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Festival Focus: Cannes Film Festival

Festival Focus: Cannes Film Festival

AQUARIUS

Kleber Mendonça Filho Brazil, 2016

Clara, a vibrant former music critic, cancer survivor, willing lover and widow, is the only remaining apartment owner in a beautiful building targeted for demolition by luxury developers. As the builders’ tactics to remove Clara become hostile, Clara proves to be a force to be reckoned with.

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DOGTOOTH

Yorgos Lanthimos Greece, 2009

A festival hit nominated for an Academy Award, Dogtooth is a darkly comic insight into a surreal world of parental control gone mad. As shocking and brutal as it is humorous, elegant and entertaining, Greek auteur Giorgos Lanthimos’ film is bold and inventive cinema.

THE CONFORMIST

Bernardo Bertolucci Italy, 1970

Regularly hailed as one of the greatest films ever made (and rightly so), Bernardo Bertolucci’s supreme masterpiece is both a 70s political thriller and a surreal, highly sensual journey to Europe’s troubled past. It was a huge influence on Coppola for The Godfather, and is essential to this day.

THE SACRIFICE

Andrei Tarkovsky Sweden, 1986

The great Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris, Stalker) passed away at 54 after an all-too-short career. The Sacrifice, completed while he was dying, is one of cinema’s greatest swansongs: a visual tour-de-force, and a heartbreaking goodbye from a father to a son.

LAURENCE ANYWAYS

Xavier Dolan Canada, 2012

A vibrant and baroque melodrama circling relationships, gender and love. Xavier Dolan, Canada’s resident enfant terrible, with his third film and its unyielding commitment to its central characters’ transition and plight, made perhaps his most accomplished and thematically rich film yet.

UNDERGROUND

Emir Kusturica Yugoslavia, 1995

This historical fiction from auteur Emir Kusturica is an expansive masterpiece, winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1995. An exhilarating and absurdist satire, the film earns its reputation as one of the most controversial yet vital political tales in cinema.

BEANPOLE

Kantemir Balagov Russia, 2019

After the shockingly powerful Closeness, we couldn’t wait for Russian wunderkind Kantemir Balagov’s second film. Beanpole grabbed us by the throat: an entrancing immersion into post-war turmoil and a towering ode to female resilience—with tour-de-force performances and a jaw-dropping use of color.

INDIA SONG

Marguerite Duras France, 1975

Set in the colonialist homes of ‘30s India, renowned writer and filmmaker Marguerite Duras cast Delphine Seyrig as a diplomat’s wife haunted by imperialist guilt and the anguishing emptiness of opulence. Notably, the film eschews sync sound, advancing its narrative through various off-screen voices.