The Cannes classics line-up includes a tribute to Lina Wertmüller’s Oscar-nominated ‘Seven Beauties’

Posted on May 9, 2019

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The biggest ticket at Cannes Classics 2019 is undoubtedly  the midnight screening of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, remastered in 4K and presented by Alfonso Cuarón. It’s the film you want to brag about, with a tweet like “Braved the mad rush and got a seat for The Shining. Can’t wait.” But there’s also the counterculture classic Easy Rider, which won the First Film Award (Prix de la première œuvre) at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival, and turns 50 this year. Luis Buñuel will be remembered with screenings of three films: Los Olvidados (1950), Nazarín (1958) and the legendary L’Âge d’or (1930). The latter’s power to shock may have dimmed over the decades, but the surrealism is still breathtaking. How many films, after all, open with what appears to be a science documentary about scorpions (“Its tail ends in a sixth joint, a barbed stinger which injects venom”) and close with the image of women’s scalps fluttering on a crucifix, like clothes on a line?

The Classics line-up also has films by Vittorio De Sica, Milos Forman, Jean Renoir, John Huston, Andrzej Wajda and Tao Jin, along with Mario Sesti’s documentary, Cinecittà – I mestieri del cinema Bernardo Bertolucci, which features the last interview of the director. (From Sesti’s notes, which I have paraphrased: “The last time I met him he was in a wheelchair for several years… The outstanding skill of his cinematic style has been to make the camera a very special character, exploring what it means to be human with excitement, fear, rebellion and passion… And now, it’s sorrow, pity, marginalization and, of course, death – the greatest of all adventures of our life.”) Plus, Lina Wertmüller, the first woman to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, in 1977, for Seven Beauties, will present the restored film with her lead actor, Giancarlo Giannini.

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