Sydney Film Festival Adds Eight Films From Cannes to Its 2018 Program

Including the winner of the acclaimed Palme d'Or and the latest film from Jean-Luc Godard.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 01, 2018

When the Sydney Film Festival announced its full program at the beginning of May, it didn't actually announce its full program. Every year, the fest's powers-that-be always leave a little room for a few last-minute additions. That's what happens when you reveal your lineup just as the Cannes Film Festival is getting underway, and then hold your opening night just a few weeks afterwards — and it means that Sydney's cinephiles now have another eight films to try to fit into their busy movie-watching schedules.

This year's late SFF announcement features quite the impressive Cannes haul, including Palme d'Or winner Shoplifters and Special Palme d'Or winner The Image Book. The former is the latest film by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, telling the story of a family of thieves who take in an abandoned and abused young girl. The latter is the newest feature from iconic director Jean-Luc Godard, one of the pioneers of the French New Wave. Nearly six decades after making his first movie, he has mixed together snippets of old flicks with YouTube propaganda, plus news headlines, paintings and politically charged voiceover, to make a statement about the role of cinema in contemporary society.

Other Cannes award recipients include the highly lauded Burning, which is directed by Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong, based on a short story by Haruki Murakami and co-stars The Walking Dead's Steven Yeun (who, as regular SFF-goers might remember, attended the festival last year for the closing night screening of Okja). It's joined by best director winner Cold War, a historical drama from Ida filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski, plus Camera d'Or and Queer Palm winner Girl, about a transgender 15-year-old studying to become a ballerina. And then there's what's certain to be the most divisive film of the festival: Gaspar Noé's Climax. It won Cannes' Directors' Fortnight sidebar, and it's reportedly as provocative as the Irreversible and Love helmer's movies always prove. Following a dance party that gets hellish (yes, that's going to be an understatement), it was only shot in February this year.

Helping round out the new batch is the Adam Driver-starring The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, which means the movie does really exist, even if director Terry Gilliam famously made a documentary about his failed attempt to finish a previous version with Johnny Depp. Last but not least, Woman at War is the newest effort from Icelandic filmmaker Benedikt Erlingsson, who made the crowd-pleasing fest hit Of Horses and Men back in 2013.

The 2018 Sydney Film Festival will run from June 6 to 17. To peruse the full program and to buy tickets, head to the festival website.

Published on June 01, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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