The lineup is yet to be announced, but our bets are on new Gaspar Noé and JG Ballard adaptation High-Rise hitting the Croisette
With Cannes just around the corner and the lineup not yet announced, speculation is hotting up about what we can expect to see at the prestigious French Riviera festival next month. Some films might not be ready in time. The out-of-control, spiralling production of Russian director Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s madness Dau, for which participants from theoretical physicists to performance artist Marina Abramovic were living in character on Europe’s largest-ever film set in Ukraine, mean it’s been on many’s hoped-for list for years now, and its completion has taken on the glean of impossible legend. Here are the more likely features we’re most excited about.
HIGH-RISE – BEN WHEATLEY
The prospect of a Ben Wheatley take on sci-fi master JG Ballard is hard to resist, and we hope he brings the surreal, dark wit we tasted in Kill List and A Field in England to this adaptation about inhabitants of a luxury London tower block in which a violent class war breaks out. Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller star in the film, which seems a dead cert for Cannes. It’s been deemed “futuristic”, but the first slick images out suggest it should chime with anyone feeling held by the throat by the spiralling rents and insane American Psycho-esque property market promo vids that have hit the capital lately.
BANG GANG – EVA HUSSON
A Biarritz 16-year-old sets up a group game at her school to get the attention of the fellow student she’s fallen for, pushing the sexual boundaries of all the players in this intense-looking, highly anticipated feature debut from Eva Husson. The French director has been on our radar for her shorts Hope to Die and Those for Whom It’s Always Complicated and music videos for The Presets. It’s highly likely the feature, which has the vocal support of Danish provocateur Lars von Trier, will pop up at the festival.
CAROL – TODD HAYNES
From Superstar, his take on the life of troubled singer Karen Carpenter using whittled-down Barbies, to his six-actor interpretation of Bob Dylan’s life I’m Not There, we’re huge fans of endlessly inventive US director Todd Haynes. So we’re loving the news that his 50s-set drama, adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel and starring Rooney Mara as a New York store clerk who falls for an older woman (Cate Blanchett) is a likely bet for a Cannes premiere.
LOVE – GASPER NOÉ
Whether you’re for or against his extreme form of audience punishment, a new Gaspar Noé film is always a big event. It’s the first feature since 2009’s neon-lit trip Enter the Void from the Argentinian director, who was also behind divisive and nihilistic rape-revenge Irreversible. Shot in Paris, Love is a “sexual melodrama” about a boy and two girls that’s upping the sauce on its marketing posters and which Noe has been quoted as saying “will give guys a hard-on and make girls cry”. So, erm, typical controversy-stirring Noé then.
THE LOBSTER – YORGOS LANTHIMOS
With pitch-black comedy of family dysfunction Dogtooth awarded at 2009’s Cannes, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos gave us one of the weirdest films of recent years. Now, he’s set to unveil his English language debut, and word is it will happen at the festival. Its premise is no less bizarre. In a dystopian near future, singles have 45 days to pair up in a hotel, or are transformed into animals and sent to fend for themselves in the woods. Léa Seydoux, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Olivia Colman and Colin Farrell make up its stellar cast.
LOUDER THAN BOMBS – JOACHIM TRIER
Another director set to make the risky transition from his native tongue to English is Joachim Trier. Such a break can be hit or miss. Wong Kar-wai’s dip into the American road movie with My Blueberry Nights had a tepid reception at Cannes a few years back, but let’s hope Joachim Trier had a handle on shooting in New York for his latest. While the film's plot remains tightly under wraps, the Norwegian director won acclaim for Oslo, October 31st, his searing portrait of a recovering drug addict, and he has a great cast to work with in stars Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert.
GREEN ROOM – JEREMY SAULNIER
Jeremy Saulnier’s crowdfunded, stripped-back revenge thriller Blue Ruin was hailed as one of American indie’s freshest after its Cannes premiere two years ago. It’s quite possible his latest Green Room, about a punk band caught up at a concert venue in a battle between anarchists and white supremacist skinheads, could win a slot this year. Imogen Poots and Joe Cole are in the cast.
LA BLESSURE (THE REAL WOUND) – ABDELLATIF KECHICHE
Blue is the Warmest Colour was one of the most talked about (and for sure, sauciest) Palme d’Or winners of recent years. We’re not sure if his latest, La Blessure, is ready yet – but if it is, director Abdellatif Kechiche is likely to be back on the Croisette this year. It’s another story of sexual awakening, following a teenage boy’s efforts to lose his virginity while on holiday in Tunisia.
COSMOS – ANDRZEJ ŻUŁAWSKI
Andrzej Żuławski has been on a hiatus from filmmaking for 15 years, but his cult divorce horror Possession remains on heavy play for Isabelle Adjani’s notorious subway freak-out scene alone. He’s returning with a new film shot in Portugal and adapted from a Witold Gombrowicz novel about two students staying in a guesthouse who are unsettled by a chain of sinister incidents. Fingers crossed the Polish veteran’s latest will tap the same vein of mentalism and be unleashed on Cannes.
CHEVALIER – ATHINA RACHEL TSANGARI
The Greeks are back in force. Fans of the deadpan humour of Athina Rachel Tsangari’s strange arthouse favourite Attenberg will be as excited as we are that her latest has a good chance of a Cannes slot. Chevalier sees a group of men pitted against each other in a game they have devised to pass the time after becoming trapped on a yacht in the middle of the sea. She’s penned the script with dark wit Efthymis Filippou, who’s also a co-writer of The Lobster.
The Cannes line-up will be announced on April 16. Cannes Film Festival runs from May 13-24