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Pans & Tilts
Cannes Film Festival and Probables
By Gautaman Bhaskaran
South Asia Correspondent
Anurag Basu’s film "Kites"

Anurag Basu’s much anticipated “Kites” may screen at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival that runs from May 12 to 23, 2010. Produced by Reliance Big Pictures and staring Hrithik Roshan and Mexican actress and model Barbara Mori, the movie however cannot be part of either the Festival’s Competition or A Certain Regard, a section created to discover talent and explore radical trends. What “Kites” may hope to clinch is a slot in Special Screening, a place that Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s “Devdas” found in 2002.

“Kites” had a wonderful promotion at Cannes last year, when Roshan and Mori stayed several days at the French Riviera. The film’s rough cut was screened for publicists and buyers among others.

This year, Indian excitement at the alluring French Riviera could be pretty high with the Roshans, the Moris and Anupam Kher as well as Freida Pinto, the girl who stole a million hearts in “Slumdog Millionaire”, all marking their presence.

Kher and Pinto are part of “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”, Woody Allen’s latest creation strongly tipped to be at Cannes. Anthony Hopkins and Naomi Watts are also in it.

Along with Kher, Pinto and the rest, Sylvester Stallone may walk up the Festival Palace’s Red Carpet (that the world dies to be on) with his action flick, “The Expendables”. His co-stars include Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that is an amazing eyeful.

With about 40 days to go before the world’s most important movie festival unrolls, the guess work has begun. Of course on April 15, the Festival will officially announce the list of films in Paris. Admittedly in recent years, a few additions have been made to the programme right up to the start of the event.

So, let us take a look at the other Cannes probables. Mike Leigh is reportedly coming back to the Festival with “Another Year” (U.K.), and so is Nikita Mikhalkov with “The Exodus – The Fortress: Burnt By The Sun 2” (Russia). Leigh has made some remarkable cinema: “Naked”, “Secrets and Lies”, “Life is Sweet” and “Bleak Moments”. Mikhalkov, whose part 1 of the movie was shown at Cannes in 1994, hit the eye with his 1998 “The Barber of Siberia.”

And will Abbas Kiarostami and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu return to the Croisette (Cannes’ famous beach front) as well with their “Certified Copy” and “Beautiful’ respectively?

Iran’s Kiarostami, who although has been compared with Satyajit Ray, Vittorio de Sica and Eric Rohmer, exhibited a unique style in “Taste of Cherry”, which won the Palm d’Or at Cannes in 1997. His “Ten” that came in 2002 broke away from many conventions to follow an unusual moviemaking style. Inarritu’s 2006 “Babel” was a great piece of work whose several stories take place each in America, Mexico, Morocco and Japan. In the end, they all converge at one point, and we realise how every incident was firmly connected to the other.

Cannes may also see Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” (Brad Pitt and Sean Penn) and John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole” (Nicole Kidman).

The other titles that may hit it off with the Cannes selectors are: Im Sang-soo’s “The Housemaid” (South Korea),Takeshi Kitano’s ”Outrage “ and Takashi Miike’s “Thirteen Assassins” ( both from Japan), Xavier Dolan’s “Love, Imagined” (Canada), Olivier Assayas’ “Carlos’, Rachid Bouchareb’s “Outlaws” and Jean-Luc Godard’s “Film Socialism” (all from France),Tom Tykwer’s “Three” (Germany), Stephen Frears’ “Tamara Drewe” and Peter Mullan’s “Neds” (both from the U.K.), and Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere”, Jodie Foster’s “The Beaver” and Peter Weir’s “The Way Back” (all from the U.S.A).



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Gautaman Bhaskaran is a veteran film critic and writer who has covered Cannes and other major international festivals, like Venice, Berlin, Montreal, Melbourne, and Fukuoka over the past two decades. He has been to Cannes alone for 15 years. He has worked in two of India’s leading English newspapers, The Hindu and The Statesman, and is now completing an authorized biography of India’s auteur-director, Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Penguin International will publish the book, whose research was funded by Ford Foundation.

 

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