Van Sant, Macbeth to jazz up 68th Cannes film festival

Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:53am EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Palme d'Or laureate Gus Van Sant's "The Sea of Trees" and Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth" will jazz up the 68th Cannes festival, the glittering cinema showcase to which Woody Allen returns after a three-year hiatus.

Todd Haynes's "Carol", a drama featuring Cate Blanchett about a lesbian love affair, joins the list.

Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts both star in Van Sant's enigmatic tale of a suicidal American meeting a Japanese in a forest, while Michael Fassbender plays lead in Kurzel's adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", which also stars Marion Cotillard.

Van Sant won Cannes's highest distinction, the Palme d'Or for the best movie, in 2003 with "Elephant".

Festival general delegate Thierry Fremeaux told a news conference that 1,854 films had been submitted for selection for the May 13-24 extravaganza.

He unveiled 42 - 16 competing for the Palme d'Or - which he said is "about 90 per cent" of the selection to be completed early next week.

Following rumors that 'selfies' would be banned on the red carpet, Fremeaux said they would not, although he called the practice "ridiculous and grotesque".

Taiwan's Hou Hsiao Hsien, one of the most renowned directors of the 1990s, is also in competition with "The Assassin" as he hopes to win the Palme d'Or after being awarded the Jury Prize for "The Puppetmaster" in 1993.   Continued...

Cannes Film festival general delegate Thierry Fremaux (R) and its president Pierre Lescure attend a news conference to announce the competing films at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Paris April 16, 2015.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier