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Cannes Film Festival 2004 - line-up announced

Story by: Jack Foley

FOLLOWING the disappointment of last year, which was dubbed 'the worst ever', the Cannes Film Festival would appear to be back with a strong line-up for 2004.

Events kick off on May 12 with the opening film, Bad Education, Pedro Almodovar's keenly anticipated movie about two boyhood friends, whose relationship is put to the test by an unscrupulous priest, and the effect it has on them years later.

It will be followed by some quality independent movies, including the critically acclaimed The Motorcycle Diaries, as well as Hollywood blockbusters, such as Shrek 2, Troy and Kill Bill: Volume 2.

Quentin Tarantino will also chair the jury at the event - on the tenth anniversary of his Pulp Fiction winning the prestigious Palme d'Or.

Shrek 2, the sequel to the animated hit movie, will play in competition, like its predecessor, when it will be up against the likes of the British film, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, starring Geoffrey Rush and Oscar-winner, Charlize Theron, and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11.

Proceedings will come to a close on May 23 with the world premiere of the Cole Porter biopic, De-Lovely, starring Kevin Kline.

Festival organiser, Thierry Frémaux, said Shrek 2's selection, along with that of Joel and Ethan Coen's The Ladykillers and the Sellers biography, was 'an affirmation for comedy'.

"The festival has been spreading the word that it is open to all types of films," he commented.

"With the spotlight on animated features and documentaries, the festival continues preoccupations begun in 2001."

A total of 18 films will compete for the Palme d'Or, including three from France and, for the first time, one from Thailand.

The aforementioned Motorcycle Diaries, a drama based on the journals of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, by Brazilian director, Walter Salles's, is also featured.

Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 2 and Troy, the star-studded Greek epic, starring Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom, will play out of competition.

Star appearances are expected to be made by Pitt, Theron, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hanks and Eddie Murphy.

The 57th Cannes Film Festival will also feature plenty of indie fare, including the US film, Niels Mueller’s The Assassination Of Richard Nixon, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, in a slot previously taken by films such as American Splendor and Raising Victor Vargas.

Of the films expecting to court controversy, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 is probably the hottest, as it is being billed as a searing and controversy-baiting documentary about George W Bush’s friendship with the Bin Laden family.

Asian cinema also features prominently, with Wong Kar-Wai’s sci-fi love story, 2046, which has been five years in the making, among the chief highlights for hardened film buffs.

Zhang Yimou’s Flying Daggers, his martial arts follow-up to Hero, should prove another hot ticket.

Opening Film
Bad Education Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)

Closing Film
De-Lovely Irwin Winkler (USA)

In Competition
Shrek 2 - Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon (USA)
The Ladykillers - Joel and Ethan Coen (USA)
Woman Is The Future Of Man - Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers - Stephen Hopkins (UK)
Nobody Knows - Kore-Eda Hirokazu (Japan)
La Vie Est Un Miracle (Zivot Je Cudo) - Emir Kusturica (Serbia/Montenegro)
La Nina Santa - Lucrecia Martel (Argentina)
Fahrenheit 9/11 - Michael Moore (USA)
Innocence - Oshii Mamoru (Japan)
Old Boy - Park Chan-wook (Korea)
The Motorcycle Diaries - Walter Salles (Brasil)
Le Conseguenze Dell'amore - Paolo Sorrentino (Italy)
Tropical Malady - Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand)
Edukators (Die Fetten Jahre Sind Vorbei) - Hans Weingartner (Germany)
2046 - Wong Kar-wai (Hong Kong)
Clean - Olivier Assayas (France)
Exils - Tony Gatlif (France)
Comme Une Image - Agnès Jaoui (France)

Out of Competition
Bad Santa - Terry Zwigoff (USA)
Cinéastes À Tout Prix - Frédéric Sojcher (Belgium)
Dawn Of The Dead - Zack Snyder (USA)
Five - Abbas Kiarostami (Iran)
Flying Daggers - Yimou Zhang (China)
Kill Bill Vol. 2 - Quentin Tarantino (USA)
La Porte Du Soleil - Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt)
Mondovino - Jonathan Nossiter (USA)
Notre Musique - Jean-Luc Godard (France)
Salvador Allende - Patricio Guzmán (Chile)
Troy - Wolfgang Petersen (USA)
10e Chambre Instants D'audiences - Raymond Depardon

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