Tom Cruise will appear at Cannes for the first time in 30 years Photo: AFP

Cannes marks its 75th year in nostalgic form


From Maverick to Bowie to Elvis, the Cannes Film Festival launches its 75th-anniversary edition on Tuesday with a roster full of icons from the last century.

The world's foremost film festival always tries to strike a balance between serious arthouse fare and popcorn-guzzling entertainment.

It has scored some big crowd-pleasers for its diamond jubilee, with Tom Cruise coming to the French Riviera for the European launch of "Top Gun: Maverick", the sequel to his era-defining mega-hit from 1986.

Music legends will feature prominently, with flamboyant Australian director Baz Luhrmann screening his biopic "Elvis" along with new documentaries about David Bowie ("Moonage Daydream") and rock 'n' roller Jerry Lee Lewis ("Trouble in Mind" by one half of the Coen brothers, Ethan Coen).

While those are all playing outside the main competition, there are also iconic names in the race for the top prize Palme d'Or, not least Canadian horror maestro David Cronenberg.

The 79-year-old returns to his body-horror (dis)comfort zone with "Crimes of the Future", in which Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen turn gruesome surgical alterations into a sexualised performance art.

Meanwhile, U.S. filmmaker James Gray gets nostalgic for his New York adolescence in "Armageddon Time", starring Anne Hathaway and Anthony Hopkins.

And one of France's most feted directors, Claire Denis, is back with "The Stars at Noon", a thriller set in Central America featuring Robert Pattinson.

Following some last-minute additions, a total of 21 films are competing for the Palme d'Or, including several from previous winners: the Dardenne brothers from Belgium, Sweden's Ruben Ostlund, Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda and Romania's Cristian Mungiu.

Only five are directed by women -- though that still makes it a record year for female representation at Cannes -- among them U.S. indie darling Kelly Reichardt who is presenting "Showing Up" with Michelle Williams.

Julia Ducournau became only the second woman to win the Palme last year for her wild and gory "Titane".

One of its stars, French actor Vincent Lindon, heads the jury this year with a team that includes Iran's two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi, Indian actress Deepika Padukone and British actress-director Rebecca Hall.

The war in Ukraine will be an inevitable talking point.

Its beleaguered filmmakers will get a special day at the industry marketplace that runs alongside the festival and Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa will present a timely film out of competition, "The Natural History of Destruction", about the bombing of German cities in World War II.

The main competition also includes Russia's Kirill Serebrennikov, who was unable to attend for his two previous nominations due to a politically-charged conviction for embezzlement back home.

Now in exile, the director recently told AFP of the "horror, sadness, shame, pain" he felt about the invasion of Ukraine, which he said was an act of "self-killing" by the Russian government.

Elsewhere, the festival will celebrate the return of "Mad Max" creator George Miller, who returns with "Three Thousand Years of Longing", a different beast for the Australian director, featuring Idris Elba as a djinn.

And actor-director Ethan Hawke will add to the nostalgic feel of the fortnight with his new series, "The Last Movie Stars", about 1960s Hollywood golden couple Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

This year's honorary Palme d'Or will be presented to U.S. actor Forest Whitaker, best known for his Oscar-winning turn in "The Last King of Scotland".

© 2022 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Tom Cruise found his niche with action & sci-fi so still anticipating to see what he will push himself to do next.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Viggo Mortensen is always intense so will be interested to see what he does with cirque du freak body-horror director David Cronenberg.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

ANY documentary about the infinitely enigmatic David Bowie will be fascinating.

Plus, Ethan Coen should do Jerry Lee Lewis well if it’s along the lines of O Brother, Where Art Though (2000). (Still curious as to why brother Joel decided to split.) On the other side, hope Baz Luhrmann doesn’t camp up Elvis too much.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Crimes of the Future looks fascinating and has such a stellar cast! I love a good body horror flick. And Top Gun will be pure popcorn entertainment goodness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gotta promote that unrealistic new ego trip for Cruise, and satisfy all those armchair generals who are pissed about the Afghanistan disaster, huh?

Instead of joining the service they'll be 'rah-rah' -ing Tom Cruise watching a movie that isn't realistic to start with. But don't tell them that. They never had the guts for the real thing anyway. Yippy-yi-yay, chumps.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is Hollywood now so bereft of ideas that they have to resurrect Top Gun from almost 40 years ago? Please tell me a 60 year old Maverick is not still piloting fighter jets!

Look to the Japanese and Koreans for the original movies these days.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Look to the Japanese and Koreans for the original movies these days."

Anything outside Hollywood has been original for years.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Fighto!Today  03:49 pm JST

Is Hollywood now so bereft of ideas that they have to resurrect Top Gun from almost 40 years ago? Please tell me a 60 year old Maverick is not still piloting fighter jets!

It's like I said before. To be a pilot you must fit certain physical standards and nobody does that for over 30 years. In fact nobody even has a military career that long. I'm a military veteran, that's how I know.

Yes, Hollywood IS bereft of ideas bigtime, badly. The original film was unrealistic and predictable in itself but that didn't bother me. But too many Americans have taken it to be gospel and ever since Desert Storm 24/7 became entertainment for the armchair general cheerleaders, the uses of the terms 'war' and 'warrior' have been cheapened by ballcap-wearing cretins - 'war on drugs', 'culture wars', even 'prayer warrior' and it makes me very disgusted.

And every true war America has had since Desert Storm - from Somalia to now has been reduced to cheapened evening news sensations and commercial rackets. I'm not like the other side - the pacifists who hate 'war toys' and all that. That's not me either.

But the ones who never served, the ones who never outgrew such sediments, the ones who never matured beyond the 80s are going to dig this unoriginal unrealistic unnecessary piece of junk. After all, Tom has to pay child support to Suri, and he wants to reup his tarnished image. So all the above mentioned uninitiated people I mentioned will get their kicks on the sequel to the film from eighty-six. And we will all know what and who they are.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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