68th Cannes Film Festival

68th Cannes Film Festival, France (May 13 - May 24, 2015)

JuryThe 2015 edition of the International Festival of Cannes which animated La Croisette from 13 – 24 May, entrusted Americans Joel and Ethan Coen, fraternal Oscar recipients, with the difficult task of judging a selection top heavy in Asian languages as well as Italian.

Titles signed by Chinese-Taiwan director Hou Hsiao Hsien (The Assassin), the Chinese Jia Zhang-Ke (Mountains May Depart), the Japanese Hirokazu Kore-Eda (Our Little Sister), represented three Oriental heavyweights. The titles followed the opening of the festival with Standing Tall / La tête haute, by Emmanuelle Bercot, which was a historic occasion: the first time after a gap of three decades that the Festival was inaugurated with a film by a woman.

Along with the Asian works, Italy positioned itself strongly with films signed by Nanni Moretti (Mia Madre), Matteo Garrone (Tale of Tales) and Paolo Sorrentino, the beloved maker of La Grande Belezza, with Youth, for which Michael Caine returned home ungarlanded.

Also in the Competition was The Sea of Trees, by American Gus Van Sant, with Matthew McConaughey performing the suicidal role. Again from the States, Todd Haynes came back to La Croisette almost two decades after the hurricane that was The Velvet Goldmine, with the lesbian drama Carol, in which Cate Blanchett falls in love with Rooney Mara, in a script based on Patricia Highsmith's novel.

Speaking with a Canadian accent there was Sicário, in which Denis Villeneuve (Wildfires) searched for a space amongst the greatest film contemporary makers, supported by the performances of Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin in a taut drama about Mexican cartels. Mexican echoes highlighted Chronic, by Michel Franco, the only Latin blood candidate for the Golden Palm. With Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender in the pivotal main roles much was expected from Macbeth, signed by Australian Justin Kurzel.

Talking about two great actors, two French "myths" ­ Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu ­ worked together in Valley of Love, by Guillaume Nicloux. Also on the French side was actress and director Maïwenn, who made Polisse, returning to the fray with Mon Roi, with Louis Garrel and Vincent Cassel leading the cast. Jacques Audiard reappeared after two seminal movies - The Prophet (2009), and Rust and Bone (2012) - with Dheepan, a story about a Sri Lankan warrior.

Director of the bittersweet A Springtime with my Mother, Stéphane Brizé offered The Measure of a Man / La loi du march, an ethical discussion concerning how to survive the jungle of the capitalism. Vincent Lindon plays a security guard who spies on his colleagues. Almost four years after the worldwide success of The War is Declared, Valérie Donzellie was back to action with an incestuous love story: Marguerite & Julien.

Joachim Trier, a Dane known for such films as Oslo, August 31, transformed the American Jesse Eisenberg, of The Network, as the protagonist of Louder than Bombs. Hungarian, László Nemes, a filmic newcomer, made his feature debut with Son of Saul, in which he revived the horrors of Auschwitz, by telling the story of a man who came across the corpse of a boy that resembled his son. The film provoked an immediate buzz along La Croisette.

Last but not least, the Greek Yorgos Lanthimos created in The Lobster a future sci-fi world in which Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz are given an ultimatum: you either find an ideal love in 45 days or you will be turned into an animal!

All of these represented a heavy menu for audiences who also had to contend with roars of the engines of Mad Max: Fury Road, surely the most acclaimed action blockbuster of the decade, marking George Miller's return to top form.  Graphic animations such as Amusing Mind and The Little Prince also enhanced the selection.

In the Directors' Fortnight, a highlight was the monumental Portuguese epic The 1001 Nights, signed by Miguel Gomes, and in Critics' Week, the Argentinian social drama Paulina, by Santiago Mitre.

Besides the Coen Brothers the 2015 jury comprised actresses Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau and Sienna Miller, singer and composer Rokia Traoré, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and directors Guillermo Del Toro and Xavier Dolan. (Mario Abbade)

Cannes Film Festival: www.festival-cannes.org

FIPRESCI PRIZE

Son of Saul Saul fia Son of Saul
(Hungary, 2015, 107 mins) Jury: Mario Abbade (Brazil) , Bitopan Borborah (India) , Jean Roy (France) , Müge Turan (Turkey) , Richard Mowe (UK) , Alex Masson (France) , Steffen Moestrup (Denmark) , Clarence Tsui (Hong Kong) , Ramy Abdel Razek (Egypt)
International Sales: Films Distribution

20, rue Saint-Augustin, 75002 Paris
T: +33 1 53 10 33 99
Fax: +33 1 53 10 33 98
e-mail: alexis@filmsdistribution.com
web: www.filmsdistribution.com

Motivation:
"For movingly portraying a Holocaust drama with unparalleled microscopic narrative displaying a rare flair and poise in which a Jewish prisoner seeks for truth and reassurance even in most adverse situation."

Masaan Masaan Masaan
(India, France, 2015, 109 mins)
International Sales: Pathé International

2, rue Lamennais, 75608 Paris
T: +33 (1) 71 72 30 00
Fax: +33 1 71 72 33 10
e-mail: themba.bhebhe@pathe.com  
web: www.patheinternational.com 

Motivation:
"Dealing with the tensions between ancient and modern India through interlinked tales of love, loss, grief, corruption and traditions in turmoil, marks an impressive, ambitious and engaging feature film debut."

Paulina La Patota Paulina
(Argentina, Brazil, France, 2015, 103 mins)
International Sales: Versatile

135 boulevard de Sébastopol
75002 Paris, T: +33 627 726235
web: www.versatile-films.com

FIPRESCI Prize in Cannes 2015 (Critics Week), motivation:
"For presenting an original perspective on an usually stereotypically depicted subject, driven by a strong leading performance and creating an emotionally compelling experience."

The Sound of Music

by Alex Masson

Cinema isn't only a matter of what to express with ima... read more

Rationality Put to the Test

by Steffen Moestrup

Among the most interesting works at the Cannes Film Festival this year was The Wakhan Front (Ni le ciel, ni la terre). This metaphysical war movie explores how the West's desire for rationality is not enough in the distinctive cultural arena that war also inhabits. read more

Promising Passage to India

by Richard Mowe

Richard Mowe (UK) explains why he and his fellow jurors Alex Masson (France) and Müge Turan (Turkey) decided to award Indian director Neeraj Ghaywan the Fipresci prize in Un Certain Regard. read more

Rites for the Dead and Living?

by Bitopan Borborah

Holocaust film as a genre has its roots way back in 19... read more

Icarus Flight of Fate

by Mario Abbade

When Icarus rebelled against Daedalus, his father, and... read more

Hip to be Square

by Clarence Tsui

Boasting more than 2300 seats and a screen measuring 1... read more

The Simple Life of Vincent Lindon

by Richard Mowe

As he matures Vincent Lindon, 55, who was named Cannes... read more

Of Horses and Girls...

by Müge Turan

After Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Palme d'Or 2014 victory for ... read more

Rape "Victim" Who Turns the Tables

by Ramy Abdel Razek

By the end of Semaine de la critique the Argentine-Fre... read more