Things just got very exciting. Cannes has made some eye-catching additions to its 2018 lineup including Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built, Kevin Macdonald’s Whitney Houston doc Whitney, Terry Gilliam’s long-gestating The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and Fahrenheit 451 by Ramin Bahrani.
Competition additions include Un Couteau Dans Le Cœur (Knife + Heart) by French filmmaker Yann Gonzalez and starring Vanessa Paradis and Ayka by Kazakh Sergey Dvortsevoy, director of Tulpan and winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize in 2008. The duo join an already healthy group of Competition debutants. As previously expected, also joining the Competition is Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Ahlat Agaci (The Wild Pear Tree / Le Poirier sauvage). Arthouse heavyweight Ceylon won the Palme d’or in 2014 for Winter Sleep. The Competition looks to be complete now and will comprise 21 films, only three of which come from women filmmakers.
The only Out of Competition addition announced today comes in the shape of Von Trier’s The House That Jack Built starring Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman, while new films announced today for Un Certain Regard are Muere, Monstruo, Muere (Meurs, Monstre, Meurs) by Argentinean Alejandro Fadel; Chuva E Cantoria Na Aldeia Dos Mortos (The Dead And The Others / Les Morts Et Les Autres) by Portugese director João Salaviza and Brazilian Renée Nader Messora; and Donbass by Ukranian Sergey Loznitsa, which will open the strand on Wednesday May 9.
Expect standing room only at the press conference for von Trier’s serial killer movie, which marks the director’s return to the Croisette after being declared ‘persona non grata’ in 2011. The feted and controversial filmmaker, a former Palme d’Or winner, will likely be one of the festival’s biggest talking points and festival head Thierry Frémaux had teased his inclusion in recent days. The Out of Competition slot is intriguing in itself given that von Trier has been a Competition regular. He is also sure to be asked about #MeToo comments made by his Dancer In The Dark star Bjork.
Buzzy Midnight Screenings additions comprise documentary Whitney, by Oscar-winner Kevin Macdonald, about the life of icon singer Whitney Houston [expect tears and rapture in equal measure, and songs getting stuck in heads], and HBO sci-fi Fahrenheit 451 by Ramin Bahrani with Sofia Boutella, Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon. Set in a carefree future, Creed and Black Panther actor Michael B. Jordan stars in the latter as a man whose job as a fireman is to burn all books. However, he begins to questions his actions after meeting a young girl who sparks his rebellion. The Ray Bradbury novel was previously made into a movie by Francois Truffaut.
The festival has also revealed its closing film to be Terry Gilliam’s long-gestating The Man Who Killed Don Quixote with Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce and Olga Kurylenko. The film has been caught in legal mire in recent times but would now seem free enough to take part. The screening will take place on Saturday May 19 after the closing ceremony and the film will be released in France on the same day. The project has been an epic labor of love for Gilliam — its journey to screen has been a fascinating one. Media will no doubt also want to ask the auteur director about #MeToo and Harvey Weinstein after comments he made earlier this year stoked ire among some actors and campaigners.
Notable absentees still include the likes of Claire Denis and any of the Netflix movies. Cannes runs May 8-19.