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Cannes 2012 comes with side of pavlova

Kiwi-born and Aussie-raised Andrew Dominik sees his second feature starring Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly (aka Cogan’s Trade) selected in competition for the Palme d’Or.

Dominik is best-known for his debut feature which he also wrote, Chopper, and wrote and directed The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He also adapted The Killer Inside Me from Jim Thompson’s novel and was supposed to direct, but left the project. It was eventually directed by Michael Winterbottom and nominated for Berlin’s Golden Bear but ended up winning only a Razzie.

Australian-born John Hillcoat (The Road) has US-shot Depression-era crime drama Lawless selected in competition.

The remainder of the Cannes competition line-up is peppered with returning visitors, including Michael Haneke, Hong Sang-soo, Im Sang-soo, Ken Loach and David Cronenberg (whose son Brandon also gets a nod with his debut feature Anti-Viral selected for Un Certain Regard).

In what’s probably his last try, 90-year old local boy Alain Resnais has a fifth shot at a Palme d’Or in a run that spans 62 years since his 1959 nomination for Hiroshima Mon Amour. His last selection, 2009’s Wild Grass, didn’t win, but the jury took no chances and presented Resnais a lifetime achievement gong.

Un Certain Regard by contrast includes four debut features in its competition line-up alongside better-known and returning directors including China’s Lou Ye, who keeps up his record of triennial Cannes selection. Mystery is his first appearance in the sidebar, although Suzhou River, Summer Palace and Purple Butterfly all competed for the Palme d’Or. Mystery also his first mainland film for six years, having been banned from filmmaking in China following the sexually-explicit and “politically irresponsible” Summer Palace.

Cannes offers special screenings to a variety of artsy fare, including from 2010 winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Following the 118 minutes (though it felt far longer) of Uncle Boonme, Mekong Hotel comes in at a merciful 61 minutes.

Numbing the other end will be an extended cut of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America. A film that could make Peter Jackson’s recent works seem like shorts, the redux version extends the original 229 minutes to 269, or four and a half hours.

Another previous Palme d’Or nominee, Bernado Bertolucci (Last Tango in Paris, The Last Emperor) gets a special screening of Io E Te (Me and You). For the less artistically inclined, Madagascar 3 also gets a special screening.

The competition line-ups are:

Main Competition
Wes ANDERSON, MOONRISE KINGDOM (opening film)
Jacques AUDIARD, DE ROUILLE ET D’OS
Leos CARAX, HOLY MOTORS
David CRONENBERG, COSMOPOLIS
Lee DANIELS, THE PAPERBOY
Andrew DOMINIK, KILLING THEM SOFTLY
Matteo GARRONE, REALITY
Michael HANEKE, AMOUR (LOVE)
John HILLCOAT, LAWLESS
HONG Sangsoo, DA-REUN NA-RA-E-SUH (IN ANOTHER COUNTRY)
IM Sang-soo, DO-NUI MAT (THE TASTE OF MONEY)
Abbas KIAROSTAMI, LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE
Ken LOACH, THE ANGELS’ SHARE
Sergei LOZNITSA, V TUMANE (IN THE FOG)
Cristian MUNGIU, BEYOND THE HILLS
Yousry NASRALLAH, BAAD EL MAWKEAA (AFTER THE BATTLE)
Jeff NICHOLS, MUD
Alain RESNAIS, VOUS N’AVEZ ENCORE RIEN VU
Carlos REYGADAS, POST TENEBRAS LUX (Light after Darkness)
Walter SALLES, ON THE ROAD
Ulrich SEIDL, PARADIES : Liebe (PARADISE : Love)
Thomas VINTERBERG, JAGTEN (THE HUNT)

Un Certain Regard
Ashim AHLUWALIA , MISS LOVELY (First film)
Juan Andrés ARANGO, LA PLAYA (First film)
Nabil AYOUCH, LES CHEVAUX DE DIEU (GOD’S HORSES)
Catherine CORSINI, TROIS MONDE
Brandon CRONENBERG, ANTIVIRAL (First film)
Benicio DEL TORO, Pablo TRAPERO, Julio MEDEM, Elia SULEIMAN, Juan Carlos TABIO,
Gaspard NOÉ and Laurent CANTET, 7 DIAS EN LA HABANA
Benoit DELÉPINE and Gustave KERVERN, LE GRAND SOIR
Xavier DOLAN, LAURENCE ANYWAYS
Michel FRANCO, DESPUÉS DE LUCIA
Joachim LAFOSSE, À PERDRE LA RAISON
Darezhan OMIRBAYEV, STUDENT
Moussa TOURE, LA PIROGUE (THE PIROGUE)
Pablo TRAPERO, ELEFANTE BLANCO (WHITE ELEPHANT)
Sylvie VERHEYDE, CONFESSION OF A CHILD OF THE CENTURY
Koji WAKAMATSU, 11.25 THE DAY HE CHOSE HIS OWN FATE
YOU Le, MYSTERY
Benh ZEITLIN, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (First film)

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