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Best Bets Cannes 08: Un Certain Regard

I’m guessing that with one third of the films representing first time efforts, this year’s Un Certain Regard section will be a crapshoot for buyers and critics alike. Those that stick out among the pack come from promising directors with sophomore features such as

I’m guessing that with one third of the films representing first time efforts, this year’s Un Certain Regard section will be a crapshoot for buyers and critics alike. Those that stick out among the pack come from promising directors with sophomore features such as…:

Salt of this Sea  

Milh Hadha Al-Bahr (Salt of this Sea) (Annemarie Jacir)
We often see stories about the immigrant struggle in a country that is not theirs…this is the flipside POV a former Palestinian finding it difficult to find her footing in her native land. Jacir’s debut looks like a sure bet for a healthy film festival circuit.

Los Bastardos  

Los Bastardos (Amat Esclante)
Crossing the line for a pair of Mexican immigrants appears to take on a whole new meaning with Amat Esclante’s 2nd feature. His debut, Sangre belongs to the contemporary, art-house bunch of films that portrays a dismal life. Los Bastardos will continue that tradition and perhaps find wider appreciation due to the subject matter.

Johnny Mad Dog   

Johnny Mad Dog (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire)
Children with guns. Since City of God opened, there have been a bunch of inferior knock offs, either about poverty stricken areas with gunplay and/or war zones with children packing heat. Sauvaire’s fictional film debut (in English tongue) takes place in Africa.

Wendy and Lucy

Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt)

Whether it be an indie or studio project, I’ve officially grown tired of the road movie formula, but there is always an exception (see David Lynch’s The Straight Story). Those who have seen indie fav. Old Joy, will be pleased to know that director Kelly Reichardt has put together a new project starring Michelle Williams has a West coaster heading northward.

Hamer O'horten

O’Horten (Bent Hamer)  
Bent Hamer’s brand of Scandi-humor provides some fairly great results: Eggs, Kitchen Stories and Factotum. I’m expecting much of the same here with a tale of a routine final journey turning into the unforeseen.

Un Certain Regard

Hunger, dir: Steve McQueen (UK)
Tokyo!, dir: Bong Joon Ho, Leos Carax, Michel Gondry (France)
*Afterschool, dir: Antonio Campos (US)
*Ting Che, dir: Chung Mong-Hong (Taiwan)
Soi Cowboy, dir: Thomas Clay (UK)
La Vie Moderne (Profils Paysans), dir: Raymond Depardon (France)
Wolke 9, dir: Andreas Dresen (Germany)
*Tulpan, dir: Sergey Dvortsevoy (Germany)
Los Bastardos, dir: Amat Escalante (Mexico)
Chelsea On The Rocks, dir: Abel Ferrara (US)
Je Veux Voir, dir: Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige (France)
O’ Horten, dir: Bent Hamer (Norway-Germany)
*Milh Hadha Al-Bahr, dir: Annemarie Jacir (Palestine)
Tokyo Sonata, dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Japan)
Yi Ban Haishui, Yi Ban Huoyan, dir: Fendou Liu (China)
*A Festa Da Menina Morta, dir: Matheus Nachtergaele (Brazil)
De Ofrivilliga, dir: Ruben Ostlund (Sweden)
Wendy And Lucy: dir: Kelly Reichardt (US)
Johnny Mad Dog, dir: Jean-Stephane Sauvaire (France)
*Versailles, dir: Pierre Schoeller (France)
Tyson, dir: James Toback (US)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, 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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