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Ash Is Purest White
China's Jia Zhangke serves up an epic love story set in the seedy underworld of the early 2000s about a dancer who falls for a gangster; the latter lands in prison and obsessively searches for her when he gets out. Said to be the director's most lavish and expensive film, it reportedly features some martial arts.
The first feature in a decade from revered South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong is an adaptation of a Haruki Murakami 1992 short story about a mysterious incident involving three young people. The trailer promises very thick atmospherics, and I've heard from a couple of sources that the film is very good indeed.
Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski's follow-up to his Oscar-winning Ida is another years-spanning love story set against the backdrop of the divided Europe of the 1950s. Throughout his career, the director has been inconsistent, but I'm hoping that this time he can pull off two strong ones in a row.
The House That Jack Built
Lars von Trier returns to the Croisette after his seven-year festival ban. So what's this film about? A 1970s serial killer who regards "murder as artwork." Does it sound vaguely appalling? Yes. But some of us can't help ourselves: We always have to see what the aging bad boy is up to now.
This story first appeared in the May 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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