Holy Hollywood, the selections for this year’s Cannes Film Festival (both confirmed and mostly-confirmed) are a star-studded bunch so far, if the rumormongers are to be believed, anyway. The news is coming pretty quick-fire at the minute, so I’ll run down the latest…

First off, yesterday French site Le Figaro announced that Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides will play on the Croisette out of competition on Saturday May 14th, before it opens to French cinemas on May 18th and in the US on the 20th. This is one I was half-expecting, given the coincidental release dates, and the fact that there are traditionally a couple of mainstream releases showing out of competition at the fest.

The third out of competition (joining Pirates and Terrence Malick’s already announced Tree of Life) looks likely to be Kung Fu Panda 2, according to Thompson on Hollywood, who say the 3D Dreamworks sequel starring Jack Black will follow Jeff Katzenberg’s tradition of bringing a DreamWorks project to Cannes to take advantage of a “worldwide marketing blitz.”

So that’s two huge mainstream sequel releases added to the Screening Schedule already, and the Cannes official site has also just sent out a Newsletter announcing that Gus Van Sant’s Restless will open the Un Certain Regard competition (presided over by jury president Emir Kusturica) on Thursday May 12th. Again, this was sort of expected, since Restless had been set to play at Sundance before Van Sant reportedly had a wobble and decided it needed more work – though the film’s position in the secondary competition makes me wonder if there is going to be an American presence in Competition at all.

And what else? Well Variety are saying that Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin That I Inhabit will show, following his usual trend of premiering his films at the May fest, along with six other films that they say will screen in Competition: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid With a Bike; Lars von Trier’s Melancholia; Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia; Finnish helmer Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre; Nanni Moretti’s We Have a Pope, and Paolo Sorrentino’s hugely controversial This Must Be the Place.

Alongside Van Sant’s wierd-looking spectacle, Un Certain Regard will also likely feature Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and Dogtooth helmer Giorgos Lanthimos’s next project Alps.

And finally, Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, writer of Once Upon a Time in the West and director of the sublime The Conformist and The Last Emperor will receive an Honorary Palme d’Or during the Opening Ceremony (as the award becomes a new tradition from this year onwards). Damn fine decision, and an excellent choice to join former winners Clint Eastwood and Woody Allen.

Thursday (i.e. tomorrow) will see the official announcement for this year’s Cannes films- I’ll bring you them as soon as I find them out (follow me on Twitter @SiTheMovieGuy for real-time reactions).


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