The Movie Waffler 7 To See At Cannes 2016 | The Movie Waffler

7 To See At Cannes 2016

Our man in Cannes picks the seven movies he's most looking forward to seeing at the fest.

Words by John Bennett (@johnbennett812)


Directed by: Mohamed Diab

This Egyptian film by Mohamed Diab takes place entirely in a police van where several protestors of Morsi’s presidency are thrown together. Clash could be the Arab Spring movie we so desperately need in our filmic lexicon - A Battle of Algiers for the 2010’s. The title alone forcefully sums up so much of the current political conditions in Egypt. The film will open the Un certain regard portion of the festival.

American Honey

Directed by: Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold, who made the admirable Fish Tank, turns her camera to a troop of door-to-door salespeople (Shial LaBeouf among them) who sweep across the Midwest in her newest, American Honey. Do we need a subversive feminist epic of Americana? I say yes, and I hope Arnold’s film fits that bill. American Honey is competing for the Palme d’Or.


Directed by: Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar has already been canonized as a major international filmmaker for the ages as far as I’m concerned. He’s a very '60s-esque auteur who generously provides his audiences with stylish, sexy, thoughtful film going experiences every few years. He is the most legendary of any director who has a movie at Cannes this year. Still, the question that needs to be asked is: has Pedro’s golden age come and gone? The consistent quality of his output from All About My Mother (1999) to The Skin I Live In (2010) is impressive. I’m So Excited (2013), his most recent, was thoroughly enjoyable, but it worked in a much more frivolous mode. Will Julieta continue that trend? The film is in competition for the Palme d’Or.

The Stopover

Directed by: Delphine and Muriel Coulin

The list of brother filmmakers is long: the Lumières, the Coens, the Dardennes, the Tavianis, the Maysles. Even Warner Bros. It’s cool to finally see a team of sisters: Delphine and Muriel Coulin. Their new film, The Stopover (Voir du pays), follows several female Fench soldiers on leave in Cyprus after completing a tour in Afghanistan. Will the sœurs Coulins be the French answer to Kathryn Bigelow? The Stopover will be competing in Un certain regard.

Endless Poetry

Directed by: Alejandro Jodorowsky

That little devil of poetic cinematic midnight anarchy, Alejandro Jodorowsky (of El Topo fame) has a new film at Cannes called Endless Poetry. Jodorowsky has had a career much like that of Terrence Malick; he achieved prominence for his strange work in the '70s, suffered somewhat of a dormancy in the '90s and 2000s, and came back strong with new inventive work in the 2010s. Murmurs from the film world seem to indicate that Endless Poetry may be a summation of his madness. The film is part of The Director’s Fortnight.

The Salesman / Graduation

Directed by: Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman); Cristian Mungiu (Graduation)

Asghar Farhadi (Iranian) and Cristian Mungiu (Romanian) are two 21st Century masters. And they’re not too different really. In their work, they manage to explore the tiniest, most specific, most sublime corners of human interaction. What’s more, they’re culturally sensitive without being laborious about it. Farhadi’s A Separation (2011) and Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (2007) are masterpieces; Farhadi’s The Past (2013) and Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills (2012) are brilliant films as well. There’s no reason to believe that their newest work (Farhadi’s The Salesman and Mungiu’s Graduation) won’t be just as great. They will be competing tête à tête for the Palme d’Or. 

Of course, this all just scratches the surface. These movies may meet, fall short of, or defy expectations. There will probably even be some other exciting movie not yet on my radar that will emerge as a triumph. We'll know soon enough!

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