Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cannes Film Festival 2008

The lineup for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival has been revealed, and so begins my yearly ritual of yearning - tracking the distribution status of my beloved unseen. Some are absolutes, like Clint Eastwood's The Changeling, set for a November 7 release. Others are locks for New York Film Festival slots, like the Dardenne Bros.' The Silence of Lorna (shockingly described as a "young woman drama"), and others are hopefuls, like Jia Zhangke's 24 City and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Daydreams.

Then there's those films that slip through the cracks. Who's going to take a chance on Kiyoshi Kurosawa? His Tokyo Sonata is in the Un Certain Regard section, but he hasn't had a film of his distributed in the US since his dizzying 2003 double-shot of Doppleganger and Bright Future. His last film, the excellent haunted insane asylum serial killer genre workout Retribution (2006), was picked up by Lionsgate but is still sitting on the shelf. Sonata, written by the Australian Max Mannix and translated into Japanese for Kurosawa, sounds like a family chamber drama with the same hook as Laurent Cantet's Time Out, a salaryman loses his job but refuses to tell his family (you can find a link to the Screen International story on the film here). Kurosawa did a number of rewrites, and created a new supporting character to be played by his long time collaborator Koji Yakusho (Doppleganger, Charisma, Cure). And did I mention Max Mannix? A must see!

The Soderbergh Che two-parter snuck in at the last minute, amidst reports that he wasn't going to have the first part finished in time. My interest is tepid in any case - I think he did his best work on the Ocean's 11 franchise, where his self-consciousness raises itself to the thematic level instead of being muted in his "important" projects.

Women to get excited about: Lucrecia Martel's Holy Girl follow-up La Mujer sin cabeza and Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy follow-up Wendy and Lucy.

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