- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2005

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS - The 2005 Cannes film festival will mark a return to the big names, with top cult directors who have dominated global cinema since the 1980s competing against younger Asian filmmakers, organizers said yesterday.

Movie legends such as Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Lars von Trier, Gus van Sant and David Cronenberg will be among the 20 directors with films competing for the coveted Palme d’Or in the French Riviera resort.

The competitors represent the festival’s attempt to move away from last year’s eclectic choice of rivals, when the hit film featuring the giant green ogre Shrek competed against the eventual winner, Michael Moore’s polemic documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Artistic Director Thierry Fremeaux said at a press conference that organizers had had a tough time selecting films for all the festival’s categories, having to whittle down their choice from more than 1,000 films.

“Last year, we wanted to present the importance of documentary cinema and animation. This year, there is a return to a certain classicism, the great authors, many of whom have already been in the competition,” he said.

Mr. Wenders, returning to Cannes for the first time since 1997, will show his “Don’t Come Knockin’,” starring Sam Shepard and Jessica Lange, at the festival, which runs May 11-22.

Mr. von Trier, like Mr. Wenders and Mr. van Sant a past Cannes winner, will show “Manderlay.” Mr. Jarmusch will present his “Broken Flowers.”

Mr. Cronenberg, a Canadian director, will show “A History of Violence,” starring Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris and William Hurt, while Mr. van Sant will present his film “Last Days,” a rock ‘n’ roll drama set in Seattle about a musician whose life is reminiscent of that of late grunge rocker Kurt Cobain.

Asia will be represented by young Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai with “Shanghai Dreams,” Japan’s Masahiro Kobayashi with “Bashing,” and Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-Hsien with the “The Best of Our Times.”

Mr. Fremeaux acknowledged that this year there are no British films in the Palme d’Or selection.

However, he stressed that the organizers had wanted to encourage emerging filmmakers in Eastern Europe, who are well-represented in the “Un Certain Regard” section — films that are not in the running for the Palme d’Or.

Three French films will be in competition for the Palme d’Or: “Lemming” by Dominik Moll, “Peindre ou Faire L’amour” (“Paint or Make Love”) by Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu and “Cache” (“Hidden”) by Michael Haneke.

Outside the competition, “Star Wars” fans will get the first glimpse at the final episode of the George Lucas trilogy, “Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” while Woody Allen, a frequent Cannes visitor, will show his new movie, “Match Point.”

The makeup of the festival’s jury, which this year will be headed by Bosnian director Emir Kusturica, will be announced in Paris next week.

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