Tarantino in running for Cannes
Apr 23, 2009, 13:04 GMT
Director Quentin Tarantino poses for photographers during a photocall. EPA/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO
Paris - Previous Cannes-winners Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar, Lars von Trier and other veterans of the film festival will be vying for its top prize in this year's edition of the annual celebration of world cinema, organizers said Thursday in Paris.
Among the 20 films selected to compete for the Palme d'Or, one of the world's most coveted awards, four were made by directors who have already received the honour.
In addition to Tarantino, who won in 1994 for Pulp Fiction, and von Trier (Dancer in the Dark, 2000), former Palme-winners in competition again this year include Jane Campion of New Zealand (The Piano, 1993) and Britain's Ken Loach (The Wind that Shakes the Barley, 2006).
Other filmmakers with previous Cannes experience selected to compete for this year's Palme d'Or include 86-year-old Alain Resnais of France and Shanghai's Lou Ye, whose Summer Palace was yanked from the 2006 festival after being rejected by Chinese censors.
This year's selection is also noteworthy for the fact that only two US directors are in the running for the top award, Tarantino and Oscar-winner Ang Lee. However, the 3-D animated film Up, by American Peter Docter, will open the festival on May 13.
Tarantino's contribution, Inglourious Basterds (eds: correct), will be particularly anticipated. Starring Brad Pitt, Mike Myers and horror-film director Eli Roth, the film concerns a group of Jewish-American GIs chosen to spread fear throughout wartime Germany by brutally killing Nazis.
Festival general director Thierry Fremaux said that the film was included in the official selection despite the fact that Tarantino did not send it in time and it was not yet finished.
'But he promised us that he would have it completed on time,' Fremaux noted.
Other films expected to attract the attention of critics and festival-goers is Resnais' Les Herbes Folles, Almodovar's Los Abrozos Rotos (Broken Embraces) and von Trier's Antichrist.
Fremaux said that festival selectors had watched 1,670 feature-length films this year, down slightly from last year's 1,792. All told, 4,025 films of all lengths, from 192 countries, were screened before selections were made.
Fremaux cited four countries that were up-and-coming in world cinema and as a result were well represented in the 52 movies included in the official festival selection, both in and out of competition - Korea, Romania, Mexico and the Philippines.
The Philippines has three movies in the official festival selection and 48-year-old director Brillante Mendoza in the running for the Palme d'Or for a second consecutive year, with his film Kinatay.
The eight-member festival jury is headed by French actress Isabelle Huppert and includes US director James Gray and British author and script-writer Hanif Kureishi.
The prizes for the 62nd Cannes film festival will be announced on closing day, May 24.