Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the Cannes festival, has fought for cinema to return to La Croisette and for it to be accompanied by the largest number of people attending the event. This Thursday morning he announced the schedule for the 74th edition of the event (which will take place from July 6 to 17) and there will be no more films or names of renowned creators. Along with previously confirmed films by Leos Carax (who competes with his musical Annette, produced by Amazon and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard); by Paul Verhoeven (which is finally releasing Benedetta, the true story of a 17th century Italian lesbian nun, a film that has been awaiting release for three years), and Wes Anderson (French chronicle, while the American filmmaker is already launching into the pre-production of his new film, which will shoot in Spain), those of Asghar Farhadi (after filming in Spain Everybody knows, the Iranian presents A hero, return to her native country) or Mia Hansen-Løve, who exhibits Bergman Island, the trip of two American filmmakers to the archipelago where the most global Swedish director was inspired.
Sean Penn, what with I will say your name garnered the fiercest critics in the history of the contest in 2016, returns with Flag Day; the Israeli Nadav Lapid, who with his previous work, Synonyms, won at the Berlinale, will premiere Ha’berech; Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard will screen Les Olympiades; can finally be seen Memory, by Apitchapong Weerasethakul (another Palme d’Or), shot in Colombia with Tilda Swinton as the main character; Prestigious European creators such as François Ozon, Indikó Enyedi (Berlinale winner), Catherine Corsini, Kirill Serebrennikov (who has suffered a long house arrest in Russia), Joachim Trier, Joachim Lafosse, Bruno Dumont, Nanni Moretti (who also has the Palme d’Or), or the French Julia Docournau will also participate in the competition. American Sean Baker will compete with Red Rocket. In this edition, the contest has bet that the section A certain look – where there will be 18 films – focuses on emerging filmmakers. Hence, they have opened a new cycle, Cannes Premières, non-competitive, where the new premieres of Hong Sang-soo, Mathieu Amalric, Andrea Arnold or Arnaud Desplechin will be. In Special Sessions and Out of Competition the films of Oliver Stone will be screened (actually, a documentary series for television with which he returns to the universe of JFK), Charlotte Gainsbourg (who makes a portrait of her mother, Jane Birkin), Tom McCarthy, Sergei Loznitsa or Todd Haynes, who presents their documentary about the band The Velvet Underground.
The announcement has not been of the complete program: there are still titles to be revealed, but the absence of Latin American names is striking. For now, only that of the Mexican Tatiana Huezo has been made public, with her film Fire land. Nor will there be movies produced by Netflix, which would have gone out of competition. Frémaux explained that the platform has rejected the conditions offered by the festival and that will prevent it from being seen The Power of The Dog, by Jane Campion, the only filmmaker to have won the Palme d’Or (she did it with The piano).
Last year, the organization decided to announce the names that would have been part of its official selection, and that thus had the Cannes seal: among those titles were The oblivion that we will be by Fernando Trueba, or Beginning, by Dea Kulumbegashvili, who would finally win the San Sebastián festival. This year, although it is held in July, far from its usual May appointment, the contest wants to return to a certain normality: of the average of 1,800 films that they receive to select in each edition, in 2021 the selection committee has seen more than 2,300 . The jury will be chaired by Spike Lee, who would have headed it in 2020. “We cannot take the risk of saying that everything will be normal, we don’t know,” said Frémaux, “but Cannes must return with all its ingredients that have made their legend: the red carpet, the stars, the authors and the media ”.
Fremáux also announced that attendees who do not arrive at the festival vaccinated will pass antigen tests every 48 hours. In France, numerous restrictions related to the pandemic will be lifted in July, which will help a more normalized development of the event. But he has yet to overcome problems such as the mandatory seven-day quarantine of British citizens upon entering France.
The day before, the contest already announced that the American actress, director and producer Jodie Foster (Los Angeles, 58 years old) will receive the Palme d’Or of Honor to distinguish “a brilliant artistic career and a unique personality”. Foster will also be the “Special Guest” at the opening ceremony. The actress responded with a thank you message: “Cannes is a festival to which I owe a lot. It completely changed my life. Although I had directed before, my first time at La Croisette was decisive. Presenting one of my films here has always been one of my dreams and I have been lucky enough to fulfill it several times ”.