Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

The Cannes competition is announced.

Two years ago the competition was a tad disappointing. Last year, it was absolutely top drawer. The 2012 competition programme, which was announced by Thierry Frémaux, festival director, in Paris earlier today, looks pretty darn promising. We were already fairly sure …

Thu, Apr 19, 2012, 17:20

   

Two years ago the competition was a tad disappointing. Last year, it was absolutely top drawer. The 2012 competition programme, which was announced by Thierry Frémaux, festival director, in Paris earlier today, looks pretty darn promising. We were already fairly sure that neither Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master nor the new, untitled Terrence Malick film would be ready in time. Indeed, their non-appearence confirmed that the supposed leak of the programme earlier in the month was almost certainly a hoax. Those films were the only two eyebrow-raisers on the list published by gullible bloggers. If they had appeared today then we might have retrospectively given the leak some credence.

Anyway, what’s worth attending? Well, we have new films from Michael Haneke, Jacques Audiard and Abbas Kiarostami. If you’re in search of a trend, you might note that there is an extraordinarily high number of English-language films: David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Walter Salles’s On the Road, Lee Daniels’s The Paperboy are among that list. If I had to single one film out for particular mention it would be Jeff Nichols’s Mud. Visitors to this place will be aware that the director’s Take Shelter was my favourite film from last year. Jeff’s new drama once again stars Michael Shannon. Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey and Sam Shepard also join the gang.

Both Twilight stars will be on the red carpet: Kristen Stewart is in On the Road; Robert Pattinson appears in Cosmopolis. Mr Pitt will, most likely, return to support the George V Higgins adaptation Killing Them Softly. As ever, there will be more stars than the heavens (is that the right cliché?).

I am disappointed that the new films by Wong Kar Wai and Park Chan-Wook are not on the list. But the only real scandal here concerns gender. Once again, as in 2010, there are no women directors in the main competition. What the heck is going on?

The full competition is as follows:

Amour, Michael Haneke
The Angels’ Share, Ken Loach
Baad el mawkeaa, Yousry Nasrallah
Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu
Cosmopolis, David Cronenberg
Holy Motors, Leos Carax
The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg
Killing Them Softly, Andrew Dominik
In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo
In the Fog, Sergei Loznitsa
Lawless, John Hillcoat
Like Someone in Love, Abbas Kiarostami
Mud, Jeff Nichols
On the Road, Walter Salles
The Paperboy, Lee Daniels
Paradies: Liebe, Ulrich Seidl
Post tenebras lux, Carlos Reygadas
Reality, Matteo Garrone
Rust and Bone, Jacques Audiard
Taste of Money, Im Sang-soo
You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet, Alain Resnais

 

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