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The 47th American Film Festival in Deauville (Calvados), which opens Friday evening, should be marked by a return from the Americans, Johnny Depp in the lead, a competition with characters in search of identity, and unseen French films like the last Claude Lelouch.
Of the 13 independent films from Hollywood studios in competition, “I have 12 film teams who are present, which proves that Americans are not afraid to come to Deauville”, estimated the director of the festival Bruno Barde interviewed Monday by AFP.
Johnny Depp, 58, is expected Sunday in the Normandy seaside resort. The actor, whom a recent legal saga opposed to a tabloid against a backdrop of accusations of domestic violence, will present “City of lies” out of competition. He plays there a policeman in forced retirement. The film, which is based on a duet with Forest Whitaker, was released direct on DVD.
Oliver Stone for his part will come to defend Saturday, out of competition, his “JFK L’Enquête” which has not yet found a distributor, despite its presentation in Cannes.
Dylan Penn will evoke in parallel “Flag Day” the film of his father Sean Penn in which she plays.
On the competition side, the main jury will be chaired by Charlotte Gainsbourg and the revelation jury by Clémence Poésie (“En Thérapie”). The prizes will be awarded on September 11.
There will be a lot of question of characters “in search of identity, which is normal: when, in the world, the landmarks vacillate, the best is to turn towards oneself, to find oneself”, explains Bruno Barde.
Among the most noticed by the critics figure “Pig” by Michael Sarnoski, with Nicolas Cage, a film “of enormous beauty and depth”, according to the Washington Post. This thriller tells the story of a former star chef, reclusive in the woods and in search of his pig who has been kidnapped. It will soon be released in France.
Also competing “Down with the king” by Diego Ongaro with American hip hop star Freddie Gibbs, already presented out of competition at Cannes; “Blue Bayou” by Justin Chon (Un certain regard selection in Cannes) or “John and the hole”, by Pascual Sisto who was part of the Cannes 2020 selection.
Two films in competition have a release date in France. “The Prey of a Shadow” by David Bruckner, announced for September 15th. And Swedish Ninja Thyberg’s “Pleasure”, banned for children under 18, is due in theaters on October 21. It is the story of a young Swedish woman who wants to make a career in porn and discovers a world where pleasure quickly gives way to risk, toxicity and misogyny.
Also in competition will be “Red Rocket” by Sean Baker, on the return to his hometown of a fallen porn star, one of the films that marked the competition in Cannes, although it did not have an award.
– French unreleased tracks –
Out of competition, the young American director and actor Jim Cummings, Grand Prix at Deauville in 2018, will present his second film, co-signed with JP McCabe, “the Beta Test”, announced for December in French theaters.
The 44th edition of the festival had rewarded him for “Thunder Road”, a tragicomic pamphlet against “John Wayne manhood”.
For the second consecutive year, the festival offers unpublished French. Claude Lelouch will thus present, with a number of actor-stars, “Love is better than life”. The director, Palme d’or in 1966 for “A man and a woman”, shot in Deauville, assured RTL in October that it would be his last film.
Laure Calamy (César for Best Actress in March), Christophe Honoré or Yvan Attal will also make the trip to present their next feature films.
A total of 53 films will be screened.
The organizers are counting on a marked increase in attendance compared to the 38,000 spectators of the 2020 edition marked by the Covid-19, said Mr. Barde on Monday. In previous years, the festival attracted around 60,000 people according to the organizers.
© 2021 AFP