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Our 25 Most-Anticipated Films of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

Written by on May 15, 2017 

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The Cannes Film Festival, cinema’s most esteemed yearly event, begins this week. While we’ll soon be on the ground providing coverage, today brings a preview of what we’re most looking forward to among the eclectic line-up, ranging from films in competition to special screenings to select titles on the various sidebars. Check out our most-anticipated features below and follow our complete coverage here throughout the month.

25. Filmworker (Tony Zierra)

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There’s perhaps no filmmaker that has more documentaries made about them than Stanley Kubrick, but a new one premiering at Cannes Film Festival proves not every angle about his legendary filmography and life has been explored. Filmworker takes a look at the life of Leon Vitali, who first met Kubrick playing Lord Bullingdon in Barry Lyndon then would go on to become a close assistant to the director, even overseeing restorations of his films after his passing. With interviews from Vitali himself and many others in Kubrick’s close circle, hopefully this brings more insight into a unique relationship.

24. Jupiter’s Moon (Kornél Mundruczó)

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Most animal-related features in cinema today are geared towards offering up the cutest depictions imaginable for a family-friendly audience, but when White God premiered a few years back, Kornél Mundruczó brought some style to the subgenre. He’s now returning to Cannes with what sounds like an even more ambitious follow-up, Jupiter’s Moon, which follows an immigrant who gets shot while crossing the border and then finds out he can levitate. With this peculiar mash-up of timely issues and superhero-esque abilities, it will certainly be unlike anything else at the festival.

23. In the Fade (Fatih Akin)

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Fatih Akin hasn’t had a narrative feature premiere at Cannes in a decade, but he’s now back this year with one of his most promising dramas in some time. In the Fade, starring Diane Kruger, follows a woman who attempts to recover after her husband and son die in a terrorist attack. To help heal the pain she begins a path of revenge. Shockingly, it’s the first German-language film for the German-American actress, one that hints at one of her most dramatically compelling roles yet.

22. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont)

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Following the success of Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont returned to Cannes with his Juliette Binoche re-team Slack Bay, which just got a U.S. release last month, and now he’s coming back to the festival with quite an interesting project, to say the least. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, which will premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes, takes a look at the early days of France’s heroine, albeit in the form of a rock ‘n’ roll musical. The first trailer shows off Dumont’s singular vision, injecting some fun into the life of a figure who has always been captured in less perhaps strictly entertaining ways in cinema past.

21. Alive in France (Abel Ferrara)

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After garnering controversy with Welcome to New YorkAbel Ferrara‘s first documentary in some time depicts a series of concerts and a film retrospective in France which celebrates the music in the director’s work. It sounds a little meta to direct your own documentary about a series dedicated to your own work, but that’s just the set-up that could yield fascinating results, especially for a director like Ferrara.

20. Before We Vanish (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa is back at Cannes with the fascinating-sounding Before We Vanish, an alien movie which looks to be conveyed in the striking manner only he can deliver. The film follows three aliens who travel to Earth on a reconnaissance mission in preparation for a mass invasion. Stripping their host bodies of their human characteristics, they leaving a damaging path. Even in a year that includes new Blade Runner and Star Wars film, this might be the most appealing sci-fi film.

19. L’Amant D’Un Jour (Philippe Garrel)

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Like clockwork, another Philippe Garrel is ready for a debut at Cannes Film Festival. Perhaps its his small-scale films and similar aesthetic, but it seems like the director continually gets overlooked when compared some of the other premieres, but his films often end up being the finest amongst the offerings. His latest, translated to Lover for a Day, follows a father and his 23-year-old daughter, who comes to live with him, finding he’s dating a woman who is her same age.

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