Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Joel Mayward

72nd Festival de Cannes (2019)

Recommended Posts

So, some news: I am planning on attending the Cannes Film Festival this upcoming May. The Dardennes are my primary research topic for my PhD, and their film Ahmed will almost certainly premiere at Cannes this year (barring some unlikely or unforeseen circumstances). So, I aim to see their new film, and hopefully get an interview with them, because...research. The press accreditation opens on February 1, and I have a few media outlets I've contacted in order to cover the festival. Even if I can't get press accreditation, I should be able to attend as a graduate student studying film (and hopefully my membership in OFCS will be useful too). Either way, the plane tickets have been purchased and accommodations have been secured. I am probably over-prepared and thinking way too far ahead, but such is my personality. And I'm thrilled; if this works out, it is a dream come true.

Has anyone here at A&F attended Cannes before? If you have any tips on travel, the Cannes festival culture, things to see or do (or avoid!), or stuff I wouldn't even know to ask about, I'd be grateful for your wisdom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I haven't been, but I'll follow this conversation with interest.  This is very exciting - I'm quite happy for you, Joel!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a fantastic experience! Have you chatted with Alissa Wilkinson? She has attended Cannes for a few years, IIRC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How fun! I'm jealous.

Not to be a downer, but I suspect you'll need press accreditation in order to get an interview. I haven't been to Cannes, but I know from a lot of friends' experiences that wrangling interviews there is a challenge, especially with someone of the Dardennes' profile. At world premieres, sales agents are trying to get their films into major media in as many global markets as possible, so there's a brutal pecking order for press. At Cannes it's a caste system, with different badges for different critics.

As an example, I've been trying to get another interview with Claire Denis for almost a year. If all goes as planned, she and I hope to chat a bit next week in Rotterdam, but the sales/publicity team aren't giving me an interview because they're focused right now on getting High Life into more markets. As far as they're concerned, they don't have to worry about the US until April, when it's officially released. (I've been promised some time with her then, but we'll see.)

Best case scenario for you, Joel, would probably be 15-20 minutes, and with their interpreter involved, that means asking two or three questions. Let me know if it comes together, because I've been in those situations before and have found some strategies for making the most if it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall Alissa Wilkinson went to Cannes one year. I think it was for CT, but it might have been for Vox. You might reach out to her if you still have her contact info. I think Doug C. has been to Cannes, but I could be mistaken.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Darren H said:

Best case scenario for you, Joel, would probably be 15-20 minutes, and with their interpreter involved, that means asking two or three questions. Let me know if it comes together, because I've been in those situations before and have found some strategies for making the most if it.

Darren, if I get an interview, I will definitely take you up on this, as your most recent interview with them on The Unknown Girl was excellent. I'm hoping any initial interview will be an opening for a longer, more extensive interview for my PhD research purposes. I'm trying to balance the two roles--film critic and researcher--in my approach with them, as I'm essentially writing a book about their entire filmography, so I *hope* they're amenable to a longer interview (although with some reluctant artists, the fact that I'm researching them could be a reason to *not* give an interview). And good luck in Rotterdam--hope it works out with Denis!

Thanks to everyone for your encouragement! I'll reach out to Alissa and see what wisdom I can gain from her experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joel, I mentioned your situation to my friend Danny Kasman, the editor of Mubi's Notebook. He's conducted dozens of interviews at Cannes over the past decade. He suggested not even attempting to set up an interview there. Instead, he thinks you should reach out to them via their production office. Send an actual letter, introducing yourself, describing your project, and requesting an interview at their convenience. It's someone's job there to read mail and field those kinds of requests, and that person will have a sense of their production and travel schedule. Maybe you can find some research funds for a trip to Liège?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/4/2019 at 2:19 PM, Darren H said:

Joel, I mentioned your situation to my friend Danny Kasman, the editor of Mubi's Notebook. He's conducted dozens of interviews at Cannes over the past decade. He suggested not even attempting to set up an interview there. Instead, he thinks you should reach out to them via their production office. Send an actual letter, introducing yourself, describing your project, and requesting an interview at their convenience. It's someone's job there to read mail and field those kinds of requests, and that person will have a sense of their production and travel schedule. Maybe you can find some research funds for a trip to Liège?

Thanks so much for this, Darren. That helps with my expectations. I've been in contact with Les Films de Fleuve since July, and get responses which are polite versions of "they're busy making Ahmed, so we'll let you know." I've sent emails, not letters--did Danny mention why a letter instead of email? My main goal at Cannes is to see Ahmed--might be one of the only chances to see it in that version, if they do what they did with The Unknown Girl and edit it later--and *maybe* make a face-to-face connection with someone in their company/group in order to possibly set up a trip to Liège, as there are some archival things I'd like to check out. Honestly, I'd love to someday bring them here to St Andrews to have a conversation/screening with the Film Studies and Philosophy departments, but that requires getting a hold of them first. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, a disappointing update: the Cannes press office has rejected both of my applications for accreditation. I applied through two outlets--Think Christian and Bright Wall/Dark Room--and both times received a "no" without much explanation. I'll seek out other possible options, but it seems I won't be able to attend the festival like I'd hoped, which is deeply disappointing.

Thanks for all your help and support everyone, and let me know if you have any other ideas--I think the main reasoning, if I can read between the lines, might be the size and scope of the media outlets, either the "Christian" aspect of Think Christian or the audience size (Twitter, Facebook, monthly subscriptions, etc). So, if another outlet which fits Cannes' desired model and numbers commissioned me to write for them and I could make the deadline by March 31, there's still a possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to read this, Joel.  I hope you can still find a way to get there.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Andrew. I'm looking into a few more unlikely ideas, but unless someone with Cannes influence decides to graciously open the door for me, I think I'm going to have to see the Dardennes' new film like nearly everyone else: 18 months later on DVD. ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Friends, it's happening: I just received an email confirmation that my press accreditation application for Cannes has been accepted! It's been quite the process of finding and securing a media outlet, so I am grateful to Elijah Davidson at Fuller Studio for making this happen. I will now be covering the festival for a variety of outlets, and I'm so thrilled to be going. Thanks for your encouragement!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's splendid!  I'm so happy for you, and I look forward to your reports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Joel — congratulations! I can't wait to read your coverage. You've been writing some wonderful stuff lately. I'm thinking about including Silence in my Faith & Film class so that I can share your new essay about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats, Joel. I know this is something you've wanted for a long time, so I am glad it is finally happening for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was happy to see the new film announced today! I was worried that, after working so hard to get your accreditation, you'd find yourself at a Dardenne-less Cannes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Darren H said:

I was happy to see the new film announced today! I was worried that, after working so hard to get your accreditation, you'd find yourself at a Dardenne-less Cannes.

I was genuinely concerned about that too; they just announced that it'd be released in Belgium on May 22, which is *during* the festival (and is the day before I fly out of Cannes), so I'm hoping the film is scheduled at a time I can see it.

Here's the official selection:

Competition 

The Dead Don’t Die,  Jim Jarmusch (opening film)

Pain & Glory, Pedro Almódovar

The Traitor, Marco Bellocchio

The Wild Goose Lake, Diao Yinan

Parasite, Bong Joon-ho 

The Young Ahmed, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Oh Mercy!, Arnaud Desplechin

Atlantique, Mati Diop

Matthias & Maxime, Xavier Dolan

Little Joe, Jessica Hausner

Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach

Les Misérables, Ladj Ly

A Hidden Life, Terrence Malick 

Bacurau, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles

The Whistlers, Corneliu Porumboiu

Frankie, Ira Sachs

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, Céline Sciamma

It Must Be Heaven, Elia Suleiman

Sibyl, Justine Triet 

Out Of Competition

Les Plus Belles Années d’Une Vie, Claude Lelouch

Rocketman, Dexter Fletcher

Too Old To Die Young (TV series), Nicolas Winding Refn

Maradona, Asif Kapadia 

La Belle Époque, Nicolas Bedos

Midnight Screenings

The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil, Lee Won-Tae

Special Screenings

Share, Pippa Bianco

For Sama, Waad Al Kateab, Edward Watts

Family Romance, LLC., Werner Herzog

Tommaso, Abel Ferrara

Être Vivant Et Le Savoir, Alain Cavalier

Que Sea Ley, Juan Solanas

Un Certain Regard

Joan Of Arc, Bruno Dumont

The Climb, Michael Covino

A Brother’s Love, Monia Chokri

The Swallows Of Kabul, Zabou Breitman & Eléa Gobé Mévellec

Beanpole, Kantemir Balagov

Invisible Life, Karim Aïnouz

A Sun That Never Sets, Olivier Laxe

Room 212, Christophe Honoré

Port Authority, Danielle Lessovitz

Papicha, Mounia Meddour

Summer Of Changsha, Zu Feng

Adam, Maryam Touzani

Nina Wu, Midi Z

Liberté, Albert Serra

Bull, Annie Silverstein

Evge, Nariman Aliev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Oh Mercy!, Arnaud Desplechin

Atlantique, Mati Diop

I wasn't expecting either of these! My trip to Toronto will probably be short this year, so I'm already hoping the scheduling gods will allow me to see them both.

Edited by Darren H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Popping by A&F to say that I'm publishing reviews from Cannes at both Fuller Studio and Cinemayward for those who are interested.

On 4/19/2019 at 2:12 AM, Darren H said:

Atlantique, Mati Diop

Here's my review. It was striking, both visually and thematically. The word "haunting" gets used a lot in film criticism, but it feels so appropriate for this film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...