This year's Deauville American Film Festival is going less for the Hollywood glitz and more for subversive, independent voices with tributes to documentary maker extraordinaire Michael Moore and actor-director-producer James Franco.
There are of course lots of stars on the red carpet at Deauville, but Moore and Franco show another side of American cinema.
Michael Moore is that rare (or perhaps unique) creature, a star documentary maker. His films (Roger and Me, Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine, Palme d'or winning Fahrenheit 9/11, etc) tackle controversial subjects and stand up for the ordinary citizen. Despite being unashamedly left-wing and with no pretence at impartiality, Moore has gained both popularity and commercial success around the world. His latest film, Where to Invade Next (released 14 September), is in competition at Deauville. It features Moore "invading" various countries, Star-spangled Banner in hand, to try to learn how things are done better than in the U.S.A. in terms of healthcare, education, nutrition, etc.
The trailer gives you a taste (and a glimpse of Moore speaking French!)
James Franco acts in highly popular films like the Spider-man franchise or the gruelling 127 Hours, about a climber who is trapped by his arm, alone in the wilderness. But he has a parallel career as a director of much more political and art house films, with documentaries and dramas including adaptations of two James Faulkner novels, As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury, and the upcoming John Steinbeck adaptation In Dubious Battle about labor unions.
Deauville American Film Festival
2-11 September 2016