The period, work, love affairs, life and death of Wenceslau de Moraes, the great Portuguese writer of Asia, born in Lisbon in 1854, who died in Tokushima, Southern Japan, in 1929. “The Island of Love” is taken from the title of the most famous chapter in “The Lusiads”, the epic poem by Luiz Vaz de Camões, great Portuguese poet of the 16th century.
Two women belonging to the history of cinema, Alice Guy and Jane Fonda, 2001: A Space Odyssey turning 50 as seen by Christopher Nolan, an essay by Mark Cousins about Orson Welles, Margarethe von Trotta’s tribute to Bergman, Fernando Solanas and The Hour of the Furnaces, Five and the Skin by Pierre Rissient being re-released, African patrimonial cinema, unknown treasures and internationally recognized masterpieces. By screening heritage films in restored 2K and 4K versions or an exceptional photochemical film recreation, Cannes Classics continues its work by exploring the history of cinema with documentaries produced in 2018 and feature films presented to us by producers, distributors, foundations, cinematheques, right-holders who work to protect the past and revive it in present days.
All the screenings will be introduced either by directors, artists or specialists in charge of the restorations either by professionals from the archive world or cinematheques.
In a small textile factory, like many others, women produce clothing and weaving in a workshop despite the heat, forced pace, and enduring tiredness, until one day they cannot bear the oppression anymore: they sabotage the machines and stop work. Their boss reacts quickly and harshly and agitators are fired. In order to obtain the reinstatement of two former co-workers the women will unite together, and from union speech to the final sequestration, they will manage a terrible fight.
The film adaptation by Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Jean-Claude Carrière of Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac became a great classic of French cinema, winning 10 Césars and 1 Oscar. At the 1990 Cannes Festival, Gérard Depardieu was awarded Best Actor for his amazing performance in the title role, and Pierre Lhomme won Best Cinematography for the extraordinary lighting he created for the film.
1948, Georgia. Miss Daisy, a rich old lady has a son Boolie who wants her mother to have a driver. He sends her Hoke, an old illiterate black man. The old lady doesn't want to be driven and makes life impossible for Hoke. But years passes by and a strong friendship builds up between these two old friends.
Diamonds of the Night, the debut feature film from the director Jan Němec, is a drama set on the knife edge between life and death. Images of the escape of two mentally and physically exhausted men from a train carrying them to their death are interlaced with flashbacks, dreams and hallucinations, which actualise the subjective perception of both protagonists. A free adaptation of Darkness Casts No Shadow by Arnošt Lustig, a Holocaust survivor who closely cooperated in the making of the film, it marked the beginning of the career of Jan Němec, one of the most original Czech filmmakers of the 1960s.
ENAMORADA is a passionate romance, set in the town of Cholula, that places its tempestuous love story against the equally dramatic backdrop of the Mexican Revolution. José Juan Reyes (Pedro Armendáriz), a revolutionary general, falls in love with Beatriz Peñafiel, a local aristocrat’s beautiful but headstrong daughter portrayed by Maria Félix, who many consider to be Mexican cinema’s greatest star. Unsympathetic to the revolutionary cause, Beatriz is at first contemptuous of Reyes' attempts at courtship, but he ultimately wins her over and she follows him as he leads his troops out of town.
Fad,Jal is a Serere Senegalese village. At school, children learn, in French, the grammar and history of France. Villagers practice their religion in a church, a vestige of colonialism.
At the foot of a tree, the ancestor and a griot tell in Wolof the history of the village to the children, its creation, its customs, its traditions. This is an opportunity to discover the crafts, agricultural techniques and the difficulty of exploiting the land because of the drought. In parallel, the daily Serere is confronted to the governmental policy which appropriates from now on the lands, previously transmitted orally between the villagers.
After being kicked out of her African village three decades earlier for getting pregnant out of wedlock, Linguere Ramatou has returned home. While Linguere has done well for herself, her home village has fallen on hard economic times. Intent on punishing Draman Drameh, the man who fathered her child but refused to own up to the act, Linguere makes a proposal: She will help the town financially, if the locals agree to execute Draman.
Based on a Brazilian poem and very attractive set in the country’s Amazonian and Northeast hinterlands, Joao and the Knife is a hauntingly strange and visually stunning picture. A poor and elderly hunter and cattleranger marries Maria, a 19-year old village girl, against logic and advice. As he cannot have children with his young bride, he travels to the Amazonian forest to make some money to give her a better life. On his return as a rich man four years later, he finds Maria carrying a three-year old little girl. Joao, a simple man who has never lied in his life, doubts about the fidelity of his wife. He buys a knife before returning to their village. A long trip through the jungle. Will Joao be able to refrain from hurting the one he loves so much?
THE HOUR OF THE FURNACES: Notes and Testimonies of Neo-colonialism, Violence and Liberation is one of the symbols of the resistance and political culture of the generation of the 60s and 70s. It is an essay of reflection on the socio-political situation of Argentina between the years 1945-1968. It was filmed clandestinely during the Cold War and in a Latin America governed by oligarchies and pro-American military dictatorships. The work is a four-hour trilogy, divided into chapters and united by the theme of dependency and liberation. The first part - "NEO-COLONIALISM AND VIOLENCE" - is conceived for diffusion in all types of circuits, and is the one presented at Cannes Classics.
The picture of poverty in post-war Italy is masterfully captured in this story about a father whose job depends on having a bike which is stolen from him. “Bicycle Thieves is delicate, poetic, and pardon the big word, universal. It’s Sunday in Rome, with sun and rain, soup kitchens and rough neighbourhoods, markets and trattorias, and this father and son cross the city in one of the most moving walks in film history.” (Attilio Bertolucci)
One of De Sica and Zavattini’s masterpieces, shot on the street with amateur actors, Bicycle Thieves is – in the words of André Bazin – “the ideal centre around which gravitate, each in his own orbit, the works of other great directors.”
The traditional fight called "Lamb" in Wolof, reminiscent of the Greco-Roman struggle, is a popular national sport in Senegal. It has special and very strict rules. Wrestlers train on the beach. They are preparing their future fights. The fightings take place and are presented as a sport and a folk festival, following the African tradition.
C.C. Baxter is an office clerk who courts favour with the executives in his office by giving them the key to his small apartment for their extramarital flings. Among them is his callous boss, J.D. Sheldrake, who Baxter eventually learns is using his place to sleep with Miss Kubelik, the sweet elevator operator the clerk has loved from afar. When Sheldrake coldly dumps the vulnerable young woman, she tries to commit suicide in Baxter's apartment, giving the clerk the opportunity to save the woman of his dreams but possibly lose his job.
Ozu depicts the nuances of affection between an elderly couple and their adult children with his exquisitely moving and elegantly simple touch, beginning with two aging parents living in the small town of Onomichi in Hiroshima who pay a visit to their eldest son and daughter in Tokyo, in the hope of creating memories to cherish for the rest of their days. Location shooting took place in Onomichi, Osaka, Atami, and Tokyo. In Onomichi, Ozu studiously captures scenes of fishing boats passing through its harbor, rows of old dwellings, historic temples and stone monuments, and white-walled alleyways, while in Tokyo, he even takes the camera up to a back street laundry platform and into crowded downtown areas, conveying his subject matter without exaggeration or artifice.
In 1805 disillusioned and tired of the futility of the high society Prince Andrei Bolkonsky leaves St. Petersburg for the army service in the hope of serving his country. He is badly wounded in the battle of Austerlitz. His beautiful young wife dies in labour. His search for the meaning of life seems to be pointless, when one day he meets the young Natasha Rostova. Her naïve and sincere admiration of the world brings him back to life.
Riga, 1960s. Telephone assembler, self-made poet and composer Cēzars Kalniņš (Uldis Pūcītis) together with his friends plays in a band but the texts written by him seem to be immoral to the middle-aged cultural worker Anita Sondore (Dina Kuple) who puts obstacles for public performance of these songs. The public committee that discusses creative work of the young song writer turns into a metaphor of an anonymous and almighty opinion whose destructive impact cannot be stopped.