Film festivals are once again rolling out the red carpet. As a semblance of normality returns, perhaps the most exciting comeback in the world of cinema is that of the Cannes Film Festival, taking place this year from July 6th-17th (last year cancelled due for obvious reasons). The Cannes lineup is always one of intrigue. Since 1946, the festival has been lauded for its crème de la crème of cinematic ventures. One of the “Big Three” European film festivals (sitting alongside Venice and Berlin), its long branded itself as a celebration of filmic fancy at an international level (including offerings from Morocco, Israel, Finland, Iran, Chad, France, and Mexico, amongst others). From musicals to intimate dramas to historical biopics, here’s a selection from Cannes 2021 to keep an eye out for.
Ah, Wes Anderson: purveyor of the eccentric indie film. With The French Dispatch (due for release last summer, but yet to be watched by the masses), Anderson set out to create a “love letter to journalism”, inspired by his love for The New Yorker. The story is set amidst 20-century France, in a fictional city and about a fictional American newspaper. The stellar cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Elisabeth Moss, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton.
In the festival’s opening days, audiences will be treated to a musical starring the versatile Adam Driver opposite Marion Cotillard. The relationship between the two appears to be a recipe for intense drama, as a glimpse at the initial trailer shows. It’s sure to be a headline-maker, if nothing else but for watching Driver sing his heart out.
Written and directed by Morroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch, Casablanca Beats follows a group of young people living in a slum district of the Morroccan city, finding themselves through hip-hop and rap. This is a historic mark in the landscape of Morroccan cinema, according to the country’s Centre for Cinematography.
In 1984, Hermés created the ultimate status symbol: the Birkin bag, an homage to English actress Jane Birkin. The actress has since asked the brand to remove her name, but her cultural significance and iconic reputation remains. Now, her daughter, actress Charlotte Gainsbourg, is making her directorial debut with a poignant film about her enigmatic mother.
Centered around the influential rock band which served at Andy Warhol’s Factory at the beginning of their career, this musical biopic opens a door to the allure of the 60s. The film includes never-before-seen footage of the band, including live performances and interviews with members and friends of the group.