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Festival Focus: Cannes Film Festival

Festival Focus: Cannes Film Festival


Park Chan-wook South Korea, 2003

One of the most popular international hits of the 2000s, this extreme hyper-surreal revenge saga won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2004. Amplifying South Korean master Park Chan-wook’s global prominence, Oldboy spasms with energy that has blown minds the world over.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Nuri Bilge Ceylan Turkey, 2011

Turkey’s pre-eminent auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan took home the Grand Prix prize from the Cannes Film Festival with this hypnotic, slow-burning neo-noir. In Ceylan’s trademark visual rhythms, mysteries stack upon mysteries in an enigmatic journey through a landscape, a murder, and a chiaroscuro night.


Nuri Bilge Ceylan Turkey, 2014

After Once Upon a Time in Anatolia won the Grand Prix, Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan captivated the Cannes jury once more with this Palme d’Or winner: a rich, Chekhovian drama flush with exquisite beauty.