- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
Heavyweight directors at 2011 Cannes festival
PARIS (AP) - Pedro Almodovar’s story of a plastic surgeon bent on exacting vigilante justice and Terrence Malick’s period piece about three Midwestern brothers, starring Brad Pitt, are among 19 movies vying for the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The lineup announced Thursday for the 64th edition of the festival is exceptionally strong, with much-anticipated new films by the creme de la creme of auteur filmmakers.
They include Denmark’s Lars von Trier, with “Melancholia,” Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan, with “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” and Belgium’s Dardenne brothers, with “Set Me Free.” Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki’s “Le Havre,” Italian Nanni Moretti’s “Habemus Papam” and French-Romanian filmmaker Radu Mihaileanu’s “La source des femmes” also looked like early strong contenders for the coveted Palme d’Or.
Festival managing director Thierry Fremaux told a news conference Thursday he expected this year to be “quite a rich and fruitful edition” of the famed festival. Submissions for the festival, which fell last year to 1,665 films, were back up to 1,715 this year, he added.
Gilles Jacob, the festival’s president, said this edition aimed to explore the future of filmmaking in the age of the i-Pod, the i-Pad and other mobile devices.
It’s about “asking questions about cinema’s future _ particularly the future of movie theaters _ at this time when people are consuming more and more images on small screens, computer screens, laptops,” he told Thursday’s news conference, held at a gilded Paris hotel. With the new technology, “we’re going to have an ever-increasing need for content.”
Rumor has it that Malick’s “The Tree of Life” was initially meant to premiere at last year’s edition of the festival but that it wasn’t finished in time. The latest film by the acclaimed “The Thin Red Line” director is billed as a story of the loss of innocence, and also stars Sean Penn. Malick won Cannes best director prize in 1979 for “Days of Heaven.”
Festival regular Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In,” starring Antonio Banderas as the plastic surgeon, follows on the director’s 2009 melodrama “Broken Embraces,” which screened at the Riviera festival. The salt-and-pepper haired director won Cannes’ best director award in 1999 for “All About My Mother” and took best screenplay in 2006 for “Volver.”
Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver” is to be screened out of competition, as will the latest installment in the blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, and Rob Marshall’s “On Stranger Tides.”
The festival’s opening film, “Midnight in Paris,” is also showing out of competition. Set in the City of Light, the latest Woody Allen movie includes French first lady and former supermodel Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in a bit part. Hopes are high that Bruni-Sarkozy and her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, will turn out for the inaugural screening to add an extra dollop of glamor to the high-wattage festivities.
American actor Robert De Niro presides the jury for this year’s main competition, with other jury members to be announced shortly, organizers said.
Serbian director Emir Kusterica has been appointed to preside the “Un Certain Regard” jury, which showcases lesser-known filmmakers than the main competition. Gus Van Sant’s “Restless” is the selection’s opening film. Other top entries include Frenchman Robert Guediguian’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and South Korea’s Hong Sangsoo, with “The Day He Arrives.” Hong’s “Hahaha” took the “Un Certain Regard” selection’s top prize last year.
Michel Gondry, the French director of 2004 hit “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” is to preside over the short film competition.
The Riviera festival runs May 11-22.
Last year, the hypnotic Thai film “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” won Palme d’Or, while Academy Award winners Juliette Binoche and Javier Bardem earned acting honors.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- American missing in Iran was CIA operative who went rogue
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow