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Genre Films Dominate Promising Cannes Critics' Week Lineup

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! April 21, 2014 at 12:32PM

Cannes Critics' Week offers a lavish week of exposure for first and second-time filmmakers. Known colloquially around the Croisette as Semaine de la Critique, the sidebar (May 15-23) boasts seven film premieres in competition, plus two out-of-competition special screenings and an Opening and Closing Night.
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'When Animals Dream'
'When Animals Dream'

Cannes Critics' Week offers a lavish week of exposure for first and second-time filmmakers. Known colloquially around the Croisette as Semaine de la Critique, the sidebar (May 15-23) boasts seven film premieres in competition, plus two out-of-competition special screenings and an Opening and Closing Night under charming Artistic Director Charles Tesson.

This year's lineup looks to be more dominated by genre fare than usual, with firsttime Danish director Jonas Alexander Arnby's "When Animals Dream," about a teenage female werewolf, in the competition. The supposedly feminist film has already been sold in the US to RADiUS-TWC.

"It Follows," director David Robert Mitchell's followup to "The Myth of the American Sleepover," will also compete. Starring Maika Monroe of "Labor Day," and Keir Gilchrist, the film has been pitched as a coming-of-age nightmare about "sex, love and the unseen horrors that follow us." Some sort of monster/creature is involved, so we'll have to wait and see what sort of "unseen horrors" are in store for us in May.

Typically, genre films play well in the Directors' Fortnight sidebar, where Ari Folman's "The Congress" opened last year (that lineup is forthcoming). So it will be exciting to see how these films play during Critics' Week, which veers toward young, ambitious directors. Jeff Nichols, Juan Antonio Bayona and Gaspar Noe are among genre directors to come out of the Semaine.

Prizes include the Grand Prix and the France 4 Visionary Award. First features in Critics' Week, and in other sidebars, collectively run for the festival's esteemed Camera d'Or.

Full Critics' Week lineup below. Here's the Cannes lineup as it stands so far.

OPENER

"Making Love" (Djinn Carrenard) Second film (France)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

"Breathe" (Melanie Laurent) Second film. (France)

"The Kindergarten Teacher" (Nadav Lapid) Second film. (Israel)

COMPETITION

"Darker Than Midnight" (Sebastiano Riso) First film. (Italy)

"Gente de bien" (Franco Lolli) First film. (Colombia)

"Hope" (Boris Lojkine) Second film. (France)

"It Follows" (David Robert Mitchell) Second film. (U.S.)

"Self Made" (Shira Geffen) Second film. (Israel)

"The Tribe(Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) First film. (Ukraine)

"When Animals Dream(Jonas Alexander Arnby) First film. (Denmark)

CLOSER

"Hippocrate" (Thomas Lilti) Second film. (France)


This article is related to: Critics' Week, Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.