Monday, April 28, 2014

Jane Campion's Cannes Jury is Wonderful

Seriously, she's working with a ton of amazing artists this year for the Main Competition at Cannes. It's hard to believe that the festival is just a little over two weeks away! (In case you missed it, here are ten films to look forward to from the festival).

Here's the lineup:

Jane Campion, writer/director/producer, President of the Jury (New Zealand).

She's best known for The Piano (1993), for which she became the first (and so far only) woman to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Her most recent project was the miniseries Top of the Lake, which aired in the United States on Sundance Channel last year.

Carole Bouquet, actress (France).

Bouquet's first feature film was Luis Bunuel's 1977 surrealist classic That Obscure Object of Desire, and later appeared as a Bond girl in For Your Eyes Only (1981). She continues to act in her native France.

Sofia Coppola, writer/director/producer (United States).

Now here's a woman who needs no introduction. The daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, she's made her name as a director who mostly examines the lives of the rich and famous. Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006) remain her best-known (and best) films, and The Bling Ring (2013) is her most recent.

Leila Hatami, actress (Iran).

Hatami is a major star in Iran, but she is best known internationally for her stunning performance as a woman seeking a divorce in Asghar Farhadi's masterpiece, A Separation (2011).

Jeon Do-yeon, actress (South Korea).

A hugely popular actress in Korea, Jeon became the first Korean to win the Best Actress prize at Cannes in 2007, for Secret Sunshine. She earned international raves again in 2010 for a remake of The Housemaid, and has several other films in the works.

Willem Dafoe, actor (United States).

A two-time Oscar nominee, Dafoe is perhaps best known to American audiences as the Green Goblin in Spider-Man (2002). However, he is no stranger to, um, stranger films, having worked with filmmakers ranging from Wes Anderson to Lars von Trier to Martin Scorsese.

Gael Garcia Bernal, actor/director/producer (Mexico).

Bernal has quickly established himself as one of Mexico's finest actors, having appearing in a number of internationally acclaimed films. A sample of those: Amores Perros (2000), Y Tu Mama Tambien (2002), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), and No (2012).

Jia Zhangke, writer/director/producer (China).

Just last year, Zhangke took home the Best Screenplay prize at Cannes for A Touch of Sin (2013), which was banned in his native China due to censorship issues. He's considered one of China's most important filmmakers today, as well as a leader of the nation's "Sixth Generation" filmmakers.

Nicolas Winding Refn, writer/director/producer (Denmark).

Refn is famous for the punishing, brutal violence of his films, which include the Pusher (1996-2005) trilogy and Valhalla Rising (2009). However, his most well-received film (and indeed, his best) is Drive (2011), the Ryan Gosling-starring deconstruction of Hollywood action movies, which also won him the Best Director prize at Cannes in 2011. His most recent film, Only God Forgives (2013), debuted at the festival last year.

There is no doubt in my mind that these hugely talented and amazing people have impeccable taste. I can't wait to see what their selections are.

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