Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, known for garish but smart classics such as “Basic Instinct” and “Starship Troopers”, will compete at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with Benedetta, organisers said on Wednesday 5 May.
The film was considered a likely entry at last year’s festival, which was ultimately cancelled due to the pandemic.
Verhoeven, who has often courted controversy with his graphic depictions of sex and violence, has taken part in several competitions at Cannes but has never been awarded.
Benedetta certainly seems topical, set in a 15th century Italian convent hit by the plague, focusing on the life of a lesbian nun with miraculous powers.
Co-written by Elle screenwriter David Birke, the film is based on a true story. It is adapted from the room Sister Benedetta, between saint and lesbian by Judith C Brown, recounting the fate of the mystic Benedetta Carlini.
It stars Belgian actress Virginie Efira, who also appeared in Verhoeven’s critically acclaimed Elle in 2016, as well as British arthouse favourite Charlotte Rampling.
Co-written by Elle screenwriter David Birke, the film is based on a true story. It is adapted from Sister Benedetta, Between Saint and Lesbian by Judith C Brown, recounting the fate of the mystic Benedetta Carlini.
Benedetta is the second film to be confirmed for this year’s festival, which has been postponed to 6-8 July from its usual slot in May.
The other is Annette starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver by French director Leos Carax, which will open the festival.
Also hotly tipped for the competition are The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson and Tre Piani from Italian director Nanni Moretti.
The official selection is due to be announced in late May.
— By © Agence France-Presse
Paul Verhoeven's shock film 'Benedetta' to compete at Cannes [watch]
The new steamy period drama by 'Basic Instinct' director Paul Verhoeven stars Virginie Efira as a lesbian nun with miraculous powers.
Washington – Virginia on Wednesday became the first southern US state to approve the use of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
The state Senate and House of Delegates voted to allow adults to possess marijuana as of July 1, in a measure approved despite fierce opposition by Republican lawmakers.
Democratic Governor Ralph Northam in a statement said his state had “made history as the first state in the South to legalize the simple possession of marijuana.”
“Marijuana laws were explicitly designed to target communities of color, and Black Virginians are disproportionately likely to be stopped, charged, and convicted,” he said.
“Today, Virginia took a critical step to right these wrongs and restore justice to those harmed by decades of over-criminalization.”
Several other US states, including New York and Colorado, have approved similar measures, but Virginia is the first to do so in the socially and politically conservative US south.
A measure approved by the state in February would have seen the state legalize pot by 2024, but Northam asked lawmakers to move that date forward in a bid to keep regular users out of trouble.
Adults over the age of 21 will be able to legally possess up to one ounce (28.3 grams) of cannabis for personal use, as well as cultivate up to four plants per household.
Like limits on drinking in public, consuming cannabis in public will not be allowed.
The licensing of cannabis production and commercial cannabis sales will not take place until July 1, 2024.
“Legalization will bring an end to the thousands of low-level marijuana infractions occurring annually… ending a discriminatory practice that far too often targets Virginians who are young, poor, and people of color,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini with NORML, a national group lobbying for pot legalization.