The 76th Cannes International Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday with seven Korean feature and short films chosen for screening under different categories.
A total of 21 films are invited to the In Competition section, eligible for the festival’s main award the Palme d’Or. Although no Korean films are among the 21, the seven Korean films for screening will showcase works from up-and-coming and established directors.
Director Kim Chang-hoon’s “Hopeless” will be screened at Un Certain Regard, a section under new horizons and filmmakers. “Hopeless” is a noir depicting the story of Yeon-gyu, played by Hong Xa-bin, who wishes to escape the harsh realities of his life and involvement in organized crime after meeting Chi-geon, played by Song Joong-ki. With “Hopeless,” Song marks his first invitation to Cannes.
“Cobweb” by director Kim Jee-woon will be presented in the Out of Competition section, and tells the story of a film director in the 1970s, who is obsessed with making a masterpiece and struggles to film his magnum opus amid government censorship and uncooperative colleagues. This year’s invitation to Cannes is Kim’s third – the director previously entered the Out of Competition category with “A Bittersweet Life” (2005) and “The Good, the Bad, the Weird” (2008).
Prolific director and film festival favorite Hong Sang-soo’s “In Our Day” is selected as the closing film at the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar of this year’s Cannes. “In Our Day” is about a woman in her forties who meets people passing through a guesthouse.
Director Kim Tae-gon’s “Project Silence” starring Lee Sun-kyun from “Parasite” (2019) is invited to the Midnight Screening section, a category dedicated to films that have popular appeal as well as artistic value. “Project Silence” tells a story about people who are stranded on a collapsing bridge amid intense fog. Lee plays Cha Jung-won, a man facing disaster while trying to protect his daughter, while Ju Ji-hoon plays Joe Park, a driver.
Lee Sun-kyun stars in another feature invited to Cannes, director Yu Ja-son’s “Sleep,” in the Critics’ Week section. “Sleep” tells the story of newlyweds whose idyllic life turns into horror as the husband, played by Lee, starts to show strange behavior.
Two short films, “The Lee Families” by director Seo Jeong-mi and “Hole” by director Hwang Hye-in are both invited to the La Cinef section, a category for short films from directors fresh out of film school.
Although not a Korean production, another Cannes invitation to look out for is the HBO series “The Idol,” which features girl group Blackpink’s member Jennie. Jennie is attending the festivities along with the other Korean filmmakers and actors this year.
Cannes continues for 12 days until May 27.
BY LIM JEONG-WON [firstname.lastname@example.org]