Film auteurs return to Cannes

Lars von Trier, Pedro Almodovar and Terrence Malick are just three of the top film auteurs who will offer up their latest at the Cannes Film Festival.
Antonio Banderas, at right, stars in Pedro Almodovar's latest film, The Skin I Live In. (Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Lars von Trier, Pedro Almodovar and Terrence Malick are just three of the top film auteurs who will offer up their latest at the Cannes Film Festival.

Organizers of the annual cinema celebration unveiled lineup details for the upcoming edition, including the filmmakers who will vie for the festival's top honour, the Palme d'Or.

Danish filmmaker and Cannes regular von Trier will bring Melancholia, a tale about the end of the world featuring a star-studded cast (including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland and Kirsten Dunst). It's billed as the controversial director's take on the science fiction genre.

Spain's Almodovar returns to La Croisette with The Skin I Live In, which follows a justice-seeking vigilante plastic surgeon portrayed by Antonio Banderas.

Malick's 1950s-set The Tree of Life, which had been slated for the 2010 festival but suffered delays, will also screen in this year's competition at Cannes. The American director's latest — described as a Texas boy's journey from childhood innocence to a disillusioned adulthood — stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

Other films to compete for the Palme d'Or include:

  • L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close), directed by Bertrand Bonello.
  • Pater, directed by Alain Cavalier.
  • Hearat Shulayim (Footnote), directed by Joseph Cedar.
  • Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once upon a time in Anatolia), directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.    
  • Le Gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike), directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
  • Le Havre, directed by Aki Kaurismaki.
  • Hanezu No Tsuki, directed by Naomi Kawase.
  • Sleeping Beauty, directed by Julia Leigh.
  • Polisse, directed by Maïwenn.
  • La Source des femmes, directed by Radu Mihaileanu.
  • Ichimei (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai), directed by Takashi Miike.
  • Habemus Papem (We Have a Pope), directed by Nanni Moretti.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay.
  • Michael, directed by Markus Schleinzer.
  • This Must Be the Place, directed by Paolo Sorrentino. 
  • Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.
Actress Kirsten Dunst, at left, is one of the stars in director Lars von Trier's film Melancholia. (Adam Ihse/AFP/Getty Images)

Actor and Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro will preside over the jury for the main competition.

Serbian director Emir Kusturica will chair the jury for the Un Certain Regard program, which focusses on lesser-known filmmakers and will open with Restless, the latest from U.S. director Gus Van Sant.

French filmmaker Michel Gondry presides over the jury examining the short film competitors.

Prominent titles screening out of competition include Woody Allen's opening night film Midnight in Paris, the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean installment On Stranger Tides and Jodie Foster's anticipated dark comedy The Beaver.

The 2011 Cannes Film Festival runs May 11-22.