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PARIS — The 52nd Cannes’ International Critics’ Week unveiled its lineup Monday afternoon during a webcast released from its Paris headquarters.
Among the 11 features screening in the sidebar, which showcases first and second films, are writer-director David Lowery’s Sundance hit Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, playing out of competition, and opening night French film Suzanne, starring Sara Forestier (The Names of Love) and directed by Katell Quillevere, whose debut feature Love Like Poison premiered in the 2010 Directors’ Fortnight.
The seven-film competition will be presided over by jury president Miguel Gomes (Tabu) and will include five first-time features spanning various genres and regions. The U.K. will be represented by debuting writer-director Paul Wright’s dramatic thriller, For Those in Peril, about a young shipwreck survivor who becomes an outcast in his Scottish fishing community, and then decides to search for those who perished in the disaster.
Along with Suzanne, French cinema will be showcased in David Perrault’s Nos heros sont morts ce soir (Our Heroes Died Tonight), a 1960s-set film noir about two rival professional wrestlers, and Yann Gonzalez’ Les Rencontres d’apres minuit (Encounters After Midnight), a lyrical sex comedy starring Alain-Fabien Delon (the youngest son of Alain Delon), Eric Cantona and Paris-based American actress Kate Moran (Beloved).
“Many of the films are hybrids between traditional genre movies and something more contemporary,” Critics’ Week artistic director Charles Tesson told The Hollywood Reporter. “They shift between different narrative forms in a way that’s constantly challenging.”
For his second stab at the helm after replacing Jean-Christophe Berjon, who served as artistic director from 2005-2011, former Cahiers du Cinéma editor-in-chief Tesson hopes that the 2013 selection will underline the sidebar’s principal objective: to highlight rising talents from diverse corners of the world, and to serve as a testing ground for new types of filmmaking.
This year, the recent wave of auteur films from India will be seen in Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, a romantic comedy starring Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi) and newcomer Nimrat Kaur, while the resurgence of powerful genre films from Southern Italy will be present in Salvo, directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s portrait of a contract killer working for the Sicilian mob. Russia will be featured in Yuri Bykov’s debut The Major, a tightly wound thriller about a police officer involved in a deadly hit and run accident.
Most noticeable is the lack of films from China, Thailand and Indonesia, which have been highly present in various Cannes selections of the last years. “We didn’t have the feeling that young directors from these countries were branching out in new directions,” Tesson told THR. “Many of them were repeating already established modes.”
Rounding out the selection are movies from usual suspects Quebec and Argentina. The former will be represented by Sebastien Pilote’s sophomore effort, Le Demantelement (The Dismantling), a rural-set family drama starring Gabriel Arcand (Post Mortem), while Argentine filmmakers Agustin Toscano and Ezequiel Radusky will debut with Los Duenos (The Owners), a vaudeville-esque social comedy where workers on a farm party hard while their bosses are absent.
Alongside the features, ten shorts will be screening in competition, among them the sole U.S. competition entry, David Lassiter’s The Opportunist, about a young man with mixed intentions who charms his way into a party, and Sundance alumnus Magali Magistry’s Vikingar, a Franco-Icelandic production that Tesson describes as a “startling mix of Viking lore and modern-day realism.”
“The shorts are even more eclectic than the features,” concludes Tesson. “But what the films in both selections have in common is a desire to think out of the box, to not limit themselves to a specific genre or category, but rather to open the door toward something new.”
In the coming days, the sidebar will announce its closing night film.
The 52nd International Critics’ Week runs from May 16-24.
INTERNATIONAL CRITICS’ WEEK LINEUP
Katell Quillevere Suzanne (France)
Yann Gonzalez Les Rencontres d’après minuit (France)
David Lowery Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (U.S.)
Paul Wright For Those in Peril (U.K.)
Sebastien Pilote Le Demantelement (Canada)
Agustin Toscano,Ezequiel Radusky Los Duenos (Argentina)
David Perrault Nos heros sont morts ce soir (France)
Ritesh Batra The Lunchbox (India/France/Germany)
Yuri Bykov The Major (Russia)
Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza Salvo (Italy/France)
SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Nicolas Pariser Agit Pop (France)
Han Eun-young Breathe Me (South Korea)
Daria Belova Come and Play (Germany)
Hu Wei La Lampe au beurre de yak (France/China)
Emmanuel Laborie Ocean (France)
Aly Muritiba Patio (Brazil)
Ninja Thyberg Pleasure (Sweden)
Rodd Rathjen Tau Seru (India/Australia)
David Lassiter The Opportunist (U.S.)
Magali Magistry Vikingar (France/Iceland)
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