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Film in Competition for the Palme d’Or :CLUB ZERO

Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner graces the Cannes Film Festival with her latest creation, "Club Zero," vying for the prestigious Palme d'Or. The film unfolds as a lucid and radical fable, delving into the societal pitfalls of our era and probing the pressing questions of ecology. With a radiant presence both at press conferences and on the red carpet, Jessica Hausner ignites Cannes with "Club Zero," illuminating the fortnight with her distinctive vision.

Known for her insightful exploration of the human psyche and its mysterious and shameful depths, Jessica Hausner has previously captivated audiences with films like "Lovely Rita" and "Hotel." In "Club Zero," the Austrian director, in competition at Cannes, introduces us to a compelling narrative where a teacher initiates an innovative nutrition class, ensnaring some students in her charismatic sway. This marks a thematic continuation from her previous work, "Little Joe" (2019), where Hausner explored the creation of a flower designed to bring happiness. Returning to Cannes after four years with this sophisticated satire of Western modernism, Hausner promises another enigmatic cinematic puzzle.

The protagonist of "Club Zero," Miss Novak (played by Mia Wasikowska), takes on the role of a manipulative teacher. Joining a private high school, she introduces a groundbreaking nutrition class that disrupts the students' dietary norms and entices some into her charismatic orbit.

As Jessica Hausner navigates the complexities of manipulation and societal influence, "Club Zero" emerges as a chilling and refined commentary on contemporary Western ideals. With her unique storytelling and incisive exploration of human behavior, Hausner cements her place as a filmmaker unafraid to confront the enigmas of our modern existence. "Club Zero" stands as a testament to her ability to unravel the complexities of the human condition and present them in a thought-provoking cinematic experience.

Synopsis:

This film is presented in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2023.

Miss Novak joins a private high school where she initiates a nutrition class with an innovative concept that disrupts eating habits. Without arousing suspicion from teachers and parents, some students fall under her influence and join the highly exclusive circle of the mysterious Club Zero.

Mia Wasikowska as Miss Novak: Mia Wasikowska takes on the role of Miss Novak, the intriguing protagonist who joins the private high school and introduces an innovative approach to nutrition. With her captivating presence, she leads some students down the path of the enigmatic Club Zero.

Sidse Babett Knudsen as Ms. Dorset: Sidse Babett Knudsen portrays Ms. Dorset, a teacher at the school who becomes intertwined in the unfolding events surrounding Miss Novak and the Club Zero. Her character's journey adds layers of complexity to the story, as she navigates the secrets and mysteries within the school.

Elsa Zylberstein as Elsa's Mother: Elsa Zylberstein takes on the role of Elsa's mother, a figure who becomes involved in the consequences of her daughter's association with Miss Novak and the Club Zero. Her character provides an emotional and parental perspective to the narrative.

Amir El-Masry as Mr. Dahl: Amir El-Masry portrays Mr. Dahl, a significant character in the film who plays a pivotal role in the unfolding events. As the story progresses, his actions and decisions contribute to the suspense and intrigue surrounding Club Zero.

Together, this talented ensemble cast brings their skills and depth to their respective roles, adding layers of complexity and nuance to the captivating world of Club Zero.

About Jessica Hausner:

Jessica Hausner, born on October 6, 1972, in Vienna, is an acclaimed Austrian director and screenwriter known for her contribution to contemporary cinema. She is recognized for her distinctive approach and ability to explore the complex aspects of human nature through her films.

A graduate of the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Jessica Hausner began her career in the film industry as an assistant to Michael Haneke, another renowned Austrian filmmaker. Her own filmography reflects her interest in psychological themes, emotional nuances, and ethical questions.

Hausner gained international attention with films such as "Lovely Rita" (2001), a subtle exploration of adolescence, and "Hotel" (2004), a mysterious drama that won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. She also directed "Lourdes" (2009), a film about faith and miracles, praised for its artistic finesse.

Her film "Little Joe" (2019) was selected in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival, winning the Best Actress award for Emily Beecham. Jessica Hausner is acclaimed for her unique blend of realism and fantastical elements, creating a captivating cinematic universe.

In 2023, Hausner presents "Club Zero" at Cannes, a lucid fable addressing ecological issues and the pitfalls of our time. Her diverse filmography and artistic approach make her a significant figure in contemporary Austrian cinema, and she continues to be a director to watch closely.

Article written by Adrien M.

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