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Cannes unveils 'highly political' 2019 festival lineup

Bertrand GUAY / AFP | General Delegate of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Fremaux (L) and Cannes Film Festival President Pierre Lescure give a press conference to present the 72nd Cannes Film Festival Official Selection, on April 18, 2019 in Paris

Veteran directors Ken Loach and Terrence Malick head the line-up of a "highly political" Cannes film festival next month, its director Thierry Fremaux said Thursday.


But the big news was that there was no place -- as yet -- for Quentin Tarantino's much-anticipated "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Fremaux hinted that the maker of "Reservoir Dogs", could still make it, saying, "We can hope that some films may join us that we are all waiting on before May 14" when the festival starts.

"It is not yet ready," he told reporters. "It's a bit of a sprint... we hope we will have good news to announce (later)."

Line up includes 'heavy weights, and an emerging generation'

Loach, 82, who won the top Palme d'Or prize in 2016 with "I, Daniel Blake" -- which he then said was his final film -- returns with "Sorry We Missed You", an indictment of the gig economy.

The reclusive Malick will premiere his World War II story, "A Hidden Life" about a German conscientious objector guillotined by the Nazis in 1943.

The world's biggest film festival, which sees itself as the "Olympics of cinema", will open with cult US director Jim Jarmusch's "The Dead Don't Die".

Almodovar returns

 The zombie comedy stars Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton and singers Iggy Pop and Tom Waits.

Korean master Bong Joon-ho of "Okja" and "Snowpiercer" fame is back with a tragi-comedy film noir called "Parasite" about the growing divide between rich and poor in his homeland.

Another Cannes regular Pedro Almodovar also returns with his most personal film yet, "Pain & Glory", which has already opened to great acclaim in his native Spain.

Palestine film-maker Elia Suleiman charts his own struggle to find an alternative homeland in "It Must Be Heaven".

Fremaux said the festival was full of "political" movies about "daily life, individuals who battle against adversity. We go into people homes to tackle ordinary problems.

"The festival isn't political, it is the artists who are," he added.

"Rocketman", the biopic of the pop legend Elton John, with Jamie Bell and Richard Madden, will also be premiered on the Croisette, but out of competition.

The French film legend Alain Delon, once called the most beautiful man in the world, and the star of such classics as "The Leopard", "Monsieur Klein" and "The Swimming Pool", will be awarded an honorary Palme d'Or.

The festival, whose jury this year is headed by the Mexican maestro Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of "Birdman" and "The Revenant" fame, runs from May 14 to 25.


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