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2018 Cannes: Enfant terrible Lars von Trier returns; Terry Gilliam’s ‘Don Quixote’ to Close Fest

Seven years after being banned from the festival and ‘persona non grata,’ Danish director Lars von Trier will return to the Croisette this year with his new film, The House That Jack Built. At the press conference for Melancholia, von Trier spoke of being a Nazi (he’s not) and understanding Hitler. The shockwave led to artistic director Thierry Fremaux banning the Cannes-winning director from the festival. The House That Jack Built stars Matt Dillon, Riley Keough, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman. Set in Washington State, it details the life and crimes of a serial killer over a 12-year period. It will show out of competition.

One of Hollywood’s most famous, or infamous, projects – Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – will finally see the light of day. Through disasters, recastings, illnesses, loss of funding and multiple legal issues, the road to bring the film to fruition has been one worth a story itself. The time-jumping sci-fi comedy stars Adam Driver, Stellan Skarsgard and Jonathan Pryce. Director Gilliam found himself in the hot seat just a few weeks ago over calling the #MeToo movement a ‘mob rule’ and claiming the women who came forward were just furthering their careers with Harvey Weinstein. It should make for an interesting press conference. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will close the 71st Cannes Film Festival on May 19.

A slew of other additions were announced today, some that had been predicted to show up in the first round of announcements. Three enter the official competition: Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree and Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart and Sergei Dvortsevoy’s The Little One. The Wild Pear Tree centers on an aspiring writer who returns to her native village in rural Turkey but becomes overwhelmed by her father’s debts. Ceylan previously won the Palme d’Or in 2014 for Winter Sleep. Knife + Heart stars Vanessa Paradis, Nicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet and Romane Bohringer and centers around a gay porn producer (Paradis) who attempts to win back her girlfriend while caught up with a serial killer in 1979 Paris. The Little One tells the story of a Kyrgyz girl searching for the child she abandoned in a Moscow-based maternity ward. This bring the official competition total to 20 plus the opener and closer.

Midnight screenings added two titles: Whitney, Kevin Macdonald’s documentary on singer Whitney Houston, and HBO’s new adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, directed by Ramin Bahrani and starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon.

Also added today were Ukrainian auteur Sergei Loznitsa’s anticipated Donbass, which will open Un Certain Regard. A Cannes favorite now, Loznitsa’s last three films My Joy, In the Fog and A Gentle Creature world premiered at Cannes in competition. Two new titles added to Un Certain Regard are Argentine helmer Alejandro Fadel’s Muere, Monstruo, Muere plus João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora’s The Dead and the Others.

The 71st Cannes Film Festival runs May 8-19. You can see the update full list of films and sections here.

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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