By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire April 23, 2009 at 10:30AM
The lineup for the 2009 Cannes Film Festival was unveiled in Paris today at a press conference shortly after Noon local time in the French capital. The news of the morning, for some, was the dearth of American filmmakers in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 62nd Festival de Cannes, running May 13 - 24, 2009. The roster features a number of previous award-winning Cannes filmmakers.
Twenty films are vying for the prestigious Palme d'Or, with Quentin Tarantino as the sole American-born director. He'll be in Cannes with his latest, "Inglourious Basterds." Taiwanese born filmmaker Ang Lee, who is U.S. based, will be in competition with his new movie, "Taking Woodstock." As anticipated, the festival will feature a roster of regulars who will be returning to the Croisette with new movies. Pedro Almodovar is in competition with "Abrazos Rotos" (Broken Embraces), as are Lars Von Trier with "Antichrist", Jane Campion with "Bright Star," Ken Loach with "Looking For Eric," and Michael Haneke with "The White Ribbon," among others.
Notably, the official selection for the 2009 Festival de Cannes is light on emerging talent. Only three film are from first-time feature filmmakers: Haim Tabakman's "Eyes Wide Open" and Warwick Thornton's "Samson and Delilah" in the Un Certain Regard section, as well as Stephane Aubier & VIncent Patar's "A Town Called Panic" in a Midnight slot.
Thierry Fremaux announced the lineup today, while event president Gilles Jacob issued remarks on the state of cinema. "Where will the Festival de Cannes be in five years time?" Jacob began, "Politics, allegedly, is the art of answering questions you haven’t been asked. I won’t be doing that today. People often ask: where will the Festival de Cannes be in five years time? The only question that I find important is that of the future of independent, auteur cinema, and thus the future of film festivals, as they are basically the same thing."
Cannes '09 will open with the Pixar Digital 3-D title, "UP," as was recently announced. An animated 3D feature, “Up” was recently described by the festival as, “a comedy adventure in which 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen fulfils his dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America, only to discover that he has brought with him his biggest nightmare, a 9-year-old Wilderness Explorer stowaway.” Pixar parent Disney will open the film in the U.S. on May 29th and in France on July 29th.
Lee Daniels' 2009 Sundance grand jury prize and audience award-winner "Precious" (formerly "Push") joins the slim American offerings in the event's Un Certain Regard this year. Daniels' story about a troubled teen growing up amid an abusive mother and father is joined by other international filmmakers including Korea's Bong Joon Ho ("Mother"), Hirokazu Kore-Eda ("Kuki Ningyo" - Air Doll) France's Alain Cavalier ("Irene") and Iranian filmmaker Bahamn Ghobadi ("Nobody Knows About the Persian Cats"). In all, twenty titles join the sidebar's roster.
French actress Isabelle Huppert will lead the feature film jury, which also includes Turkish director Nuru Bilge Ceylan, Taiwanese actress Shu Qui, British writer Hanif Kureishi, Italian actress and director Asia Argento, and two Americans - actress Robin Wright Penn and director James Gray. Director John Boorman heads the Cinefondation and short films jury, working alongside French director Bertrand Bonello, Tunisian director Ferid Boughedir, Portugese actress Leonor Silveira, and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.
Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week are expected to be announced on Friday in Paris.
-- lineups are listed on page two --
The 2009 Cannes competition lineup:
"Abrazos Rotos" (Broken Embraces), directed by Pedro Almodovar
"Antichrist," directed by Lars Von Trier
"Bright Star," directed by Jane Campion
"Enter The Void," directed by Gasper Noe
"Faces," directed by Tsai Ming-liang
"Fish Tank," directed by Andrea Arnold
"Kinatay," directed by directed by Brillante Mendoza
"Les Herbes folles," directed by Alain Resnais
"In The Beginning," directed by Xavier Giannoli
"Inglorious Basterds," directed by Quentin Tarantino
"Looking For Eric," directed by Ken Loach
"Map of the Sounds of Tokyo," directed by Isabel Coixet
"A Prophet," directed by Jacques Audiard
"Spring Fever," directed by Lou Ye
"Taking Woodstock," directed by Ang Lee
"The Time That Remains," directed by Elia Suleiman
"Thirst," directed by directed by Park Chan Wook
"Vengeance," directed by Johnny To
"Vincere," directed by Marco Bellocchio
"The White Ribbon," directed by Michael Haneke
"Up," directed by Peter Docter
(out of competition)
"Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky," directed by Jan Kounen
(out of competition)
Out of Competition:
"Agora," directed by Alejandro Amenabar
"The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," directed by Terry Gilliam
"L'Armee du Crime," directed by Robert Guediguian
"A Town Called Panic," directed by Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar
"Drag Me To Hell," directed by Sam Raimi
"Ne Te Retourne Pas," directed by Marina de Van
Special Screenings :
"My Neighbor, My Killer," directed by Anne Aghion
"Martin Manila," directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr.
"Min Ye," directed by Souleymane Cisse
"L'Epine Dans Le Coeur," directed by Michel Gondry
"Petition," directed b Zhao Liang
"Kalat Hayam" (Jaffa), directed by Keren Yedaya
Un Certain Regard
"Mother," directed by Bong Joon Ho
"Irene," directed by Alain Cavalier
"Precious," directed by Lee Daniels
"Demain Des L'Aube," directed by Denis Dercourt
"Adrift," directed by Heitor Dhalia
"Nobody Knows About the Persian Cats," directed by Bahman Ghobadi
"Los Viajes del Viento," directed by Ciro Guerra
"Le Pere de mes Enfants," directed by Mia Hansen-Love
"Tales from the Golden Age," directed by Hanno Hoefer, Ravan Marculescu, Cristian Mungiu, Constantin Popescu, Ioana Uricaru
"Tale in the Darkness," directed by Nikolay Khomeriki
"Air Doll," directed by Hirokazu Kore-Eda
"Dogtooth," directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
"Tzar," directed by Pavel Lounguine
"Independence," directed by Raya Martin
"Politist, Adjectiv," directed by Corneliu Porumboiu
"Nymph," directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
"Morrer Como Un Homem," directed by Jao Pedro Rodgrigues
"Eyes Wide Open," directed by Haim Tabakman
"Samson and Delilah," directed by Warwick Thornton
"The Silent Army," directed by Jean van de Velde