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2008 Cannes Selections Announced: Soderbergh to show four hour Che film

Surprise, surprise! Last week’s misleading speculations of titles pulling out and the odd closer for the 61st edition of the Cannes film festival were indeed debunked. Soderbergh’s pair of Che films (The Argentine and Guerrilla)…

Surprise, surprise! Last week’s misleading speculations of titles pulling out and the odd closer for the 61st edition of the Cannes film festival were indeed debunked. Soderbergh’s pair of Che films (The Argentine and Guerrilla) come as a possible four-hour epic (hopefully with at least one pee break), Woody Allen takes another out of comp slot with Vicky Cristina Barcelona and so far, there are no opening or closing titles announced. Unlike last year’s edition, this is a loaded with world preems year with the exception being Marina Zenovich’s Roman Polanski docu.

Films that were to be expected were confirmed, Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s comes with a differently titled film that will take some getting used to from the former “Daydreams” to Three Monkeys, Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York was a shoe-in since it was first introduced at last year’s Cannes, native Arnaud Desplechin brings a huge supporting cast with Un conte de Noël, Matteo Garrone brings Gomorra and Paolo Sorrentino packs Il Divo from Italy, Clint Eastwood brings Angelina with Changeling, and finally, the red carpet was rolled out ages ago for the likes of Ari Folman and Waltz With Bashir, the Dardenne’s The Silence of Lorna, Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas’s Linha de Passe, Pablo Trapero – Leonera (Lion’s Den) and Wim Wenders’ road movie The Palermo Shooting. Apparently post production might have been a quick affair for Jia Zhangke, he will be bringing his 24 City to the main comp. Films that were overlooked and that were not included in my predictions include Eric Khoo’s My Magic, Lucretia Martel’s La Mujer Sin Cabeza (Argentina-Spain) Brillante Mendoza – Serbis, Kornel Mondruczo – Delta and French auteur Philippe Garrel – La Frontiere De L’Aube. Canada will be represented by Atom Egoyan with Adoration

The festival’s best worst keep secret of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will be joined by Allen’s latest and studio appetizer Kung Fu Panda.

I’m liking the Special Screenings sections comprised of an eclectic bunch – Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Wong Kar-wai’s Ashes of Time Redux, Daniel Leconte – C’est Dur D’etre Aime Par Des Cons, Marco Tullio Giordana – Sangue Pazzo and the long awaited new Terence Davies film: Of Time And The City. The trio of Midnight Screenings offer us the highly anticipated Emir Kusturica’s Maradona and two titles which I know nothing about in Jennifer Lynch’s Surveillance and Hong-Jin Na – The Chaser (South Korea). A Special Jury President’s screening goes to Alison Thompson and The Third Wave.

As Screen Daily points out, the “notably absent from the line up are Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness and Agnes Varda’s autobiographical documentary Les Plages d’Agnes”, but they might still have a shot at being the opener or closer of the festival.   

The judging committee has been cut down from 9 to 7 and the make up is mostly males with Sean Penn sharing breathing space with the likes Sergio Castellitto, Natalie Portman, Alfonso Cuaron, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Alexandra Maria Lara and Rachid Bouchareb.

Here is the full list below:

Nuri Bilge Ceylan – Three Monkeys (Turkey-France-Italy)
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne – The Silence of Lorna (France-Belgium)
Arnaud Desplechin – Un conte de Noël (France)
Clint Eastwood – Changeling (US)
Atom Egoyan – Adoration (Canada)
Ari Folman – Waltz With Bashir (Israel)
Philippe Garrel – La Frontiere De L’Aube (France)
Matteo Garrone – Gomorra (Italy)
Charlie Kaufman – Synecdoche, New York (US)
Eric Khoo – My Magic (Singapore)
Lucretia Martel – La Mujer Sin Cabeza (Argentina-Spain)
Brillante Mendoza – Serbis (The Philippines)
Kornel Mondruczo – Delta (Hungary-Germany)
Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas – Linha de Passe (Brazil)
Paolo Sorrentino – Il Divo (Italy)
Pablo Trapero – Lion’s Den (Argentina-South Korea)
Wim Wenders – The Palermo Shooting (Germany)
Jia Zhangke – 24 City (China)
Steven Soderbergh – Che (US-Spain-France) — one four-hour competion title comprised of The Argentine and Guerrilla

Out of competition
Steven Spielberg – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (US)
Mark Osborne and John Stevenson – Kung Fu Panda (US)
Ji-Woon Kim – The Good, the Bad, and the Weird (South Korean)
Woody Allen – Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Spain-US)

Special screenings
Marina Zenovich – Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (US)
Wong Kar-wai – Ashes of Time Redux (Hong Kong-China-Taiwan)
Daniel Leconte – C’est Dur D’etre Aime Par Des Cons (France)
Marco Tullio Giordana – Sangue Pazzo (Italy-France)
Terence Davies – Of Time And The City (UK)

Midnight Screenings
Emir Kusturica – Maradona (Spain)
Jennifer Lynch – Surveillance (US)
Hong-Jin Na – The Chaser (South Korea)

Special Jury President’s screening
Alison Thompson – The Third Wave (US)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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