Cannes Film Festival 2019: All You Need to Know
– YOUR GUIDE TO THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2019 –
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All that is gold does not glitter…unless you happen to be at the Cannes Film Festival. Then, everything sparkles.
This year will see the Croisette light up once again and play host for the 72nd annual Cannes International Film Festival. Industry professionals, filmmakers, world media, affiliates and, of course movie stars and celebrities will ascend upon the Palias de Festivals to celebrate the best in filmmaking and world cinema for the year ahead.
The festival will run from May 14-25 and will incorporate an array of cinematic events such as; red carpet premieres, screenings, networking opportunities, meetings and of course, parties. Another important factor is the market place. This is where movie studios, production companies, sales agents and filmmakers congregate to basically sell and acquire films presented during the festival. Some of Hollywood’s best came from Cannes – E.T (1982), Dirty Dancing (1987), Godzilla (1998), Dogma (1999), Shrek (2001), Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), Kung Fu Panda (2008), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and more recently, Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). This year we will be presented with the first premiere and special screening of the Elton John biopic, Rocketman (2019).
The Cannes Film Festival is one of the world’s most infamous stages and has welcomed outstanding talent ever since its creation way back in 1946. The festival was originally going to be a celebration of cinematography by Jean Zay, the French Minister for Education at the time. This was to be a mass cultural event however, ended up being a competitive film festival and arguably the most illustrious.
QUENTIN TARANTIO’S ‘ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD’
It has been no secret that Quentin Tarantino’s latest endeavour, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was tipped to have a grand premiere at the Cannes film festival this year.
However, festival director Thierry Frémeaux declared that the film was not actually finished upon announcing the competition finalists, “Quentin Tarantino’s film is not ready…we hope that we will have good news that they will be present…”, Frémeaux speaking at the Festival de Cannes Official Selection (18 April 2019).
I feel that this announcement was meant to wind up the press a little, most media outlets reported that the film would not be present in Cannes following this but, Frémeaux never actually outright said that the film nor Tarantino wouldn’t be in attendence ( listen to the recording, you can find it on YouTube).
Furthermore, there is no way that Tarantino would miss this chance to present his all-star cast at the most glittering film festival in the world, right?
My skepticism was on parr with what came next:
It was announced to the world on Thursday 2 May (2019) that the movie WOULD now be part of the Official Selection at Cannes this year. I was literally shaking when I read this fantastic news despite already having my suspicions, I guess to actually have this confirmed was more exciting. I immediately took so social media to share in the joyous news!
Exactly 25 years ago, Tarantino won the Palm d’Or for Pulp Fiction, so it is very fitting that OUATIH be part of the lineup. Can he do it again with this movie? OUATIH has been described as a love letter to Hollywood from Tarantino, I guess we will all have to wait and find out – review to follow.
This is going to make for a very special festival this year and I cannot wait to be there to soak up all of the atmosphere and be a part of this invigorating moment in cinema history.
FILMS IN COMPETITION
The Dead Don’t Die, Jim Jarmusch (Opening film)
Pain and Glory, Pedro Almmodóvar
The Traitor, Marco Bellocchino
Parasite, Bong Joon Ho
Young Ahmed, Jean-Pierre Dardenne / Luc Dardenne
Oh Mery!, Arnaud Desplechin
The Wild Goose Lake, Diao Yinan
Atlantics, Mati Diop
Matthias and Maxime, Xavier Dolan
Little Joe, Jessica Hausner
Mektoub, My Love: Intermezzo, Abdellatif Kechiche
Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach
Les Misérables, Ladj LY
A Hidden Eye, Terrence Malick
Bacurau, Kleber Mendonça Filho / Juliano Dornelles
The Whistlers, Corneliu Porumboiu
Frankie, Ira Sachs
Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma
It Must Have Been Heaven, Elia Suleman
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
Sibyl, Justine Triet
JURY & FESTIVAL SPECIALS
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (Director, Producer & Screenwriter / Mexico)
Elle Fanning (Actress / United States)
Maimouna N’Diaye (Actress & director / Burkina Faso)
Kelly Reichardt (Director, Screenwriter & Editor / United States)
Alice Rohrwacher (Director & Screenwriter / Italy)
Enki Bilal (Author of Graphic Novels & Director / France)
Robin Campillo (Director, Screenwriter & Editor / France)
Yorgos Lanthimos (Director, Screenwriter & Producer / Greece)
Paweł Pawlikowski (Director & Screenwriter / Poland)
There are also Jury members for the Un Certain Regard and also the Cinéfondation Selection, they can be viewed here: https://www.festival-cannes.com/en/
THE NETFLIX THING
OK, so you may or may not be aware of the history or controversy surrounding Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival. Basically, the festival will limit or straight out refuse any film content from any VOD / Streaming Platform from entering competition. This does not always apply to other content such as; TV series.
The rules state that any movie wishing to be considered for competition must have a theatrical release (in France at the very least). As we are all aware, Netflix typically don’t release their content on the big screen…
Most would think that this an extremely sensitive topic within the industry especially with Cannes however, on the contrary (as it would seem). Frémeaux, spoke directly to the press during the Official Selection announcement and reiterated that the festival and Netflix are not enemies but are in fact trying to find somewhat of a common ground between the streaming giants and cinema audience.
“There is no battle between us, we just saw them recently and spoke the day before yesterday, but the rule of the festival is that for competition films, they have to come out theatrically in the festival’s territory. They aren’t there yet and we understand that very well… And we aren’t there, I dare say, far from it — especially when we receive the encouragement of Steven Spielberg or Jean-Luc Godard and exhibitors and a great many filmmakers. We don’t want to accept films in competition that won’t meet audiences in theaters” – Thierry Frémeaux (2019).
Fair play I guess…let’s not forget about Roma though. The Netflix film that went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars last year.
As negotiations continue perhaps this train of thought will change in the future or, there will be a place for the streaming services at Cannes in some shape or form. We won’t be seeing any film content from the Netflix or any other streaming giants this year, that is certain.
VIP, PARTIES & FESTIVITIES
The most exclusive side to Cannes has got be the VIP parties and events during the festival. These include; charity gigs, brand / product launches, film announcements, celebrity and press parties and other festival activities. All of which embrace and take advantage of the French Riviera’s luxurious landscape and the glamorous array of guests during this period. The Cannes red carpet is a glorified runway where fashion designers can showcase their latest collections to a global audience / market.
Events such as these take place in various locations in and around the Croisette from beach clubs to yachts and hotels to villas. The vast majority of these events are by invitation only so you need to make some new friends before you can join in the fun at this level! However, there are places that festival goers get together during the festival, these include; Petit Majestic – a little bar behind the Majestic hotel open into the wee hours. There are also night clubs, hotels and the open-air cinema on the beach.
I have been lucky enough in the past to be invited to such events. This year, I can say for the moment, I will in fact be attending some very fancy soirees during my time in Cannes – be sure to follow along on Instagram for instant and live updates from the festival.
MORE CANNES EXCLUSIVES COMING SOON
Thanks for reading this Cannes Film Festival update. What do you think of this years lineup? What movie are you looking forward to seeing the most? And, do you think Netflix should be included in the festival? Let me know your thoughts and please leave a comment if you liked this blog post.
📸images: credit to the owners, some images are my own photography