May, spring: the trees are in bloom, pollen fills the air, wool disappears from the wardrobes and, most importantly, the cinematographic month par excellence starts with the Cannes Film Festival, this year from May 8 to May 19.
To use a sports metaphor, the Cannes Festival can be regarded as the cinema world championship. During this event, we can see star-studded parades of cinema’s greatest actors, the competing movies become successful for both the public and critics and, last but not least, the festival always gives us an overview about the conditions of the different countries’ cinematographic traditions.
A great edition
This year is special. Indeed, Lars Von Trier, absent for years, confirmed his attendance after his 2008 provocatory declaration. Together with Lars, also Spike Lee will finally come back to Cannes, almost 20 years later his first appearance. For the first time, a Star Wars movie will be presented on the Croisette, the new spin off ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. Finally, after last year’s controversy, there will be no Netflix production.
So, going back to Italy, what will our cinema bring to the Croisette? First, amongst all, what catches the eye is the absence of Paolo Sorrentino, regular of this event and director of ‘Loro‘, the mammoth movie about Silvio Berlusconi divided into two parts. Maybe, this choice to split the movie was the true cause behind his exclusion. However, great Italian movies are not missing this year, thanks to three movies, two of which presented in the main section, and one in ‘Un Certain Regard’ section.
‘Euforia’, the story of two borthers
We start from the latter, ‘Euforia’, directed by Valeria Golino, at her second direction after the great debut with ‘Miele’, presented in 2013 in the same section. ‘Euforia’ is about two brothers Matteo (Riccardo Scamarcio) and Ettore (Valerio Mastandrea). Matteo is a succesful, unconventional and charming businessman, while his brother is an elementary school teacher in the little town where they were born. These two opposite worlds are then forced to meet due to a difficult situation that will become an opportunity to know and discover each other once again.
Friendship and self-discovery in ‘Lazzaro Felice’
In the main section, two important italian directors who have already won important awards will be featured. Alice Rohrwacher, winner of the Jury Grand Prix in 2014 with the movie ‘Le Meraviglie’, tries to win again this year with ‘Lazzaro Felice’. The movie is about the friendship between Lazzaro, a 20 years old farmer whose spontaneus goodnes makes him look stupid and naive, and Tancredi, same age as Lazzaro, spoiled by his immagination. ‘Lazzaro Felice’ is a movie about friendship, kindness, self-discovery and the ability to be in the world.
‘Dogman’ and Rome’s suburbs
Last but not least, with his fifth participation and after winning the Jury Gran Prix with ‘Gomorra’ in 2008 and ‘Reality’ in 2012, Matteo Garrone comes back with ‘Dogman’, inspired by the late 80’s crime events in Rome. The story is about Marcello, average man who lives his days between his job in a humble pet salon and his doughter Sofia, crushed by an ambigous relationship of subjection with Simoncino, a former boxer that terrifies the neighborhood. After the latest abuse, determined to reaffirm his own dignity, Marcello plans a revange with an unexpected outcome.
There are high expectations for this movie that, after the break taken with ‘Tale of Tales’, sees the director coming back to the violent suburbs, with his characteristic neoralist and dreamlike poetic already seen in his previous successes, such as ‘L’Imbalsamatore’, ‘Reality’ and ‘Gomorra’.
In conclusion, three movie will represent our cinema, thanks to as many directors that are much loved abroad and that have already enjoyed success and won awards here in Cannes. We will see what surprises this cinema world championship will bring. As in sport, from Italy we cheer for our ‘team’, but also for great cinema. A cinema that, despite the recent crises, controversies and general mistrust, continues to make its voice heard all over the world. Cannes always welcomed Italian cinema with great enthusiasm. So, let’s see if we can bring home a great result once more.