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Honeysuckle Does Cannes: Kickoff with Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, Les Miserables and More

Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny and Adam Driver star in Jim Jarmusch's THE DEAD DON'T DIE. (C) Image Eleven Productions / Universal Pictures.

Hey all! Honeysuckle is off to a great start at the Cannes Film Festival. For the iconic fest’s 72nd edition, we began opening night with the world premiere of Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die. This darkly comedic zombie adventure puts a fresh spin on the genre, as the inhabitants of a peaceful all-American town must battle against the invasion of an undead horde… who continue, at random points in their decomposition, to ask for Chardonnay and coffee along with their brains.

The Dead Don’t Die was a star-studded event and lots of fun. The ensemble cast, an eclectic dream, featured Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Carol Kane, Selena Gomez, Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, RZA, Tom Waits, and many more recognizable faces. It’s currently nominated for the Cannes Palme d’Or, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Jury Prize, and Grand Prix awards.

Not only did the film contain insightful commentary about existentialism, the future of mankind and the complex nature of humanity, the ending specifically addressed these issues. It’s a surprisingly spiritual work, given the premise. In the next day’s press conference, Mr. Jarmusch himself spoke at length about consciousness, how fortunate we are as humans to inhabit this planet, and the care and responsibility we should have in being on Earth at this moment. He asked us all to realize what a rare and unique experience it is to live here and now.

Jim Jarmusch and the cast of THE DEAD DON’T DIE (Tilda Swinton, Chloe Sevigny, Selena Gomez and Bill Murray) share their experiences with horror films
Jarmusch discusses the importance of respecting the planet and the future of humanity
Jarmusch, Murray and the cast discuss the afterlife and behind-the-scenes of the film

Following the conference, we saw Les Miserables, the debut feature of filmmaker Ladj Ly. While it creates a few parallels to the classic Victor Hugo story, this French-language drama is a powerful story about racial injustice, police brutality, and the problems of gentrification as marginal populations are pushed to the side. Its cinema-verite style kept viewers on the edge of their seats, following three members of an anti-crime brigade whose planned arrest goes awry when riots erupt in the Paris suburbs. An early favorite in competition for the Palme d’Or, this is definitely one to watch.

Interestingly, the press conference for Les Miserables revealed that the Cannes screening marked the first time most of the cast and crew had seen the finished film. They were so emotional that the conference actually ended in tears, a poignant testament to the story and the attachment they feel to the experience of creating this movie. Trust us – this is one for your shortlist.

The cast and crew of LES MISERABLES at the film’s press conference
Still from LES MISERABLES (C) Lily Films

Have questions about Cannes? Keep checking the site for our extended diary notes, and tag one of our posts on Instagram with #canneshoney to hit us up!

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  1. Pingback: Honeysuckle Does Cannes, Part 2: John Carpenter, Bacurau, Udo Kier

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