Cannes festival: 'Wild Tales' the odd one out

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It’s the most unexpected selection of the lot: ‘Wild Tales’ by Argentinian director Damián Szifrón is competing for the Palme d’Or in this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Szifrón is the only Latin American director vying for the gong at the prestigious event, and probably the least well-known in a line-up that includes big names like David Cronenberg, Jean-Luc Godard and Ken Loach.

“I respect everyone, clearly I’m the one who doesn’t belong on the list,” says the young director.

“But no, I’m not scared, because really, cinema is not a competitive art, it’s not in cinema’s nature to be competitive. One makes a movie and spends a lot of time taking the huge amount of decisions that are involved in the project alone, along with peers, producers, actors, everyone involved in the film, but you don’t do it to compete against anyone.”

Co-produced by Cannes veteran Pedro Almodóvar, ‘Wild Tales’ is an action-packed Spanish-language comedy thriller comprised of six separate stories.

The director of the Cannes Festival, Thierry Frémaux, described it as “a very unique, personal and different cinema that should wake up the Croisette”.

Szifrón says it is entirely fiction-based: “I really like fiction and I would say that this movie, ‘Wild Tales’, celebrates fiction. It embraces it and explores it. So I think that in this and other works I’ve done, you can see this love of fiction. I’m not one of these directors who tries to make a realist painting.”

‘Wild Tales’ is one of 18 films competing for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Festival. The winner will be announced on May 25.

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