After a relatively weak presence last year, Asian cinema is taking a bigger role at the 66th edition of the Cannes Film Festival. At the press conference on April 18th, the festival announced its selections for the main competition, the Un Certain Regard section and special screenings.
Three Asian films – two from Japan and one from China – will compete for the Palme d'Or: Miike Takeshi's thriller Shield of Straw, Kore-eda Hirokazu's family drama Like Father, Like Son and A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhangke's contemporary tribute to King Hu and Chang Cheh. Miike's For Love's Sake had a midnight screening last year, Kore-eda's Air Doll was in the Un Certain Regard section in 2009 and Jia's previous dramatic film I Wish I Knew was in the 2010 Un Certain Regard. Sin is also the first Chinese film to be in the Cannes competition since 2010's Chongqing Blues.
The Philippines has two films in this year's Un Certain Regard section: Norte, The End of History from Lav Diaz and Death March by Adolfo Alix Jr. They will be joined by Hong Kong's Bends, starring Carina Lau and Aloys Chen. The film marks the directorial debut of Flora Lau and has the support of film veterans like producer Nansun Shi, cinematographer Christopher Doyle and longtime Wong Kar Wai collaborator William Chang.
Johnnie To's latest Blind Detective, starring Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng, will have its world premiere as a midnight screening. Amit Kumar's Monsoon Shootout and omnibus film Bombay Talkies will represent India in the Special Screenings section.
After having two films in the official competition last year, Korea is notably missing from yesterday's announcement, as was Peter Chan's American Dreams in China (the film's release date was recently delayed to after the opening of the festival, prompting Cannes rumors). However, they may appear in the Director's Fortnight or the International Critic's Week sections, whose selections will be announced later.
Oooh what is this Carina Lau/Chen Kun movie? :o