Cannes Film Festival Preps with Official Poster, First Selections

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The biggest event on the global cinematic calendar is nearly upon us, with the 69th Cannes Film Festival set for May 11-22. The selection committee won’t release their picks for the titles screening In Competition and the festival’s many sidebar programs until mid-April, but to stoke the fires of anticipation just a little, they’ve gone and revealed the official poster for this year’s proceedings as well as a handful of premieres for big-name new films that will, in all likelihood, play out of competition. The Croisette just got an added dose of star-power, American style.

Last year, Hollywood smashes Mad Max: Fury Road and Inside Out debuted among the foreign fare at Cannes days before their American release dates in more of an effort to drum up some positive early buzz than anything else. Similarly, Variety reports that Jodie Foster’s directorial effort Money Monster will play at Cannes a day or two prior to its U.S. release on May 13, putting a financial guru played by George Clooney in a high-pressure hostage situation at the mercy of a disgruntled viewer.

Foster will be joined on the Croisette by fellow actor-turned-filmmaker(-turned-celebrity journalist) Sean Penn, who’ll unveil his drama The Last Face, starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as aid workers who find love with one another while serving in conflict-ravaged Liberia. Woody Allen will be on the scene as well, with his 1930s-set romance Café Society reuniting Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg after they first sparked in Adventureland back in 2009. Jeff Nichols, currently riding high on generally positive reviews for his latest feature Midnight Special, will head out to Cannes to unveil his upcoming Loving, a controversial drama exploring racial tensions facing Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as a couple in 1958 Virginia.

The new poster, a gold-hued homage to Jean-Luc Godard’s classic film Contempt, has been embedded below. It’s a bit of a departure for the notoriously style-conscious festival, depicting a landscape instead of an adulatory close-up of a screen idol from a bygone age. (Recent years’s posters have featured Marcello Mastroianni, Paul Newman, and Marilyn Monroe.) It’s a sensuous, gorgeous image that simultaneously salutes cinema itself and the history of the festival. Vive la France!

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