Cannes 2013 is now going full speed. Mostly, Cannes is an industry event, not the strictly artistic film festival it used to be, and a whirlwind of deal making one of the main components of the mix. The festival opened with Baz Luhrmann’s new 3D version of The Great Gatsby, which is raking in cash at the boxoffice even as most critics excoriate it, but clearly, this doesn’t bother Luhrmann in the slightest. There will be the usual parties, pomp and circumstance, and the whole thing wraps up on May 26th.
Fortunes will be made and lost, some films from Cannes’ past will be screened to remind one what the festival once stood for, and a lot of interesting films will probably be marginalized while other, more mainstream films take the majority of the prizes. I think. But then again, one never knows, and the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing in the jury room will probably produce some interesting contests; the head of this year’s jury, Steven Spielberg, joked that he ought to see Sidney Lumet’s film Twelve Angry Men again to prepare himself for the upcoming debates that will undoubtedly take place.
Of course, they have a Jerry Lewis tribute — naturally. So altogether, it’s a pretty eclectic lineup. You can download the entire screening schedule with times and dates by clicking here. I make absolutely no predictions, but with Spielberg heading the jury, it will be interesting to see how things pan out; I also note, as have many others, that only one film by a woman is in the competition category, while the rest are relegated to non-competitive slots.
As Melissa Hugel writes, “of the twenty one films being screened in competition this year only one is directed by a woman. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s A Castle in Italy is the sole female director to make the cut, a trend with which Hollywood seems content. While Sundance provided us some glimmer of hope — half of the films competing in the U.S. dramatic category this year were directed by women — it doesn’t provide us with a realistic indicator of where the awards season will take us, at least in terms of narrative film. For every Beasts of the Southern Wild there are countless others whose Sundance buzz is all but dead come February.
Cannes, on the other hand, has long been the place for early awards season favorites to make their international debut. Amour and Tree of Life are just the most recent Palme d’Or winners who had a good showing with Academy. Sadly, Cannes has never had a history of showcasing female directors and 2013 looks to be no different. I would like to say I’m surprised but history has taught us that female filmmakers are not provided the chance to engage mainstream audiences.”
And that’s the players and films for Cannes 2013, the 66th edition of the festival.