The 70th annual Cannes Film Festival is now underway and this month’s “Trailer Tuesday” is devoted to the most intriguing trailers from the most prestigious film festival in the world!
I should say that Cannes will likely screen many good, even great films, but that doesn’t mean those films have trailers that distinguish them as anything other than feel-bad dramas and social commentaries. Heck, a lot of films at Cannes don’t even have trailers yet! Today, we’re embracing a few engaging trailers, not endorsing future masterpieces.
Let’s start with Redoubtable, Michel Hazanavicius’ bio-pic on acclaimed director and general enfant terrible – Jean-Luc Godard. Leave it to the cheeky Hazanavicius to rib Cannes right in the trailer to his film! Cannes might have the last laugh though, as reviews from Redoubtable‘s screening are less than flattering.
Sergei Loznitsa’s A Gentle Creature is a Ukranian drama about a woman trying to uncover the fate of her incarcerated husband after a package is delivered back to her marked “Return to Sender.” Loznitsa’s trailer depicts a depressingly hardscrabble existence of material and emotional poverty, then slowly pivots into Kusturica-like hedonism. This carnivalesque trailer puts A Gentle Creature near the top of my must-see Cannes list.
Another French bio-pic. Jacques Doillon’s aptly titled Rodin examines the life of sculptor Auguste Rodin. It’s not exactly clear how (or if) Rodin will incorporate the tactile, three-dimensional nature of sculpture into film, but I do feel some personal affinity to the subject matter having once spent a lovely afternoon in Rodin’s Garden.
Screening in the Directors’ Fortnight is Sonia Kronlund’s Nothingwood, a high-spirited, light-hearted portrait of Salim Shaheen, Afganistan’s most popular and prolific actor-director. Given the bleak vision of life often offered at Cannes, Nothingwood seems a welcome reminder of cinema’ escapist power and the bratty prank of stardom.
Lea Mysius’ Ava, showing as part of the Critic’s Week, has already received the sort of positively qualified reviews one expects of a first feature. Ava is a coming of age story of a girl’s last summer before losing her eyesight. Sensual, awkward, and artistically self-assured, it sounds like Mysius have already declared herself as a director of promise.
Moving from a young woman starting to explore her life to an older woman considering her death, Bojan Vuletic’s Requiem for Mrs. J arrives from the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival to screen as part of the ACID Trip #1 – Serbia portion of the ACID selections. The Hollywood Reporter, reviewing the film at Berlin, suggested that “[if] Wes Anderson made a movie about suicidal Balkan widows, it would probably look like this.” Sold!
High marks should go to the trailer for An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk) for making Al Gore look like a charismatic leader and transforming what was once a PowerPoint presentation into something actually cinematic. Timely, despite its groan-inducing subtitle.
Showing out of competition with An Inconvenient Sequel is Takashi Miike’s adaptation of Blade of the Immortal. Miike has been hit and miss at Cannes but word from opening day of the Festival suggests that the director’s 100th feature film delivers!