Cannes: Serebrennikov presents his creature “Limonov” and Costner his western saga: News

Cannes: Serebrennikov presents his creature “Limonov” and Costner his western saga: News
Cannes: Serebrennikov presents his creature “Limonov” and Costner his western saga: News

Exiled Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov entered the race for the Palme d’Or with his rock biopic on The 1,000 Lives of Edouard Limonov, during a day also marked by Kevin Costner’s western saga and a film feminist horror film with Demi Moore.

“Limonov, the ballad” is the adaptation of the novel by Emmanuel Carrère, who introduced the public to this unclassifiable character, half shadow, half light, who died in 2020 at the age of 77.

Limonov was by turns a thug in Ukraine, a new anti-Soviet poet in Moscow, a heartbroken loser in New York, a revered writer in Paris, a mercenary in the Balkans and in Moscow again, the leader of a youth party red-brown anti-Putin revolutionaries, which earned him the frozen penitentiary.

The performance around the theme of the cursed artist and exile is entirely carried by the Briton Ben Wishaw (Q in James Bond), who slips into English with the “r”s rolled into the skin of the character.

Kirill Serebrennikov told him that he saw in this film the possibility of a “self-portrait”.

– Stone on Lula –

Considered one of the most daring Russian artists of his generation, the director benefited for a time from the favors of those in power.

Having become troublesome for his anti-conservative and pro-LGBT positions, he ended up under house arrest in 2017. The sentence was served on him in the middle of filming “Leto”, presented at Cannes in 2018.

The Limonov project was started immediately. The war in Ukraine is still distant but, in February 2022, the filming planned in Moscow is interrupted and the team urgently redeploys to Latvia.

The script evolved to include more and more messages about Russia today and yesterday, and the Russian world before so dear to Putin which “was total chaos and in that way wildly amusing”, says in the film Limonov.

On the documentary side, American director Oliver Stone presented “Lula”, his documentary on the Brazilian president, out of competition. A true declaration of love and support for the South American leader.

“This film is about a special person”, “a unique leader”. “I deeply admire this man,” Oliver Stone told spectators before the screening, who over five decades has filmed several works of fiction and documentaries linked to Latin America, starting with “Salvador” (1986).

He also filmed “Comandante” (2003) about Fidel Castro and “My Friend Hugo” (2014) about former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In the evening, “The Substance” by French director Coralie Fargeat, a feminist horror film, promises a gory moment with Demi Moore who seeks to obtain the best version of herself through the substance of the title.

– Crazy freedom –

Another feminist film, this time out of competition, that of the Frenchwoman Noémie Merlant: “Women on the balcony”. A beautiful charge against toxic patriarchy, shot with crazy freedom.

Kevin Costner came to show off his baby for which he told AFP that, like Francis Ford Coppola, he had to commit his personal fortune by mortgaging “his house”.

“Horizon: An American saga” is a western which is divided into several parts and which the actor began writing… 36 years ago.

Almost halfway through the competition, many critics are predicting a prize for “Emilia Perez” by Jacques Audiard, an extraordinary film about a Mexican drug lord who changes his life and becomes a woman. Even a second Palme d’Or for its director.

“A Palme is already very good,” commented the director. But giving a prize to transgender actress Karla Sofía Gascón, “it would be strong, it would be intelligent!”, he added during a meeting with journalists.

“Like a rose that blooms in the middle of a minefield, it is a miracle that +Emilia Perez+ by Jacques Audiard exists”, marvels Variety in the United States, when the Guardian in the United Kingdom salutes “a story totally implausible (…) driven by a Broadway-style kitsch energy.”

In France, Le Figaro came away delighted with this film on transidentity which breaks macho codes, and predicts that “this burning epic towards redemption (…) will make things happen”.

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