Cannes Unveils Slimmed-down Programme

Because of its switch in dates – from August to June – the Edinburgh International Film Festival has effectively ruled out its counterpart in Cannes as a source of material.

But after last year’s bumber 60th anniversary of the Cannes festival, this year’s is to be a much more slimmed-down affair, as revealed yesterday when its programme was announced.

And attracting much of the media attention will be the out-of-competition screening of Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited Indiana Jones sequel, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

The latest in the Harrison Ford opus will roll-out globally on the 22nd of next month just after its premiere on the Riviera. Noticeably absent will be Scots actor, Sean Connery, whose fans had hoped he might be lured from retirement to reprise his role as Jones’ dad.

The blockbuster series has earned nearly $1.2 billion at global box offices.

Also receiving an out-of-competition slot is Woody Allen’s Vicky-Cristina-Barcelona, which he made in Spain after his recent London sojourn. It’s set among American expats on the Costa Brava and the cast features Scarlet Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Among the high profile titles unveiled in the opulent splendour of the Grand Hotel’s Salon Opera by Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s vice-president, in the 20-strong official competition is Clint Eastwood’s latest Changeling (only just completed in time for selection). Set in the 1920s, the film deals with a mother (played by Angelina Jolie) who suspects that the boy returned to her after being kidnapped is not her son.

Atom Egoyan’s Adoration, the Dardenne Brothers’ Le Silence de Orna, Wim Wenders’ The Palermo Shooting, and Charlie Kaufman’s first film as a director, Syndeoche, New York figure in the line-up.

The acclaimed director of The Motorcyle Diaries returns to the Croisette (the palm-lined seafront boulevard) with Linha de Passe, which he co-directed with Daniela Thomas, while Cannes favourite, Steven Soderbergh, offers his take on revolutionary hero Che (incarnated by Bernicio del Toro) in two parts and over four hours. Philippe Garrel with Les Frontieres de L’Aube starring his son, Louis, will also feel the competition heat.

In the adjacent sidebar section, Un Certain Regard, Cannes offers a return berth after a long absence from film-making for French tyro director, Leos Carax (of Les Amants du Pont-Neuf fame), who teams with Michel Gondry and Joon Ho Bong on Tokyo. The throng of 19 titles in this section embraces a documentary by James Toback on boxer Mike Tyson, simply titled Tyson. Apparently, the one-time world champion declared himself to be concerned about security during his visit, prompting Fremaux to remark that, given his reputation, there should be few problems.

Fremaux, explaining the slimmed down structure, said that in the wake of the 60th