The 2019 Cannes Film Festival officially opens today, May 14th, beneath a cloudless blue sky in the south of France. This picturesque Mediterranean backdrop provides a rather ironic contrast to the festival’s opening film: Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die, an offbeat zombie comedy starring Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, and Chloé Sevigny. Murray, Driver, and Sevigny play small-town cops who must defend the population of Centerville from a rising zombie horde. I was invited to attend an afternoon screening on May 15th, in the Palais des Festivals’ cavernous Grand Théâtre Lumière. Without giving too much away, I can say the film gives “deadpan” a whole new meaning - Murray and Driver’s dryness nearly overpowers it, but the Cannes audience still seemed thoroughly entertained.
The Dead Don’t Die is far from Jarmusch’s first round at Cannes. He entered the 2016 festival with two films: Paterson, also starring Driver, which premiered in competition; and Gimme Danger, a documentary premiering out of competition that followed legendary rock band The Stooges. Other Jarmusch films in festivals past include Only Lovers Left Alive, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Broken Flowers (awarded the Grand Jury prize), Dead Man, Mystery Train, Down By Law, and Stranger Than Paradise (winner of the Golden Camera prize).
With The Dead Don’t Die also hitting cinemas in France on May 14th, the public is now able to see the film for themselves. There’s no better way to kick off the summer than with a healthy dose of quirky zombie action, so whether you’re near the festival or watching from home, don’t miss The Dead Don’t Die!