Between Elvis and Maverick

Names and titles, the great cinema parades in Cannes
by Davide Carbone

From 17 to 28 May on the Croisette an appointment with a Festival that follows the pace of the times, bringing them to the big screen

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick, Disney/Pixar latest production Lightyear, and George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing will soon premiere at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes. We know very little about Miller’s film, starring Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton – what we do know is that, according to the director, it is set out to counter Mad Max. The feature is a romantic fantasy that sees a student meeting a kind of genie who grants him three wishes in exchange for freedom. Great cinema all around will be at the Promenade de la Croisette, May 17 to 28. One Italian name is running in the main competition, among others: Nostalgia by Mario Martone, an adaptation of the Ermanno Rea’s novel of the same name. It is the story of Felice, a man who travels back to Naples forty years after he left it. He shall rediscover places, habits, and a past that is out to get him. Nostalgia stars Pierfrancesco Favino in the protagonist’s role.

Forest Whitaker will be awarded the Palme d’honneur. The actor will be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the 75th edition of the Festival. “My first time in Cannes, thirty-four years ago, changed my life” said Whitaker about 1988 movie Bird, directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, starring him as sax legend Charlie Bird Parker. The film won the Grand Prix for its score and earned Whitaker the Palme d’or for Best Actor. Nine years later, Whitaker would be awarded the Oscar for his interpretation in The Last King of Scotland.

While the Academy turned to Twitter and went so far as to establish the social Oscar, Cannes placed their bets on TikTok. Festivals and awards feel the need to innovate and open up the younger public, thus taking the straightforward, and certainly effective, way of social networks. #Oscarfanfavorite is the Twitter-based competition to vote the best movie of 2021, no matter what the Academy says. Cannes, on the other hand, went from banning selfies on the red carpet in 2018 to open a cooperation with the Chinese social network – the official partner of the Festival’s 75th edition. Festival director Thierry Frémaux stated “this cooperation was born of our wish to diversify our public, and we cannot wait to share the most exciting and stimulating moments and to see how the Festival can be reinvented thanks to TikTok’s creators and users.” #TikTokShortFilm will be an in-app global short movie (30 seconds to three minutes) competition.