Cannes has been a nice place for zombie movies in recent years. Just three years ago, the event opened with the screening of Jim Jarmusch’s “Dead Man,” which combines elements of horror and comedy, in which the citizens of Centerville are attacked by the dead who emerge from their graves. This year, “Final Cut” by Michael Hazanavicius went first – a comedy tribute to films of this genre, and the Japanese remake of “One Cut” by Shinichiro Ueda. The action begins on a low-budget zombie production set, which will be shot in one half-hour long shot. The director is Remy (played by Roman Doris), who shows his dissatisfaction with the performance of the actors. Walking around the plan, he doesn’t hesitate to insult the team and engage real zombies to release fear into the air. Feels pressure to make things go according to plan. Meanwhile, nothing is going his way. The zombie actor (Finnegan Oldfield) is too self-absorbed to accept any comments. One person on the team is an alcoholic, and the other has to leave his job abruptly. Even casting your ex-wife, actress Nadia (Berenice Bejo) in the movie, won’t solve the problems.
Originally, the film was supposed to be called “Z (Comme Z)”, but the Ukrainian Film Academy called for it to be changed. And in a letter to the director and organizers of the festival, the filmmakers noted that the letter “Z” is a symbol that was placed on Russian tanks involved in the invasion of Ukraine. Hazanavicius agreed to their request, assuring that in such circumstances there could be no ambiguity. “The title has been changed to ‘Final Cut’. With this decision, the director, producers and distributors of the film, the Festival de Cannes and the entire French film industry express their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and affirm their opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
During Wednesday’s press conference, Hazanavicius — whose “artist” took five Oscars in 2012, including film of the year and directing — admitted that he had been intending to make a behind-the-scenes comedy for some time. “As a director, I collected a lot of anecdotes. I watched a lot of dysfunctional behavior on sets. When I shared my idea with the producer, he said he had something interesting for me. I watched the original Japanese version. I really liked the way the story was put together.” I decided it was a much better idea than the one I was working on. I realized that this was what I was looking for “- he pointed out.
He added that the idea of ”Final Cut” is like a magic trick. “I’ve worked with famous actors, so the viewer is convinced at first that he is going to watch a good movie. But 30 minutes is enough for him to become a critic and he begins to ask himself: Is he still going to be bad? He suddenly changes – starts critically. Look at your initial judgment and look at the film gently. He realizes it’s amazing. Admire the actors for the work they did. It really amazed me ”- stated the director.
Hazanavicius noted that long shots are a challenge for actors because “if someone breaks something, everyone has to stop and start over.” “Usually, an actor can make a mistake. But when you know it can happen after 27 minutes, there’s a lot of pressure not to spoil the effect. I’ve always imagined the actors would love it. The ‘Final Cut’ was filmed located 50 km from Paris, We spent five weeks there. All the actors were incredibly involved, and it was the same on the other side of the camera, because the movie making is real choreography. Special effects, makeup artists, sound engineers – it was interesting to see how all of these people come together.” – The seal.
Especially the actress, Berenice Bejo, the director’s wife, mentioned that the idea of creating a new version of the Japanese production surprised her a little at first. “When Michel finished writing the script, he stated that this time we were not going to work together because I was so beautiful. So beautiful? What is this argument? It bothered me. It was during the pandemic when I had many other scripts to read and too busy. Michel fell ill with COVID- 19 I take care of him carefully. I bring him breakfast in bed every day, cook lunch, and make dinner. After a week in pain, he asks me to read his text. I won’t even play in that movie. I thought the script was really cool. I told him it would be a great thing and that I really wanted to be a part of this project. Only then did he agree.
Final Cut was introduced by Michel Hazanavicius out of competition. On Wednesday, Cannes attendees will witness the premiere of the first titles nominated for the Palme d’Or – “Tchaikovsky’s Wife” by Kirita Serebrenico and “The Eight Mountains” by Charlotte Vandermerch and Felix van Groningen. The first tells about the marriage of the Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, which was one of the main points of his biography. The decision to start a family – which was taken to put an end to rumors about his sexual orientation – caused an acute psychological crisis. “The Eight Mountains” is about the friendship of two sons who grow up experiencing love and loss.
There are 21 productions in total, including “Armageddon Time” by James Gray, “Future Crimes” by David Cronenberg, “Brother and Sister” by Arnaud Distribution, “Decision to Leave” Park Chan Wooka, “The Triangle of Grief” by Robina Ostlund and “The Stars at Noon” Claire Dennis.
The main competition will be settled on Saturday, May 28.
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