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2013 Cannes Film Festival Predictions: Ari Folman’s The Congress

#4. Ari Folman’s The Congress

Gist: In The Congress, an aging actress (Robin Wright) with a disabled child agrees to a large payment to have a full body imaging that will be digitized and utilized to create a digital actress. As part of the agreement, she will no longer control her likeness and the studio will then utilize the new virtual thespian in any manner they see fit. As part of the agreement, she will also be forbidden from acting ever again. The film explores the ramifications of how the new digital actress affects the future of the woman and society as a whole. Based on the novel The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem.

Prediction: Folman began working on this title back in 2008, the year he competed in the Main Competition with his third feature, the much celebrated animation film, Waltz With Bashir. This latest project will be part live action (filmed in the US) and part animation (from a French animation house), and is based on source material from the author of Solaris. Recently released photo stills from the production reveal a ravishing looking Robin Wright, and, not surprisingly, Folman has assembled a first rate supporting cast (Danny Huston, Paul Giamatti, Harvey Keitel, and Frances Fisher) and teams with Polish cinematographer Michal Englert, who regularly works with director Malgorzata Szumowska. We predict that this will play in the Main Competition.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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