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PARIS — An international lineup of all-male auteurs will battle France’s filmmaking superstars on their home turf when the 63rd Festival de Cannes kicks off May 12.
Unveiled Thursday by artistic director Thierry Fremaux, the lineup highlighted familiar faces in the official selection — Abbas Kiarostami, Takeshi Kitano, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mike Leigh and Lee Chang-Dong among them — who will screen films alongside Gallic filmmakers Bertrand Tavernier, Xavier Beauvois, Mathieu Amalric and Franco-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb.
While last year’s Competition roster included directors Jane Campion, Isabel Coixet and Andrea Arnold, the selection this year is strictly an all-boy’s club. The distaff directors invited to the Croisette will be found in the special screening sidebar — where Sophie Fiennes’ “Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow” and Sabina Guzzanti’s “Draquila — L’Italia che trema” are scheduled — and in Un Certain Regard, which includes Agnes Kocsis’ “Adrienn Pal.”
The Competition fare will feature 16 films from 13 countries. Forty-six features had been chosen for the full selection as of Thursday, with “six or seven more” to be unveiled in the coming days, Fremaux told journalists during a news conference at the Parisian Grand Hotel.
The red carpet won’t lack famous faces.
Former jury president Sean Penn will be back on the Palais steps for Doug Liman’s “Fair Game,” a drama about the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, played by Naomi Watts. Watts also will appear in Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”
Whether Penn also will be seen in Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” is a question mark since the film isn’t yet completed. It might be done in time for the festival.
“We’re crossing our fingers,” Fremaux said.
Films touted for selection but missing (at least for now) are Francois Ozon’s “Potiche,” Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos” and Bertrand Blier’s “The Sound of Ice Cubes,” all Gallic auteurs.
The lineup reps a transitional year as a handful of lesser-known filmmakers will make their Croisette debuts. If one is looking for a surprise, then the lack of a strong Asian presence comes closest, especially after last year, when films from the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Thailand and China brought real vitality — and in the case of Brillante Mendoza’s “Kinatay” a sense of outrage — to the event.
This year, Japan’s Kitano will premiere his thriller “Outrage,” while South Korean Lee will bring his drama “Poetry” into the Competition. Korean director Im Sang-Soo will enter the Competition with the remake “Housemaid.”
Palme d’Or winner Kiarostami will be back in Competition with “The Certified Copy,” which stars the face of this year’s Festival de Cannes poster, Gallic actress Juliette Binoche.
Mexican director Gonzalez Inarritu is hoping jurors will find “Biutiful,” well, beautiful when the Spanish-language film starring Javier Bardem screens. Otherwise, this is not a strong year for Latin American cinema.
Also in Competition is “La Nostra Vita” from Italy’s Daniele Luchetti. Russia boasts two titles: Sergei Loznitsa’s “You, My Joy” and Nikita Mikhalkov’s “Utomlyonnye Solntsem 2.” Hard-to-pronounce titles are ubiquitous In Competition this year, with Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Loong Boonmee Raleuk Chaat” also selected.
There also will be a British accent in the lineup, with Leigh’s “Another Year,” starring Jim Broadbent and Imelda Staunton.
Fremaux and his selection team usually pick the French titles last. Arriving fashionably late is Xavier Beauvois’ monk-centric drama “Of Gods and Men.” The Competition film is set at a monastery in the Maghreb mountains in the 1990s and stars Lambert Wilson, Michael Lonsdale and Roschdy Zem.
French actor Mathieu Amalric, a familiar face in front of the camera, will take his latest turn behind the scenes with “Tournee.”
Two of the grand old men of French cinema will make appearances. Tavernier will enter the Competition with period piece “La Princesse de Montpensier,” starring this year’s Cesar winner for most promising actress, Melanie Thierry, as the heroine. New Waver Jean-Luc Godard is sure to shake things up with the politically charged doc “Socialisme” in Un Certain Regard. Wild Bunch is handling sales for the self-titled “symphony in three movements.”
Included among the four French Competition entries, Bouchareb will follow up his 2006 Cannes hit “Days of Glory” with “Outside the Law.”
After last year’s Hollywood-light lineup, many of the U.S. titles are studio films that will screen Out of Competition. A fitting title for the festival that burns the midnight oil is Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” Michael Douglas reprises his iconic Gordon Gekko role alongside Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin and Carey Mulligan.
Fox recently pushed the film’s U.S. release date from April 23 to Sept. 24 to keep it in the running for the Cannes lineup. The film will screen during the first weekend of the fest.
Allen will be back at the Palais theater after a successful Riviera run with “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” when he screens his latest London-based film, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.” The Sony Pictures Classics title’s cast, in addition to Watts, includes Brolin, Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and Freida Pinto. The director will be back in France this summer to shoot his as-yet-untitled Paris project starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard and France’s first lady Carla Bruni.
Also screening Out of Competition is Stephen Frears’ just-in-time-for-Cannes “Tamara Drewe,” an adaptation of the Posy Simmonds graphic novel starring rising star Gemma Arterton.
American Gregg Araki will follow up his 2007 Directors Fortnight stoner comedy “Smiley Face” with “Kaboom,” about the sexual awakening of a group of college students that will premiere as a midnight screening. Frenchman Gilles Marchand’s “L’Autre Monde” also will screen Out of Competition at midnight.
Other highlights of the Un Certain Regard section include 102-year-old director Manuel de Oliviera’s “Angelica,” Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s “Les Amours Imaginaires” and Korean director Hong Sang-Soo’s “Ha Ha Ha.”
Romanian director Cristi Puiu will enter the category with the crime tale “Aurora.” Puiu’s “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu” won the Un Certain Regard prize in 2005.
Set to join jury president Tim Burton in Cannes are British actress Kate Beckinsale, Puerto Rico-born Benicio Del Toro, French writer-director-former film critic Emmanuel Carrere, Indian director-actor-producer Shekhar Kapur, Spanish director Victor Erice, director of Italy’s National Cinema Museum Alberto Barbera and Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno.
Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan will preside over the Cinefondation Jury alongside French actress Emmanuelle Devos, Russian actress Dinara Droukarova, Brazilian director Carlos Diegues and Spanish director Marc Recha.
Claire Denis was named president of Un Certain Regard jury; Gael Garcia Bernal will head the Camera d’Or panel.
Despite a boycott from news agencies Reuters, Getty Images, the AFP and AP because of restrictions imposed on their 2010 fest coverage, the news conference ran according to tradition. The agencies may opt to suspend their coverage of the festival next month if they can’t reach an agreement with fest organizers, who are honoring video exclusivity contracts with fest media sponsors Canal Plus and Orange.
“We will do everything possible so that the boycott doesn’t exist by the time the Festival de Cannes starts,” Fremaux said. “The festival is not trying to make a public event private and prevent the public from accessing the event. We’re going to try to do everything possible to find a solution.”
The Festival de Cannes runs May 12-23 in Cannes. A full lineup of Cannes films is on the next page.
“Another Year,” Mike Leigh (U.K.)
“Biutiful,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Spain, Mexico)
“Burnt by the Sun 2,” Nikita Mikhalkov (Germany, France, Russia)
“Certified Copy,” Abbas Kiarostami (France, Italy, Iran)
“Chongqing Blues,” Wang Xiaoshuai (China)*
“Fair Game,” Doug Liman (U.S.)
“Hors-la-loi,” Rachid Bouchareb (France, Belgium, Algeria)
“The Housemaid,” Im Sang-soo (South Korea)
“La nostra vita,” Daniele Luchetti (Italy, France)
“La Princesse de Montpensier,” Bertrand Tavernier (France)
“Of Gods and Men,” Xavier Beauvois (France)
“Outrage,” Takeshi Kitano (Japan)
“Poetry,” Lee Chang-dong (South Korea)
“A Screaming Man,” Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (France, Belgium, Chad)
“Tender Son — the Frankenstein Project” Kornel Mondruczo (Hungary)*
“Tournee,” Mathieu Amalric (France)
“Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Spain, Thailand, Germany, U.K.-France)
“You, My Joy,” Sergey Loznitsa (Ukraine, Germany)
Un Certain Regard
“Adrienn Pal,” Agnes Kocsis (Hungary, Netherlands, France, Austria)
“Aurora,” Cristi Puiu (Romania)
“Blue Valentine,” Derek Cianfrance (U.S.)
“Carancho,” Pablo Trapero (Argentina)*
“Chatroom,” Hideo Nakata (U.K.)
“The City Below,” Christoph Hochhausler (Germany, France)
“Film Socialisme,” Jean-Luc Godard (Switzerland, France)
“Ha Ha Ha,” Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)
“I Wish I Knew,” Jia Zhang Ke (China)*
“Les Amours imaginaires,” Xavier Dolan (Canada)
“Life Above All,” Oliver Schmitz (France)
“Los labios,” Ivan Fund, Santiago Loza (Argentina)
“Octubre,” Daniel Vega (Peru)
“Qu’est-il Arrive a Simon Werner?” Fabrice Gobert (France)
“Rebecca H.,” Lodge Kerrigan (France)
“R U There,” David Verbeek (Taiwan)
“The Strange Case of Angelica,” Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal)
“Tuesday, After Christmas,” Radu Muntean (Romania)
“Udaan,” Vikramaditya Motwane (India)
Out of Competition
“Robin Hood,” Ridley Scott (U.S., U.K.)
“Tamara Drewe,” Stephen Frears (U.K.)
“Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps,” Oliver Stone (U.S.)
“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” Woody Allen (U.K., Spain)
“Kaboom,” Gregg Araki (U.S., France)
“L’autre mMonde,” Gilles Marchand (France)
“Abel,” Diego Luna (Mexico)
“Chantrapas,” Otar Iosseliani (France)
“Draquila — L’Italia Che Trema,” Sabina Guzzanti (Italy)
“Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson (U.S.)
“Nostalgia de la Luz,” Patricio Guzman (France)
“Over Your Cities Grass will Grow,” Sophie Fiennes (Netherlands)
Tim Burton, president
Benicio Del Toro
* Late additions
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