Jason Gorber, film journalist: „Home away from home“

The 77th Festival de Cannes will open its doors in one day. In a small survey, we asked Cannes travelers what they expect from this year’s A-festival in the South of France. Jason Gorber, a renowned film journalist from Toronto, takes a look at this year’s edition.

Jason Gorber, film journalist (Credit: That Shelf)

The 77th Festival de Cannes and its Marché are just around the corner. Do you think it will be a good year? Is there a film you are particularly looking forward to?

Jason Gorber: Would it be silly to say the film I’m most excited for is “Furiosa? Or how about “Jim Henson: Idea ManRon Howard’s documentary about the celebrated Muppeteer? Perhaps it’s the long awaited restoration of Kurosawa’s masterpiece “Seven Samurai, screening on day two at the Debussy. Beyond the gorging on auteur cinema, from festival veterans and newcomers alike, it’s the wide variety of films that include Classics, blockbusters, documentaries and artfilm fare that most excites about the festival. 

As a Canadian I’m obliged to celebrate the largest number of films from my country in over a decade, including the likes of David CronenbergGuy Maddin with Evan and Galen John, and Canadian production behind Ali Abbasi’s latest film “The Apprentice. I’m very excited for the world to recognize the brilliance of Matthew Rankin, with his “Universal Language” an absolute must-see as part of this year’s Director’s Fortnight section. But, above all, I repeat my annual mantra – I’m most looking forward to falling in love with a film over the next two weeks that I hadn’t heard of at all, that I went into relatively blindly only to have my world shattered by its excellence. It’s that sense of discovery and wonder that truly drives my most fantastic Cannes experiences, and if there’s one thing I can hope for it’s for that trend to continue. 

What are your expectations and what’s in your diary?

I will be there from the opening night to the closing ceremony, taking in anywhere from three to six films a day. I expect to be exhausted, annoyed, overjoyed and ecstatic in equal measure. I will consume an inordinate amount of steak tartare and/or truffle pasta between screenings, and may even find a few moments to bask on the sands of the Mediterranean.

Last year I was optimistic about what I was going to screen, but even then I had no idea we would have such a stellar slate to emerge, the result being one of the most impressive Cannes selections in decades. This year on paper looks to have an equal potential to be home to the best films of this or any other year. With some very anticipated debuts, from Coppola’s grandiose “Megalopolis” to Yorgos Lanthimos returning to France after his triumph at Venice, my diary is already filled with back-to-back screenings, attempts to grab some time with good friends I have met on the festival circuit, navigating the vagaries of various press conferences, writing tens of thousands of words, and doing it all in a place that after a decade and a half truly feels like more than just a tradition, more like a home away from home for two weeks a year.