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Cannes 2011 breaks with tradition

Cannes has gone a little topsy-turvy, eschewing its standard roll-out of announcements in favour a less organised approach.

Cannes’ media announcements normally follow a pattern adopted by several other festivals around the world, announce the head of the jury/juries, tease out/leak a couple of much-anticipated titles, announce the remainder of the jurors and roll out the competition line-ups, sprinkling into the mix the occasional out-of-competition title. Then announce a couple of late in-competition films.

This year, however, the plan has somewhat gone to pot, partly as a result of some early flagging of the festival’s likely mix – a greater emphasis on European and US fare, a more populist approach (this after the considerable head-shaking that followed the announcement of Palme d’Or winner Uncle Boonmee), and the return by invitation of a few of Cannes favourite directors with their latest films.

What’s understood to be the higher proportion of invited, rather than submitted, titles has allowed Cannes to make line-up announcements further out than in recent years. Cannes veterans Pedro Almodovar, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Nanni Moretti and Lars von Trier all return.

However, even the lure of a world première and reserved berth at Cannes was insufficient for one director rumoured to be on the invitation list. Previous Cannes winner Wong Kar Wai, whose contracts specify that final cut will be delivered when he’s happy with it, is now looking at a Q4 release for The Grandmasters, suggesting that even Toronto might miss out on opening his latest film.

And so, yesterday, a mixed bag of earlier-than-usual announcements fell from the Croisette, with titles for the main competition and Un Certain Regard announced along with a selection of out-of-competition screenings.

Robert de Niro will head up the main competition jury, which will consider 19 films – unless there are late additions.

Screening out of competition, Woody Allen’s opening night Midnight in Paris, Jodie Foster’s The Beaver, and Rob Marshall’s festival closing film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will deliver a selection of Hollywood stars to ensure international mainstream coverage of the events.

The two competition line-ups announced are:

Main competition
Drive, Nicolas Winding Refn
Footnote, Josef Cedar
Hanezu no Tsuki, Naomi Kawase
Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai, Takashi Miike
The Kid With a Bike, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
L’apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close), Bertrand Bonello
Le Havre, Aki Kaurismaki
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Melancholia, Lars von Trier
Michael, Markus Schleinzer
Pater, Alain Cavalier
Polisse, Maiwenn
The Skin That I Inhabit, Pedro Almodovar
Sleeping Beauty, Julia Leigh
La Source des femmes, Radu Mihaileanu
This Must Be the Place, Paolo Sorrentino
The Tree of Life,” Terrence Malick
We Have a Pope,” Nanni Moretti
We Need to Talk About Kevin,” Lynne Ramsay
Un Certain Regard
Arirang, Kim Ki-duk
Bonsai, Cristian Jimenez
The Day He Arrives, Hong Sang-soo
Et maintenant on va ou?, Nadine Labaki
Halt auf freier Strecke, Andreas Dresen
Hors Satan, Bruno Dumont
The Hunter, Bakur Bakuradze
Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro, Robert Guediguian
L’exercisce de l’etat, Pierre Schoeller
Loverboy, Catalin Mitulescu
Martha Marcy May Marlene, Sean Durkin
Miss Bala, Gerardo Naranjo
Restless, Gus Van Sant
Oslo, August 31st, Joachim Trier
Skoonheid, Oliver Hermanus
Tatsumi, Eric Khoo
Trabalhar cansa, Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra
Toomelah, Ivan Sen
The Yellow Sea, Na Hong-jin

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