2018 Cannes film Festival was especially special. Apart from the film activism for women and against racism that marked the headlines, the films too weren’t less awaited. Popular directors such as Lee Chang Dong, Jean Luc- Godard, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Lars Von Trier, Gasper Noé, and Spike Lee all showed up their talents. But ultimately it was Shoplifters by Hirokazu Kore-eda the underdog from Japan that took the precious Palm d’Or. Yet, it hardly surprised anyone. This year, as anyone at Cannes would have said, it was anybody’s game. There were no crowd favourites.
Award or not, as a viewer ultimately it’s the film that counts. This year’s Cannes had too much to offer. Most of us didn’t go to Cannes to see the films, but depending upon the reception of the Films there, we can keep a watch over their release date in our home country, and catch them later. Here is a list of 6 top films at 2018 Cannes film festival that you simply can’t afford to miss.
6 Top films from 2018 Cannes Film Festival
Climax by Gasper Noé
When it comes to being a controversial figure at Cannes, Gasper Noé is one of the best. However, this year was somewhat different. There were only four walk outs, which, according to Noé, used to be at least around 25% of the audience earlier. Moreover, the reviews weren’t bad either. Similar to his earlier films, this one also has LSD-fuelled super stunning visuals, and a heavy dose of sex and violence. The only difference is that Noé didn’t go over the board this time by attempting something overly ambitious.
A mix of provocative dance numbers and ugly tormented visions of pure hell, this film is a treat for Noé’s devoted fans. However, unlike Noé’s previous films, you don’t have to be an absolute fan to enjoy it. If you are someone looking for something excitingly different, both aesthetically and otherwise, you can stop reading this and put it on your watchlist. You won’t be disappointed. Climax is certainly one of Noé’s best films to date.
Cold War by Pawel Pawlikowski
Cold War is true to it’s name. After winning Oscar Winning Film Ida, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War proved a worthy successor in every sense. It won the Best Director’s award at Cannes and is very likely to be Poland’s this year entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.
Starring Pawlikowski’s long time muse Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot, Cold War is a quiet paced black and white film about two hopeless people, hopelessly in love with each other in a post war world that is devoid of any hope. It spans around two decades, and is showed through couple of perfect snapshot-like nostalgic moments in the lives of the characters. Just like Pawlikowski’s last film Ida, the cinematography of this tragically beautiful film is also a work of art. Pawlikowski hasn’t misused a single frame of the 84 minute Film, which is on its way to be remembered as a true classic.
Burning by Lee Chang Dong
Legendary Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-Dong has finally returned after an 8 year hiatus, and he is back with a bang. Just like his previous works, Lee offers us a hauntingly sublime reflection of the inner life of everyday Korean people. Until today, there hasn’t been a single misfire in Lee’s career. Burning delivers much more than it was hoped to deliver. It was one of the most positively reviewed films at 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
It is a bitter tale of working class frustrations. It takes us to the root of the humiliation that an average man from the lower class suffers when confronted with everything that he wants in his life. It is painful, poetical, and probably the best film to come out of Korea in recent times.
The Wild Pear Tree by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
The Wild Pear Tree by the Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Palm d’Or with his last film Winter Sleep, was highly anticipated. It didn’t get Nuri any award, but it received unanimously positive reviews.
It’s the story of one man’s anguishes of life and his fruitless struggle to fulfil his writing ambitions. The aesthetics are top notch, and the story ethereally crafted. It runs at its own pace and delivers it’s melancholy message in a deep and sublime way. Nothing less could be expected of Nuri, his growth as an artist clearly shows in the picture.
Shoplifters by Hirokazu Kore-eda
With Shoplifters, Kore-eda brought back the Palm d’Or to Japan after 21 years. The last Japanese film to win this award was The Eel by Shohei Imamura, who also won the award for his 1983 film The Ballad of Narayama. His work clearly shows the influence of other Asian masters like Yasujiro Ozu and Hou Hsiao-hsien.
This delicately warm and affectionately profound Japanese film is about a family of poor Shoplifters living in Tokyo. Shoplifting is just something that the family does for a living, and they are not criminals in any other than the legal sense of the word. The raw humanity of the film is something we rarely see nowadays, and maybe that is what made Shoplifters stand out among the rest in the competition. Once you watch it, the film’s oozing emotional warmth and it’s deep humane message is bound to stay in your heart for a very long time.
Birds of Passage by Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego
Birds of passage at its premiere at Cannes was universally lauded by the critics. It is a mafia film the likes of which you might have never seen. There’s something very Shakespearean about its flamboyance. The genre and the story is what anybody would expect from a crime film, but it’s intertwining with Cambodian culture and rituals, plus its deep mythical tone makes it an enduring work of art in its own respect. In time, it might become as significant for Cambodian cinema as The Godfather and The City of Gods are for American and Brazilian cinema.