Binoche and Depardieu open Cannes Quinzaine

Directors’ Fortnight unveiled.

by Richard Mowe

Danielle Macdonald in Patti Cake$ - straight out of Jersey comes Patricia Dombrowski, aka Killa P, aka Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of strip malls and strip clubs on an unlikely quest for glory.
Danielle Macdonald in Patti Cake$ - straight out of Jersey comes Patricia Dombrowski, aka Killa P, aka Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of strip malls and strip clubs on an unlikely quest for glory. Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Film Festival
Directors' Fortnight artistic director Eduoard Waintrop
Directors' Fortnight artistic director Eduoard Waintrop Photo: Quinzaine
The Cannes Directors’ Fortnight selection will open with a starry comedy Un Beau Soleil Intérieur with Juliette Binoche and Gérard Depardieu, which marks a change of tone for director Claire Denis, known for hard hitting dramas such as Beau Travail and Chocolat.

The section’s artistic director Edouard Waintrop made no apology for the choice, noting that he applauded directors who dared to change direction and that laughter in these dark times would provide a tonic. The film has been adapted from Roland Barthes' A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, which is said to deconstruct the language of love.

The Fortnight (in a media launch today at the Paris Left Bank cinema Grand Action) will close with one of the hits of Sundance, Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$ in which a white New Jersey rapper struggles to escape her dead-end life, featuing a knock-out performance by Danielle Macdonald in the title role. Another Sundance Film Festival favourite will also play - Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott’s action thriller Bushwick.

In between these two titles is an eclectic and challenging selection of some 19 features and ten shorts with some laid-back treats such as Abel Ferrara’s documentary about a trip the filmmaker made across France with his band last year entitled Alive In France.

Juliette Binoche stars in Claire Denis’s comedy Un Beau Soleil Intérieur
Juliette Binoche stars in Claire Denis’s comedy Un Beau Soleil Intérieur Photo: Richard Mowe
Besides Denis other French filmmakers in the mix include Bruno Dumont ,with a musical Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc (originally touted for the Official Competition) and Philippe Garrel’s L’amant d’un jour with Eric Caravaca and Esther Garrel, which deals with a father and his 23-year-old daughter and the father’s new partner, who is also 23 years old and lives with him.

Israeli film-maker Amos Gitai finds a place with West Of The Jordan River, while Chinese filmmaker Chloe Chao with a second feature The Rider tells of a young cowboy trying to carve out a new identity. It is a follow up to Songs My Brothers Taught Me, screened at the Fortnight in 2015.

Veteran Lithuanian filmmaker Sharunas Bartas, no stranger to Cannes with Few of Us in Un Certain Regard in 1996 and Eastern Drift in the Quinzaine in 2015. his first film Seven Invisible Men was shown more than a decade ago and he is back with his new film an aid convoy drama Frost whose cast includes Vanessa Paradis.

Italy is represented by no less than three features comprising Mediterranea director Jonas Carpignano returning with A Ciambra, Leonardo di Costanzo’s L’Intrusa and Robert de Paolis’ Cuori Puri.

Willem Dafoe takes the lead in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project
Willem Dafoe takes the lead in Sean Baker’s The Florida Project Photo: Quinzaine
Tangerine director Sean Baker unites Willem Dafoe, Bria Vinaite, Caleb Landry Jones and Brooklynn Prince for The Florida Project, the story of a precocious six-year-old and her rag-tag group of close friends whose carefree lives contrast with those of their struggling parents.

FEATURES

  • A Ciambra by Jonas Carpignano
  • Alive In France by Abel Ferrara
  • Bushwick by Cary Murnion & Jonathan Milott
  • Cuori Puri by Roberto De Paolis (first film)
  • The Florida Project by Sean Baker
  • Frost by Sharunas Bartas
  • I Am Not A Witch by Rungano Nyoni (first film)
  • Jeannette L'Enfance De Jeanne D'Arc (Jeanette: The Childhood Of Joan Of Arc) by Bruno Dumont
  • L'Amant D'Un Jour by Philippe Garrel
  • L'Intrusa (The Intruder) by Leonardo Di Costanzo
  • La Defensa Del Dragon by Natalia Santa (first film)
  • Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts by Surya Mouly
  • Mobile Homes by Vladimir de Fontenay
  • Nothingwood by Sonia Kronlund (first film)
  • Ôtez-Moi D'Un Doute by Carine Tardieu
  • Patti Cake$ by Geremy Jasper (first film) - closing film
  • The Rider by Chloé Zhao
  • Un Beau Soleil Interieur (Dark Glasses) by Claire Denis – opening film
  • West Of The Jordan River (Field Diary Revisited) by Amos Gitai

SHORTS

  • Água Mole by Laura Goncalves & Alexandra Ramires
  • Copa-Loca by Christos Massalas
  • Creme de menthe by Philippe David Gagné & Jean-Marc E Roy
  • Farpoes, Balidos by Marta Mateus
  • La Bouche by Camilo Restrepo
  • Min Borda by Niki Lindroth von Bahr
  • Nada by Gabriel Martins
  • Detour A Genoa City by Benoit Grimalt
  • Tangente by Julie Jouve & Rida Belghiat
  • Tijuana Tales by Jean-Charles Hue
  • Tresnje by Dubravka Turić
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