The film at the Cannes Film Festival: from ‘Triangle of Sadness’ on influencers and easy earnings to Jasmine Trinca’s directorial debut

Who will win? For now, the issue is just football. Milan or Inter, for the Scudetto? In A league the last day is missing. Here in Cannes, another full and intense week of cinema. But on the Croisette les italiennes there are not few and inevitably, between one film and another, they talk about it. Of the Milanese, of Rome in the final of the Conference League. Even Juve, despite the lack of arguments about it at the moment… The Cannes Film Festival warms everyone’s minds (including the Juventus fans). And he is fielding two directors who are already champions in competition today. Ruben Östlund had La Palma in 2017 with The Square. Ten years earlier, the highest recognition had gone to Cristian Mungiu with 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, a very hard and still very current reflection on abortion.

The Swede Östlund try to surprise, again. Having ridiculed the dollar-rich, low-morale contemporary art society, with Triangle of Sadness he embarks on another socio-cultural debate. This time on the world of the web, of influencers, of easy earnings. No desire to be moral. But a lot of space for the intelligent and reasoned cynicism of a not very prolific author, which the Festival has launched, consecrated and wants to hold on to. The triangle of sadness upsets a couple of beautiful (Charlbi Dean Kriek And Harris Dickinson) and an alcoholic captain who quotes Marx (the American Woody Harrelson), during a luxury cruise. The struggle, of class and for survival, has something to do with it. While in good company (Mihaileanu, Porumboiu, Puiu …), Cristian Mungiu is the flagship name of the lasting Romanian cinematic spring. The director of the portentous A father, a daughter tackles the unsolvable family question by talking about a father and a small son, protagonists in relationship difficulties of RMN

I’m a mom, a little girl and a dog the trio of Marcel !, debut of Jasmine Trinca directing a feature film. Lucky period for the Roman artist (who with Lucky from Sergio Castellitto was best actress in Un Certain Regard). Cannes loves to pamper its discoveries. Jasmine, here debut at the age of twenty with The room of the son of Nanni Moretti, in this 75th edition he is part of the jury of the competition. It is no coincidence that she was artistically raised by Moretti, as well as by France. His film – now in the “Special Screenings” section – is a bit Morettian and a bit Truffautian. The protagonist is Alba, the first of the two Rohrwacher waited on the red carpet. In a few days his sister Alice arrives, director of the short film Le pupille and at the center of a Rendez-vous with the public. A lot of France for Marcel !, even a percentage of production. And Rome? The principal amount is well represented by the lady Giovanna Ralli. Core!

Director Quentin Dupieux (Mandibules-Two men and a fly) has its admirers. His detractors. And who trivially does not care about his cinema. Among the three groups the latter is the least represented, because it is difficult to remain indifferent to his mad language. For Fumer fait tousser, the Parisian filmmaker has called into question some of the most famous actors from beyond the Alps: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Vincent Lacoste, Gilles Lellouches, Benoît Poelvoorde. He made them fight a “fierce demonic turtle” and dressed in stylish rompers Power Rangers. Those who wait for it at the Festival. But the screening is scheduled after midnight, so as not to shock the purists too much. The Cannes Film Festival, as we know, it is a polyhedron with multiple faces. In the last few hours, for the photographers’ lenses (the noisiest category, together with the seagulls), the smiles of the children who crowded the Grand Théatre Lumière for the cartoon alternated Le petit Nicolas and the hard faces of those who accompanied the documentary Mariupolis 2 by Mantas Kvedaravičius. The Lithuanian director killed last month during the siege of Mariupol. It is the most suffered work of the Selection.

Which, however, even when it is fiction that speaks, he does not forget. Even without awareness, by chance. But when you have to do artists of value it is often to be confirmed, as an author’s sensitivity. And if among the characters of Triangle of Sadness there is a Russian oligarch, the Welshman Sir Anthony Hopkins discovers and defends the Ukrainian origins of his family, according to the script of Armageddon Time from James Gray. The Eastern European descent is that of the American director, who passed in competition with a very personal coming of age, who is freely inspired by his pre-adolescence spent in Queens of New York in the Eighties. Hopkins is the loving, much-loved grandfather of Paul Graff (the good 14-year-old Banks Repeta, we were at Venice exhibition he would already have the prize in his pocket Mastroianni to best newcomer), Gray’s alter ego. Potentially a masterpiece, he is not. A correct, sometimes profound film. But always stingy with poetry. In short, less of a scam than the Trinca film …

There is a lot of lyricism instead in the story of EO (but to pronounce it, the assonance is with Ih-Oh by Winnie the Pooh). Surprising the donkey that the elderly Polish teacher Jerzy Skolimowsky, he wanted to be the absolute protagonist of his work in the race. It is a tale, both gentle and violent, which gives tenderness and strong empathy towards the animal, linked to its mistress by deep affection. That does not fade, even when the two are separated. A work of few words and beautiful images. The director’s style is so free that it sometimes winks at experimentation. In the finale, set in Italy, there is also the young man Lorenzo Zurzolo who plays a strange wandering priest, the prodigal son of such a great mother: the divine Isabelle Huppert, whose unexpected appearance on the screen sparked the enthusiasm of the spectators. Ready to reserve a lot of it also for David Cronenberg, who on Monday arrives with a very high head to present Crimes of the Future. Another piece of a formidable career, which was interrupted precisely in Cannes, with the a Julianne Moore for his role in Maps to the Stars (2014). And the latest effort by the Canadian genius, eighty years old in 2023, is also full of (super) stars. Viggo Mortensen, Lea Seydoux And Kristen Stewart, it seems they have spared themselves in facing yet another dystopian and distressing journey, of the father of Crash, eXistenZ And The fly.

Titles not ciated at random, judging from the first images of Crimes of the Future. Also on Monday 23rd, another champion will have his catwalk. Park Chan-Wook promises visual elegance, by no means an end in itself, in the noir Decision to Leave. South Korea therefore tries again, after the pre-pandemic triumph of Parasite from Bong Joon-ho. The Far East has often been strong around here. And no one here can forget Patrice Cheréau. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi attended his famous theater school: Les Amandiers. The director dedicates a film to him, which bears the same name. In Les Amandiers – he goes into the race tomorrow, for the Palme d’Or – Bruni Tedeschi wanted his former team-mate Louis Garrel, to play Cheréau. She was a brave choice, ready to upset her feelings. Not just the author.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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