Cannes Film Festival 2019: Day 11

Cannes Film Festival 2019: Day 11

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by Alexa Dalby

It Must Be Heaven

CAUTION: Here be spoilers

ES (director Elia Suleiman playing his usual deadpan-observer version of himself) travels away from Palestine to find a producer for his latest film script and seeking an alternative homeland, only to find that Palestine is trailing behind him. The promise of a new life turns into a comedy of errors: however far he travels – from Paris to New York, with their own cultural preoccupations – something always reminds him of home. From award-winning director Elia Suleiman, a comic saga exploring identity, nationality and belonging, in which Suleiman asks the fundamental question: where is the place we can truly call home?

The Lighthouse

The film… is a mad torrent of weirdness, with Pattinson, mustachioed and bulge-eyed, at the centre. – Vanity Fair

For his follow-up to The Witch, director/screenwriter Robert Eggers launches a seriously salty story of two men trapped in a turret: think Steptoe and Son at sea and in hell…

Robert Eggers’ gripping nightmare shows two lighthouse-keepers in 19th-century Maine going melancholy mad together: a toxic marriage, a dance of death. It is explosively scary and captivatingly beautiful in cinematographer Jarin Blaschke’s fierce monochrome, like a daguerreotype of fear.

And the performances from Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson have a sledgehammer punch – Pattinson, in particular, just gets better and better…

The Lighthouse keeps hold of us with the sheer muscular intelligence and even theatricality of the performances and the first-class writing. – Guardian

Zombi Child

Shuttling between 1960s Haiti and present-day France, Bertrand Bonello’s Zombi Child roils with colonialist tensions. But as with the director’s prior Nocturama, this quixotic, slow-burn genre film is political largely in the abstract. – Slant

The film brings us back to the roots of a major contemporary pop culture phenomenon that actually has its origins in Haiti, where alleged cases of voodoo-induced zombiedom were documented during the last century. If that were the whole story, Bonello may have wound up with an intriguing and rather beautifully realised study of a “real-life” zombie who wakes from his spell and tries to sadly shuffle his way back home. Instead, he decided to combine that plot with another one entirely, involving a coterie of teenage girls — one of whom may be a zombie as well — living in a state-sponsored boarding school outside of Paris. – Hollywood Reporter


It Must Be Heaven, The Lighthouse and Zombi Child premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2019.

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