Cannes Film Festival continues this week. ASFF selects ten top films to watch from the 2019 selection.
Pain and Glory, Pedro Almodóvar
Almodóvar calls in longstanding collaborators Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz for this plush Spanish drama about an openly gay director reflecting upon his legacy in the twilight years of his career. Banderas plays the the director – whose experiences could be seen as a shadow of Almodóvar’s own – with Cruz playing his mother via flashback.
Parasite, Bong Joon-ho
The South Korean director of Okja and Snowpiercer returns with another conceptual wonder, this time about two vastly different families colliding in a claustrophobic tragicomedy of errors. Further details of the plot have been kept tightly under wraps, an aesthetically killer first trailer and stunning poster confirm that this is not an In Competition entry to sleep on.
Atlantique, Mati Diop
Mati Diop is the first black female filmmaker ever to have a film In Competition, and takes to the Croisette this year with her Senegalese-set story about immigration. Based on her 2009 documentary of the same name, it investigates the meaning of “roots” and the perils of migration.
Little Joe, Jessica Hausner
Mystery shrouds this gorgeous-looking British science fiction from feature filmmaker Jessica Hausner. Starring Ben Whishaw and Emily Beecham, Little Joe follows the work life of a single mother (Beecham) who works for a corporation dedicated to developing new species.
Chicuarotes, Gael Garcia Benal
Actor-turned-filmmaker Gael Garcia Benal is something of a household name at Cannes, and he returns this year in a director’s role. Chicuarotes is presented in this year’s Out of Competition. Set in Mexico City, the film follows two teenage boys desperate to escape the poverty in which they’ve grown up.
Share, Pippa Bianco
Following its triumphant premiere at Sundance this year, Share takes on the subject of sexual video content circulated without consent. The film takes the point of view of a young woman who awakens from a drunken night to find that a clip of her has gone viral. As the video is leaked, it gains a national spotlight, and the film follows the unraveling narrative.
The Lighthouse, Robert Eggers
The follow-up feature from 2015 indie hit The Witch, The Lighthouse stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe – the latter playing an elderly lighthouse keeper in the early 20th century. If The Witch is anything to go by, expect chills and thrill aplenty, captured in moody monochrome.
Bull, Annie Silverstein
For her feature length debut, Annie Silverstein takes to the outskirts of Houston for this touching drama about a girl and her unlikely bond with an aging bull fighter. Silverstein’s last film Skunk won the jury award at the 2014 festival, and this coming-of-ager is one of the more heart-warming entries to Un Certain Regard.
Sorry We Missed You, Ken Loach
Zero hours contracts are the latest topic of discussion to be laid bare in Ken Loach’s body of work. For Sorry We Missed You, he takes a common and deep-rooted issue in British culture. The film is worthy of a nomination in this year’s competition.
And Then We Danced, Levan Akin
Set against the rigorous backdrop of traditional Georgian dance, Levan Akin’s bittersweet teen romance follows two competing young men looking for a lucrative escape from their poverty-stricken homes. The film was selected to be screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section.