Our Cannes 2016 special brings you the inside track on new films from Ken Loach, Andrea Arnold, Jim Jarmusch, Paul Verhoeven, Pedro Almodóvar, Maren Ade, Olivier Assayas, the Dardenne brothers, Cristian Mungiu and many others
Our Cannes 2016 special brings you the inside track on new films from Ken Loach, Andrea Arnold, Jim Jarmusch, Paul Verhoeven, Pedro Almodóvar, Maren Ade, Olivier Assayas, the Dardenne brothers, Cristian Mungiu and many others.
Plus Nicolas Winding Refn’s controversial fashion horror The Neon Demon, the Hollywood legend that is Olivia de Havilland, Studio Ghibli’s final foray When Marnie Was There, Ciro Guerra’s extraordinary Embrace of the Serpent and the buddy movie as per Shane Black’s The Nice Guys.
It was probably the best Cannes line-up for over a decade, with great films from the established and new directors, yet it ended in critical bemusement over the more eccentric of George Miller’s jury’s decisions.
No one on our team would quibble over Ken Loach’s magnificent Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake, but our in-depth reports compare and contrast other jury favourites (like Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman and Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World) with films the critics loved such as Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann and Paul Verhoeven’s Elle. We give praise to Jury Prize-winner Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, and the films that shared the Best Director prize, Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation and Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper – whose star Kristen Stewart was the face of Cannes this year. We also celebrate the discoveries of the Director’s Fortnight, such as Claude Barras’s animation My Life as a Courgette and French-Moroccan director Houda Benyamina’s terrific banlieu-set tale of female ambitionDivines.
First among our other features is Cannes controversy figure Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, with our cover star Elle Fanning. Refn defends his visually precise, grim fashion-based fairy tale, saying “I wanted to make a film about purity and preying upon purity… a film about the insanity of beauty.” He praises his female co-writers and female DP as being essential to this particular creation.
What may be the final in-house feature from Studio Ghibli, Yonebarashi Hiromasa’s When Marnie Was There, prompts a rare interview with Yonebayashi. He reveals that it was Miyazaki Hayao’s interest in English children’s fiction that caused him to adapt Joan Robinson’s story of Anna, an orphan girl sent to live with relatives on the north Norfolk coast, where she forges a private bond with a mysterious kindred spirit, Marnie. Yonebayashi indeed initially turned the project down because of the difficulty of representing Anna’s inner feelings; happily he found a way to crack the adaptation, moving the story to Hokkaido but keeping both its grey weather and its blonde protagonist, a Ghibli novelty.
Olivia de Havilland was the perfect romantic foil for Errol Flynn in adventure yarns until she landed the part of Melanie in Gone with the Wind and won an Oscar nomination, after which she took on Warner Bros to gain control over the quality of films she was offered – and won. Our profile of De Havilland traces her epic career.
You won’t see a more unique film than Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent and yet it has so many echoes of upriver films like Aguirre, Wrath of God and Apocalypse Now! In our interview with the director he reveals the vivid ethnographic background to this dreamlike Amazonian culture-clash saga. What better occasion to look back on the classic American buddy movie could there be than a new film by Shane Black, The Nice Guys? The film is, of course, about private investigators in 1970s L.A. and is steeped in the pulp fiction of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and less famous authors of gumshoe tales. Our study is less about the mean streets than the shared beats, the chemistry that makes two back-to-back bickerers the most entertaining force for good – or at least amorality.