With exactly three months to go before the 68th edition of the Cannes Film Festival begins, there is already a big buzz on the movies that can land on the Croisette -- the city's scenic beachfront that has over the years been used as a nickname for the biggest cinema event on earth.
Though the actual selections will be announced in mid-April by the Festival's General Delegate, Thierry Fremaux, there are several film titles that are being thrown about. Many of these will actually become part of the Festival's official selections -- as the past years have proved.
Anurag's Kashyap's Bombay Velvet looks like a Cannes contender. Kashyap's earlier Gangs of Wasseypur and Ugly played at the Festival -- the first in a sidebar and the second was part of the official selections. He has remained a darling of Cannes.
If one were to go by the choices that the Festival made earlier, Fremaux has managed to hold on to balance between the flashy American cinema and and the more sedate, but substantive European fare. Asian movies, a good sprinkling of them in recent times, have also found a toehold. Indian films have not had much of luck, an odd one managing to sneak in, like Miss Lucky, Ugly and Udaan.
Now, among the European probables, British director Stephen Frears' Icon, Portuguese helmer Miguel Gomes's Les Mille Et Une Nuits, Joachim Trier's Louder Than Bombs from Norway, Les Chevaliers Blancs by Belgiuan auteur Joachim Lafosse and The Lobster in the English language by Greece's Yorgos Lanthimos.
Thomas Vinterberg's contribution may well have two movies: the Hardy adaptation of Far From The Madding Crowd (featured in these columns earlier) and The Commune. Russia might well figure at Cannes with Francophonia (by Alexander Sokourov). Other probables include One Floor Below from Romania, and the Italian master, Nanni Moretti's Mia Madre. He might have for company fellow Italian, Matteo Garrone with his The Tale Of Tales.
The North American favourites at the moment seem to pointing to Gus Van Sant's Sea Of Trees, Todd Haynes' Carol and Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special. The Clan may come in from Argentina. Sean Penn's The Last Face is also tipped for a Cannes soujourn.
The Asian basket may hold Love In Khon Kaen by Thailand's Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Hou Hsiao Hsien's The Assassin from Taiwan, Taklub from the Philippines's Brillante Mendoza, Our Little Sister by Hirokazu Kore-Eda, An by Naomi Kawase and Journey To The Shore by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (all three from Japan). There can be The Crossing from China's John Woo.
What about Australia's Macbeth, South Korea's My Friendly Villains and Israel's The Burglar? They seem to be nodding distanced away from the Croisette.
And finally, Emir Kusturica is yet to wrap up the shoot for his Sur La Voie Lactee, and Quentin Tarantino is on to his The Hateful Eight. These can be ready for Cannes.