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Cannes 06: Massive Preview

Following up on a Screen Daily piece written moments after the Berlin film festival, we’ve decided to go with that list and make a full breakdown of the pictures that we might find at this year’s Cannes film festival. At this point its just speculation – but hell its fun to speculate and after what many consider a long wait for quality projects – I think that buyers and sellers might find themselves in a real frenzy at the Croisette.

With the opening of what will be a massive blockbuster hit (hear those cash registers ring) in Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code, and by the looks of the names there might be plenty of items to look forward to in the Autumn and be sure there will be plenty of leftovers for both Venice & Toronto (remember: Ang Lee avoided traffic and showcased Brokeback Mountain at Venice. Without further ado, here’s what Cannes 2006 and Jury president Wong Kar-wai may possibly be watching this coming May. Here is part I of our 5-day preview.

After The Wedding
Dir: Susanne Bier
Gist: Bier likes to play with serious themes and heavier dramas, her last film was the international hit Brothers (Brødre). Much of the same is found here as a manager of an orphanage (Mikkelsen – the new Bond villain) in Denmark is sent to Copenhagen, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.

Azur & Asmar
Dir: Michel Ocelot
Gist: Like his last film (Kirikou et les Bêtes Sauvages), Ocelot’s 2d animation is specila not only because of the subject matter but also his animation style. This is the tale of two who as kids fought and loved each other as brothers do. As grown ups, they mercilessly become rivals in the quest for the djinn’s fairy.

Babel
Dir: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Gist: International set. International stars. World perspective. Inarritu closes the door on his trilogy (Amores Perros, 21 Grams ) of chance happenings and temporal/space manipulation. Bernal returns in this tale that sees
a vacationing American couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett), a rebellious deaf Japanese teenager and her father, and a Mexican nanny who, without permission, takes two American children across the border. None of these strangers will ever meet; in spite of the sudden, unlikely connection between them, they will all remain isolated due to their own inability to communicate meaningfully with anyone around them. I’m willing to bet that this might be showcased in the Autumn. Note: Guillermo Arriaga is once again the screenwriter.

The Black Dahlia
Dir: Brian DePalma
Gist: Affectionately keeping a slot for DePalma, this man is loved by the French. His last effort Femme Fatale was filmed on the steps of the red carpet. This is an adaptation of James Ellroy’s classic noir novel which is a fictional account of the notorious murder in 1947 of an actress in Los Angeles and the investigation into the case. Based on a notorious, unsolved murder, the mystery begins in the late 1940s when the body of Elizabeth Short is discovered in a vacant lot with evidence she had been tortured for several days before dying. Aaron Eckhart, Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Kirshner and Hilary Swank populate the film.

Bobby
Dir: Emilio Estevez
Gist: Estevez? Director? Apparently this has been in the works for a while. It must have been nice for the son of Sheen to call friends for that one favor. A monster cast and a subject matter that will make everyone who remembers that night will want to see it. The low budget revisits the night Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968. The story is about how the lives of those at the hotel that evening intersected.

Born And Raised
Dir: Pablo Trapero
Gist: Trapero’s newest is a big mystery at this point, but if his Rolling Family (Familia rodante) is any indication, then this might be another worthy Argentian product.

Breaking And Entering
Dir: Anthony Minghella
Gist: Think quantity and quality. If everything Minghella has made since The English Patient is an indiction, this project will be big. This is a contemporary story about theft, both emotional and criminal. The story follows an encounter between a yuppie architect (Jude Law) and a young Muslim thief who breaks into his office. A series of related incidents leads the architect to re-evaluate his life. Oh and don,t forget the brilliant actress Juilette Binoche revisits us.

C’est Gradiva Qui Vous Appelle
Dir: Alain Robbe-Grillet
Gist: Born in 1922, Robbe-Grillet first draft was for the Resnais film Last Year at Marienbad. This see an archaeologist unearths the sculpture of Roman girl in Pompeii and is subsequently haunted by her ghost.

The Caiman
Dir: Nanni Moretti
Gist: The director of Caro Diario and The Son’s Room always makes issues an intense personal experience. Now he turns to politics with a non-apologetic view of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It might make more ways if it hits Venice instead.

Captain Alatriste
Dir: Agustin Diaz-Yanes
Gist: Having last directed Don’t Tempt Me, Diaz-Yanes knows the value of a star, hence he set Viggo Mortensen toplines the period adventure film in the eponymous role of Captain Alatriste, a Spanish soldier-cum-mercenary embroiled in the country’s 16th century imperial wars.

Charlston & Vendetta
Dir: Uros Stojanovic
Gist: First time helmer brings us a taste of Eastern Europe with this story of two sisters that grew up in a small Serbian village in the beginning of the 1930s. The village is torn up by wars and years long blood oath. There are no men left in the village. Our heroines, Ognjenka and Mala Boginja decide to go to the city, kidnap men and return life to their village. The lights of the metropolis dazzle them and there starts this little amusing and sentimental adventure.

Clerks II
Dir: Kevin Smith
Gist: The Weinsteins are looking forward to launching this, but opted out of a Sundance slot to make a bigger splash. Formerly titled “The Passion of The Clerks”, the sequel to the 1994 independent hit picks up 10 years later. It’s about what happens when that lazy, 20-something malaise lasts into your 30s. It’s time for the Dante and Randal to actually grow up and do something more than just sit around and dissect pop culture and talk about sex.

Copying Beethoven
Dir: Agnieszka Holland
Gist: A period film, Young Anna Holz, (Kruger) a student at the Vienna Music Conservatory is summoned to the offices of Herr Schlemmer, Beethoven’s publisher. His Ninth Symphony is about to be premiered and Schlemmer, who is dying of cancer, needs a copyist to complete the score. Anna eagerly accepts, despite his warning that Beethoven (Harris) is a monster.

Days Of Glory
Dir: Rachid Bouchareb
Gist: It seems like the French like churning out WWII films – and this tells the story of four soldiers of North-African origins who fought to liberate France at the end of WWII.

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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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