Cannes: Jonathan Glazer “Overwhelmed” After World Premiere, Seven-Minute Standing Ovation for ‘Zone of Interest’

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The Cannes Film Festival got in the zone of auteur Jonathan Glazer on Friday evening, hosting the world premiere of his anticipated new film The Zone of Interest.

The competition title, set and shot in Auschwitz, tells the story of a Nazi commandant and his wife striving to create a dream life for their family in a house and garden just outside the camp’s walls. It is loosely adapted from the Martin Amis novel of the same name. Toni Erdmann breakout Sandra Hüller stars opposite Christian Friedel, Ralph Herforth, Max Beck, Lilli Falk, Marie Rosa Tietjen, Stephanie Petrowitz and Sascha Maaz.

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After the credits rolled, the audience responded with a six-minute standing ovation. Glazer took the microphone and offered brief comments, saying, “I’m really overwhelmed by this. Of course, it’s a dream. To be part of this, to be part of you, means everything.” The audience then continued applauding for another minute.

Interest has been high for Glazer’s new film, just his fourth feature in a career that dates back to the mid-1990s when he began to make a name for himself directing music videos. He segued to the big screen with 2000’s Sexy Beast starring Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane and Ray Winstone. His two other features are the Nicole Kidman starrer Birth in 2004 and the Scarlett Johansson starrer Under the Skin in 2013.

The Hollywood Reporter’s chief film critic, David Rooney, listed Zone of Interest as one of his 10 “must-see premieres” of this year’s Cannes lineup, writing that “the Brit director has established himself as a boldly original voice” with his film work, “each one completely distinct in style and tone.”

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