We began with our selections from the buzz bin, and we conclude with our sleeper picks:
Release Date: September 21
A teen is taken under the wing of his mother's boyfriend (John Bunting, Australia's most notorious serial killer) and, in a mix of misdirected hero worship and terror, becomes an accomplice to a spree of torture and murder.
"An absolutely mesmerising, uncompromising crime-movie masterpiece. Ranks as one of history's best films about serial killers."
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth)
Release Date: October 27
A nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast, and her coach offer bereaved individuals an unusual service – they stand in for their dearly departed, replicating their behaviour and gestures.
"It's darker and funnier [than Dogtooth]. It goes to each extreme a little bit more."
Carré Blanc (France)
Release Date: September 7
Philip and Mary, two teenagers whose parents were crushed by the system, are placed in an orphanage with frightening education methods. Twenty years later, they became husband and wife, and have all the appearances of a wealthy couple. However, while Philip is a cog in the system, Mary goes into a depression that seems irreversible.
"Brilliant arthouse sci-fi. The absolute highlight of my days in Cannes."
• a trio of clips from the film (with subtitles)
Shame (United Kingdom)
Director: Steve McQueen (Hunger)
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale
Release Date: January 13 (limited fall)
Brandon is a thirty-something man living in New York City who has trouble managing his sexual compulsions. When his wayward younger sister moves in with him, his world spirals out of control.
"It's gonna make some noise."
The Ambassador (Denmark)
Release Date: October 5
In 2009's The Red Chapel, Mads Brügger posed as a communist theatre director to infiltrate North Korea.
For his follow-up, he bought a diplomatic passport and traveled to the Central African Republic to see what the passport could score him.
"I'm beyond role-playing by actually being a diplomat. I can forge a partnership with the very sinister owner of a diamond mine replete with gold tooth and machete scars on his forehead. That would be highly problematic for a journalist. But it's no problem for a diplomat."
Release Date: September
A short dance film inspired by Darwin's theory of evolution and the myths of Narcissus and Prometheus, shot using infrared thermal imaging technology and in stereoscopic 3D.
"The first and maybe last film to have been shot without a single light source. No sun, no natural light. No electric light. The only source of light in the film were the dancers."
Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang (6ixtynin9, Last Life in the Universe)
Release Date: October
A hitman is shot in the head during an assignment. He awakens from a coma to find that he sees everything upside down – literally. His new affliction complicates his job, and his past begins to catch up with him.
"Widely hailed as Ratanaruang's return to the smart, crime noir fare that marked his early career."