'Club Zero' c Coproduction Office

Source: Coproduction Office

‘Club Zero’

The Cannes Film Festival (May 16-27) has unveiled its 2023 official selection already buzzing with the return of veteran auteurs In Competition including Todd Haynes, Jessica Hausner, Wim Wenders, Ken Loach, Nanni Moretti, Catherine Breillat, Wes Anderson, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Hirokazu Kore-eda.

They join the previously announced Martin Scorsese, whose Killers Of The Flower Moon was announced for Out of Competition but who still could end up in Competition, it was suggested at today’s press conference. 

Cannes’ delegate general Thierry Frémaux revealed the line-up for the festival’s 76th edition at the UGC Normandie theatre in Paris (April 13) sitting on stage alongside incoming president Iris Knobloch. Knobloch said the festival is “a real game-changer in the life of any film” and “a festival loyal to what it is, namely film and filmmakers and resolutely oriented towards the future.”

Fremaux talked about the selection process as “the great Cannes democracy” and said this year’s selection was “punctuated by great auteurs”. While last year’s 75th anniversary event was hailed as Cannes’ comeback edition following pandemic-stricken years, this year’s Competition is particularly heavy on return regulars and previous award winners.

A record six films in Competition are directed by women. Three are by Cannes regulars: Breillat returns with her first film in 10 years, Last Summer, about a lawyer’s relationship with her 17-year-old stepson. The filmmaker had previously premiered The Last Mistress and Sex Is Comedy at the festival.

From Italy, Alice Rohrwacher is back for a third time in Competition with La Chimera starring Josh O’Connor and Isabella Rossellini and set in the clandestine world of tomb robbers. Austrian director Hausner returns with Club Zero after her past four features have premiered on the Croisette, Lovely Rita, Hotel, Amour Fou and Little Joe. The English-language title stars Mia Wasikowska as a teacher at a prestigious international boarding school who forms a strong but dangerous bond with a group of her students.

Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung won the Camera d’Or for The Scent Of Green Papaya in 1993 and returned to Un Certain Regard with In The Height of Summer in 2000. This is his first time in Competition with La Passion De Dodin Bouffant

Alongside these return contenders are a trio of rising female filmmakers: Justine Triet from France with her Hitchcockian procedural thriller Anatomy Of A Fall, Senegalese-French director Ramata Sy with Banel And Adama and Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania with Four Daughters.

Old friends

Fremaux said he and his selection committee saw Loach’s The Old Oak “at the very last minute” before it slid into the coveted Competition slot. Loach is already a two-time Palme d’Or winner and could potentially be the first to score a hat trick in history at the festival.

Despite teasing his retirement, Finland’s Aki Kaurismaki is back in action and ready to premiere his tragicomedy Fallen Leaves, while Haynes returns to Competition – where he last appeared in 2015 with Carol – with the drama May September starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in the tale of a Hollywood couple whose marriage is tested.

Making the jump to Competition following two appearances in Un Certain Regard is Brazilian director Karim Ainouz with Firebrand which stars Alicia Vikander, Jude Law and Sam Riley.

As well as Rohrwacher, Italian filmmaking is represented by Marco Bellocchio’s Rapito – rumoured to be his final film – alongside Nanni Moretti’s A Brighter Tomorrow, a period piece that also stars the director. Moretti has played in Cannes Competition eight times previously. 

Hirokazu Kore-eda

Source: Tamotsu Fujii

Hirokazu Kore-eda

UK filmmaker Jonathan Glazer will make his first foray into the official selection to premiere his long buzzed-about Holocaust drama The Zone Of Interest based on Martin Amis’ novel about a Nazi officer and a camp commandant’s wife; A24 is releasing the film stateside.

Japanese director and Cannes fixture Hirokazu Kore-eda is readying for another Croisette run after last year’s Competition title Broker with Monster. The Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker (for Shoplifters in 2018) always stirs up excitement with his work.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan returns witlh About Dry Grasses. The Turkish director won the Palme d’Or almost a decade ago for Winter Sleep and several of his films have played at Cannes over the years.

The Palais steps will be crowded with the village of famous faces starring in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City. Fremaux joked to the crowd watching on in the Paris theatre that “I’ll just describe it as … a Wes Anderson movie.”

The film set in a fictional US desert town circa 1955 (filmed in Spain) could see some or all of its cast members jet to Cannes including Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jason Schwartzman, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Margot Robbie and Jeff Goldblum. Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Moonrise Kingdom both premiered in Competition.

From Germany, Wenders has two films in Cannes: Perfect Days in Competition and 3D title Le Bruit Du Temps, Anselm Kiefer in the Special Screenings section. Steve McQueen’s Occupied City and Wang Bing’s Man In Black are also in Special Screenings. 

For now, Scorsese’s Killers Of The Flower Moon is poised for an out of Competition slot, but Fremaux says, “it’s a movie we want in Competition”

“The request has been made,” said Fremaux. “The essential thing is that we [have] an answer before the beginning of the festival so that the jury would know what are the movies they would have to see. We would like to see this movie in Competition because of the film itself and who is Martin Scorsese, who wasn’t at the Cannes Film Festival for years.”

Fremaux also confirmed James Mangold’s Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny will screen out of Competition alongside HBO’s Sam Levinson series The Idol. The latter stars Lily Rose-Depp, the daughter of Johnny, who appears in opening fiilm Jeanne Du Barry.

Two-time Palme d’Or-winning Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund will preside over the Competition jury whose other members have yet to be announced. 

As well as the yet-to-be-announced jury members, Fremaux confirmed more titles will be added in the coming days and weeks ahead of the event’s May 16 kickoff.

The festival is known for adding films up to the last minute of the announcement and even allowing late entry just-finished films or rough cuts from Fremaux-friendly filmmakers to sneak into the line-up. At least one filmmaking team is known to have found out they made the cut at midnight Paris time last night.

The 76th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will run May 16-27.