Cannes Film Festival 2019: Day 3by Alexa Dalby
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
Ultra-violent freak-out in Brazil’s outback. This disquieting horror-style western about a town under siege from a mysterious threat is executed with ruthless clarity… Brazilian auteur Kleber Mendonça Filho, here co-directing with his producer and production designer Juliano Dornelles, has relinquished the quieter, more humanistic tones of his earlier pictures for this disturbing ultraviolent freakout. – The Guardian
Flying saucers, sleazy politicians and heavily armed killers descend on a sleepy Brazilian village… Bacurau is visually impressive, purposely evoking the luxurious visual grammar of classic 1970s movies with its vintage anamorphic lens shots, split-focus screens and lateral wipes between scenes. – Hollywood Reporter
Yet another flying saucer spotted on film. That makes three so far.
Mati Diop’s feature debut forces young Senegalese lovers to choose between love, duty and servitude, then adds a surreal twist… Atlantique is about the return of the repressed, or the suppressed: the men who were denied their rightful pay on the building site then faced the real possibility of a watery grave. Their spirit rises up, and this becomes a ghost story or a revenge story. – The Guardian
Mati Diop’s feature-length directorial debut is a romantic and melancholy film, part social commentary, part ghost tale, that works best in its evocation of loss and female solidarity. The capricious ocean is a recurrent, mesmerizing image in Mati Diop’s feature debut Atlantics but given its perfidious connotations for the people of Senegal, who’ve lost so many souls to its depths, the director ensures the rolling waves remain hypnotic rather than beautiful. Rather than continuing to focus on the story of a man who tried to escape economic hardship via a treacherous ocean journey to Spain, she shifts to the women who remain behind. – Variety
A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.
Dexter Fletcher has fashioned an ebullient monument to pop superstar Elton John — featuring a committed turn from Taron Egerton in the lead role — that’s clichéd in the telling, but gets by on the strength of his early catalogue. – Variety
Taron Egerton retraces Elton John’s early rise to stardom and his flirtation with self-destruction in Dexter Fletcher’s glittery bio-musical fantasy. – Hollywood Reporter
(above) Elton John duets with Taron Egerton at the Festival after-party.
Slow, ferocious, and extraordinary second film from blazing 27-year-old Russian talent Kantemir Balagov… Beanpole, which marks the undeniable arrival of Kantemir Balagov as a major talent, is a vision of postwar Leningrad as a place where a nationwide pall of guilt, grief, and despair permeates to the bone like Chernobyl fallout, manifesting in paralysis, sarcasm, suicide, and madness. – Variety
Bacurao, Atlantiques, Rocketman and Beanpole premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2019.