With Berlin over, selectors at the Cannes film festival (May 13-24) are facing a deluge of films from the world’s greatest auteurs - so many, in fact, some big names could end up being excluded from official selection.
Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces opens in Spain on March 18 and is expected to land on the Croisette for its international premiere. Lars von Trier’s psychological horror Antichrist should also secure a competition slot.
Michael Haneke is primed to return to competition with The White Ribbon featuring his Funny Games star Susanne Lothar. And Quentin Tarantino is readying his Second World War epic Inglourious Basterds starring Brad Pitt.
Two years after The Edge Of Heaven, Fatih Akin is back with Soul Kitchen, Jane Campion is readying her Keats romance Bright Star and Ang Lee, who has not played in competition since 1996, could find a berth with his comic period piece Taking Woodstock.
Other US titles likely to be unveiled in May include Jim Jarmusch’s The Limits Of Control and Todd Solondz’s Forgiveness. The Coen brothers have a new movie, A Serious Man, featuring a cast of little-known character actors. Palme d’Or winners Michael Moore (an as-yet-untitled documentary) and Steven Soderbergh both have new films - Soderbergh has two in The Girlfriend Experience and The Informant. And studio tentpoles could include Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci Code prequel Angels & Demons(opening May 15 in the US) or Terminator Salvation (May 22).
Other English-language titles due to be ready include Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium Of Dr Parnassus which features Heath Ledger’s final performance, Philip Ridley’s Heartless, Jaco van Dormael’s $50m Mr Nobody and Neil Jordan’s Ondine with Colin Farrell, who could also be Cannes-bound with Danis Tanovic’s Triage.
From the UK comes Cannes favourite Ken Loach with his Looking For Eric, starring former footballer Eric Cantona, Andrea Arnold with her second feature Fish Tank starring Michael Fassbender and The Illusionist, the new animation from the now UK-based French film-maker Sylvain Chomet.
As always, France has strong contenders. Jacques Audiard should be ready with Un Prophete, the Larrieu brothers with This Is The End, Bruno Dumont with Hadewijch and Jan Kounen with Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky; there is also the megawatt Coco Avant Chanel, set for an April 22 release in France. Claire Denis has White Material(though it stars jury president Isabelle Huppert so could be ruled out of competition), Marina de Van has Ne Te Retourne Pasand, if he can finish the special effects on Enter The Void in time, Gaspar Noe could return for the first time since he shocked Cannes with Irreversible in 2002.
From Romania, Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu is back with Tales From The Golden Age, a personal history of the late communist period in Romania in six separate stories, two of which he will direct. From Germany, Margarethe Von Trotta returns with Vision - Hildegard Von Bingen.
And 2009 offers a strong line-up from Asia, led by Park Chan-wook’s vampire drama Thirst (Korea), Tsai Ming-liang’s France-set Face (Taiwan), Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Air Doll (Japan), Johnnie To’s Vengeance(HK-France) starring Johnny Hallyday, Tian Zhuangzhuang’s The Warrior And The Wolf (China), Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s Nymph (Thailand), Bong Joon-ho’s Mother (Korea), Tran Anh Hung’s I Come With The Rain (Vietnam) and Hong Sang-soo’s latest (Korea) which has yet to be titled in English.
The Cannes line-up will be announced at a press conference in Paris on April 23.