Aussie goes for first-time gold in glit­ter­ing line-up

Can fi­nally win Baz Luhrmann the Palme d’or?

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

HE roll-call of di­rec­tors for Cannes, which opened overnight, is al­ways im­pres­sive and 2013 is no ex­cep­tion with Nicholas Wind­ing Refn, the Coen broth­ers, Steven Soder­bergh and Ro­man Polan­ski among those com­pet­ing.

But will Baz Luhrmann’s lav­ish pro­duc­tion of the F. Scott Fitzger­ald clas­sic The Great Gatsby be able to con­vince the jury, led by Stephen Spiel­berg, to award the cov­eted Palme d’Or prize to an Aus­tralian for the first time? Luhrmann’s fes­ti­val-open­ing en­try is up against pre­vi­ous Palme win­ner Soder­bergh, who is pre­sent­ing Be­hind The Can­de­labra, a biopic of pi­anist Lib­er­ace star­ring Michael Dou­glas and Matt Da­mon.

Ryan Gosling’s sec­ond film with Drive di­rec­tor Wind­ing Refn, Only God For­gives, which stars Gosling as a crim­i­nal in the Bangkok un­der­world along­side Kristin Scott Thomas, has also been short­listed for the cov­eted award.

Ethan and Joel Coen’s In­side Llewyn Davis, set in New York’s ’60s folk mu­sic scene, stars Justin Tim­ber­lake, John Good­man and The Great Gatsby’s Carey Mul­li­gan.

Polan­ski, who first com­peted in Cannes in 1976, is screen­ing Venus in Fur fea­tur­ing his wife Em­manuelle Seigner in an adap­ta­tion of a Broad­way play drawn from an erotic novel by Leopold Sacher-Masoch – who in­spired the term masochism.

Nine­teen movies are in the run­ning for the Palme d’Or, but oth­ers may be added in the com­ing weeks, the or­gan­is­ers say. Only one di­rec­tor is a woman – Va­le­ria Bruni-Tedeschi, sis­ter of for­mer French first lady Carla Bruni, with Un Chateau en Italie.

Last year’s line-up did not in­clude any women di­rec­tors. But fes­ti­val artis­tic di­rec­tor Thierry Fre­maux says the films had been se­lected strictly on merit.

‘‘Va­le­ria’s film is not in com­pe­ti­tion be­cause she is a woman but be­cause we liked it,’’ he says.

Asian films with their hat in the ring for the Palme d’Or in­clude Ja­panese di­rec­tors Takashi Mi­ike with the thriller Wara no Tate ( Shield of Straw) and Kore-eda Hirokazu with Soshite Chichi ni Naru ( Like Fa­ther Like Son) and China’s Jia Zhangke for Tian Zhu Ding ( A Touch of Sin).

The fes­ti­val will also turn the spot­light on ob­scure di­rec­tors and young tal­ents, and has a tra­di­tion of screen­ing quirky or provoca­tive movies.

Sofia Cop­pola’s film The Bling Ring, star­ring Harry Pot­ter star Emma Wat­son, will open the new­com­ers’ sec­tion called Un Cer­tain Re­gard. In­spired by a true story, the film re­counts how a group of ado­les­cents rob celebri­ties’ homes af­ter be­com­ing ob­sessed with the world of ‘‘beau­ti­ful peo­ple’’ and lux­ury goods.

In­dia, mean­while, is to be Cannes’ third guest coun­try, fol­low­ing Egypt and Brazil, with a gala screen­ing of Bom­bay Talkies, a four-part fea­ture by four up-and-com­ing In­dian di­rec­tors.

US com­edy star Jerry Lewis, 87, will get a spe­cial trib­ute. Lewis will at­tend a screen­ing of his lat­est film, Max Rose, in which he plays the role of an el­derly jazz pi­anist fac­ing the loss of his wife.

Jerome Salle’s film Zulu, star­ring For­est Whitaker and Or­lando Bloom, will bring pro­ceed­ings to a close.

Amelie star Au­drey Tautou serves as mistress of cer­e­monies for this year’s fes­ti­val.

The Cannes Film Fes­ti­val un­til May 26. The Great Gatsby opens in Aus­tralia on May 30.

French ac­tress and mistress of cer­e­monies at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, Au­drey Tautou.

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