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CANNES 2009 Opening

Battle of the giants

by 

Battle of the giants

The race for the Palme d’Or has rarely brought together so many international film heavyweights as the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, which will open this evening with the out-of-competition screening of US 3D animated film Up. This choice of opener proves that the Croisette temple of auteur film also knows how to surf the wave of technological change.

This year’s competition includes the cream of the last few decades’ most talented directors. Nobody should have cause for complaint, least of all Spanish director Isabel Coixet, who is the only one making her competition debut.

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The battle for the Palme d’Or is shaping up to be very open-ended with four filmmakers vying for a second win (UK director Ken Loach, Denmark’s Lars von Trier, Jane Campion and Quentin Tarantino). Eight other directors in competition have previously been honoured at Cannes, personally or through the work of their actors: Spain’s Pedro Almodovar, Austria’s Michael Haneke, Italy’s Marco Bellocchio, France’s Alain Resnais and Jacques Audiard, the UK’s Andrea Arnold, Elia Suleiman and Park Chan-wook.

The superb line-up is completed by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (two-time winner at Venice and once at Berlin), subtle filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang (previously lauded at Venice), the explosive Gaspar Noé, Hong-Kong film master Johnnie To, French contender Xavier Giannoli, Philippine hopeful Brillante Mendoza and China’s Lou Ye. Their work will be judged by the jury presided by Isabelle Huppert (see news).

The rest of the programme is equally impressive, with the latest works by Alejandro Amenabar, Robert Guédiguian and Terry Gilliam out of competition, and a broad panorama of world cinema and its genres in the Un Certain Regard section, Special and Midnight Screenings. The ever-purist Directors’ Fortnight (see news) will open with Francis Ford Coppola’s Tetro [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, while Critics’ Week will showcase new talents (see news - a total of 26 debut features will vie for the Camera d’Or).

Stars are set to turn out for the red-carpet occasion, including Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, Rachel Weisz, Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau, Diane Kruger, Johnny Depp, Gérard Depardieu, Colin Farrell and Jude Law. Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese will present The Red Shoes in Cannes Classics and the Dardenne brothers will give the Cinema Lesson.

Finally, on the industry side, sellers and buyers will flock to the most important Film Market of the year, whose activity will be closely analysed in this time of global financial tension. Such economic circumstances are likely to have a considerable impact on the future volume of film production and on the quality works that contribute to the Cannes Festival’s reputation.

Official Selection

In Competition
Ken Loach - Looking for Eric [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cannes 2009
Ken Loach

interview: Steve Evets - actor
film profile
]
(UK)
Lars von Trier - Anti-Christ [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Lars von Trier
film profile
]
(Denmark)
Pedro Almodóvar - Broken Embraces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
(Spain)
Michael Haneke - The White Ribbon [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michael Haneke
film profile
]
(Austria)
Marco Bellocchio - Vincere [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cannes 2009 Marco Bellocchio
interview: Filippo Timi - actor
film profile
]
(Italy)
Isabel Coixet - Map of the Sounds of Tokyo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Spain)
Brillante Mendoza - Kinatay [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Philippines)
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(US)
Ang Lee - Taking Woodstock (US)
Jane Campion - Bright Star [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(New Zealand)
Tsai Ming-liang - Faces [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Taiwan)
Johnnie To - Vengeance (Hong Kong)
Elia Suleiman - The Time That Remains [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Palestine)
Xavier Giannoli - In the Beginning [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(France)
Andrea Arnold - Fish Tank [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrea Arnold
film profile
]
(UK)
Alain Resnais - Wild Grass [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(France)
Jacques Audiard - A Prophet [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacques Audiard
interview: Jacques Audiard and Tahar R…
film profile
]
(France)
Lou Ye - Spring Fever [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(China)
Gaspar Noé - Enter the Void [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(France)

Out of Competition
Alejandro Amenábar - Agora [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Spain)
Terry Gilliam - The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(US)
Robert Guédiguian - The Army of Crime [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(France)

Special Screenings
Michel Gondry - The Thorn in the Heart [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Zhao Liang - Petition
Souleymane Cissé - Tell Me Who You Are
Keren Yedaya - Jaffa [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Adolfo Alix Jr., Raya Martin - Manila
Anne Aghion My Neighbor, My Killer
Eduardo Valente - Eye of the Storm
Ounie Lecomte - A Brand New Life
Fanny Ardant - Ashes and Blood [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Midnight Screenings
Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar - A Town Called Panic [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stéphane Aubier and Vincen…
interview: Stéphane Aubier & Vincent P…
film profile
]
(Belgium)
Sam Raimi - Drag Me to Hell (US)
Marina de Van - Don’t Look Back [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(France)

Closing Film
Jan Kounen Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Cinéfondation Selection
Dominique Baumard - Le Contretemps (France)
Dorte Bengtson - Sylfidden (Denmark)
Noamir Castéra - #1 (Belgium)
Daniel Day - Gutter (US)
Hugo Frassetto - Crossing Water (France)
Jo Sung-hee - Don’t Step Out Of The House (Korea)
Yaelle Kayam - Diploma (Israel)
Elisabet Lladó - Kasia (Belgium)
Ralitza Petrova - By the Grace of God (UK)
Juan Ignacio Pollio - El Boxeador (Argentina)
Thiago Ricarte - Chapa (Brazil)
Yuval Shani - Segal (Israel)
Song Fang - Goodbye (Switzerland)
Zuzana Kirchnerová-Špidlová - Baba (Czech Republic))
Dara Van Dusen - Malzonkowie(Poland)
Giulia Barbera, Gianluca Lo Presti, Federico Parodi & Michele Tozzi - The Naturalist (Italy)

Shorts Competition
Mark Albiston & Louis Sutherland - The Six Dollars Fifty Man (New Zealand)
Daniel Borgman - Larsog Peter (Denmark)
Alex Brendemülh - Rumbo a peor (Spain)
Jochem de Vries - Missen (Netherlands)
Jean-Christophe Lie - L’homme à la Gordini (France)
Goran Odvorcic - Ciao Mama (Croatia)
Laïla Pakalnina - Klusums (Latvia)
João Salaviza - Arena (Portugal)
Emma Sullivan - After Tomorrow (UK)

(Translated from French)

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