The health crisis forced the cancellation of the 2020 event and this edition will take place two months later than usual, as organizers refused to do so online, as other major festivals, including the Berlinale, have done.
Americans Anderson and Ben are in the main competition alongside other Croisette filmmakers such as Dutchman Paul Verhoeven, Iranian Asghar Farhadi, Italy’s Nani Moretti and Thailand’s Apichatpong Werasethakul. The last two are already Palme d’Or recipients, as well as Frenchman Jacques Audiard.
The Grand Prize will be awarded on July 17 by a jury chaired by American director Spike Lee, the first African American to take on the role.
Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard will open the festival with the musical “Annette”, the first English-language film by French Leos Carax (“The Lovers of Pont-Neuve”), whose script and music are the work of the North American Sparks group.
Anderson will be the one to bring the most stars to “The French Dispatch”: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Lea Seydoux, Adrien Brody, Benicio del Toro and Tilda Swinton, co-stars in the film, which was shot in southwest France.
Swinton also stars in Weerasethakul’s Memoria, a Colombian film set in the 1970s and 1980s, which marked the struggle between Marxists from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and paramilitary groups.
Verhoeven (“Killer Instinct”), leaning toward sexual and violent plots, will present “Benedetta,” a 15th-century portrait of a gay nun, based on real facts.
Jodie Foster, Honorary Palm
Of the 24 disputed films, four were directed by women, including Frenchwoman Catherine Corsini.
“I am the first to think that this is not enough,” festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux told AFP. “If we hesitate between two films, one of which is directed by a woman, we will choose the latter,” he added.
In turn, they make up the majority of the jury (five women and four men). Among its cast are American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, as well as Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho (“Bacurao”) and South Korean actor Song Kang-ho, star of “Paracetas”, winning the Palme d’Or at the finale. edition.
There will also be a highlight of Jodie Foster’s awarding of the Palme d’Or honorary award, 45 years after she first entered Cannes with “Taxi Driver”.
The competition will also feature Oliver Stone’s latest production (“JFK, Revisited: Through the Looking Glass”) and Charlotte Gainsburg’s directorial debut about her mother, Jane Birkin.
In the parallel exhibition Am Certo Olhar, the highlight was the “Noche de fuego” by Mexican Tatiana Huezo, and among the special sessions “O Marinheiro das Montanhas” by Brazilian Karim Inoz, awarded in 2019 at Cannes for the film “The Invisible Life of Eurydice Gusmao”.
Although the festival tends to attract figures from Latin America, especially Mexican personalities, such as Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal, attendance this year will be modest, although the Argentine director Gaspar Noé is based in France, and the actress Mexican Monica del Carmen is expected.
Cannes will be the first major festival since the start of the pandemic that does not limit the capacity of the exhibition halls, but will require proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test, which must be done every 48 hours.
“Organization and substance from a regular edition,” said Frémaux. The official also warned that there will be no kissing on the red carpet, while movie promotions, such as the festival itself, will be more specific, with a very limited number of guests.