Cannes organisers complete the line-up

New films by Hazanavicius, Stone, and Rasoulof join the throng

by Richard Mowe

Michel Hazanavicius is back on the Croisette - with animated wartime drama The Most Precious of Cargoes
Michel Hazanavicius is back on the Croisette - with animated wartime drama The Most Precious of Cargoes Photo: © Ex Nihilo, Les Compagnons du Cinéma, Studio Canal, France 3 Cinéma, Les Films du Fleuve)
The Oscar-wining director of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius returns to the Cannes Film Festival Competition with his new animated feature The Most Precious of Cargoes, adapted from Jean-Claude Grumberg’s best-selling novel of the same name.

It is set during the Second World World War against the backdrop of the Holocaust and will be the first animated feature to compete in the official selection in more than a decade, since Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir in 2008.

Described as “a passion project” for Hazanavicius the story intertwines the fate of a Jewish family, including newborn twins, who are arrested in Paris and deported to Auschwitz, with that of a poor and childless woodcutter couple living in the depths of a Polish forest. While on a train to the death camp, the young father puts one of his twins in a package and throws him out of the train, into the snow. The lonely woodcutter wife, whose sole distraction is to watch the trains pass by, comes across the package and discovers the child she was waiting for so fervently.

Arnaud Desplechin’s Spectateurs, stars Mathieu Amalric as the director’s alter ego and described as 'a filmgoer’s coming of age tale'
Arnaud Desplechin’s Spectateurs, stars Mathieu Amalric as the director’s alter ego and described as 'a filmgoer’s coming of age tale' Photo: Les Films du Losange

The voice cast includes the late revered actor Jean-Louis Trintignant in one of his last outings, as well as Dominique Blanc, Grégory Gadebois, and Denis Podalydès. Hazanavicius’s The Artist received a world premiere in the Cannes Competition in 2011 while the director as also at the Festival in 2017 with Redoubtable and in 2022 with his zombie slasher extravaganza Coupez!

Details remained scarce about Iranian film-maker Mohammad Rasoulof’s new film The Seed Of The Sacred Pig, also in Competition. The director, who won the Berlinale Golden Bear with There Is No Evil, was banned from travelling to Cannes last year when he was invited to be on the jury of Un Certain Regard. He was released recently after months of detention but there is no confirmation about his attendance this time around.

Cannes has also added Maria, Jessica Palud’s film about the tragic life of Maria Schneider, who starred opposite Marlon Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Last Tango In Paris. Anamaria Vartolomei plays the actress and Matt Dillon appears as Brando, in the film which receives a berth at Cannes Premiere. It’s an adaptation of Tu t’appelais Maria Schneider, a book written by Vanessa Schneider, the actress’ cousin.

Titles joining the special screenings lineup include Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye’s untitled documentary feature set against the backdrop of the Covid pandemic; and Arnaud Desplechin’s Spectateurs, a film starring Mathieu Amalric as the director’s alter ego which revolves around his youth.

The director has said: “What does it mean, to go to the movies? Why have people been going for over one hundred years? I set out to celebrate movie theatres and their manifold magic. So I walked in the footsteps of young Paul Dédalus, as if in a filmgoer’s coming-of-age story.”

And there’s also a new film from Oliver Stone called Lula, a documentary about thrice-elected Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Pierre Niney, Bastien Bouillon, Anaïs Demoustier, and Pierre Niney in The Count Of Monte Cristo
Pierre Niney, Bastien Bouillon, Anaïs Demoustier, and Pierre Niney in The Count Of Monte Cristo Photo: Pathé

Alexandre de La Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte’s period epic The Count of Monte-Cristo film, starring Pierre Niney, Anaïs Démoustier and Bastien Bouillon, has been added to the Out of Competition line-up.

Added to Un Certain Regard is actress Celine Salette’s directorial debut Niki, a biopic of French-American artist Niki de Saint-Phalle, who is played by Charlotte Le Bon.

As already announced, the festival will screen the latest works by (among many) Paul Schrader, Francis Ford Coppola, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrea Arnold, David Cronenberg, Ali Abbasi, Sean Baker, Jia Zhangke, and Paolo Sorrentino.

The 77th edition runs from May 15 to 25.

The full list of additions:

Competition

  • The Most Precious of Cargoes, Michel Hazanavicius
  • Trois Kilomètres Jusqu’à la Fin Du Monde, Emanuel Parvu
  • The Seed Of The Sacred Fig, Mohammad Rasoulof

Un Certain Regard

  • When the Light Breaks, Rúnar Rúnarsson
  • Niki, Céline Sallette
  • Flow, Gints Zilbalodis

Cannes Premiere

  • Vivre, Mourir, Renaitre, Gaël Morel
  • Maria, Jessica Palud

Special Screenings

  • Spectateurs, Arnaud Desplechin
  • Nasty, Tudor Giurgiu
  • Lula, Oliver Stone
  • An Unfinished Film, Lou Ye

Out of Competition

  • Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, Alexandre de La Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte

Oliver Stone has a new documentary in Cannes
Oliver Stone has a new documentary in Cannes Photo: Richard Mowe

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