Cannes Film Festival – the Opening Film Out of Competition is Final Cut directed by Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist).
Dead Funny?by Alexa Dalby
CAUTION: Here be spoilers
Opening Ceremony of the 75th Festival de Cannes
Cannes kicks off with another zombie movie (after The Dead Don’t Die in 2019).
Actress Virginie Efira was host of the 75th Edition. On the stage of the Palais des Festivals’ Grand Théâtre Lumière were the Jury: Vincent Lindon as Jury President alongside Asghar Farhadi, Rebecca Hall, Vincent Lindon, Ladj Ly, Jeff Nichols, Deepika Padukone, Noomi Rapace, Joachim Trier and Jasmine Trinca.
Guest of honour American actor, director and producer Forest Whitaker received an honorary Palme d’or.
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky appeared via video to address the Palais audience live from Kyiv.
During his speech, Zelensky evoked Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator and the role that film had in denouncing Hitler during World War II; the 1940 picture “didn’t destroy the real dictator, but thanks to this film, cinema was not silent.”
The Ukraine president continued, “On February 24, Russia began a war of huge proportion against Ukraine with the intention of going further into Europe. Hundreds of people die every day. They are not going to get up after the end clap. Will cinema stay silent, or will it talk about it? If there is a dictator, if there is a war for freedom, again, it all depends on our unity. Can cinema stay out of this unity? We need a new Chaplin who will prove that, in our time, cinema is not silent.”
He added, “I say to everyone who hears me: do not despair; hatred will eventually disappear and dictators will die. We have to win this victory and we need cinema to ensure that this end is always on the side of freedom.”
The screening of the opening film, Michel Hazanavicius’ Final Cut followed. The film will be theatrically released in France on that same day.
The film is a French-language remake of Japanese director Shinichiro Ueda’s 2017 cult hit One Cut
Of The Dead about a B-movie shoot that descends into chaos. It shot in the spring of 2021 in Paris. The ensemble cast is led by Roman Duris and Bérénice Bejo, Grégory Gadebois with other cast
members including Finnegan Oldfield, Jean-Pascal Zadi, Lyes Salem, and Luana Bajrami.
A pleasant ode to amateurism
In a disused factory, a Z-grade horror film shoot is in full swing. Jaded technicians, uninvolved actors… only the director seems to possess the necessary energy to give life to this umpteenth low-budget zombie movie. During the preparation of a particularly difficult shot, filming is disrupted by an eruption of the real living dead. In front of the camera, everything looks more-or-less normal. Behind it, the crew is freewheeling to save the film while following their one and only watchword: DON’T CUT!
A love letter to filmmaking