The Cannes Film Festival will open on May 16 with an American work, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. It has been written by him along with Roman Coppola.
The movie will open simultaneously in cinemas in France, though its theatrical release in the U.S. will be on May 25, two days before Cannes’ 65th edition closes on May 27.
Moonrise Kingdom will be screened at the Grand Theatre Lumiere on the evening of May 16 in the presence of Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti, who will chair the jury. However, the 5000-odd journalists from print and television who cover the Festival every year will have a chance to watch Moonrise Kingdom that morning.
Produced by Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson for Focus Features and Indian Paintbrush, Moonrise Kingdom has on its cast actors as impressive as Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton.
Moonrise Kingdom was filmed on an island in New England, and narrates tormented days in the summer of 1965. More specifically it is a story of two young lovers running away from their town, with the local sheriff and the girl’s parents in hot pursuit. Looks like it has all the masala of Mumbai!
Not surprising though, for one of Anderson’s latest movies, The Darjeeling Limited, in 2007 was a romp through India with three brothers (played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman) on a long train journey that helps them understand and discover one another. Shot in India, a lot of the country must have rubbed off on the director.
Born in 1969, Anderson’s other films include Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009).
Thierry Frémaux, the Festival’s General Delegate, commented: “Wes Anderson is one of the rising powers of American cinema, to which he brings a highly personal touch, particularly in Moonrise Kingdom, which once again is a testimony to the creative freedom in which he continues to evolve. Sensitive and independent, this admirer of Fellini and Renoir is also in his own right a brilliant and inventive director.”
Gilles Jacob, President of the Festival, is glad to proclaim: “With Wes Anderson opening the 65th Festival de Cannes, young American cinema will be celebrated on the Croisette.”
The official selection (Competition, A Certain regard, Out of Competition) will be announced on Thursday, 19 April.
Last year, the Festival opened with a highly acclaimed work of Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris. I wrote in these columns: “So amusing was it with its witty one-liners that the usually stiff lipped Cannes critics were caught actually laughing, even clapping.
“Indeed, the film is elegant, almost a love letter to Paris, with its classic French humour, seductive romance and inspiring heritage. The film’s first shots -- of Paris, a series of them in fact, was reminiscent of Allen’s 1978 classic, Manhattan. The rich montage of shots catches the French capital in its many moods - in spring, in sun, in rain, at dawn and at midnight, the hour when the story takes a fascinating turn much like a fairy tale”.
Will Moonrise Kingdom be as fascinating?
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will be covering the Cannes Film Festival for Hindustantimes.com this year)