The red carpets were rolled out on Wednesday, May 14, as the 61st edition of France's premier film event opened. Films from all over the world are being screened, including one from the heavyweight German director.
The Riviera resort is swank as usual
The Brazilian film, "Blindness," starring American actress Julianne Moore, kicked off the event, which will run until Saturday, May 25.
As usual, there will be no shortage of big names in attendance, with American directors Steven Soderberg and Clint Eastwood both entering films in the festival's main competition.
But one work certain to interest cineastes is Wim Wenders' "Palermo Shooting," which is also gunning for the Palme d'Or.
Wenders seems to have hit it off well with Campino
Wenders won the festival's top prize in 1984 for his film "Paris, Texas," and his new film has a familiar feel to it. It, too, is about a lonely hero who falls in love with a younger woman, and the cast features former Wenders collaborator Dennis Hopper.
But "Palermo Shooting" is the first film in fifteen years Wenders made in Europe. It stars German rock singer Campino of the band "Die toten Hosen" and has American music icons Lou Reed and Patti Smith in supporting roles.
Campino plays a successful but stressed-out photographer named Finn, who leaves Duesseldorf for Palermo to start a new life and pursue a new love. The only problem is that he is being pursued by a mysterious gunman.
Dresen also in town
"Cloud 9" is a portrait of love in old age
Another German cinema heavyweight is entered in the subsidiary competition "Un Certain Regard."
Andreas Dresen established his reputation for gritty yet comical depictions of middle-class lives, particularly infidelities, in post-Communist Eastern Germany.
The Potsdam-born director's new work, entitled "Cloud 9," is about a 60-year old women who begins a torrid affair after three decades of marriage.
The red carpets are ready to be trod by celebrity soles
Dresen is not the sort of filmmaker who usually finds favor on the Riviera, but the fact that Cannes organizers invited him to enter the competition must mean he has a chance to win.
And he may also have an ace in the hole, as German filmmaker Fatih Akin is one of the jurors.