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Sunday, 27 May 2018

9 movies to get excited about Cannes Film Festival

9 movies to get excited about Cannes Film Festival

While many moviegoers might dismiss the Cannes Film Festival as some arty farty snoozefest, the truth is some of the most interesting films over the next 12 months premiere at Cannes.
And they’re not all foreign language, indie flicks (though there definitely many of those). So keep an eye out for these nine movies coming to a cinema near you — they’re the buzziest films out of Cannes.
BLACKKKLANSMAN
There’s no doubt any time Spike Lee puts his name and energy to something, it’s going to be noticed — and BlacKkKlansman certainly was, and awarded the Grand Prix for its efforts. Darkly funny, it’s the true story of African-American police officer Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) who, in the 1970s, was accepted for membership in the local KKK chapter.
With the help of a white Jewish cop (Adam Driver), who acts as his body double at meetings, the Shaft-like Ron infiltrates the group. With a cast that also includes Laura Harrier (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Topher Grace as the then-Grand Wizard David Duke, BlacKkKlansman is a mix of black comedy and social commentary — exactly what you expect from Spike Lee.
BlacKkKlansman will screen at the Sydney Film Festival with a wide release to follow on August 9 through Universal.
UNDER THE SILVER LAKE
Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell (It Follows), the neo-noir dramedy is being billed as a quintessential LA movie. Andrew Garfield stars as Sam, a do-nothing type of guy who inadvertently becomes a pseudo-detective when his beautiful neighbor Sarah (Riley Keogh) disappears.
His search takes him through the underbelly of LA, that den of sex, sin and corruption and across characters played by the likes of Zosia Mamet, Jimmi Simpson, Topher Grace and Patrick Fischler. With shades of ChinatownThe Big Sleep and David Lynch, if nothing else, Under the Silver Lake is a stylish affair.

CLIMAX
Argentinian/French director Gaspar Noe is notorious as an agent provocateur, reveling in shocking audiences and the industry. His last film, Love, which is streaming on Netflix, has been decried by some quarters as pure porn.
No less confronting, Climax stars Sofia Boutella (The MummyKingsman) as part of a dance troupe on a particularly bad LSD trip, pulsing with erotic energy and madness. Variety described it as “Fame meets the Marquis de Sade” while another publication called it a “satanic Step Up”. Apparently, Noe was disappointed only a handful of people walked out the Cannes screening. Bummer for him.
SHOPLIFTERS
Winner of the festival’s highest prize, the Palme d’Or, the Japanese film Shoplifters a small, quiet film about outsiders and family bonds. The Shibata live in a rented house in the Tokyo suburbs, though they are not necessarily related in a traditional sense. When the group discovers a young girl looking for scraps, they take her in. Two months later, when the child’s face is splattered across the news, they don’t tell the police. Instead, the impoverished family disguise her and treat her as their daughter.
Praised as “compassionate, socially conscious filmmaking” by The Telegraph and “sophisticated” by The WrapShoplifters is a meditation on the haves-and-have-nots in a world that values properness over warmth.

THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
“Mass walkouts!” the headlines screamed, and when it comes to Lars von Trier, there is no restraint. The controversial director made his return to Cannes after he became persona non grata over some Hitler comments a few years back. The movie he came back with is likely the most divisive of this year’s festival.
Decried as “vomitive” and “tedious” by some and praised as “art” and “world-class” by others, The House That Jack Built is the story of a serial killer (Matt Dillon) who hones his dastardly craft over 12 years. The particularly gruesome and graphic depiction of those murders is why so many people voted with their feet. But doesn’t that make you a little bit curious?
BURNING
Burning is a psychological thriller based on a short story written by Haruki Murakami in 1992 for The New Yorker. Taking home the Cannes Critics’ Prize, the film is Korean director Lee Chang-dong’s first film in eight years.
Set in Seoul, the film follows a country bumpkin who, by chance, runs into a woman he supposedly went to high school with. The man is keen on her and is crushed when she starts dating someone else (The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun) who’s more successful and worldly than him, his opposite. When his crush vanishes, he’s convinced the boyfriend is behind it. But perception isn’t always reality.
Burning will be released in Australia through Palace Films though no date has been set.
HAPPY AS LAZZARO
Winner of the Best Screenplay award at Cannes, Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro was shot on Super 16mm, a format that The Guardian said lent the film a sense of nostalgia but also decay. Set in rural Italy, the characters are the sharecroppers of a local tobacco magnate who exploit their isolation. In turn, the peasants take advantage of a boy named Lazzaro, who are made to do the jobs no one else wants.
With a hint of magical realism, the golden countryside village almost seems suspended in time. A coming-of-age tale with a second half driven by a mystery, Happy as Lazzaro has been earning rave reviews.
Happy as Lazzaro will be released in Australia through Palace Films though no date has been set.
COLD WAR
Winner of the director’s award at Cannes, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War is an epic romance drama set in the early decades of the eponymous war. Shot in black and white like his Oscar-winning 2013 film Ida, Pawlikowski’s story spans time and space, taking its characters through Poland, France, Germany and beyond.
Wiktor and Zula are two mismatched folk musicians, swept up in the impossible situation of the post-war years in the Eastern bloc. A heartbreaker, Cold War has been described as a “saga of romantic torture, glamour, forbidden border crossings and more betrayals than you can shake a black silk stocking at” by Time.
Cold War will be released in Australia through Palace Films though no date has been set.
LEAVE NO TRACE
Starring Ben Foster and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie as a father and daughter living in the wilderness, Leave No Trace is the follow-up from director Debra Granik who made the unforgettable Winter’s Bone, the movie that discovered a then-20 year old Jennifer Lawrence.
Will and Tom have lived off the grid for years when they’re forced into government care. After grating against their new environment, they set off to reclaim their previous life. It’s a tale of survival, family and going your own way.
Leave No Trace will screen at the Sydney Film Festival and will be released at a later date through Sony Pictures.

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