Boorman returns to the Cannes fray

Directors' Fortnight sets out its stall.

by Richard Mowe

French director Celine Sciamma will open Cannes Directors' Fortnight with Girlhood.
French director Celine Sciamma will open Cannes Directors' Fortnight with Girlhood.

At least three directors who had been expected to find a berth in the Cannes Film Festival’s main Competition have turned up in the selection for the Directors’ Fornight unveiled today (22 April).

John Boorman, a Riviera regular and a two-time winner of the best director award in the main section, will see his latest, Queen And Country premiered, a sequel to his Oscar-nominated and also autobiographical Hope And Glory. This time he deals with his harsh National Service in the early Fifties. The cast includes Tamsin Egerton, David Thewlis, Richard E. Grant, Caleb Landry Jones.

Bruno Dumont, also a Cannes Competition habitué, renowned for his dark and hard hitting dramas, promises to lighten up with Little Quinquin (P’tit Quinquin), described as a slapstick comedy about a series of bizarre crimes on the outskirts of a small Channel town and featuring Alane Delhaye, Lucy Caron and Bernard Pruvost. It is being shown as a Special Screening.

The opening choice of the strand will be the latest offering from French director Celine Sciamma: Girlhood (Bande De filles), which picks up on the themes of examine sexuality and orientation explored in her debut title Water Lilies. The 16-year-old at the heart of the story lives her life as a succession of prohibitions. The censorship exercised by the neighborhood, the law laid down by boys, the dead end of school… But her encounter with a group of girls who have claimed their freedom changes everything.

Bill Nighy stars in Matthew Warchus's gay activism comedy Pride in Directors' Fortnight
Bill Nighy stars in Matthew Warchus's gay activism comedy Pride in Directors' Fortnight

Another British director from a different generation to Boormam, Matthew Warchus will be worth watching for his comedy of gay activism, Pride, slated as the closing film of the section and starring Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine. Set over the summer of 1984 during the Margaret Thatcher era, Warchus (God of Carnage) follows a group of gay and lesbian activists who decide to raise money to support the families of National Union of Mineworkers members who are on strike.

A couple of titles from this year’s Sundance crop make it on to the line-up: Jim Mickle’s murky thriller Cold In July alongside the Utah festival’s jury and audience winner Whiplash by Damien Chazelle, and dealing with an aspiring jazz drummer.

The only animated film in the strand will be Japanese director Isao Takahata’s Tale Of Princess Kaguya while in a completely different genre Tobe Hooper’s horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre appears in a restored cut for a Special Screening.

Directorial debutants include Israel’s Asfa Forman with Next to Her, UK’s Daniel Wolfe with Catch Me Daddy and France’s Thomas Cailley with Fighters. These titles and others will compete for the coveted Camera d’Or prize for best first feature to be decided by a jury presided over by French actress and director Nicole Garcia.

Feature Competition

Halleluiah (dir: Fabrice Du Welz - Belgium/France)

Next To Her (dir: Asaf Korman - Israel)

Catch Me Daddy (dir: Daniel Wolfe - UK)

Cold In July (dir: Jim Mickle - USA)

Fighters (dir: Thomas Cailley - France)

Gett Le Proces (dirs:Viviane Amsalem Ronit and Shlomi El Kabetz - Israel, France, Germany)

Tale Of Princess Kaguya (dir: Isao Takahata - Japan)

A Hard Day (dir: Seong-Hun Kim - South Korea)

Eat Your Bones (dir: Jean-Charles Hue - France)

National Gallery (dir: Frederick Wiseman - France/USA)

Pride (dir: Matthew Warchus - UK)

Queen And Country (dir: John Boorman - UK)

Refugiado (dir: Diego Lerman - Argentina, France, Germany)

These Final Hours (dir: Zach Hilditch - Australia)

Tu Dors Nicole (dir: Stephane Lafleur - Canada)

Whiplash (dir: Damien Chazelle - USA) Special Screenings

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (dir: Tobe Hooper)

Li’l Quinquin (dir: Bruno Dumont)

Michael C Hall takes a walk on the dark side in Jim Mickle's Cold In July, coming from Sundance to Cannes
Michael C Hall takes a walk on the dark side in Jim Mickle's Cold In July, coming from Sundance to Cannes

Short Films

8 Bullets (dir: Frank Ternier - France)

The Revolution Hunter (dir: Margarida Rego - Portugal)

Cambodia 2099 (dir: Davy Chou - France)

In August (dir: Jenna Hasse - Switzerland)

Fragments (dir: Aga Woszczynska - Poland)

Guy Moquet (dir: Demis Herenger - France)

Jutra (dir: Marie-Jose Saint-Pierre - Canada)

Man On The Chair (dir: Dahee Jeong - France/South Korea)

Heartless (dirs: Nara Normande and Tiao Tiao - Brazil)

Torn (dirs: Elmar Imanov and Engin Kundag - Azerbaijan)

It Can Pass Through The Wall (dir: Radu Jude - Romania)

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