From art-house classics to scrappy American indies to cutting-edge cult hits and hidden gems, our tribute to Cannes’ critics-run sidebar — as selected by eight local and international film critics and opinion-makers — testifies to Critics Week’s key role in discovering new generations of filmmaking talent.
Launched in 1962 as a parallel section to the Cannes Film Festival by the French Union of Film Critics, and still presided over by critics to this day, the mission of La Semaine de la Critique (Critics Week) has been to provide an international showcase for the works of first- and second-time directors. In the fifty years since its inception, the Critics Week sidebar has helped introduce the world to some of the most prominents artists in international cinema: Bernardo Bertolucci, Chris Marker, Ken Loach, Wong Kar-wai, John Sayles, Leos Carax, Arnaud Desplechin, Denys Arcand, Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noé, and many more.
In honour of the fiftieth anniversary of La Semaine de la Critique, TIFF Cinematheque invited eight local and international critics and opinion-makers to each select and introduce a film that was discovered at the festival. The diversity of their selections — everything from revered art-house classics to scrappy American indies, cutting-edge cult hits and intriguingly unknown efforts by famous names — testifies to the festival's remarkable breadth and eclecticism, and its key role in discovering new generations of filmmaking talent. — Brad Deane
Liz Braun is a film critic for the Toronto Sun.
Fabien Gaffez is a film critic for Positif and a member of the feature film selection committee for La Semaine de la Critique.
Peter Howell is a film critic for The Toronto Star.
Chris Knight is a film critic for the National Post.
Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail.
Jonathan Rosenbaum is a former film critic for the Chicago Reader. His latest book is Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition.
George Stroumboulopoulos is the host and executive producer of CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and The Strombo Show.
Norm Wilner is a film critic for NOW Magazine.
Thanks to the following individuals and organizations for their assistance with this series: Laure Dahout and Claire Le Masne, Consulat général de France à Toronto; Institut français; Jean-Baptiste Garnero, CNC; Michelle Carey, Melbourne International Film Festival; Raymond Phathanavirangoon; Emilie Cauquy, Cinémathèque française.
Special thanks to Rémi Bonhomme and Hélène Auclaire, La Semaine de la Critique, for making this series possible.