With just a few weeks to go until Cannes Film Festival kicks off, today brings yet another batch of images from highly-anticipated premieres. The first comes from Justin Kurzel’s new take on Macbeth, featuring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Set to premiere in competition, it’s “a reimagining of what wartime must have been like for one of Shakespeare’s most famous and compelling characters, a story of all-consuming passion and ambition set in war-torn medieval Scotland.”
Kurzel tells Empire, “It reminded me a lot of a Western and of a landscape and atmosphere that felt much more dangerous than I’d ever seen before from adaptations of Macbeth.” Set for a U.K. release in October, hopefully we’ll get it in the U.S. around the same time. Check out the images below and return for our review.
We also have the first images from Apichatpong Weerasethakul‘s Cemetery of Splendour (Rak Ti Khon Kaen), which will premiere in the Un Certain Regard section. The film tells of a lonesome middle-age housewife who tends a soldier with sleeping sickness and falls into a hallucination that triggers strange dreams, phantoms, and romance. Check out three images and the poster below.
Lastly, we have a massive batch of images from two of our most-anticipated films, Miguel Gomes‘ three-part, six-hour Arabian Nights and Hou Hsiao-Hsien‘s long awaited 9th century tale The Assassin. The former, which premieres in Directors’ Fortnight, follows the director building, as the synopsis reads, “fictional stories from the miserable reality he is immersed in. However, failing to find meaning in his work, he cowardly runs away and leaves the beautiful Scheherazade to stand in his shoes.” Check out the images below for both films, along with synopses for all parts.
Volume 1, The Restless One
In which Scheherazade tells of the restlessness that befell the country: “It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that in a sad country among all countries, where people dream of mermaids and whales, unemployment spreads. In certain places, forests burn into the night despite the falling rain; men and women long to set out to sea in the middle of Winter. Sometimes there are animals that talk although it is highly improbable that they are listened to. In this country, where things are not what they appear to be, men of power promenade on camels and hide permanent and shameful erections; they await the moment when taxes are collected so they can pay a certain wizard whom…”. And seeing the morning break, Scheherazade fell silent.
Volume 2, The Desolate One
In which Scheherazade tells of how desolation invaded men: “It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that a distressed Judge will cry instead of giving out her sentence on a night when all three moons are aligned. A runaway murderer will wander through the land for over forty days and will teletransport himself to escape the Guard while dreaming of prostitutes and partridges. A wounded cow will reminisce about a thousand-year-old olive tree while saying what she must say, which will sound none less than sad! The residents of a tower block in the suburbs will save parrots and piss inside lifts while surrounded by dead people and ghosts; including in fact a dog that…”. And seeing the morning break, Scheherazade fell silent. “Damned tales! If things continue this way my daughter will surely end up with her throat slit!” – the Grand-Vizier, Scheherazade’s father, thinks in his palace in Bagdad.
Volume 3, The Enchanted One
In which Scheherazade doubts that she will still be able to tell stories to please the King, given that what she has to tell weighs three thousand tonnes. She therefore escapes from the palace and travels the Kingdom in search of pleasure and enchantment. Her father, the Grand-Vizier, arranges to meet her at the Ferris wheel, and Scheherazade resumes her narration: “Auspicious King, in old shanty towns of Lisbon there was a community of bewitched men who, in all rigour and passion, dedicated themselves to teaching birds to sing…”. And seeing the morning break, Scheherazade fell silent.
9th century China. 10-year old general’s daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. Oneday, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised – a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.
Cannes 2015 kicks off on May 13th.