21/4/2005: TOMMY JOINS CANNES VETS
Tommy Lee Jones is the only debuting director to be selected for Competition at Cannes
this year, and joins a swag of auteurs well known on the Croisette: Wim Wenders, Michael
Haneke, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Atom Egoyan, Amos Gitai, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Jim
Jarmusch, David Cronenberg, Gus Van Sant and Lars von Trier. Whose follow up to Dogville
in his USA trilogy, Manderlay, stars Bryce Dallas Howard, in place of Nicole Kidman. (Full
details in our Cannes bumber edition, published April 29.)
Coincidentally, Cronenberg’s History of Violence and Wenders’ Don’t Come
Knockin' both tackle themes with a Western theme, although both are contempo settings.
Cronenberg joins Egoyan to lift the Canadian profile at Cannes.
Another coincidental, thematic link emerges in the Jarmusch comedy Broken Flowers, in
which Bill Murray’s character visits ex-girlfriends across the U.S. for clues as to
the origins of a 19-year-old alleged son who has just come to his attention. This echoes
Bill Murray’s character being confronted by a grown up son he didn’t know about
in The Life Aquatic.
In all, nine of the competition films are English language and three are French films.
"Films’ nationalities have less and less meaning," festival president
Gilles Jacob, told journalists. "In the future we'll probably start referring to
films as European or Latin American."
Commenting on his choices, festival director Thierry Fremaux told Variety, "Each
year is different. Last year there were opportunities to open the festival to
documentaries and animation, and we jumped at that. This year, a sort of unconscious
rendezvous has taken place with more classical auteurs, and we've grabbed that
opportunity. I don't think I am taking a step backward -- I think everyone wants to see
Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith and Woody Allen’s Match Point,
starring Scarlett Johansson, will be screened out of competition, and Dominik Moll’s
Lemmings will open the festival (and is in Competition). Natalie Portman, incidentally, is
in two films at Cannes this year: Star Wars and Amos Gitai’s Competition entry, Free
Zone. So is Jessica Lange: Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers and Wim Wenders’ Don’t Come Knockin’; and William Hurt: A History of Violence (David Cronenberg) and The King (James Marsh).
Un Certain Regard will screen 15 films, and has a raised profile with Alexander Payne
(Sideways) as its Jury President.
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