One of these years, Ionarts will cover the Festival de Cannes in France, preferably when a film starring Todd Babcock is shown there. This year the President of the Jury Officiel is Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, leading Monica Bellucci, Helena Bonham Carter, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, French director Patrice Leconte, and Palestinian director Elia Suleiman. The announcement came yesterday about what films are going to be in competition in the 59th festival (scheduled for May 17 to 29). I read the article by Jacques Mandelbaum (Dix-neuf films en compétition pour la Palme d'or, April 22) in Le Monde (my translation):
Nineteen films from twelve countries made the cut from a selection of 1,500 films submitted. The list is a cocktail made mostly of important auteurs familiar to the competition, a soupçon of aesthetic radicalism, a dash of genre film, and a few rare discoveries. Europe has the lion's share, Asia has lost ground, and the United States and France, as usual, dominate.There are two major screenings hors compétition, Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code on opening night and Tony Gatlif's Transylviana on closing night. Also not in competition, Paul Greengrass will show United 93, and David Guggenheim will present An Inconvenient Truth, with former Vice-President Al Gore in attendance.
In competition we find Bruno Dumont (Flandres), Nicole Garcia (Selon Charlie) and Xavier Giannoli (Quand j'étais chanteur) representing France; Sofia Coppola (Marie-Antoinette), Richard Kelly (Southland Tales), and Richard Linklater (Fast Food Nation) for the United States. That is followed by Nanni Moretti (Il caïmano) and Paolo Sorrentino (L'amico di famiglia) for Italy; Andrea Arnold (Red Road) and Ken Loach (The Wind that Shakes the Barley) for England; Guillermo del Toro (El laberinto del fauno) and Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu (Babel) for Mexico; Pedro Almodovar (Volver) for Spain; Lucas Belvaux (La Raison du plus faible) for Belgium; Pedro Costa (Juventude em marcha) for Portugal; Aki Kaurismaki (Les Lumières du faubourg) for Finland; Rachid Bouchareb (Indigènes) for Algeria; Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Les Climats) for Turkey; and Lou Ye (Summer Palace) for China.