Cannes 2014: Un Certain Regard
The world premieres in Un Certain Regard at the 67th Cannes Film Festival with details on each title including sales contacts.
Amour Fou (Aust-Lux-Ger)
Dir Jessica Hausner
The first historical drama from Austria’s Hausner, Amour Fou is inspired by the life and death of German Romantic writer Heinrich von Kleist, whose work was adapted in last year’s Competition entry Michael Kohlhaas. Amour Fou has the rare distinction of sharing its title with its long-established production company, and of having a DoP — Martin Gschlacht — who is also one of its producers. Other producers include Amour Fou’s Bady Minck, Coop 99’s Antonin Svoboda and The Coproduction Office’s Philippe Bober. This is Hausner’s third feature in Cannes, following Un Certain Regard entries Lovely Rita (2001) and Hotel (2004).
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Away From His Absence (Fr-Ger-Isr)
Dir Keren Yedaya
Based on Efrat Yerushalmi’s novel, this drama examines an incestuous, seemingly loving relationship between a sexagenarian man and his twentysomething daughter. Both of director Yedaya’s previous features premiered at Cannes with her first, Or, snagging the Camera d’Or in 2004. Away From His Absence stars Tzahi Grad — who previously appeared in the 2009 Un Certain Regard entry Eyes Wide Open — and newcomer Maayan Turgeman. The film also finds Yedaya reuniting with her Or cinematographer Laurent Brunet, who shot such Cannes notables as Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s 2010 jury prize-winner A Screaming Man.
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Beautiful Youth (Sp)
Dir Jaime Rosales
Barcelona-born minimalist Rosales — known for spare, tense films that are short on dialogue — returns to Un Certain Regard, which showed his Solitary Fragments in 2007, while his The Hours Of The Day and The Dream And The Silence were in Directors’ Fortnight in 2003 and 2012 respectively. Set in the Madrid district of Carabanchel, Beautiful Youth (Hermosa Juventud) — starring up-and-comer Ingrid Garcia Jonsson — is about a hard-up young couple who turn to amateur porn. The film reputedly mixes Rosales’ 16mm footage with digital material shot by the cast on cameras including smartphones.
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Bird People (Fr)
Dir Pascale Ferran
Eight years have passed since Ferran’s last film, the critical and cineaste hit Lady Chatterley, which itself came after a 10-year gap. Set in a Paris airport transit zone, Bird People is a drama with supernatural overtones about an American IT engineer (Josh Charles from TV hit The Good Wife) and a French hotel chambermaid (Anais Demoustier) whose lives are about to change radically. Tipped for the main Competition at an earlier point, this looks set to be one of the hotter titles on arthouse distributors’ must-see lists.
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The Blue Room (Fr)
Dir Mathieu Amalric
Amalric directs and stars — alongside Léa Drucker — in The Blue Room (La Chambre Bleue), an adaptation of a novel by Inspector Maigret creator Georges Simenon, about a couple’s on-and-off love affair that slowly grows into something more sinister. Amalric made his Cannes debut as a director in 2010 with On Tour (Tournée) — which screened in Competition and won the best director prize and the Fipresci prize — and he has also been a regular on the Croisette as an actor.
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Charlie’s Country (Aus)
Dir Rolf de Heer
Charlie’s Country is the third in de Heer’s trilogy of indigenous stories to feature acclaimed actor David Gulpilil, this time playing an elder who takes a stance on behalf of his community. De Heer’s previous films in the trilogy are The Tracker (2002) and Ten Canoes (2006), which also screened at Cannes in Un Certain Regard and took a special jury prize. Charlie’s Country marks de Heer’s fourth film to premiere at Cannes, with The Quiet Room (1996) and Dance To My Song (1998) showing in Competition.
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Dir Wang Chao
Wang’s Fantasia is set against an austere psychological landscape as youngster Lin escapes into a fantasy to shut out the grim realities of his life. An ailing father, a despondent, overworked mother and a sister who has turned to prostitution lead the boy to an unusual friendship. Wang’s Luxury Car won the Prix Un Certain Regard in 2006.
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Force Majeure (Swe)
Dir Ruben Ostlund
Swedish director Ostlund returns to Cannes for the third time, after previous visits with Involuntary and Play. Force Majeure, previously titled Turist, sees the avid skier — and ski film-making veteran — return to the slopes for a story about a family on holiday at a ski resort, when an avalanche results in some unexpected dynamics between them. Johannes Bah Kuhnke and Lisa Loven Kongsli play the father and mother. TriArt has Swedish rights.
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A Girl At My Door (S Kor)
Dir July Jung
Jung’s feature debut A Girl At My Door (Dohee-Ya) stars Doona Bae (The Host, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending) as a high-flying police officer who is transferred to a seaside town after a misconduct charge. There she is drawn to help troubled teenager Dohee (Sae-ron Kim).
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Dir Lisandro Alonso
Argentinian minimalist and Cannes regular Alonso declared after 2008 Directors’ Fortnight contender Liverpool that he was taking a few years off from film-making because he was wary of repeating himself. There is one novelty at least in Jauja for a director who generally works with non-professional actors: the presence of Viggo Mortensen in the lead role. Mortensen plays a Danish man searching for his eloped daughter in Patagonia during Argentina’s late 19th-century Conquest of the Desert military campaign. Mortensen also chipped in on the production side, in tandem with Carlos Reygadas’s Mantarraya Producciones.
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Lost River (US)
Dir Ryan Gosling
Formerly known as How To Catch A Monster, Lost River is actor Gosling’s feature directorial debut. After becoming a regular for Nicolas Winding Refn in recent years, critics and buyers alike will want to know how much if any of the Dane’s distinctive style has rubbed off on Gosling. Warner Bros holds US rights to the dark fairy tale starring Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan and Iain De Caestecker.
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Dir Asia Argento
Argento’s third film is about a precocious child star who only wants to be loved by her parents. Made without government cinema subsidies — as the daughter of Italian horror-maestro Dario has pointedly tweeted — this 1984-set drama stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as a mother in the throes of divorce, and Giulia Salerno as her ‘misunderstood’ nine-year-old daughter. Argento the actress has seen plenty of Cannes action, but this is her first directorial work in Official Selection, after the 2004 Directors’ Fortnight debut, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.
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Party Girl (Fr)
Dirs Marie Amachoukeli-Barsacq, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
This directorial debut for all three co-directors will open Un Certain Regard. It centres on Angelique, a 60-year-old nightclub hostess who agrees impulsively to marry a regular client. The lead role is played by the real-life Angelique. The directing trio have made festival prize-winning shorts such as Forbach, which won the Cinéfondation second prize at Cannes in 2008 and It’s Free For Girls, which played in Critics’ Week in 2009.
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Run (Fr-Ivory Coast)
Dir Philippe Lacote
The debut feature by Ivory Coast-born director Lacote began life as a project that won first prize in the 2011-12 Jerusalem International Film Lab. Having made his name as director of a number of shorts and documentaries — notably Cairo Hours (2002) and Chronicles Of War In The Ivory Coast (2008) — Lacote turns to fiction with a story about a fugitive named Run, who disguises himself as a madman after killing his country’s prime minister. The cast is headed by Isaach de Bankolé, the Claire Denis regular who also starred in Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits Of Control.
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Salt Of The Earth (Fr)
Dirs Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders
Cannes veteran Wenders, who won the Palme d’Or for Paris, Texas in 1984, returns to the Croisette with this documentary portrait of Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, co-directed by his son Juliano. The film revolves around Salgado’s eight-year project Genesis, which captured parts of the world untouched by modern civilisation; it also shows father and son mending their relationship. Wenders is also in post on his next fictional feature, Every Thing Will Be Fine, starring James Franco.
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Snow In Paradise (UK)
Dir Andrew Hulme
Acclaimed editor Hulme, known for his work on Bafta-winning doc The Imposter and Anton Corbijn’s Control (a Cannes award winner in 2007) and The American, makes his feature directing debut with this true story of a London man’s journey to control his violence through religion. Newcomer Frederick Schmidt, Martin Askew and Aymen Hamdouchi star. Christine Alderson produces for Ipso Facto Films.
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Dir Kanu Behl
The lone Indian entry this year, Delhi-set drama Titli concerns the travails of the titular young man, who yearns to free himself from his domineering brother and winds up in an arranged marriage to a woman also coping with unrealised dreams. Bollywood giant Yash Raj Films co-produces Titli, the first feature for director Behl, as well as co-producing the festival’s opening-night entry, Grace Of Monaco. Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial and Shashank Arora head the cast.
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White God (Hun-Ger-Swe)
Dir Kornel Mundruczo
Hungary’s Mundruczo returns to Cannes with White God (Feher Isten), a Hungary-Germany-Sweden co-production that centres on a 12-year-old girl who runs away from home to search for her dog. The film-maker was in Competition in 2008 with Delta, which won the Fipresci prize, and in 2010 with Tender Son: The Frankenstein Project. His feature Johanna played in Un Certain Regard in 2005.
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Dir Panos H Koutras
A drama about national identity, Xenia follows two brothers — born from an Albanian mother and a Greek father who they have never met — travelling to Thessaloniki to force their father to recognise them. The film is set against the backdrop of selection for cult TV show Greek Star. Koutras’s last film Strella (2009) screened at Berlin, and Xenia is his first film at Cannes (and a long way from his 1999 debut The Attack Of The Giant Moussaka).
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