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Dunst’s Bastard and Franco’s The Clerk’s Tale Close Critic’s Week

Spiderman co-stars Kirsten Dunst and James Franco will each be presenting both of their short films on the closing night of Critic’s Week in Cannes. Franco’s 13-minute short The Clerk’s Tale will receive its world premiere screening and the pics for the short are sublime as they are 1970’s magazine-like in their look. The short, which I imagine Franco filmed as part of his work at NYU is based on the eponymous poem by Spencer Reece, The Clerk’s Tale is a psychological portrait of a gay man trapped in the monotonous routine of life at a high-end menswear store.

Spiderman co-stars Kirsten Dunst and James Franco will each be presenting both of their short films on the closing night of Critic’s Week in Cannes. Franco’s 13-minute short The Clerk’s Tale will receive its world premiere screening and the pics for the short are sublime as they are 1970’s magazine-like in their look. The short, which I imagine Franco filmed as part of his work at NYU is based on the eponymous poem by Spencer Reece, The Clerk’s Tale is a psychological portrait of a gay man trapped in the monotonous routine of life at a high-end menswear store. For Spencer, every day is a sequence of mundane tasks and empty exchanges. He fits a customer, straightens a display, takes his usual break at his usual time. But all the while the presence of an aging gay colleague eats away at him. Watching this older man, with his affects and almost grotesque habits, Spencer becomes keenly aware of the future that awaits him. The Clerk’s Tale is a haunting and delicately observed study in loneliness. Pedro Gomez Millan is the DP.

Franco The Clerk's Tale

Franco The Clerk's Tale

Franco The Clerk's Tale

Dunst’s Bastard which I believe will received its world premiere in Tribeca, explores what makes the unbelievable believable. When we hear a story that seems mysterious or far-fetched, we put more trust in its accuracy the longer ago it took place. As the centuries pass, the truth becomes more malleable. We grow less skeptical of what we might otherwise dismiss as incredible. Our perspective changes. This film addresses the eerie transformation of a familiar myth when displaced to the present. We find Juno Temple in the still below, the six minute short also includes Brian Geraghty, Lukas Haas, Joel David, Moore Lee, Thompson Young and L.M. Kit Carson. Dunst is currently shooting Upside Down for Juan Solanas in Montreal and will move to Europe for Lars Von Trier’s next film.

Kirsten Dunst Bastard

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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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