All films scheduled at the Cannes Film Festival 2019
It is funny that the announcement of the official selection of the Cannes festival (to be held from May 14th to 25th), namely the films of the competition, out of competition, midnight screenings, special screenings and Un Certain Regard (the section a a bit more audacious, the competition laboratory), took place in a historic Parisian cinema on the Champs-Élysées which is next to a theater called Lido. Never before has there been a war between the French and the Venice festivals, which has become so important in a handful of years to make the unspeakable: weaken the Cannes selection.
Last year it was one of the most popular editions among the recent ones (lit by a couple of exceptional films including the winner, A family affair), with few names, talent and therefore also of low turnout. This year the historical friends of the festival seem to be back, the filmmakers known to all, but the same is the impression is that if we talk about American cinema and if we talk about new masters or new stars of cinephilia, Cannes is almost dry-mouthed . And it is not a case.
Author cinema is at a turning point. The new authors no longer only practice the cinema of their predecessors but work a lot on the genre, positioning themselves between tradition and experimentation, citation and avenguardia. Nicolas Winding Refn with Drive (right from Cannes!) Marked the way definitively but then Arrival by Denis Villeneuve, District 9, La La Land by Chazelle, The Witch by Eggers and They called him Jeeg Robot of Mainetti, the horror of Jordan Peele or the best Chinese cinema have all been experiments capable of bending genres with an auteur look. Cannes has refused this type of cinema for years (only Quinzaine, a totally independent and non-affiliated section of the festival, dedicated more to the discovery and new directors, promoted it) and is now full of great filmmakers of the past and without the best emerging ones.
Certainly it will open with a bang the festival thanks to The Dead Don't Die, a zombie movie by Jim Jarmusch (not surprisingly a genre film, but of an old master) full of stars from Adam Driver to Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton , Iggy Pop and so on, however if we exclude the out-of-competition passage of Rocketman, the great biopic on the life of Elton John (which however has no star) there will not be so much to attract the attention of the world. Quentin Tarantino with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (author + genre) should have brought havoc and star with the shovel but was not announced. No one doubts the desire of Tarantino to stay in Cannes (where he almost always went and where he was consecrated by winning the Golden Palm with Pulp Fiction exactly 25 years ago) but the film does not seem to be ready in time. Nothing is decided and the festival has a stuck place for him in case he makes it, but today he won't be there (and it will be fun to understand who the panchinaro is in case he will have to replace him, because that's a place reserved for a major, then to a weight film).
Almost all the boxes of the festival (both in competition and out of competition than in special screenings) have been filled by revered and elderly teachers who are no longer really relevant for some time. This is the case of Ken Loach, Terrence Malick, Pedro Almodovar, Claude Lelouch but also of the immense Werner Herzog or the Dardenne brothers or even our Marco Bellocchio (an Italian director in official selection, we didn't have much else to offer this year) . Not that these names have no place in a great festival but the impression is that their presence is decidedly greater than that of the most exciting parts of contemporary cinema. In short, it is hard to use an image of the new film by Xavier Dolan or the TV series Too Old To Die Young by Nicolas Winding Refn (which will be in Cannes) as a cover, because they are not very representative of what we will see. More correct, perhaps, to use one from Almodovar's film.
And given the presence of two new giants of hard and authorial cinema like Bong Joon-Ho, of Diao Yinan (his Fireworks In Full Day revealed to the West a master) as well as the expected documentary on Asad's Maradona Kapadia, who had impressed with Amy and Senna, stimulates little curiosity. It is difficult not to blame all this even for the continuous closing of doors to Netflix which, among the streaming operators, is the most interested in the festivals and the one with the largest bouquet of new authors. Not that there was much to win by resounding but it is clear that that is a basin that cannot be closed to make a film festival facing forward. Amazon will be there in Cannes, because his policy (unlike Netflix) involves a distribution in the canonical hall and in fact carries one of the most interesting titles, that of Refn. "Everything is about to change in the world of distribution" said the festival president speaking of Netflix at the conference "There is a revolution going on, from here in 5 years everything will be different. This confirms that we have made the right choice "even if we understand this statement, the same, however we take it, it is difficult to agree.
Italy will bring a mafia film as told by Bellocchio, that is Il Traitore, in which Pierfrancesco Favino plays Tommaso Buscetta but it is difficult to think that it will really be a detective story or a film whose tones are true to the genre.
For the avoidance of doubt it is worth noting that we are not talking about a disastrous program. With this avalanche of names, the festival's results will be more than good, many things will be discussed and you will probably see more than just a really exciting title, but despite the results they may even be fantastic (because in fact we do not yet know what the films will be like) , the air is more like the party of the usual suspects, of the good cinema we know, rather than that of the good cinema we have never seen. What then should be the work of the festival: discover, overturn, change and not confirm.