Cannes 2014: Directors' Fortnight
World premieres in Directors’ Fortnight at the 67th Cannes Film Festival.
Dir Fabrice du Welz
Belgian genre and horror specialist du Welz made a big splash in Critics’ Week in 2004 with his debut feature Calvaire. Directors’ Fortnight entry Alleluia reunites him with that film’s lead Laurent Lucas, paired with Almodovar regular Lola Duenas in an Ardennes-set story of murderous amour fou based on the same US crime case that inspired Leonard Kastle’s 1969 film The Honeymoon Killers and Arturo Ripstein’s Deep Crimson. Producer Vincent Tavier also co-wrote the script with du Welz.
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Catch Me Daddy (UK)
Dir Daniel Wolfe
Former Screen International Star of Tomorrow Wolfe garnered acclaim for music videos for The Shoes and Plan B. Here newcomer Sameena Jabeen Ahmed takes the lead in the director’s buzzy feature debut, co-written with his brother Matthew, about a couple on the run in the Yorkshire Moors. Mike Elliott produces the thriller for London-based Emu Films, with development and finance support coming from Film4, BFI, Screen Yorkshire and LipSync. StudioCanal distributes in the UK.
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Eat Your Bones (Fr)
Dir Jean-Charles Hue
Coming-of-age road movie Eat Your Bones follows 15-year-old Jason Dorkel, who is part of a traveller community. As he sets off on a trip with his brothers to forage for copper, Jason must reconcile his religious beliefs with his criminal background. Writer-director Hue won rave reviews for his 2010 feature, La BM Du Seigneur, also about the Dorkel family. He has opted for a realist, documentary style approach with his new film, which is produced by Capricci Films.
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Gett, The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem (Fr-Ger-Isr)
Dirs Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz
Gett, The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem is a family affair. It is co-directed by Israeli sister and brother team, Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz. Ronit, an acclaimed actress and film-maker who has worked extensively in both Israeli and French cinema, also takes the lead role of Viviane Amsalem. The film is based on the true story of a woman’s five-year battle to obtain a divorce, a battle that takes her eventually to a rabbinical court. The Elkabetzes have enjoyed considerable success with their earlier films together, To Take A Wife and 7 Days. Ronit’s acting career in France has also flourished and she was recently the subject of Nir Bergman’s documentary A Stranger In Paris. Ronit has a strong connection with Cannes after appearing in award winner Or in 2004 and winning the France Culture Award at the 2010 festival.
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Dir Céline Sciamma
The opening film in Directors’ Fortnight (out of competition) comes from France’s Sciamma, whose debut feature Water Lilies played in Un Certain Regard in 2007. That film and Sciamma’s follow-up Tomboy — a Berlinale Teddy Award winner in 2011 — established her as a specialist in energetic, approachable dramas about young women coming to terms with their sexual identity. Girlhood (Bande De Filles), produced by Sciamma regular Bénédicte Couvreur, features a cast of young newcomers in a drama about a 16-year-old who joins a girl gang in Paris.
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A Hard Day (S Kor)
Dir Kim Seong-hun
This Korean action thriller involves a detective who is desperate to hide his involvement in a fatal hit-and-run. A Hard Day will be Kim’s first trip to Cannes, but star Lee Sun-kyun has plenty of festival experience thanks to his work with acclaimed writer-director Hong Sang-soo. The film co-stars Cho Jin-woong, one of the leads in the thrillers Nameless Gangster: Rules Of The Time and Perfect Number.
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Li’l Quinquin (Fr)
Dir Bruno Dumont
French film-maker Dumont has been a frequent visitor to the Croisette since his 1997 debut The Life Of Jesus screened in Directors’ Fortnight — but his latest is his first television production. Li’l Quinquin (P’tit Quinquin) is a four-part miniseries clocking in at around 200 minutes that follows the comic exploits of a detective investigating strange crimes in a small French town. A two-time Grand Prix-winner in Competition (for Flandres and L’Humanité), Dumont is taking a break from his tradition of grim dramas with this lighter, albeit occasionally grisly opus. Li’l Quinquin does continue his habit of casting non-professional actors. It is presented as a special screening.
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Love At First Fight (Fr)
Dir Thomas Cailley
First-time feature director Cailley made a mark with his 2010 short Paris Shanghai. Now he makes his Cannes debut with Love At First Fight (Les Combattants), a drama about a teenager falling for a tough young woman who is fixated on preparing for a state of war. French cinephiles will be watching closely given the casting of rising star Adele Haenel — who impressed audiences last year with her role in Critics’ Week opener Suzanne — alongside another French up-and-comer, Kévin Azais. Pierre Guyard produces for Nord-Ouest Films.
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National Gallery (US-Fr)
Dir Frederick Wiseman
Veteran documentary film-maker Wiseman returns with a look at the employees and visitors at London’s National Gallery. The film was shot while the film-maker was in the midst of a mammoth 14-month edit on his previous film, At Berkeley, which premiered at Venice last year. Wiseman was last at Cannes in 2010 with Boxing Gym, which played in Directors’ Fortnight.
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Next To Her (Isr)
Dir Asaf Korman
Israeli director Korman, whose credits as editor include 2013 genre hit Big Bad Wolves, explores the relationship between two sisters, one of them disabled, and a newcomer in their lives. Next To Her (At Li Layla) is Korman’s debut feature and it won a work-in-progress award at Thessaloniki International Film Festival in 2013. Haim Mecklberg and Estee Yacov-Mecklberg produced the Hebrew-language feature. Liron Ben Shlush and Dana Ivgy star.
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Dir Matthew Warchus
Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West are among the experienced cast in acclaimed theatre director Warchus’s 1980s-set comedy about a group of gay and lesbian activists who raise money to support the families of striking coal miners. The film screens out of competition. David Livingstone produces for Calamity Films while cinematography comes from ‘71, The Shadow Line and Top Boy DoP Tat Radcliffe. Warchus’s credits include 1999 thriller Simpatico, which starred Nick Nolte and Sharon Stone.
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Queen And Country (Ire-UK)
Dir John Boorman
Set in the 1950s, Queen And Country centres on a young Englishman who grew up in London during the Second World War and joins the military to fight in the Korean War. The drama, based on Boorman’s own military service, acts as a follow-up to his semi-autobiographical feature Hope And Glory. Boorman won the best director prize at Cannes for 1970’s Leo The Last and 1998’s The General. His 1981 Arthurian fantasy Excalibur and 1995’s Beyond Rangoon played in Cannes Competition.
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Dir Diego Lerman
The talented Argentinian director behind The Invisible Eye makes his Cannes debut with the road movie Refugiado. Julieta Diaz and Sebastian Molinaro star as a pregnant mother and her son who flee their home following a violent encounter. The film is produced by Argentina’s Campo Cine and co-produced by Poland, Colombia and France.
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The Tale Of Princess Kaguya (Jap)
Dir Isao Takahata
Takahata’s fifth film for Studio Ghibli — which he co-founded with Hayao Miyazaki — and his first in 14 years, The Tale Of Princess Kaguya is based on the classic Japanese folktale The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter. Grossing more than $20m in Japan since its release last November, it is the first appearance at Cannes for the animation studio since it teamed with Production I.G on Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence, which was in Competition in 2004.
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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (US)
Dir Tobe Hooper
When Hooper’s disruptive horror film tore onto the scene in 1974, nobody would have thought that 40 years later it would take its place among the movers and shakers of arthouse cinema on the Croisette. But so it has proved to be after original film elements were discovered in a paper bag at New Line Cinema. Preservation supervisor Todd Wieneke of Dark Sky Films oversaw a painstaking process of restoration and MPI will re-release in the US through the Dark Sky label on June 20. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre plays as a special screening.
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Tu Dors Nicole (Can)
Dir Stéphane Lafleur
Lafleur earned a Genie award in 2012 for editing Monsieur Lazhar and here makes his first appearance on the Croisette. Incendies and Monsieur Lazhar producers Luc Déry and Kim McCraw of micro_scope reunite with the promising director on the story about a young woman on the cusp of adulthood whose summer with her best friend does not pan out as intended. Julianne Coté, whose credits include Sarah Prefers To Run, stars.
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