Quinzaine 2012: An Overview of the New Authors

in 65th Cannes Film Festival

by Rui Tendinha

There was always a sense of risk on the official selection of Cannes’s most maverick section: the Director’s Fortnight. This year, there was also a new sense of capturing the void of the modern societies. Looking at the new filmmakers that this year’s selection brought us, we felt that the naturalist glaze is turning into something new.

This 2012 harvest is filled with new risks. Simple risks, in some cases; higher gambles, in others… So, I would bet that the heritage of the new proposal may resonate in near future. We have found some good cinematic hopes.

Starting with the film to which we gave our main award, Rengaine, by Rachid Djaidani, a French new filmmaker who gave us an emotional journey about a love affair with Romeo and Juliet resonances. It’s a story of a forbidden passion that threatens the unity of an ancient family of Arab emigrants in Paris.

First of all, it’s a pleasure to see someone filming in an aesthetic guerrilla style with such a secure hand. Djaidani knows how to be real and authentic without compromising notions of storytelling. Nowadays, such an achievement is quite rare. In a way, this is a film that sticks in our eyes and grabs us strongly. Quick, fast and with a slick energy that has stamped all over the word “crowd-pleaser”. It’s a wonderful snapshot of what Paris is really all about today.

Also very inspiring and with the right ethics is Alyah, by Elie Wajeman, a new kind of melodrama about someone who is forced to discover his notion of faith. Wajeman shoots this story with a very interesting pace and knows how to direct actors: Cédric Kahn and Pio Marmaï. Even more important, the audience feels immersed into all the complexity of Hebraic traditions. And if we talk about family, it’s impossible not to mention Massoud Bakhshi’s A Respectable Family, a tale about a family in a modern Iran. Bakhshi shoots this drama with a sense of urgent truth, with no schemes or tricks. A filmmaker to watch out for.

Honourable mention also goes to Rodney Asher, a new documentary filmmaker who is fascinated with Stanley Kubrick in Room 327, a documentary about conspiracy theories and wicked tricks.

Yeun Sang-ho’s King of Pigs (Dee gig etui Wang), an animated flick, has a dystopian and quite ferocious take on Japanese society.