No Film of the Week. And I’ll be honest: this is a limp and dreary week for new releases. I’d like to take this time offer a thought on this year’s Cannes Film Festival lineup, which I didn’t have a chance to do last week.
The competition looks healthy this year. The directors new to the competition come from France, Germany, Brazil and Romania. But why don’t East Asian directors get to enter the competition for the first time anymore? The last time they did this was when they screened Takashi Miike’s Hara-Kiri in 2011. This is the fifth year in a row that Cannes has returned to the same East Asian directors they’ve included in previous years.
This feels related to a current tendency in cinephilia to watch movies by big name East Asian directors at the expense of taking a chance on something new. It seems like we have so many East Asian filmmakers we like already that we’ve given up on searching for more.
The coverage of this year’s New Directors/New Films offered a nice corrective to this tendency. Many critics devoted a lot of attention to new or unfamiliar names like Zhao Liang, Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Bi Gan, which is a promising development. I just wish Cannes would give filmmakers like these the opportunity to compete on the world’s biggest arthouse platform.
Tale of Tales (Matteo Garrone • United Kingdom • Italy)
Rotten Tomatoes: 76 • 46 reviews
Metacritic: 73 • 17 reviews
Critics Round Up: 62 • 25 reviews
The Meddler (Lorene Scafaria • United States)
Rotten Tomatoes: 81 • 32 reviews
Metacritic: 67 • 19 reviews
Critics Round Up: 68 • 7 reviews
Men & Chicken (Anders Thomas Jensen • Denmark)
Rotten Tomatoes: 65 • 23 reviews
Metacritic: 63 • 10 reviews
Critics Round Up: 68 • 10 reviews
Sworn Virgin (Laura Bispuri • Albania • Italy)
Rotten Tomatoes: 69 • 13 reviews
Metacritic: 68 • 10 reviews
Critics Round Up: 72 • 9 reviews
Garbage Time is an irregular section of this stats column that looks at movies that, for multiple reasons starting with the mostly negative reviews, were deemed unsuitable for the homepage but nevertheless might still be of some interest to cinephiles.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War (Cedric Nicolas-Troyan • United States)
Rotten Tomatoes: 17 • 149 reviews
Metacritic: 35 • 40 reviews
Critics Round Up: 46 • 7 reviews