August 2, 2021

Cannes Film Festival: 10 Palme d’Or Winning Films You Must See Again

Seventy-four years after the creation of the Cannes Film Festival, his coveted Palme d’Or remains one of the highest honors in the industry. The award has been awarded to some of the greatest authors in history: Roberto Rossellini, Orson Welles, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Luis Buñuel; and it is global in nature, rewarding premieres that take risks and shed light on pressing social issues, regardless of their origin. Despite last year’s festival cancellation As a consequence of the coronavirus crisis, its influence continues to be felt, especially after the critical and commercial success of 2019 Palme d’Or winner: the groundbreaking thriller Parasite, de Bong Joon-ho .

Waiting for this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which will be held from July 6 to 17, we pre-selected 10 previous winners to watch again now, from a surreal 1970s musical to a heartwarming Japanese family drama.

1. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini, 1960.

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There is no better introduction to the work of Federico Fellini than this exuberant masterpiece. Set in seven decadent days in Rome, it follows a world-weary journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) who pursues stories for his gossip column. The women he pursues are glamorous and enigmatic – Anouk Aimée shines like a jaded heiress – but Anita Ekberg is the most captivating, like a movie star who dances late into the night and then plunges into the Trevi Fountain with a floor length party dress.

2. Blow-Up (1966)

Blow-Up de Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966

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Veruschka in a beaded cocktail dress, Vanessa Redgrave in a plaid button-down dress, and Jane Birkin in a striped dress: the actors who populate Michelangelo Antonioni’s cult classic They are as striking as they are elegant. They play the possible subjects of a fashion photographer (David Hemmings) whose life is disrupted after stumbling upon a murder scene. It’s a thriller that turns into a vibrant portrayal of Swinging London, with raucous parties and a rock’n’roll soundtrack.

3. Taxi Driver (1976)

Robert De Niro and Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese, 1976

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Martin Scorsese’s account of urban alienation features a career-defining performance by Robert De Niro. As a Vietnam War veteran turned taxi driver, he roams the streets of New York City and is horrified at the corruption and exploitation he encounters. The violence is not long in coming, but there is an unexpected beauty in the film’s haunting soundtrack and mind-blowing visuals: a fever dream of neon signs, rain-spattered sidewalks, and steam pouring ominously from manhole covers. .

4. Apocalipsis Now (1979)

Martin Sheen en Apocalipsis Now de Francis Ford Coppola, 1979.

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A soldier (Martin Sheen) travels from Vietnam to Cambodia on a secret mission to assassinate a colonel who has turned rebellious (Marlon Brando) in Francis Ford Coppola’s electrifying war epic. The film does not beat around the bush when it comes to describing the horrors of combat, moving from napalm-strewn fields to jungles engulfed in flames and an airstrike set in The ride of the Valkyries Wagner. However, beyond the scenes, it is a meditation on the absurdity of war and the psychological scars it leaves.

5. All That Jazz (1979)

All That Jazz de Bob Fosse, 1979.

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Bob Fosse’s semi-autobiographical musical extravaganza It starts off with a flurry of high kicks and jazzy hands, but what lies beneath its shiny surface is far more complex. It centers on an eccentric choreographer (Roy Scheider) who juggles Broadway and Hollywood projects, rushing between theaters and editing rooms until little by little he loses control of reality. There are dreamlike dance sequences, elaborate costumes, and bizarre visions from the mind of a creative genius.

6. Kagemusha (1980)

Kagemusha de Akira Kurosawa, 1980.

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In 16th century Japan, the death of a feudal lord is covered up through the use of a double, a petty thief who bears an uncanny resemblance to him. Both characters are played with gusto by Tatsuya Nakadai, in his penultimate collaboration with legendary director Akira Kurosawa. This is a samurai epic that intertwines the intrigue of the Shakespearean court and explosive battles, culminating in a heartbreaking scene in which the impostor allows himself to be overcome by his arrogance.

7. Paris, Texas (1984)

Nastassja Kinski in Paris / Texas by Wim Wenders, 1984.

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The vast landscapes of the American Southwest provide a lyrical setting for the melancholic road movie by Wim Wenders. It begins with a homeless man (Harry Dean Stanton) walking alone through the desert. After a mysterious absence of four years, he is discovered by his brother (Dean Stockwell) and sets off to find his lost wife (Nastassja Kinski). She is worth a look for the touching and measured interpretation of the latter, not to mention the straight cut and pink mohair sweater that made her a style icon.

8. The piano (1993)

Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin in Jane Campion’s Piano, 1993.

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With this charming period drama, Jane Campion became the first, and still only, female director to win the top prize at Cannes.. It features two moving Oscar-winning performances: Holly Hunter as a mute Scottish widow and Anna Paquin as her precocious daughter. They are sent to New Zealand after the former is betrothed to a landowner, but tragedy looms over her when she agrees to give piano lessons to a rugged gamekeeper (Harvey Keitel), with whom she falls in love.

9. Shoplifters (2018)

Shoplifters de Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018.

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An unconventional family unit is the center of this delicate study by Hirokazu Kore-eda on poverty in today’s Tokyo. A gang made up of an elderly matriarch, a couple, a young woman and a child, make ends meet by robbing supermarkets. Soon, they also take in a girl (Miyu Sasaki) whom they suspect of being abused by her parents. Has she been kidnapped or rescued? The film offers few answers, but it captivates with its warmth, compassion, and lucid worldview.

10. Parasite (2019)

Bong Joon-ho Parasite, 2019.

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As the first premiere to win both the Palme d’Or and the Oscar for Best Picture since Marty, from 1955, Bong Joon-ho’s bold satire has established its place in film history. It is a fast-paced adventure that combines black comedy with Hitchcockian horror and social realism: a fable about two clans, one destitute but ambitious and the other naive and wealthy, whose lives intertwine. The sets are impeccable, the dialogue biting, and the overwhelming sense of foreboding undeniable.