With Aftersun and War Pony, the Deauville festival explores the torments of coming of age

Aftersun, War Pony and The Twins Sisters will be screened in competition Mubi/Protagonist/Universal

Prize-winning at Cannes, these dramas illustrate a competition focused on childhood and adolescence. The teams of these American films are expected in the seaside resort from September 2 to 11.

Curtain up on the program of the 48th Deauville American Film Festival! The organizers, who will distill their announcements over the month of August, have revealed the thirteen films in the official competition which will be submitted to the jury chaired by French director Arnaud Desplechin. Like past editions, the first films take the lion’s share, with eight titles.

Back to the future

This selection, which is dedicated to the hopes of American independent cinema, demonstrates a striking thematic coherence, focused on childhood and adolescence. Coming-of-age stories will be legion, starting with several that garnered much attention at the Cannes Film Festival. “Deauville has always been focused on the future of cinema and the emergence of new talent. It is striking to see that they look en masse towards the youth. There is in them an anthological questioning about the future”decrypts for Le Figaro Bruno Barde, the patron of the Norman festival.

Like his fellow breeders, the director of Deauville is delighted with a robust vintage. “Last year, the disruptions linked to the pandemic were still sensitive. This year, we are back to normal.. As proof, he watched 280 films compared to 200 in 2021. “I discover a lot of it at festivals at Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, but Deauville’s love rating among independent filmmakers is real. Some send me direct viewing links,” he confides.

Riley Keough, Paul Mescal on the screens

Winner of the Camera d’or, war ponymarked the debut behind the camera of the granddaughter of Elvis Presley the actress Riley Keough and her accomplice Gina Gammell. This immersion in a Native American reservation in Dakota recounts the divergent paths taken by two young people to approach the “American dream” and “become men”.

Also acclaimed on the Croisette, aftersunby Charlotte Wells features the Irish idol of the moment Paul Mescal, one of the series’ chilled lovers Normal Peoplealso seen in The Lost Daughter. The actor plays a young father on vacation in Turkey, with his eleven-year-old daughter who idolizes him. A decade later, these memories will take on a darker connotation.

Seen in the category Un certain regard, The Silent Twinsby Agnieszka Smoczyńska portrays twins who cut themselves off from the world. The star of Black Panther, Letitia Wright, camps one of these fusional sisters who hit the headlines in the 70s and were interned.

Palm Trees And Power Linesby Jamie Dack contemplates the summer of awakening to the desire of a teenager who feels trapped in her daily life. But her older suitor isn’t armed with the best of intentions. Set in one night, 1-800-HOT-NITEby Nick Richey recounts the wanderings in Los Angeles of a teenager and his group of friends. First brawl, first kiss, first telephone conversation of a sexual nature will mark the end of innocence. Over/Underby Sophia Silver follows the battered friendship of two little girls on the threshold of puberty over several summers.

Stay Awake by Jamie Sisley accompanies two brothers who enter adolescence and must take care of their drug-addicted mother. Siblings are also at the heart of Montana StoryDeauville regulars Scott McGehee and David Siegel. Struggled, Cal and Erin will have to talk to each other when their father comes under attack and decisions have to be made on the family ranch.

Some genre titles

Sliding more towards gender, Dualby Riley Stearns, with Karen Gillan (Dr Who) and Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) follows a terminally ill woman who will do anything to heal, including resorting to a clone. The Watcher by Chloe Okuno recounts the expatriation of an American couple to Romania. Once installed, they feel watched. another thriller, Emily The Criminalby John Patton Ford follows a debt-ridden heroine (Aubrey Plaza) who turns to crime.

Peace In The Valley by Tyler Riggs shows the daily life of a family ravaged by a shooting and the attraction for firearms. Lighter than the rest Scrapby Vivian Kerr questions motherhood through a single mother struggling to make ends meet (Vivian Kerr) and her sterile sister-in-law (Lana Parrilla, the evil queen of the saga Once Upon A Time).

The Deauville festival will announce in August the actors and filmmakers who will travel to Normandy. “With the resumption of film and TV filming, everyone is working … It is not easy to find a gap in the agendas of talents”, notes Bruno Barde who promises great surprises to come, in particular the out-of-competition screening of studio films that should slip into the race for the Oscars.

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