Old favorites and new faces to present films at Cannes Film Festival

Wednesday, April 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PARIS (AP) _ A healthy dose of Cannes favorites and some new faces, too, are among the directors presenting films at this year's 55th Cannes Film Festival, which announced its selection Wednesday.

Twenty-two movies are showing in competition and seven out of competition in the festival that runs May 15-26

David Cronenberg, the Canadian director who headed the Cannes jury in 1999, is back with ``Spider,'' starring Ralph Fiennes. Another Cannes regular, British director Ken Loach, is back with ``Sweet Sixteen.'' Britain is also represented by Mike Leigh, with ``All or Nothing,'' and Michael Winterbottom, with ''24-Hour Party People.''

Paul Thomas Anderson, the American director of ``Magnolia,'' presents his new film, ``Punch-Drunk Love.'' And Michael Moore presents his latest documentary, ``Bowling for Columbine,'' which pokes fun at the gun culture and is partly about the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. Rounding out the U.S. selection is ``About Schmidt,'' directed by Alexander Payne.

Roman Polanski, perhaps most famous for ``Rosemary's Baby,'' will be at Cannes with ``The Pianist.''

Israeli director Amos Gitai, who presented ``Kadosh'' and ``Kippur,'' is back for the third time in four years with ``Kedma.''

South Korean director Im Kwon-taek, who presented the visually sumptuous ``Chunhyang'' in 2000, is back with ``Chihwaseon.'' China is represented by Jia Zhang Ke's ``Ren Xiao Yao (Unknown Pleasures).''

Four French films are in the competition: ``Demonlover'' by Olivier Assayas; ``Irreversible'' by Gaspar Noe; ``L'adversaire'' by Nicole Garcia; and ``Marie-Jo et ses deux amours'' by Robert Guediguian.

Appearing out of competition, Woody Allen's latest film, ``Hollywood Ending,'' will open the festival, a coup for organizers who have long wanted to lure the reclusive New York filmmaker to the Riviera festival.

``And Now Ladies And Gentlemen,'' by French director Claude Lelouch, will close the festival.

Actresses Sharon Stone of ``Basic Instinct'' and Michelle Yeoh of ``Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,'' will take part in the nine-member jury awarding the Palme d'Or, presided over by the famously quirky director David Lynch, director of ``Blue Velvet,'' ``The Straight Story'' and ``Mulholland Drive.''