On May 19th, the Festival de Cannes presented in competition The Portrait of the Young Girl on Fire by Céline Sciamma (France) and A Hidden Life by Terrence Malik (United States). Alain Delon was on the Croisette to be presented with a Palme d’Honneur for the entirety of his career.
Palme d’Honneur to Alain Delon
If Antonioni‘s L’Eclipse was awarded with the Jury Prize (1962) and Luchino Visconti‘s Le Guépard won the Palme d’Or in 1963, Alain Delon has never won a Best Actor award in Cannes despite his being present seven times on the Croisette in competition. Icon of the 60s and 70s, he played mythical roles with the greatest directors like Luchino Visconti, René Clément, Jean-Pierre Melville, Joseph Losey… The late award of the Cannes Film Festival consacrates his remarkable filmography during sixty years of career: Plein Soleil by René Clément, who made him a star, Le Guépard by Luchino Visconti, The Pool and Borsalino by Jacques Deray, The Samurai by Jean-Pierre Melville, The Clan of the Sicilians and Mélodie en Sous-sol by Henri Verneuil… In 1985, Delon received the César of the best actor for Bertrand Blier‘s Our Story.
The Portrait of the Girl on Fire by Céline Sciamma
In the historical drama by Céline Sciamma at the end of the eighteenth century, a painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlane) is mandated to realize the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a young woman who has just left the convent. But Heloise resists her destiny as a wife by refusing to pose. Introduced to her as a lady companion, Marianne will have to observe her to paint her in secret.
A Hidden Life, Nazi propaganda everywhere
With the glory of his Palme d’Or in Cannes eight years ago for The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick tells in the Official Competition the story of Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian conscientious objector during the Second World War. Inspired by real events, A Hidden Life is a sumptuous film, whose gorgeous images of landscapes and nice framing, are to be enjoyed on the big screen. Terrence Malick shows with the mastery and aesthetics of his camera the rise of Nazism and the xenophobia effects of the Nazi propaganda, even in the remote corners of Austria mountains in 1940.
Refusal of Hitler’s oath
Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) and his wife Fani (Valerie Pachner) are running a farm in Radegund in Tyrol’s high mountain valley, leading a simple life amidst a prodigal nature, above the clouds of life. Alas, flying higher than the clouds, warplanes fly over their paradise. Birds of bad omen, they announce the sounds of boots that Hitler launched on the paths of the conquest of Europe. After his classes in the Austrian army, Franz returns to the village, but is now living in fear of being called to the front. For he refuses to participate in this war of the strong against the weak and finds himself considered a traitor to his homeland and his village.
The demon of hate always on the wake
While the Church, fearing reprisals against the priests, gives him little moral help, Franz confirmes his anti-Nazi convictions by refusing to swear allegiance to Hitler during the conscription of the Wehrmacht.
In a moving staging, animated by the mountain wind, capturing with great angle and poetry the daily work of the villagers, under the gaze of the surrounding high peaks, Terrence Malick magnifies the 7th Art in a luminous work, without weapons or atrocities which, although dated from the last war, shows that the demon of hatred between peoples is still dormant. Disobedience to the abjection will always be relevant!
The Festival is on YesICannes.com: yesicannes.com/category/festival-de-cannes
The Red Carpet of A Hidden Life in pictures
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