The good Cannes Film Festival announcement news is that many of the predictions came true and a lot of high-profile titles and big-name directors will be in attendance at the 60th anniversary gathering next month. I’ve got an initial count of at least 23 must-sees, including (thank the movie gods) Joel and Ethan Coen‘s No Country For Old Men, Michael Moore‘s Sicko, Gus Van Sant‘s Paranoid Park, Wong Kar Wai‘s My Blueberry Nights, Michael Winterbottom‘s A Mighty Heart and Abel Ferrara‘s Go-Go Tales.
a still from Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park — the name of the young actor is undetermined, but it could be Gabe Nevins…maybe.
The disappointing news is that Todd Haynes‘ I’m Not There, his long-awaited Bob Dylan movie slated for release in late September, either wasn’t ready or didn’t make the cut (presumably the former), and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s There Will Be Blood, a Paramount release opening in November, was, despite Anderson’s favored-director status among festival honchos, also MIA.
But the Cannes competition slate alone is very strong with at least 10 newbie stand-outs: No Country For Old Men, My Blueberry Nights, Bela Tarr‘s The Man From London, Julian Schnabel‘s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Paranoid Park, Emir Kusturica‘s Promise Me This, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud‘s Persepolis (locked down by Sony Classics last year), Carlos Reygada‘s Silent Light, Catherine Breillat‘s Une Vieille Maitresse and James Gray‘s We Own The Night.
Two high-profile U.S. hangover entries — Quentin Tarantino‘s expanded (i.e., lap-dance supplemented) version of Death Proof, and David FIncher‘s Zodiac — will also show in competition.
Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart
Plus there will be three very prominent out-of-competition screenings (among them two Brad Pitt ventures): Winterbottom’s A Mighty Heart, (the Daniel Pearl movie with Angelina Jolie and Dan Futterman), Sicko (the long-in-gestation healthcare documentary) and Steven Soderbergh‘s previously announced Ocean’s Thirteen.
Plus a pair of essential midnight titles — Ferrara’s Go-Go Tales and Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington‘s U2 3D.
At least two Un Certain Regard standouts — Barbet Schroeder‘s L’Avocat de la terreur and Harmony Korine‘s Mister Lonely — will screen. Also listed are two Special Screenings with a significant vibe — 11th Hour, the Leonardo DiCaprio gobal-warming doc that Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners co-directed, and Ken Burns‘ The War, a seven-episode PBS miniseries about how various people from four quintessentially American towns experienced World War II, both on the battle and the home front.
The festival will also host three accomplished documentaries about filmmakers — Mimi Freedman and Leslie Greif‘s Brando, Mike Kaplan‘s Lindsay Anderson, Never Apologize, and Anne-Marie Faux and Jean-Pierre Devillers’ Maurice pialat l’amour existe — along with Todd McCarthy‘s Pierre Rissient, about an extraordinary cineaste who’s been everywhere, met everyone and done everything within rarified film circles over the past 50 years.
Joaquin Pheonix as he allegedly appears in James Gray’s We Own The Night
Add the 10 competition must-sees (12 if you count the Tarantino and the FIncher) plus the out-of-competition trio and the two midnight titles and that’s 15 films (17 avec Tarantino-Fincher). Plus the two Un Certain Regard entries, the two Special Screenings and the four filmmaker docs and that’s 23 films just for starters. This obviously omits many others, and ignores whatever possible left-field surprises may be in store.
Anyone who knows something I don’t (I know, I know…a long list) is hereby urged to get in touch and tell me what I should be seeing and talking about in addition to the above. Please…I only have eight hands and two heads.