By Indiewire | Indiewire April 19, 2000 at 2:0AM
Embracing Indiewood, Cannes 2000 Lineup Selected from Nearly 1,400 Films; 15 Countries Represented in Competition
by Eugene Hernandez
In narrowing down the lineup for its 53rd Film
Festival, Cannes 2000 programmers viewed nearly 1,400 films -- an increase
of nearly 25% over last year. 23 films from 15 countries are screening in a
competition that once again includes an array of notable filmmakers from
around the world.
As reported on indieWIRE.com yesterday when the Festival has announced its
competition, non-competition, Un Certain Regard, short film and
Cinefondation lineups, the 2000 Festival will open on May 10th with Roland
Joffe's "Vatel," and will close on May 21st with Denys Arcand's "Stardom"
Joffe is the Oscar-nominated director of "The Mission" and "The Killing
Fields," while Arcand is perhaps best known as the 1989 Cannes Jury Prize
winner for "Jesus of Montreal."
[The complete Cannes lineups are available in our special Cannes 2000 section.]
Among the anticipated new movies are those from a group of international
auteurs, including Lars von Trier's eagerly awaited "Dancer in the Dark,"
starring Bjork, Wong Kar-Wai's new untitled project and Ken Loach's "Bread and
Roses." Loach is a Cannes favorite, having won awards at past festivals for
"Hidden Agenda," "Raining Stones," and "My Name is Joe." Twenty-year old
Samira Makhmalbaf returns to Cannes after last year's "The Apple," with
"Takhte Siah." Also returning are Swedish director Roy Andersson with "Songs
>From the Second Floor," and Amos Gitai ("Kadosh") with "Kippur." Bergman
actress and collaborator Liv Ullmann will be in France with "Trolosa," as will
the respected Tawainese filmmaker, Edward Yang with "Yi Yi" (A One and a
Two). Olivier Assayas, director of last year's "Late August, Early
September," as well as "Irma Vep" (1996), returns with "Les Destinees
Sentimentales," while Arnaud Desplechin, director of "La Sentinelle" and "My
Sex Life. . . or how i got into an argument," will be in Cannes with
"Esther Kahn" and Summer Phoenix in the title role. Finally, also at the
Festival will be an elder statesman of Japanese Cinema, Nagisa Oshima
("Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence," "Realm of the Senses," "Cruel Story of
Youth") with "Gohatto."
Cannes Festival organizers have clearly tapped into the changing face of
American independent and the emergence, and what we call Indiewood. "Les
frontieres traditionnelles entre Majors, mini-majors et purs independants
s'estompent de plus en plus et ne significant plus grand chose," the Festival
indicated in its press release commentary, meaning, "The traditional
boundaries between majors, mini-majors and pure independents grow more and
more blurred and they are no longer a big deal."
Underscoring the point, the Festival singled out four films, new to
American audiences, that best embody the best of American "independent" cinema:
Joel Coen's "O Brother, Where Art Thou" (produced by Working Title and to be
released by Disney), "The Yards," James Gray's follow-up to "Little Odessa"
(produced by Miramax), Neil LaBute's Propaganda/Polygram produced, "Nurse
Betty," to be released by USA Films and Amos Kollek's European-financed
indie "Fast Food, Fast Women."
French Filmmaker Luc Besson will head the 2000 Cannes jury as its President,
it includes: French director/actress Nicole Garcia, Indian writer Arundhati
Roy, Spanish actress Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, British actress Kristin Scott
Thomas, German actress Barbara Sukowa, American director Jonathan Demme,
British actor Jeremy Irons, Italian director Mario Martone, and French
writer Patrick Modiano.
Notable filmmakers in other categories include John Waters out of
competition with his latest, "Cecil B. Demented," also out of competition
are Darren Aronofsky with his second feature, "Requiem for a Dream," Barbara
Kopple with "A Conversation with Gregory Peck," Ang Lee with "Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon," and Eurythmics' Dave Stewart with "Honest." In the Un
Certain Regard section, Kristian Levring will be presenting the latest DOGME95 film,
"The King is Dead," while Arturo Ripstein will screen "Asi Es La Vida."
Also in the section are Griffin Dunne with "Famous," Fina Torres with "Woman
on Top," and the directorial debut of Portuguese actress Maria de Medeiros,
"Capitaes de Abril."
New at Cannes this year is an expansion of the Palais, dubbed "Espace
Riviera," which will be used by the Market. Also new is a 300-seat theater,
The Luis Bunuel," for retrospectives, including a salute to Agnes Varda and
a look at the work of Otar Iosselleliani. The Festival also announced that
it will have electronic subtitling in the Lumiere, Debussy and Bunuel
[Eugene Hernandez with contributions from Anthony Kaufman]