Schrader & Belloccio bookend Director’s Fortnight

Cage, Depardieu, Bejo, Bernal headline Cannes strand.

by Richard Mowe

 Two for the road: a scene from Paolo Virzi’s Like Crazy
Two for the road: a scene from Paolo Virzi’s Like Crazy Photo: Filmitalia

The Cannes Film Festival 2016 array is almost complete with the unveiling earlier today (19 April) of the line-up for the Directors’ Fortnight celebrating its 48th edition with 18 features, including Paul Schrader’s crime thriller Dog Eat Dog with Nicolas Cage as the closing film.

The sidebar will open with Marco Bellocchio’s Sweet Dreams which has Berenice Béjo as a woman coming to terms with the mystery surrounding her mother’s death a few years previously. Béjo also features in Belgian film-maker Joachim Lafosse’s drama about a relationship break-up, L’economie Du Couple.

Berenice Béjo stars in two films in Directors’ Fortnight: Sweet Dreams and L’economie du couple
Berenice Béjo stars in two films in Directors’ Fortnight: Sweet Dreams and L’economie du couple Photo: Richard Mowe

The choice of the Bellocchio as opener demonstrates a commitment to Italian cinema which was ignored in the official selection. Other Italian titles are Paolo Virzi’s Like Crazy and Claudio Giovannesi’s Fiore.

There are two films from Chile: dark thriller Neruda with Gael Garcia Bernal as a police inspect involved in tracking down the Nobel prize-winning poet (already the subject of Il Postino), and the veteran Alejandro Jodorwsky with romance Endless Poetry, which was apparently crowd-funded.

Artistic director Edouard Waintrop, in his fifth year at the helm, includes the last film by Icelandic-French director Solveig Ansbach, The Aquatic Effect. The film-maker died from breast cancer during the film’s post production, at the age of 54. Waintrop was quoted as saying: ““We got carried away by the Icelandic wind. It was a coup de coeur. It was one our favourites among the French movies we saw this year.”

French mega star Gérard Depardieu stars in Rachid Djaidani’s Tour De France, opposite rapper Sadek. Djaidani made his feature debut in the Fortnight with Rengaine in 2012. It deals with an unlikely duo on a road trip which culminates in a rap concert in Marseilles. Depardieu is also headlining Netflix’s first French language series, Marseilles.

Gael Garcia Bernal plays a detective tracking down a poet in Neruda
Gael Garcia Bernal plays a detective tracking down a poet in Neruda Photo: Directors’ Fortnight

Indian director Anurag Kashyap’s Psycho Raman deals with a serial killer in Bombay in the Sixties; Kim Nguyen’s Two Lovers And A Bear is a small-town romance with Tatiana Mislay and Dane DeHaan, and Canada features in the selection with crime thriller Mean Dreams (by Nathan Morlando and starring Kevin Durand and Bill Paxton).

Debut directors have not been neglected, with four films by first-timers, three of whom are French: Divines from Houda Benyamina, Claude Barras’ animated adaptation Ma Vie De Courgette and Sacha Wolf’s rugby drama Mercenaire. Meanwhile, Wolf And Sheep marks the debut of Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat. Another French director, Sébastien Lifshitz, also finds a Fortnight slot for Les Vies De Therese. Documentary film-maker Laura Poitras will present Risk, a follow-up to her Oscar winning Citzenfour.

Opening

  • Sweet Dreams / Fai Bei Sogni (Marco Bellocchio)

Closing

  • Dog Eat Dog (Paul Schrader)

Line-up

  • Divines (Uda Benyamina)
  • L’économie Du Couple (Joachim Lafosse)
  • L’Effet Aquatique (Solveig Anspach)
  • Fiore (Claudio Giovannesi)
  • Like Crazy / La Pazza Gioia (Paolo Virzi)
  • My Life As A Courgette / Ma Vie De Courgette (Claude Barras)
  • Mean Dreams (Nathan Morlando)
  • Mercenaire (Sacha Wolff)
  • Neruda (Pablo Larrain)
  • Endless Poetry / Poesía sin fin (Alejandro Jodorowsky)
  • Psycho Raman / Raman raghav 2,0 (Anurag Kashyap)
  • Risk (Laura Poitras)
  • Tour De France (Rachid Djaidani)
  • Two Lovers And A Bear (Kim Nguyen)
  • Les Vies De Thérèse (Sébastien Lifshitz)
  • Wolf And Sheep (Sadat Shahrbanoo)

Shorts

  • Abigail (Isabel Penoni, Valentina Homem)
  • Cassandre (Joffrey Renambatz)
  • Chasse Royale (Romane Gueret, Lise Akoka)
  • Decorado (Alberto Vazquez)
  • Habat Shel Hakala (Tamar Rudoy)
  • Happy End (Jan Saska)
  • Hitchhiker (Jero Yun)
  • Import (Ena Sendijarevic)
  • Kindil El Bahr (Damien Ounouri)
  • Léthé (Dea Kulumbegashvili)
  • Listening To Beethoven (Garri Bardin)
  • Zvir (Miroslav Sikavic)

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