My Picks from the Cannes Film Festival

No, I’m not attending the Festival de Cannes 2014 this year, but I do pay particularly close attention to the news coming out of the south of France in the spring because it’s really at Cannes (pronounce it “can” to rhyme with “tan” to sound British, or “kahn” to rhyme with “john” as I do) that the best of international cinema is featured. Films seek the prestige of winning a Palme d’Or and gaining global distribution for what are often very low budget movies from production companies that have to scrape together the funds to send the team to France.

The list of films in the competition is staggering, as you can see by reading through the 2014 screening lineup, but a few stand out as being particularly interesting to mark on your list for later in the year once the distribution deals are worked out.

Here are the three on my short list:

 Mr. Turner directed by Mike Leigh

Timbuktu directed by Abderrahmane Sissako

(can’t find a proper trailer for this movie out of Mali yet)

Leviathan directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

And the film that closes the festival? A restored version of the great 1964 spaghetti western For A Fistful of Dollars, exhibiting a dry sense of humor on the part of the Festival programmers too.

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