Cannes celebrates 65 years in predictable style | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 16.05.2012
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Cannes celebrates 65 years in predictable style

In its 65th year, the world's most famous film festival takes few chances and relies instead on older, established male directors. See what's in store for the French city's silver screens.

The red carpet of the famous palm-lined Croisette will once again be in the spotlight as international stars of cinema start arriving on Wednesday. This year's 65th edition of the world's most important film festival promises to deliver quality films.

"Paradise: Love," by Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, tells the story of wealthy European women who travel to the coast of Kenya in search of romance with young African men. Seidl, an expert in dissecting the depths of human instinct, explores the often unknown side to sex tourism: older, white women who travel to African countries to satisfy their desire for black men. The film should provide food for thought for critics at Cannes.

Cannes 2012 Film Festival. Scene from Michael Haneke's film 'Love'

Former Palme d'Or winner Michael Haneke's 'Love' tells of intimate family drama

Seidl is not the only Austrian to be in lining up for the Palme d'Or - the highest award given at the festival. His fellow countryman, Michael Haneke, who won the Palme d'Or three years ago for his film "The White Ribbon," is this year presenting "Love," which depicts story of an intimate family drama starring Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant. 22 films from 15 countries will compete for the coveted Palme d'Or film award at Cannes Film Festival.

A meeting of older men

Cannes 2012 Film Festival Logo

Cannes Film Festival has caused controversy this year for not inviting any female directors

One thing is sure even before Italian director Nanni Moretti and his fellow judges present awards to this year's Cannes winners: all the prizes will be going to men. Not a single female was chosen to participate in the competition. Last year there were four. Most of the men who directed this year's entries are also over 60, leading to criticism that Head of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Fremaux invited too many of the usual suspects.

This includes 90-year-old director Alain Resnais who will be representing France at Cannes. Based on a play by Jean Anouilh, his film "Vous n'avez encore rien vu" tells the story of a group of actors who have gathered to hear the reading of deceased playwright's will. French director Leos Carax's newest film, "Holy Motors" features the story of a man who hops from body to body, in the film "Holy Motors" starring Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue.

Hollywood presence

Cannes 2012 Film Festival. Scene from Wes Anderson's film 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' will open the 2012 Canne Film Festival

Opening the festival this year, is American director Wes Anderson with "Moonrise Kingdom." Anderson - a specialist in grotesque, enigmatic views of the United States - presents a child's fantasy film set in the 1960s starring Bruce Willis and Bill Murray. North America is also featured in a number of films by Canada's David Cronenberg, Philip Kaufman, Andrew Dominik, and Jeff Nichols, and with big Hollywood celebrities Robert Pattinson, Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt and Reese Witherspoon.

As expected, European cinema will be prominent in this year's Cannes Film Festival including the likes of Ken Loach (Great Britain), Christian Mungiu (Romania), Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark) and Matteo Garrone (Italy). German films, however, will once again be few and far between at this year's Cannes festival. Germany will be taken to the silver screen with a documentary "Garbage in the Garden of Eden" about a small Turkish village, which is resisting the construction of a giant garbage dump.

Cannes 2012 Film Festival. Scene from Fatih Akin's film 'Garbage in the Garden of Eden'

This year's German film is Fatih Akin's 'Garbage in the Garden of Eden'

Cannes’ festival organizers have included quite a number of famous directors from outside Europe to the Croisette’s red carpet including Latin American film makers Walter Salles (Brazil) and Carlos Reygadas (Mexico), and Egypt's Yousry Nasrallah and Iran's Abbas Kiarostami. Also, South Korea will again feature strongly year with both Hong Sang-soo and Im Sang-soo presenting their latest films.

While Cannes’ spotlight may have been marred by controversy by its lack of female directors, cinematic critics will no doubt be eagerly awaiting to view the line-up.

Author: Jochen Kürten /crl
Editor: Sean Sinico

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