Three…no, actually two days before the unveiling of the Cannes Film Festival’s roster, German helmer Fatih Akin has withdrawn The Cut, which had been submitted to the festival, “for personal reasons.” Does this have something vaguely to do with last month’s passing of Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner, the co-founder of Pandora Film, which is listed by the IMDB as one of the producers of The Cut and which is presumably distributing? Either way it doesn’t add up. Life is a vale of troubles, but when misfortunes occur you have to man up and soldier on. Whatever it is, I’m sorry. I hope Akin’s situation will soon rectify or smooth out. All I know is that presumed Cannes hopefuls are dropping like fliesThe Cut, Birdman, Inherent Vice.

The Cut director Fatih Akin.

Baumgartner had been ill for quite some time, and he certainly was important for Akin. Then again he was important for quite a few young European filmmakers. Akin’s office was contacted yesterday by a colleague “but they were stonewalling,” he says. Family reasons? A falling out with Cannes?

The Cut is the conclusion Akin’s Love, Death and the Devil trilogy, which began with Head-On and was followed by The Edge of Heaven. From Birgit Heidsiek‘s Cineuropa report: “While Head-On was about love and romance, and The Edge of Heaven dealt with death, The Cut focuses on the evil inherent in mankind.”

The lead, “a mute Sergio Leone-type character,” is played by French actor Tahar Rahim, who broke out with the title role in Jacques Audiard’s prison drama, A Prophet, and significantly costarred in Asghar Farhadi‘s The Past.