×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U.S. Fare Looms Large in Directors’ Fortnight

Cannes sidebar to unspool 'We Are What We Are,' 'Magic Magic,' Jodorowsky double bill

PARIS — This year’s glitzier-than-usual Directors’ Fortnight will have a strong American accent, with two Sundance preems, Jim Mickle’s cannibal thriller “We Are What We Are” and Sebastian Silva’s psychological suspenser “Magic Magic,” plus Jeremy Saulnier’s revenge thriller “Blue Ruin”  and Frank Pavich’s documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune” all set to compete at the Cannes Film Festival sidebar.

The selection, announced Tuesday morning in Paris, has artistic director Edouard Waintrop’s stamp all over it. When Waintrop took over Directors’ Fortnight in 2012, he spoke to Variety about his desire to raise the sidebar’s profile and cast a wider net, with more genre films, crossover fare and American indies represented.

“In 2012, we ended up with a strong selection of films, but I felt that we needed a larger U.S. presence. This year, we’re right where we need to be,” he said.

Pavich’s docu chronicles Alejandro Jodorwosky’s epic failed attempt to film an adaptation of “Dune” in the 1970s. The sidebar will also unspool Jodorwosky’s surreal autobiographical feature “The Dance of Reality,” the 84-year-old Chilean director’s first film in 23 years.

“Blue Ruin,” the sophomore outing of Brooklyn-based Saulnier (“Murder Party”), is a revenge thriller about a homeless man’s bloody journey to avenge his family’s murder. “It’s a humor-laced, action-packed film noir which sheds light on the gun craze and violence in contemporary America,” said Waintrop, who noted that all the genre films selected are more than merely entertaining.

That also applies to “Magic Magic,” one of two collaborations between actor Michael Cera and Chilean helmer Silva that premiered earlier this year in Park City (the other being “Crystal Fairy”), and “We Are What We Are.” Latter marks a full-circle return of sorts: Mickle’s horror pic is a New York-set remake of Jorge Michel Grau’s Mexican thriller, which premiered at Directors’ Fortnight in 2010.

Set to kick off with Ari Folman’s previously announced “The Congress,” an animation-live-action hybrid starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel and Paul Giamatti, the Fortnight will play 21 features, including 16 world premieres.

Seven debuts will vie for the Camera d’Or, awarded to the best first film playing in any section of the festival (official selection, Critics’ Week or Directors’ Fortnight).

One of the highest-profile debuts is “Last Days on Mars,” a sci-fi thriller from Irish filmmaker Ruairi Robinson, about astronauts embarking on a dangerous mission to the Red Planet. Sold by Focus Features Intl., pic stars Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai and Elias Koteas.

Other debuts include “The Summer of the Flying Fish,” a mordant family dramedy from Chile’s Marcela Said; Singaporean helmer Anthony Chen’s “Iloilo,” turning on three brothers and their relationship with their Filipino nanny; and Gallic director Guillaume Gallienne’s “Me Myself and Mum,” an offbeat comedy starring Gallienne, Francoise Fabian and Diane Kruger, based on the helmer’s popular stage play.

Also set to screen in Directors’ Fortnight is Clio Barnard’s “The Selfish Giant,” a contempo fable inspired by Oscar Wilde’s short story. Waintrop noted that Barnard’s follow-up to her critically acclaimed docu “The Arbor” has “the social realism of a Ken Loach film and is filled with poetic moments.”

In line with Critics’ Week, Directors’ Fortnight’s slate boasts a sizable European presence, notably with six Gallic pics. These include “La France” helmer Serge Bozon’s comedy “Tip Top,” starring Isabelle Huppert and Francois Damiens; thesp-turned-helmer Yolande Moreau’s friendship tale “Henri”; Thierry De Peretti’s debut feature, “Les Apaches”; and Marcel Ophuls’ autobiographical docu “Un voyageur.”

Among the French co-productions set to unspool are Raphael Nadjari’s Israel-set dramedy “Above the Hill,” centered on a lonely and neurotic divorced man who seeks his estranged father’s help; and Swiss-Iranian Kaveh Bakhtiari’s docu “L’escale,” which follows Iranian immigrants sharing a flat in Athens.

Asia is also well represented. Besides “Iloilo,” the sidebar will play Mumbai-set noir “Ugly,” Anurag Kashyap’s follow up to last year’s five-hour-plus Fortnight hit “Gangs of Wasseypur”; and Filipino director Erik Matti’s hitman thriller “On the Job.”

Swiss-born helmer Basil Da Cunha’s “Apres la nuit” and French director Antonin Peretjako’s “La Fille du 14 juillet” round out the sidebar, which runs May 16-26.

2013 CANNES DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT LINEUP

More Film

  • Midnight Traveler review

    Film Review: 'Midnight Traveler'

    Refugees rarely get to tell their own stories, which means their stories get told for them — often inaccurately and with undue hostility. Lack of resources is one issue, but a lack of stability is another: Asylum-seekers are in a frightening state of limbo, fleeing the imminent dangers of their native countries only to suffer [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content