Undeniably gifted director whose blackly humorous, often surrealistic and sometimes misogynistic films have divided critics. Blier began his career as an assistant to John Berry, Jean Delannoy and Ch...
Two prominent American directors, Clint Eastwood and Gus Van Sant, will compete for the top prize at this year's prestigious Cannes Film Festival, it was announced Wednesday.
Eastwood's suspense thriller Mystic River, which stars Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins, is one of the top contenders for the coveted Palme d'Or, given to the best feature film winner. The film, scheduled for release stateside Oct. 3, 2003, revolves around three childhood friends who are reunited 25 years later when they become linked to a murder investigation.
Good Will Hunting director Van Sant will present Elephant, a film focusing on high school violence.
Also in competition is British director Peter Greenaway's period drama, The Tulse Luper Suitcase, starring J.J. Field and Kathy Bates. The epic tale follows 92 characters, 92 events, and 92 suitcases from the year 1928 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This is the director's third Palme d'Or nomination.
Danish director Lars von Trier, who won the Palme d'Or two years ago for the musical Dancer in the Dark, will show his new thriller Dogville. The film stars Nicole Kidman as a woman on the run who takes refuge in a small town inhabited by an anguished apple grower, his wife and their seven children.
French director Patrice Chereau, actress Meg Ryan and director Steven Soderbergh are in this year's jury.
Celebs expected at this year's festival include Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Lauren Bacall, Laurence Fishburne, Keanu Reeves, Monica Bellucci, Toni Collette and James Caan.
The 56th Cannes Film Festival opens May 14 in Paris with Penelope Cruz's new comedy Fanfan la Tulipe, a remake of the 1952 French film starring Gina Lollobrigida.
The French festival also showcases international films out of competition. Warner Bros.' highly anticipated sci-fi sequel The Matrix: Reloaded premieres worldwide May 15 on the festival's second day.
The festival closes on May 25.
Here is the complete list of films in competition:
Les Invasions Barbares, Denys Arcand, Canada
Il Cuore Altrove, Pupi Avati, Italy
Carandiru, Hector Babenco, Brazil
Uzak, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey
Mystic River, Clint Eastwood, United States
The Brown Bunny, Vincent Gallo, United States
The Moab Story/The Tulse Luper Suitcases--Part I, Peter Greenaway, Britain
Shara, Naomi Kawase, Japan
Akarui Mirai, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan
A Cinq Heures de l'Apres-Midi, Samira Makhmalbaf, Iran
Ce Jour-La, Raoul Ruiz, Switzerland
Father and Son, Alexandre Sokorov, Russia
Dogville, Lars von Trier, Denmark
Elephant, Gus Van Sant, United States
Purple Butterfly, Lu Ye, China
Les Cotelettes, Bertrand Blier, France
La Petite Lili, Claude Miller, France
Swimming Pool, Francois Ozon, France
Les Egares, Andre Techine, France
Tiresia, Bertand Bonello, France
Out of competition:
Le Temps Du Loup, Michael Haneke, France
Vai E Vem, Joao Cesar Monteiro, Portugal
Mansion by the Lake, Lester James Peries, Sri Lanka
The Matrix: Reloaded, Andy and Larry Wachowski, United States
Les Triplettes de Belleville, Sylvain Chomet, France
Qui A Tué Bambi?, Gilles Marchand, France
Fiction feature directing debut, "Si j'etais un espion/ /Breakdown/If I Were a Spy"
Worked as 2nd assistant director for Georges Lautner
Short fiction film directing debut, "La grimace"
Feature-length directing debut with the documentary "Hitler... Connais pas!/Hitler... Never Heard of Him!"
Undeniably gifted director whose blackly humorous, often surrealistic and sometimes misogynistic films have divided critics.
Blier began his career as an assistant to John Berry, Jean Delannoy and Christian-Jacque before making a series of cinema verite-style documentaries which culminated with "Hitler?...Connais Pas!" (1962), a feature-length study of disaffected teenagers. His first fiction feature was "Breakdown/If I Were a Spy" in 1967, but he hit the international spotlight with 1974's "Going Places/Getting It Up/Making It". A kind of French "Clockwork Orange", the film depicted the (primarily sexual) escapades of two amoral, petty thugs (they are not above sniffing a young girl's underwear in an attempt to determine her age). By turns offensive, disturbing and hilarious, the film launched not only Blier, but the then-unknown actors Gerard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere and Miou-Miou.
After being vilified for the misogynism of "Calmos" (1975), Blier earned international acclaim for "Get Out Your Handkerchiefs" (1978), a ribald comedy, again starring Depardieu and Dewaere, which took the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. "Buffet Froid" (1980) marked the director's incursion into surrealist territory, a farcical study in the psychology of murder pitting Depardieu, as a suspected serial killer, against Blier's father, Bernard, as an aging police inspector.
Blier continued to offend, alienate and exhilarate his audience with "Beau Pere" (1981), a reworking of "Lolita" in which a widower (Dewaere) is left in charge of his adolescent stepdaughter, and "Menage/Tenue de Soiree/Evening Dress" (1986), about a convivial gay burglar (Depardieu) who wreaks havoc within a bankrupt, heterosexual household. "Too Beautiful For You" (1989) saw a successful car dealer (Depardieu) abandoning his beautiful wife (Carole Bouquet) for a plain mistress (Josiane Balasko); Blier's disjunctive, non-linear narrative style served more to defuse the film's emotional impact than to explore new stylistic or psychological territory. Other films include "1, 2, 3 Soleil" (1993) and "My Man" (1996).