Here’s the official 2008 Cannes Film Festival poster, but my interest levels have dropped considerably since the news about Steven Soderbergh‘s two Che Guevara films, The Argentine and Guerilla, most likely not being part of the festival lineup broke last night. I’d been nurturing the idea that the Soderbergh flicks would be the emotional centerpiece of the festival — hugely ambitious, political glamour factor, controversial, hot button, Oscar contender (certainly by way of Benicio del Toro‘s lead performance). Without them I feel truly bummed.

Yesterday afternoon the Cannes balloon was full and ascending. This morning it’s deflated and back on the ground with everyone standing around with their arms folded and saying to each other, “Hmmm….well, maybe.” Variety‘s Todd McCarthy has written (or implied) that there’s an outside chance that the Soderbergh twins might be slipped in at the last minute, but it’s one of those “don’t hold your breath” advisories. Now I’ve got this idea in my head, which I’m not married to and am willing to try and flush out, that Cannes ’08 is going to be somewhere between passable and a ho-hummer.
McCarthy has also reported that Woody Allen‘s Vicky Christina Barcelona won’t make it either — terrific — but the animated Kung Fu Panda (with Jack Black voicing the lead role) will. King Fu Panda?
Charlie Kaufman‘s Synecdoche, New York, in which Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a theater director, is a lock also.
And of course, there’s the 5.18 screening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in a special noncompeting premiere slot. Four days before the opening…big deal. I’m half-convinced by New York “Vulture’s” mention of a “mounting pre-lash” against this film. That USA Today quote from George Lucas is the clincher: “When you do a movie like this, a sequel that’s very, very anticipated, people anticipate ultimately that it’s going to be the Second Coming…and it’s not. It’s just a movie. Just like the other movies.”
McCarthy also writes that the Dardenne brothers The Silence of Lorna will screen at Cannes. Ditto Wim WendersThe Palermo Shooting and Fernando MeirellesBlindness.