Home Arts & Culture CANNES 2022. Special correspondence from Eugenia Vodă: Selection, by plane

CANNES 2022. Special correspondence from Eugenia Vodă: Selection, by plane


For several generations, everything seemed, in a way, a very distant fiction … Who would have thought that, 83 years after that failed start, the Cannes Film Festival would celebrate its “round” edition, the 75th -a, in an unimaginable barbaric context, as if humanity has learned nothing from the “lesson of history” and is ready to start the tragedy from the beginning …?

Dozens of films (over 50 in the Official Selection alone) will be screened on Croazeta for two weeks (May 17-28), and the city will be attacked by more than 35,000 participants from more than 150 countries – all projected as an exit from convalescence, after the pandemic, as a return to NORMALITY, after the atypical edition of last summer … It’s just that what normality can be talked about, in times so full of humility and despair, times when human life seems more than always a trifle, times when “the earth trembles”, the earth shakes, the subject of a movie title … Against this tragic background will unfold – it remains to be seen how – the anniversary edition that will begin tonight.

Browsing through the program, even “from the plane”, literally and figuratively, you can see – from the level of a title – the hallucinatory moment we are living: “Mariupol 2”, by Mantas Kvedaravicius … A special screening and , implicitly, memorial … Because the director – Lithuanian documentary filmmaker, university professor in Vilnius, with anthropology studies at Cambridge – was captured and shot by the Russians, when he was filming in Mariupol, at the beginning of April … He was 45 years old . He was passionate about the “subject” … He had a doctorate in Chechnya, and he had made a documentary about Mariupol a few years ago … He knew, logically, or he felt, purely intuitively, that in one of his areas of interest and the conflict will end … He wasn’t wrong. The film was edited by the “Survival Team”. Cannes included him in the official selection after publicly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and removing any Russian participation in the festival from the list. The paradox is that a Russian director (but a “white” Russian) will inaugurate the competition at Cannes, the same director who will inaugurate the competition at the Avignon Theater Festival! This is Kirill Serebrennikov – who, after several years of mounted trials and house arrest, managed to get out of Russia and is now swinging between Paris and Berlin. He will be present at the festival with a so-called “historical film”, “Tchaikovsky’s Wife” …

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Looking at the 21 titles of the Competition (judged by a jury led by the French actor Vincent Lindon and including, among others, two exceptional directors – the Iranian Asghar Farhadi and the Norwegian Joachim Trier), you notice the presence of four directors who already have the supreme trophy, Palme d’Or, starting with Cristian Mungiu “ours” (present with “MRI”), then the Swede Ruben Ostlund (winner for “The Square”, unfortunately passed on our screens almost unnoticed), the Japanese Koreeda Hirokazu (who now comes with a film made in South Korea) and, finally, the Dardenne brothers, the lucky Belgians (because otherwise how?) who so far have not one, but even two Palme d ‘ Or! … Other names of the Competition are particularly phosphorescent, such as the Polish Jerzy Skolimowski, at the age of 84, and the Canadian David Cronenberg, at the age of 79 …

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The opening ceremony will be followed by a French screening outside the competition, “Final cut” (“Coupez!” – in the French version), by Michel Hazanavicius – known for “The Artist”. Initially, the film was called “Z”, but since the new warlike connotations of the letter, the director has given up the title! On the movie poster, the characters are projected on a massive red spot. It remains to be seen whether it is a bloodstain or just a red paint stain.

A verse from Nichita comes to mind: “The poet is a bloodstain that speaks” …

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