The film community will be out in force this weekend for the 65th annual Cannes Film Festival, one of the largest international film festivals in the world. Each year the festival brings together some of the biggest names in the industry in an appreciation of international cinema past, present, and future.The festival begins May 16th and runs through May 27th in Cannes, France.
The festival was created in 1947 by France’s minister for education and fine arts Jean Zay as a means of encouraging the art of filmmaking in all its forms. This year’s festival is a prime example of that kind of encouragement in action as many of the films- from the official selections to newly restored classical films- reflect the kind of international style only Cannes can attract.
The festival begins tomorrow with its official openening night selection of Wes Anderson’s child fantasy, Moonrise Kingdom, starring Bruce Willis, Ed Norton, and Bill Murray. The film explores adolescent love in a summer camp setting and brings newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward to the big screen.
One of the most anticipated films this year is the world premiere of David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, starring Twilight’s Robert Pattison. The film tells the tale of Eric Packer, a highly successful although paranoid and obsessive New York finance executive, whose main goal is to get to his barber’s on the other side of the city. Along the way, a visit from the president sparks chaos in Manhattan and the haunting realization that someone may be trying to assassinate him. Early reviews have called the film trippy and one of Cronenberg’s best.
The festival will also see the premiere of On The Road, a cinematic interpretation of beat poet Jack Kerouac’s famed novel. Of all the films at the festival this is by far one of the riskiest. Although it has a solid cast, it is a novel that is beloved by millions and defined a whole generation. Directed by Walter Salles, expect it to be one of the most talked about movies of the festival.
All the films will by vying for the coveted Palme d’Or award, presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. With such legendary directors as Wes Anderson, Ken Loach, Leos Carax and others it is looking to be a tough competition this year.
Cannes is about more than celebrating the films of today, it is also about creating an appreciating for the films of yesterday. The year’s festival will highlight restored prints cinematic classics such as Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in America and Hitchcock’s The Ring.
A weekend at Cannes is not just about unveiling it is about learning as well. Every year the festival invites a prominent figure from the world of cinema to give a “masterclass” in directing. This year’s master classes include Oscar winning director Phillip Kaufman, producer Norman Lloyd and film composer Alexandre Desplat. The unique experience allows those both in the business and outside of it to get a first hand look at the inner workings of a film’s creation.
As one of the few film festivals that caters to both independent and mainstream cinema, what happens in Cannes brings the attention of the worldwide film community. Like the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, Cannes is a great way to test the barometer of the film industry.
With all eyes on the festival this weekend one can only imagine what the future holds.