Cannes in 60 Seconds - 2009

Cannes is not all about death, gloom, and independent movies. It's also about selling your motion-capture fantasy months in advance of its opening. Jim Carrey, Robin Wright Penn, and Colin Firth showed up in support of Robert Zemeckis' forthcoming A Christmas Carol. After the stars arrived by horse-drawn carriage, Carrey threw a fake snowball. Eight minutes of footage was shown to an invited audience.

Lars, Lars, Lars! Danish director Lars Von Trier's Antichrist shook up Cannes at a press screening on Sunday night, with word quickly spreading that the film was "intentionally unreleasable, chock full of intense violence, graphic sexuality, unforgivable misogyny ... and also beauty," as Karina Longworth described the buzz at Spout. Thus, Von Trier's press conference today, shortly after noon, just as quickly became required viewing -- Anne Thompson has a good report -- and his declaration, "I am the best film director in the world" shot around the world via Twitter. Photographers, depressed by the bloody movie, cheered up when they discovered Hayden Panettiere sunbathing in a bikini on a yacht in the harbor.

Key Screenings. Competition: Ken Loach's 'soccer fanatic / mailman' drama Looking For Eric. Directors' Fortnight: Alain Guiraudie's ''middle-aged homosexual man falls for a young woman romance' Le Roi de l'évasion, Michel Franco's kidnapped sibling drama Daniel & Ana. Un Certain Regard: Yorgos Lanthimos' 'isolated Greek family drama' Dog Tooth, Raya Martin's early 20th Century historical drama Independence.

After the jump: news on Asian action drama Warlords, lesbian romance Drool, and Cannes titles in play.



Celebrities at Cannes

    Actors Rosanna Arquette and Jean-Marc Barr arrive for the screening of the film "Looking For Eric" in competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, May 18, 2009. Twenty films compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or which will be awarded on May 24. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE ENTERTAINMENT)

    Reuters

    Actress Rosanna Arquette arrives for the screening of the film "Looking For Eric" in competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, May 18, 2009. Twenty films compete for the prestigious Palme d'Or which will be awarded on May 24. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (FRANCE ENTERTAINMENT)

    Reuters

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: Paris Hilton attends the Akvinta Presents 'A Night of Hollywood Domino' at The House at Cannes during the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Paris Hilton

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    US actress Rosanna Arquette and French actor Jean-Marc Barr arrive for the screening of the movie "Antichrist" directed by Danish director Lars Von Trier in competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2009. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: Paris Hilton attends the Akvinta Presents 'A Night of Hollywood Domino' at The House at Cannes during the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Paris Hilton

    Getty Images

    US actress Rosanna Arquette and French actor Jean-Marc Barr arrive for the screening of the movie "Antichrist" directed by Danish director Lars Von Trier in competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2009. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: Actress Marion Cotillard presents the award to actor David Kross at The Chopard Trophy held at the Martinez Hotel during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 18th, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Marion Cotillard;David Kross

    Getty Images

    US actress Rosanna Arquette and French actor Jean-Marc Barr arrive for the screening of the movie "Antichrist" directed by Danish director Lars Von Trier in competition at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2009. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

    AFP/Getty Images

    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: TV presenter Myleene Klass attends The Chopard Trophy held at the Martinez Hotel during the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on May 18th, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Myleene Klass

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    CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 18: Jewellery worn by Paris Hilton as she attends the Akvinta Presents 'A Night of Hollywood Domino' at The House at Cannes during the 62nd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2009 in Cannes, France. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Paris Hilton

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'Warlords' Films Sold. Magnolia Pictures' Magnet division acquired rights to Peter Chan's historical action epic Warlords, again according to indieWIRE. The film stars Jet Li, Andy Lau, and Takeshi Kaneshiro. Magnet plans a late summer release, which sounds like it will come out before John Woo's Red Cliff, which is also a historical action epic featuring Takeshi Kaneshiro (and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Chang Chen), recently acquired by Magnet.

Strand Releasing picked up Nancy Kissam's romantic comedy Drool. Laura Harring stars as a woman who accidentally kills her abusive husband, leading to a a road trip to dispose of the body and a romantic tryst with neighbor Jill Marie Jones. Drool debuted at Slamdance without much notice, but Strand is pretty astute about their acquisitions. They plan for a fall release, according to indieWIRE.

Buyers are shying away from uncertain pre-buys, says Jeremy Kay at Screen International, training their sights instead "on completed product with broad theatrical appeal." Cannes titles in play include Bahman Ghobadi's No One Knows About Persian Cats, set in the underground Iranian music scene, and Bong Joon-ho's criminal-themed drama Mother.