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2012 Cannes Film Festival Predictions: Aleksei German’s The Chronicle of the Arkanar Massacre

Gist: At one time was called (by the novel’s title) Hard to Be a God, in script phase known as, What said the tobacconist from Tobacco Street, and then went from History of the Arkanar Massacre to the current day, The Chronicle of the Arkanar Massacre – I’d say the production history of this epic is legend in its own right. The B&W film looks at a bunch of settlers – “a group of historians from Earth live pretending to be average people. The main character, known as Don Rumata, is disgusted by cruelties he observes on everyday basis but is prohibited by his superiors from interfering and thus changing the natural course of history of the planet”. Here is a great read on the filmmaker.

Prediction: I’m sure Gilles Jacob could attest to the qualities behind 1998’s Khrustalyov, My Car!, a bleak b&w portrait that had Cannes critics walking out in droves. In production since freaking Y2K, the dozen year odyssey (including a six year editing process) the internets are saying this might be the year — if so it’ll be an opus that clocks in past the 180 minute point and would slip into the Main Comp category.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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