12th - 23rd May 2010
63rd Cannes film Festival

Things are fairly hotting up for the 63rd Cannes International Film Festival, which is due to begin on Wednesday. This years Feature Jury hosted by Tim Burton sees assistance from Benicio del Toro and Shekhar Kapur alongside six others from the worlds film community.

A serious minded year of entries appears to represent a conscious move away from Hollywood productions, despite Robin Hood opening the festival (out of competition). Here’s a list of some of the most eagerly awaited films to be shown over the next few weeks:

‘Outrage’ is the latest offering from prolific Japanese powerhouse writer/director/actor, Takeshi Kitano, representing an eagerly awaited return to the gangster genre previously visited in ‘Sonatine’. It tells the story of rival Yakuza struggling for power with Takeshi taking the role of put upon veteran gang henchman Otomo. Anything with Kitano’s name attached suggests quality and as he rarely puts a foot wrong this will be at the top of many peoples viewing lists.

‘Socialisme’ is New Wave legend Jean-Luc Godards supposed ‘last ever film’. Shot for the first time in HD video in collaboration with six co-directors it stars French philosopher Alain Badiou and musician Patti Smith. Set on a cruise ship as it stops as various ports throughout the Mediterranean its characters include an aging war criminal, a former United Nations official and a Russian detective. The speeded up trailer, which can be seen below has already proved to be a big internet hit.

‘Another Year’ is an ensemble comedy drama by the UK’s very own Mike Leigh, starring stalwarts Jim Broadbent and Imelda Staunton as a married couple. It’s the sole British feature film actually 'in competition' at this year's festival. As it utilises Leigh’s usual improvisational filming techniques it’s hard to know what to expect other than damn fine acting, which is to be assured. Leigh previously won the Palme d'Or in 1996 for ‘Secrets And Lies’ and was last nominated in 2002 for ‘All Or Nothing’.

‘Wall Street: ‘Money Never Sleeps’ is Oliver Stones sequel to his seminal 80’s classic set in the world of finance. It’s eagerly anticipated, not least to see Michael Douglas return to form for the role that won him an Oscar as the iconic ball breaking hard ass Gordon Gekko, albeit with a few more wrinkles.

‘Biutiful’ - by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of the acclaimed “Babel’ and breathtaking Spanish language ‘Amores Perros’ stars Javier Bardem as a man involved in illegal dealings who is confronted by his childhood friend, now a policeman. Backed by Cha Cha Cha, the director's five-film production partnership with Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro, it’s a muscular prospect indeed.

One of the most enticing entries in the Special Screening category is Sophie Fiennes documentary ‘Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow’ a profile of one of Germany’s greatest living artists Anselm Kiefer, as he endeavours to move a studio where he has constructed a series of elaborate installations, comprising 48 buildings, and a labyrinth of tunnels, bridges, lakes and towers. It’s hoped that the exposure for this once in a lifetime project at Cannes will help to obtain a distribution in the UK, which has not yet been secured.

‘The Tree’ by Julie Bertuccelli has been chosen as the closing film of the festival. Betuccelli’s first feature, ‘Since Otar Left’ won the Critics Week grand prize at Cannes in 2003 and a César for best first film. An adaptation of Judy Pascoe’s novel ‘Our Father Who Art in the Tree’ it’s the story of a family grieving their father, which is assuaged when the 8 year old daughter claims her father is whispering to her through the branches of the tree planted beside their house.

There are many more films on show this year including Woody Allens star studded ‘You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger’ and Hideo Nakatas Japanese/British production ‘Chatroom’.

Coverage of the festival will continue over the next few weeks.


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