Cannes Film Festival 2018: The films and directors we’re keeping a lookout for
In with the big leagues
FRESH NEW DIRECTOR
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Asako I & II (Netemo Sametemo)
Vying for the iconic Palme d'Or award, Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi makes his debut this year. His film, Asako I & II (Netemo Sametemo), is based on Japanese author Tomoka Shibasaki's novel of the same name. Following the story of Asako (played by Erika Karata), she falls in love with Baku (Masahiro Higashide), a mysterious man from Osaka who suddenly disappears, only for her to become attracted to his doppelganger two years later. Earning a large recognition for his five-hour film three years ago, Happy Hour, this drama about the lives of four women in their 30s won Hamaguchi the Best Director award at the 26th Singapore International Film Festival's Silver Screen Awards.
BIGGEST SURPRISE APPEARANCE
Three Faces (May 2018)
Nothing ever stops well-known Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi from creating his political masterpieces, even after being put on house arrest. Unable to leave Iran and banned from making films for 20 years since 2010, Panahi still found ways to continue his craft. Remember his 2011 film, This Is Not a Film, where he smuggled a thumbdrive in a birthday cake from Iran to Cannes to enter it in the festival? In Panahi's latest documentary/film, it features Iranian actress Behnaz Jafari (playing herself) as she ventures into the Azerbaijan region looking for answers after receiving a suicide video from an aspiring actress, Marziyeh (Marziyeh Rezaei).
MOST ANTICIPATED FILM
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Dubbed as a "cursed" film after suffering many setbacks, director Terry Gilliam found himself embroiled in a recent lawsuit from Alfama Films Production, banning the movie that's 20 years in the making from participating in the festival. It wasn't until the second day of the event that the French court dismissed the case, that allowed The Man Who Killed Don Quixote to be presented as Cannes' closing film. Starring Jonathan Pryce as Don Quixote and Adam Driver as Toby Grisoni, the adventure-filled story — based loosely on the Spanish novel, Don Quixote — centres on the titular character who believes that he is the iconic literature character. He then mistakes Grisoni, an advertising executive, as Quixote's squire Sancho Panza.
MOST BIZARRE FILM
The House That Jack Built (29 November 2018)
After being banned for seven years for making a Nazi comment, notorious and controversial Danish director Lars von Trier will be presenting yet another graphic film that he's well-known for. Starring Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman and Riley Keough, The House That Jack Built sees Dillon cast as a Jack, a serial killer who goes on a murder rampage, mutilating women and children. "The House That Jack Built celebrates the idea that life is evil and soulless," said von Trier in an interview. The screening saw more than 100 attendees walking out from the premiere. But at the same time, it also received a 10-minute standing ovation from whoever's left in the theatre.
MOST ART HOUSE-LIKE
The Gentle Indifference Of The World (TBA)
No stranger to the Cannes Film Festival, young Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov's crime thriller will be premiering during the event. After his third feature film, The Owners, was featured as a Special Screening four years ago, this current film will be competing in the Un Certain Regard section. The Gentle Indifference Of The World tells the story of Saltanat (Dinara Baktybayeva) and her lover Kuandyk (Kuandyk Dussenbaev), who were both forced to leave their comfortable village life behind and live in the city after her father's death. The couple then tries to save Saltanat's mother from going to jail by paying off a huge debt left by her father.
The Cannes Film Festival 2018 runs from 8 to 19 May.