Directors’ Fortnight of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival has unveiled its official lineup. The prestigious section, which runs parallel to the Cannes Film Festival, features an intriguing list of films, actors and filmmakers. The major attractions include Robert Eggers’ Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe starring ‘The Lighthouse,’ Takashi Miike’s ‘First Love’ and Netflix’s ‘Wounds.’ Italian executive Paolo Moretti helms the 50th edition of Directors’ Fortnight.
Eggers’ ‘The Lighthouse’ is a fantasy horror flick set on an island of secrets in New England. The plot unfolds in the backdrop of the 19th century. Moretti, who took over Directors’ Fortnight from Edouard Waintrop last year, billed the movie as a “hypnotic two-hander powered by Pattinson and Dafoe.” Egger is known for the 2015 horror flick ‘The Witch.’ Other movies in the lineup include Bertrand Bonello’s ‘Zombi Child,’ the story of a Haitian Clairvius Narcisse. As a victim of a voodoo spell, he becomes a zombie. The movie oscillates between Haiti in 1962 and contemporary Paris. Other characters in the movie include a teen Haitian girl and her aunt, a voodoo priestess.
Takashi Miike returns to Cannes with ‘First Love.’ Tunisian filmmaker Ala Eddine Slim’s ‘Tlamess’ is also in the section. The full lineup of Directors’ Fortnight includes Nicolas Pariser’s French political flick ‘Alice et le maire,’ Rebecca Zlotowski’s Zahia Dehar starring coming of age drama ‘An Easy Girl,’ Lech Kowalski’s ‘Blow It to Beats,’ Levan Akin’s ‘And Then We Danced,’ Kirill Mikhanovsky’s ‘Give Me Liberty,’ Lav Diaz’s ‘The Halt,’ J-P Valkeapää’s ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants,’ Melina León’s ‘Peruvian political thriller ‘Canción sin nombre,’ and Bas Devos’s ‘Ghost Tropic.’
Andreas Horwath’s ‘Lillian,’ Juris Kursietis’s ‘Oleg,’ Shahrbanoo Sadat’s ‘The Orphanage,’ Blaise Harrison’s ‘Les Particules,’ Erwan Le Duc’s ‘Perdrix,’ Alejo Moguillansky’s ‘For the Money,’ Alice Furtado’s ‘Sick Sick Sick,’ and Johnny Ma’s ‘To Live to Sing,’ are the other movies listed in the section. According to Moretti, this year’s lineup showcases 16 films from directors who have never screened their movies at the Cannes before. “That’s what Directors’ Fortnight is meant to be doing; be a launchpad for new auteurs who are making fresh, bold choices,” said Moretti. The special screening schedule includes Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Red 11’ and Luca Guadagnino’s short, ‘The Staggering Girl,’ which features Julianne Moore in the lead role.
Quentin Dupieux’s ‘Deerskin’ is picked as the opening film for Directors’ Fortnight. The movie, which is touted as a thriller, features Oscar winner Jean Dujardin and French heartthrob Adèle Haenel in the lead roles. ‘Deerskin’ features Dujardin as a desperate man who loses a life’s savings because of his obsession. The movie opens the section with a premiere show on May 15, nearly one month ahead of the theatrical release on June 19 in France. The movie also marks Dujardin’s first lead role at the Cannes after ‘The Artist,’ which earned him the Best Actor prize in 2011.
Benoît Forgeard’s ‘Yves’ is the closing film of Directors’ Fortnight. The movie, which features William Lebghil and Doria Tillier in the lead roles, centers on a smart refrigerator-turned-ghost writer and its naive owner. The inclusion of Netflix movie ‘Wounds,’ directed by Babak Anvari, is the big surprise of Moretti. In light of the ongoing debate between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival, ‘Wounds’ arrives with lots of questions. Directors’ Fortnight is the non-competitive sidebar of Cannes and is organized by the French Directors’ Guild. The 2019 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14 to 25 and Directors’ Fortnight opens up on May 15.