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Better get those bunion pads out, ladies, because the 71st Cannes Film Festival is upon us. After adding more draconian layers to its already outdated rules, in recent weeks the festival decided to ban press screenings, selfies, and Netflix from competition.

Très Passé Cannes 2018 lineup: The descent of a once great film festival

Better get those bunion pads out, ladies, because the 71st Cannes Film Festival is upon us. After adding more draconian layers to its already outdated rules, in recent weeks the festival decided to ban press screenings, rule out red carpet selfies, and banish Netflix from competition. That’s on top of previously turning away women who dared to wear flats on the red carpet (told you you’d need those bunion pads).

During this morning’s press conference, the film festival embodiment of Hollywood’s old boys’ club announced its 2018 movie lineup, which will open with the world premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows – the director’s first Spanish-language drama starring Penélope Cruz (Vanilla Sky) & Javier Bardem (mother!).

With regards to the Competition lineup, Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard, Jafar Panahi, and many more will be competing for Cannes’s “prestigious” Palme d’Or Award – we’re sure you’re on the edge of your seat in anticipation to find out who’s the lucky winner. But perhaps we shouldn’t be discussing who’s up for competition and instead look at who isn’t. While 2018 marks a “landmark” year with regards to Cannes diversifying its slate, the number of female directors is abysmally low, with just three women (Nadine Labaki, Eva Husson, and Alice Rohrwacher) in the seventeen-strong list.

No doubt giving itself a hefty pat on the back for featuring the highest number of movies from female filmmakers since Cannes 2011 [slow clap], compared to other major festivals like SXSW – which saw eight female-led films out of ten within the Narrative Feature competition – Cannes’s diversity representation is about as progressive as its rules on streaming services. 

Speaking of which, there’s a very large Netflix-shaped hole, not only in the Competition segment, but in the entire 2018 lineup. Following a grapple that started with Cannes director Thierry Frémaux banning any films without French theatrical distribution from playing in competition at the festival, yesterday Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos announced the company’s decision to pull out of the festival altogether, taking with it a plethora of relevant, solid, and quality titles that could’ve added some much-needed buzz to the lineup.

By telling Netflix “you can’t sit with us”, Cannes has really showed its age in its attempt to desperately protect an outdated version of Hollywood. While there are numerous worthy, talented filmmakers in the 2018 lineup, the industry is changing and perhaps Cannes would’ve benefitted from accepting films released both in the theater and on VOD.

With regards to the missing list, how about badboy auteur Lars Von Trier? While many assumed the jury was out after he was banned from the festival seven years ago for making some rather unsavory comments during the press conference for his 2011 film Melancholia, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the controversial director will be returning to Cannes 2018 and he will be bringing his serial killer drama The House That Jack Built to premiere in the Out of Competition category. Guess that’s one we can check off the missing list.

When it comes to masterpieces like, say, Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story? Cannes’s arms are wide open. So let’s get this straight – the first-rate offerings from Netflix? Nope! But Star Wars? A-okay! Right, gotcha Cannes – the festival’s really ahead of the curve when it comes to representing the world’s best independent film programming. All in all, looks like Cannes 2018 is shaping up to be exactly how we expected: elitist, outdated, and predictable.

For those who are interested (or would simply like to see what’s missing from the cut), you can find the full lineup below:

Opening Night Film

Everybody Knows – Asghar Farhadi


Le Livre D’Image – Jean-Luc Godard
Blackkklansman – Spike Lee
Three Faces – Jafar Panahi
Cold WarPawel Pawlikowski
LetoKirill Serebrennikov
Lazzaro FeliceAlice Rohrwacher
Under the Silver LakeDavid Robert Mitchell
CapernaumNadine Labaki
At WarStéphane Brizé
Asako I&IIRyûsuke Hamaguchi
Sorry AngelChristophe Honoré
DogmanMatteo Garrone
Girls of the SunEva Husson
YomeddineA.B. Shawky
BurningLee-Chang Dong
ShopliftersKore-Eda Hirokazu
Ash Is Purest WhiteJia Zhang-Ke

Special Screenings

Dead SoulsWang Bing
10 Years In ThailandAditya Assarat, Wisit Sasanatieng, Chulayarnon Sriphol & Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Pope Francis – A Man Of His Word, dir: Wim Wenders
La TraverséeRomain Goupil
To The Four WindsMichel Toesca
Le Grand Cirque MystiqueCarlos Diegues
The State Against Mandela And The OthersNicolas Champeaux & Gilles Porte

Midnight Screenings

Arctic – Joe Penna
The Spy Gone North – Yoon Jong-Bing
Whitney – Kevin Macdonald
Fahrenheit 451 – Ramin Bahrani

Out of Competition

The House That Jack Built – Lars Von Trier
Le Grand Bain – Gilles Lellouche
Solo: A Star Wars Story – Ron Howard
Long Day’s Journey Into Night – Bi Gan
Little Tickles – Andréa Bescond & Eric Métayer

Un Certain Regard

Sofia – Meyem Benm’Barek
BorderAli Abbasi
SextapeAntoine Desrosières
The Gentle Indifference Of The WorldAdilkhan Yerzhanov
El AngelLuis Ortega
In My RoomUlrich Kohler
The Harvesters – Etienne Kallos
My Favorite Fabric – Gaya Jiji
Friend – Wanuri Kahiu
EuphoriaValeria Golino
Angel FaceVanessa Filho
Girl – Lukas Dhont
Manto – Nandita Das

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