Sundance and SXSW have come and gone, serving their roles as the respective indie and genre film taste-making events of a new year, and soon it will be time for Cannes to take its turn. Here we will get our earliest indications of what prestige films and new efforts from established auteurs will be leading the conversation this year. Running from the 11th to the 22nd of May, the festival will be making its selections and arranging its competition line-ups down to the wire, but we’re already starting to hear about some of the films that will be making an appearance. Variety has a general summary, which I’ve broken down as such…

Definitely/Very Likely Screening:

Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) – This is the big announcement, as the film has flirted with the international film festival scene for over a year (starting with last year’s Cannes). Despite having shot an entire new movie on the side, Malick has been continually tweaking the film and is seem to finally be ready to unleash the cosmic drama starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

Restless (Gus Van Sant) – Sony has shown signs of confidence in the film, as they removed it from their post-Sundance line up and held it for premiere in France. It’s got an odd synopsis:

The story of a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals and their encounters with the ghost of a Japanese kamikaze pilot from WWII.

…and it’s got a trailer that- well, I’m not proud to say that “hipster Fight Club” is the first descriptor that popped into my head, but first instincts and all. Van Sant is no slouch though, so the cheesy trailer may not do justice to a genuinely touching film. Take a look.

Melancholia (Lars Von Trier) – Von Trier’s work, especially his latest Antichrist, speaks for itself. That he’s produced a sci-fi tinged apocalyptic psychological thriller both excites and scares the shit out of me. We still haven’t seen much from it, but it’s unwise to expect anything but the most harrowing cinematic experience imaginable, until we get some indication otherwise.

The Kid With The Bike (Dardenne Brothers) – I’m woefully unfamiliar with their work, but these brothers share the rare honor of having won multiple Palme d’Ors, something only accomplished by 5 other filmmakers (including Coppola and Imamura). Their new film is about a young boy and the woman he seeks help from when his father abandons him.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay) – Stars Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly, and concerns a mother discussing her son after he shoots up his school. From the director of Morvern Callar (a CHUD Podcast… favorite).

Possibly Screening:

Love (Michael Haneke) – began production this year, so the scheduling may be tight. Signs point towards it being done though, as it’s a much smaller film than The White Ribbon. The (incomplete) synopsis sounds like something much lighter than one would expect from Haneke…

Octogenarians Georges and Anne are retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne suffers a minor stroke. When she leaves the hospital and returns home, she is paralyzed down one side. The love that binds this old couple will really be put to the test.

…but then again The Seventh Continent is a film about a family preparing for a vacation. Cannes would still do well to post up that old hand-carved, beaten up wooden “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” sign they usually bust out for Haneke screenings.

Cannes Favorites Not likely to screen:

The Grandmasters (Wong Kar Wai) – Not likely to be done until later in the year.

A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg)

The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodovar) – Scheduled for a fall release.

That’s not an exhaustive list and doesn’t include whether or not a film is in-competition, but the line-up isn’t sealed and competing films won’t be until much closer to the fest. Look for any other interesting additions to the line-up here at CHUD.

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(via /Film)