude Lanzmann revisits North Korea in Napalm, while Jude Ratman provides insight on the civil war in Sri Lanka in Demons in Paradise. Actress and activist Vanessa Redgrave is apparently so excited that her documentary about migration, Sea Sorrow, has been selected that she emails Frémaux every two days saying how happy she is! Raymond Depardon marks a comeback with 12 Jours and Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, winner of last year’s Caméra d’Or, presents her first film, They. Eugene Jarecki features a new take on Elvis and America in Promised Land, while Hong Sangsoo’s Clair’s Camera, filmed last year in Cannes during the festival with Isabelle Huppert, sounds tongue-in-cheek.

Cannes is also an introspection of past and future. It is like a lab, and this year the festival is featuring the first film in virtual reality. Screened as part of an installation in an exhibition, Carne y Arena is a seven-minute short directed by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu. The exhibition will then travel to the Prado in Milan and the LACMA in Los Angeles.

As innovations grow, the list of female directors is also progressing each year – 12 in 2017. Jane Campion, the festival’s only female Palme d’Or, is also attending to screen her series Top of the Lake: China Girl, while Kristen Stewart will debut her short, Come Swim.

Image via Showtime

Both are part of the 70th anniversary special events, alongside a tribute to the late Abbas Kiarostami and his last film 24 Frames and a screening of two episodes of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Is Cannes creating a category for series, like the Berlinale? It is highly unlikely. Frémaux was quick to point out that Jane Campion and David Lynch are both filmmakers and Cannes remains exclusively dedicated to film.

The Un Certain Regard side competition also looks rich, opening with Mathieu Amalric’s Barbara about the legendary French singer. Some of the most anticipated films include Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Before We Vanish, Laurent Cantet’s L’Atelier, Sergio Castellitto’s Fortunata and Michel Franco’s April’s Daughter. Sicario and Hell or High Water writer Taylor Sheridan is also presenting his Wind River.

This year’s official competition jury is presided by Pedro Almodovar. The members of the jury will be announced soon, but there are some rumors already, including two American actresses – a redhead named Jessica and a girl once in love with a sparkly vampire…

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 17th to May 28th. France is still in a state of emergency and security will once again be at maximum.

Opening film:

Arnaud DESPLECHIN – LES FANTÔMES D’ISMAËL (Out of competition)

Competition:

Fatih AKIN – AUS DEM NICHTS (IN THE FADE)

Noah BAUMBACH – THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES

BONG Joon-Ho- OKJA

Robin CAMPILLO – 120 BATTEMENTS PAR MINUTE

Sofia COPPOLA – THE BEGUILED

Jacques DOILLON – RODIN

Michael HANEKE – HAPPY END

Todd HAYNES – WONDERSTRUCK

Michel HAZANAVICIUS – LE REDOUTABLE

HONG Sangsoo - GEU-HU (THE DAY AFTER)

Naomi KAWASE – HIKARI (RADIANCE)

Yorgos LANTHIMOS – THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER

Sergei LOZNITSA – A GENTLE CREATURE

Kornél MUNDRUCZÓ – JUPITER’S MOON

François OZON – L’AMANT DOUBLE

Lynne RAMSAY – YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

Benny SAFDIE & Josh SAFDIE – GOOD TIME

Andrey ZVYAGINTSEV – NELYUBOV (LOVELESS)

Opening film:

Mathieu AMALRIC – BARBARA

Cecilia ATAN & Valeria PIVATO – LA NOVIA DEL DESIERTO (THE DESERT BRIDE)

Kantemir BALAGOV – TESNOTA (CLOSENESS)

Kaouther BEN HANIA – AALA KAF IFRIT (BEAUTY AND THE DOGS)

Laurent CANTET – L’ATELIER

Sergio CASTELLITTO – FORTUNATA (LUCKY)

Michel FRANCO – LAS HIJAS DE ABRIL (APRIL’S DAUGHTER)

Valeska GRISEBACH – WESTERN

Stephan KOMANDAREV – POSOKI (DIRECTIONS)

Gyorgy KRISTOF – OUT

KUROSAWA Kiyoshi – SANPO SURU SHINRYAKUSHA (BEFORE WE VANISH)

Karim MOUSSAOUI – EN ATTENDANT LES HIRONDELLES (UNTIL THE BIRDS RETURN)

Mohammad RASOULOF – LERD (DREGS)

Léonor SERRAILLE – JEUNE FEMME

Taylor SHERIDAN – WIND RIVER

Annarita ZAMBRANO – APRÈS LA GUERRE (AFTER THE WAR)

Out of Competition:

MIIKE Takashi – MUGEN NON JŪNIN (BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL)

John Cameron MITCHELL – HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES              

Agnès VARDA & JR – VISAGES, VILLAGES

Midnight Screenings:

Jean-Stéphane SAUVAIRE – A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN

BYUN Sung-Hyun – BULHANDANG (THE MERCILESS)

JUNG Byung-Gil – AK-NYEO (THE VILLAINESS)

Special Screenings:

Bonni COHEN & Jon SHENK – AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL

Raymond DEPARDON – 12 JOURS (12 DAYS)

Anahita GHAZVINIZADEH – THEY

HONG Sangsoo – KEUL-LE-EO-UI KA-ME-LA (CLAIR’S CAMERA)

Eugene JARECKI – PROMISED LAND

Claude LANZMANN – NAPALM

Jude RATMAN – DEMONS IN PARADISE

Vanessa REDGRAVE – SEA SORROW

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