THE 2017 Cannes Film Festival opened on May 17, and this year sees fresh faces alongside festival regulars alongside a batch of controversies unlike anything that’s rocked the Riviera in years gone by.
The vast proliferation of ready-to-stream content (a-la Netflix) has caused a fuss amongst supporters of the big screen, while those who’ve decried the rapid development of virtual reality will be shocked by a multimedia installation by Birdman director, Alejandro G Inarritu.
There’s little point in trying to cover the varied breadth of cinema that will play at this year’s festival.
Instead here are four of the films we’re most excited about in competition for the festival’s prestigious Palme D’or …
Why not start with the Netflix-produced South Korean-American co-production that’s causing all the fuss?
Tackling themes of animal cruelty and mass-market entertainment, this dystopian fairytale follows a young girl (newcomer Ahn Seo-hyun) and her best friend, an enormous mutant animal called Okja, as they attempt to flee from a multi-national corporation led by Tilda Swinton.
Director Bong Joon-ho may have split audiences with his recent film, Snowpiercer, but has previously displayed a brilliant and original prowess for dark humour with 2006’s The Host.
Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke is one of only seven directors to have won the Palme D’or twice, for 2009’s The White Ribbon and 2012’s Amour.
His cold, detached, yet intimate approach to filmmaking tackles the darkness, alienation and estrangement that underlines modern society; Happy End stars Emmanuel Beart and Louis Trintignant in a family drama set against the backdrop of the Calais refugee crisis.
Despite tackling heavy themes of corruption, religion and national identitiy, 2014’s Leviathan was a success in director Andrey Zvyagintsev’s home country of Russia, and also picked up an award for best screenplay at Cannes .
The fearless director returns with Loveless, the story of a husband and wife whose child goes missing while they’re on the verge of divorce.
As with all of Zvyagintsev’s work, expect Loveless to take aim at the societal problems of modern Russia.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos returns to work with Colin Farrell following the wonderfully bizarre success of The Lobster, with this film set to be the second of three cinematic collaborations from the pairing.
Farrell plays a brilliant surgeon who takes a teenage boy under his wing, a development that has devastating effects on his personal life.
Also starring Nicole Kidman and Alicia Silverstone, The Killing of a Sacred Deer looks set to be run through with Lanthimos’s brilliant directing style and off-beat, matter-of-fact performances.