Cannes Film Fest 2008: The Line-Up–Eastwood, Soderbergh, Woody Allen

April 23, 2008–Soderberghs two biopics about Che and Clint Eastwoods The Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, are among the high-profile entries at the 61st Festival de Cannes. Other American films, both both studio and indie fare, are also in the various sections.

Soderberghs The Argentine and Guerrilla may have been last-minute decision. There has been uncertainty whether helmer would be able to finish the two films by mid-May, when Cannes begins. Neither, though announced by Cannes head Thierry Fremaux Wednesday morning in Paris, is on the competition list handed out at the end of the Cannes festival press conference.

Three Hollywood features will play out-of-competition, all with major star power. Spielbergs Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will world premiere, probably on Sunday May 18, with director and star Harrison Ford in attendance.

DreamWorks Animations Kung Fu Panda, an adventure, comedic chop-soc tooner will also play, following in the footsteps of the 2001 “Shrek,” which was in competition.

Also non-competing is Woody Allens Spain-financed and shot Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona, with Penelope Cruz.

Two U.S. productions, down from five in 2007, make a scaled-down competition: Clint Eastwoods The Changeling, a 1920s-set kidnap thriller, with Angelina Jolie; and Synechdoche, New York, the directing debut of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (“Spike Jones,” Adaptation”).

The Belgian brothers Jean-Luc and Pierre Dardenne will vie for their third Palme d’Or with their femme-driven drama The Silence of Lorna. The Dardenne have won the top award twice, for “Rosetta” and for “The Child” (L’enfant”).

Arnaud Desplechin returns to Cannes with A Christmas Tale, a family tale with a star-ensemble led by Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric (of “Diving Bell” fame).

Walter Salles returns to Cannes with the Brazilian social problem picture Linha de passe, an urban road movie, set in Sao Paulo, about four soccer wannabe brothers.

Atom Egoyan, a regular presence at Cannes, returns with Adoration.

Jia Zhangkes 24 City may be the only major Chinese film at Cannes this year, partly due to Chinese censorship regarding travel overseas.

Wim Wenders, who won the Palme D’Or in 1984 for “Paris, Texas,” competes with the romantic thriller, The Palermo Shooting, headed by Milla Jovovich, Dennis Hopper and Giovanna Mezzogiorno.

Another Cannes favorite, Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan (“Distance”), will be represented by another drama, Daydreams.

France has three films in competition, including La Frontiere de laube, by Philippe Garrel. The other titles will be announced shortly.

Eight of the 20 directors are first-timers in Competition, Fremaux said. The Israeli industry’s been buzzing for months, for instance, about Ari Folmans entry, Waltz With Bashir, an animated feature about Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Other Palme d’Or contenders are Hungary’s Kornel Mundruczo, with Delta, an incest-themed drama, Italian Mateo Garrones bestseller-based Mafia drama Garrone; Tamil-language, father-son drama My Magic, from Singapore’s Eric Khoo, his first film in Competition.

Philippine director Brillante Mendoza also competes with Serbis, after Foster Child played at Directors Fortnight last year.

Two Argentineans are in competition: Lucrecia Martel with the political womans drama La Mujer sin cabeza, and Pablo Trapero with Leonora.

Festival de Cannes Program

In Competition

“24 City,” China, Jia Zhangke
“Adoration,” Canada, Atom Egoyan
“Changeling,” U.S., Clint Eastwood
“Che,” Spain, Steven Soderbergh
“Un Conte de noel,” France, Arnaud Desplechin
“Daydreams,” Turkey, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
“Delta,” Hungary, Kornel Mundruczo
“Il Divo,” Paolo Sorrentino, Italy
“Gomorra,” Italy, Matteo Garrone
“La Frontiere de l’aube,” France, Philippe Garrel
“Leonera,” Argentina, Pablo Trapero
“Linha de Passe,” Brazil, Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas
“La mujer sin cabeza,” Argentina, Lucrecia Martel
“My Magic,” Singapore, Eric Khoo
“The Palermo Shooting,” Germany, Wim Wenders
“Serbis,” Philippines, Brillante Mendoza
“The Silence of Lorna,” Belgium, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
“Synecdoche, New York,” U.S., Charlie Kaufman
“Waltz With Bashir,” Israel, Ari Folman

Out of Competition

“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” U.S., Steven Spielberg
“Kung Fu Panda,” U.S., Mark Osborne, John Stevenson
“The Good, the Bad, the Weird,” South Korea, Kim Jee-woon
“Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” U.S., Spain, Woody Allen

Midnight Screenings

Maradona, Spain-France, Emir Kusturica
Surveillance, U.S., Jennifer Lynch
The Chaser, South Korea, Na Hong-jin

Special Screenings

Ashes of Time Redux, Hong Kong, Wong Kar-wai
Of Time and the City, U.K., Terence Davies
“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired,” U.S.-U.K., Marina Zenovich
“Sangue Pazzo” (Crazy Blood), Italy-France, Marco Tullio Giordana

Screening of the Jury’s President

The Third Wave, U.S., Alison Thompson

Certain Regard

A festa da menina morta, Brazil, Matheus Nachtergaele
Afterschool, Antonio Campos
De Ofrivilliga, Sweden, Ruben Ostlund
Je veux voir, France, Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige
Johnny Mad Dog, France, Jean-Stephane Sauvaire
La vie moderne (profiles paysans), France, Raymond Depardon
Los Bastardos, Mexico, Amat Escalante
Milh handha al-bahr, (Salt of This Sea), Palestine, Annemarie Jacir
O Horten, Norway-Germany, Bent Hamer
Soi Cowboy, Thomas Clay
Tin Che, (Parking), Chung Mong-Hong
“Tokyo!,” France, Japan, Bong Joon-ho, Michel Gondry, Leos Carax
“Tokyo Sonata,” Japan, Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Tulpan, Germany, Sergey Dvortsevoy
“Tyson,” U.S., James Toback
Versailles, France, Pierre Schoeller
Wendy and Lucy, U.S., Kelly Reichardt
Wolke 9 (Cloud Nine), Germany, Andreas Dresen
Yi ban haishui, yi ban huoyan, Fendou Liu