Rodriguez, Pattinson, Dafoe in Directors’ Fortnight

New director at Cannes reveals 'bold new talents'

by Richard Mowe

An Easy Girl stars Zahia Dahar and Mina Farid
An Easy Girl stars Zahia Dahar and Mina Farid Photo: Wild Bunch
The first Cannes Directors’ Fortnight under the aegis of its new director Paolo Moretti unveiled its 2019 offerings in the Forum des Halles in Paris today (23 April) where many of the titles will screen after the festival.

The mix is as quirky and pioneering as ever with Robert Rodriguez heading to the Riviera for what promises to be a lively masterclass and a starry short film by Luca Guadagnino, The Staggering Girl, having a world premiere with the likes of Julianne Moore in the cast and probably present. After his masterclass, Rodriguez also will introduce the international premiere of his low-budget thriller Red 11 among the 24 features on display.

Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse, part of Cannes Directors’ Fortnight
Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse, part of Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Photo: Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
There is much buzz around Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, a 35mm black and white epic with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe on a strange island in New England at the end of the 19th century. It is the director’s follow up to The Witch. Also stirring advance interest is Rebecca Zlotowski’s coming of age tale An Easy Girl as well as Bertrand Bonello’s drama mixing ethnology and fantasy Zombi Child.

Another French contender that seems promising is Nicolas Pariser’s Alice And The Mayor with Fabrice Luchini and Anaïs Demoustier as respectively the mayor of Lyon and his new employee who holds diametrically opposing views.

The section will be concluded with Benoît Forgeard’s Yves, a comedy about a young man whose modest life is turned upside down by a “smart” refrigerator, which is said to "become his ghost writer”.

Sixteen of the films are from directors who previously have never had a film presented at the Festival, thereby adhering to the tenets of the Fortnight to "encourage bold new talents” according to Moretti.

As previously noted, Quentin Dupiex's Deerskin, starring Jean Dujardin, will open the sidebar, which was started in 1968 as a riposte to the Cannes Festival’s Official Selection. Veteran John Carpenter will receive the Golden Coach award.

The new incumbent at the helm, Moretti, was artistic director of La Roche-sur-Yon International Film Festival in western France, while also running Le Concorde art house cinema in the town. Before that, he was the deputy director of Venice’s Orizzonti sidebar and a programmer for the Rome and FIDMarseille festivals.

The Fortnight runs from 15 to 25 May.

Full line-up

  • Alice And The Mayor, Nicolas Pariser
  • An Easy Girl, Rebecca Zlotowski
  • And Then We Danced, Levan Akin
  • Blow It To Bits, Lech Kowalski
  • Dogs Don't Wear Pants, Jukka-Pekka Valkepaa
  • First Love, Takashi Miike
  • For The Money, Alejo Moguillansky
  • Ghost Tropic, Bas Devos
  • Give Me Liberty, Kirill Mikhanovsky
  • Les Particules, Blaise Harrison
  • Lillian, Andreas Horwath
  • Oleg, Juris Kursietis
  • Perdrix, Erwan Le Duc
  • Sick Sick Sick, Alice Furtado
  • Song Without A Name, Melina Leon
  • The Halt, Lav Diaz
  • The Lighthouse, Robert Eggers
  • The Orphanage, Shahrbanoo Sadat
  • Tlamess, Ala Eddine Slim
  • To Live To Sing, Johnny Ma
  • Wounds, Babak Anvari
  • Yves, Benoit Forgeard
  • Zombi Child, Bertrand Bonello

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