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The Cannes festival is starting. The Polish co-production will compete with films by Coppola, Lanthimos and Sorrentino

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The French comedy “The Second Act” by Quentin Dupieux will open the 77th Cannes Film Festival on May 14. In the Main Competition, among others, Francis Ford Coppola with “Megalopolis”, Yorgos Lanthimos with “Kinds of Kindness” and Paolo Sorrentino with “Parthenope” will compete for the Palme d'Or. The champions will be faced by a Polish co-production by Magnus von Horn, who lives in Poland – “The Girl with a Needle”.

Traditionally, the Main Competition of the Cannes festival features big names. For years, the organizers have been doing everything to make the French Riviera unrivaled in this respect, and they succeeded. This year it will be exceptionally difficult for festivals in Venice and Toronto to catch up with the French event.

Fighting for the Palme d'Or here are both the 85-year-old American legend of cinema – Francis Ford Coppola with the film “Megalopolis”, considered to be his life's work, as well as the Greek Yorgos Lanthimos, adored in Cannes with the painting “Types of Kindness”, which has never left here yet empty handed. Both fans will be delighted Italian Paolo Sorrentino, who will show the love story “Parthenope”, as well as the controversial David Cronenberg with the science-fiction thriller “The Shrouds”.

We are most interested in the screening of the Danish-Polish-Swedish co-production by Magnus von Horn “The Girl with the Needle”, announced for May 15. It is also worth knowing that the co-author of the script for the film “Limonov” by Kirill Serebriennikov, telling the story of the Russian poet, is the creator of “Ida”, Paweł Pawlikowski.

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A still from the film “The Girl with the Needle” by Magnus von HornCannes mat. press releases

“A fairy tale with a terrible truth”

Born in Sweden Magnus von Horn, a graduate of the Łódź Film School (who has lived in Poland for many years), calls his film “The Girl with a Needle” a “fairy tale with a terrible truth” that has a strong impact on the viewer's senses. In an interview with the Polish Film Institute, the director said: – I always wanted to make a horror film, but the longer I worked on it, the more dramatic elements came to the surface. The story is a Danish-Swedish-Polish production, and von Horn wrote the script in collaboration with Danish screenwriter Line Langebek Knudsen. The black and white photos for the film were taken by Polish cinematographer Michał Dymek.

The plot of the film set in the early 20th century focuses on a young woman, Karoline (Vic Carmen Sonne), looking for love and a sense of stability. The girl is a factory worker in Copenhagen and finds herself in a difficult life situation. Desperate, she turns for help to a woman she accidentally meets (Trine Dyrholm). Dramatic events cause a bond to emerge between Karoline and Dagmar, who is much older than her, and will change both of their lives.

The film was shot mostly in Poland – in Łódź, Zgierz, and Lower Silesia. Moreover, in Gothenburg, Sweden, the director's hometown. Let us also remind you that von Horn's previous Polish film “Sweat” – showered with awards at the Gdynia festival, also qualified for the official selection in Cannes in 2021, but the pandemic caused the festival to be canceled.

A still from the film “Megalopolis” by Francis Ford Coppolamat. press Cannes

Francis Ford Coppola's most important film?

The creators of “The Godfather” are especially eager for this film among moviegoers. The director's associates say that this is Coppola's life's work, on which the legendary director has been working for 40 years. However, the director emphasizes that “with many years of breaks”.

He wrote the script for it in the early 1980s, but postponed it “for later”, partly due to financial problems at that time. Pre-production finally began in 2001, after shooting 30 hours of material and rehearsals, among others. with Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini and Leonardo DiCaprio. However, the project was abandoned again after the September 11 attacks because the scenes from the script “predicted” them. Coppola abandoned the film altogether in 2007 and only returned to it in 2019.

“Megalopolis” is a story about a utopian version of New York. The city was destroyed as a result of a great disaster and its reconstruction is underway. Two visions of the city clash: on one side is the idealistic architect played by Adam Driver, on the other is his sworn enemy, the city's mayor, Frank Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito). The whole story is told with lots of references to Rome during the fall of the republic and the rise of the empire. In addition to Driver and Esposito, the film stars: Talia Share, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight and Laurence Fishburne.

The first closed show for people from the industry in… Hollywood divided the audience. Some were impressed by the film, others wrote on social media about disappointment and “hermetic cinema, too experimental.” There is still no distributor or label that would cover its promotional budget, estimated at $40 million in America alone. Only big players can afford this, and they are probably waiting for reactions after the Cannes show.

However, those who are more familiar with the complicated fate of Coppola's works know that an identical situation occurred in the case of “Apocalypse Now”. Unfortunately, subsequent actors abandoned their roles, and the film was hit by a series of disasters – from typhoons during filming, through serious illnesses of the actors and some of the sets burning down. It was said that the film got out of control and would end the director's career. Meanwhile, Coppola brought it to Cannes, where – as we know – the picture unanimously received the Palme d'Or.

We keep our fingers crossed for the champion so that history repeats itself.

A still from the film “Megalopolis” by Francis Ford Coppolamat. press Cannes

To everyone, according to their preferences

This year's Palme d'Or competition is distinguished by great genre diversity, and it is expected that every viewer will find something for themselves. However, there are titles that will attract absolutely everyone, and as I know this festival, additional shows will be needed in the finale, because tickets and tickets will sell out like hot cakes.

These films certainly include the film by the Côte d'Azur favorite, Yorgos Lanthimos, “Types of Kindness”, and four Oscars for the previous film “Poor Creatures” starring Emma Stone and Golden Lion in Venice, raised audience expectations to sky-high levels. And this time Stone appears in one of the main roles – this is the third joint work of this duo. They both assure that it will not be the last.

“Kinds of Kindness” is the Greek's return to the present day, although, as usual, the creator talks enigmatically about the film's plot. It is known that the whole thing has a novella character. The press materials read: “'Kind of Kindness' is a triptych telling the story of a man without a choice who tries to take control of his own life. We also meet a policeman concerned about the fact that his wife, lost at sea, has somehow returned , seems to be a different person than before. The woman devotes herself to the search for a mysterious figure endowed with extraordinary power, who, according to the prophecy, is to become her spiritual leader.

Paolo Sorrentino says even less about the content of his film. All we know is that it is a “fantasy love story set in Naples.” “Parthenope” – the title means the name of the woman and also the name of the city. The film is an Italian-French production and one of the main roles is played by Gary Oldman.

A scene from the film “Kinds of Politeness” by Yorgos LanthimosCannes press materials

Iranian master on Trump

Finally, a competition title that may break the record of the decade in terms of the number of viewers. It is “The Apprentice” by Ali Abbasi, which tells the story of youth Donald Trump. He played this role, wildly flattering the former president with his appearance USASebastian Stan

Perhaps the film would not have been so famous if it were not for the fact that it was not made by any American director, but by the creator of the great thriller “Holly Spider” – the outstanding Iranian director Ali Abbasi. However, the painting itself is an American production. Abbasi focused on how Trump built his New York real estate business in the 1970s and 1980s. The plot will also include his relationship with the infamous lawyer Roy Cohn.

The script was written by Gabriel Sherman, author of the book “The Loudest Voice in the Room”, known for persistently seeking the truth when it comes to embarrassing topics. So we can guess that it will definitely not be a favor for Trump.

A still from the film “The Apprentice” by Ali AbbasiCannes, press materials

The festival will open this evening with the French comedy “The Second Act” by Quentin Dupieux. Meryl Streep will receive the Palme d'Or for lifetime achievement during the gala.

The Cannes event will last until May 25.

Author:Justyna Kobus

Cannes Film Festival, “The Guardian”, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: mat. press Cannes

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