Competition bulks up; 'Zero' gets special screening
Chinese auteur Wang Xiaoshuai and up-and-coming Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo will vie for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.Wang’s “Chongqing Blues” and Mundruczo’s “Tender Son — The Frankenstein Project” have been added to the main competition selection, which was announced April 15 in Paris. “Blues,” which had previously been slated for Un Certain Regard, centers on a father investigating the reason behind then murder of his estranged son. Wang won Cannes’ Jury Prize for 1960-set drama “Qing hong.” Mundruczo’s 2008 feature “Delta” competed for the Golden Palm and ended up nabbing the Fipresci prize. “The Frankenstein Project,” inspired by Mary Shelley’s classic novel, is reportedly more narrative than the minimalist “Delta.” Other titles completing the Official Selection include Un Certain Regard Argentinian helmer Pablo Trapero’s “Carancho” and Chinese helmer Jia Zhang Ke’s “I Wish I Knew.” Jia has travelled to Cannes twice, with for “Er Shi Si Cheng Ji” and “Xiao Wu,” both of which competed for the Palme d’Or. Carancho,” which Trapero penned, helmed and produced, is a noirish thriller that meshes genre with social issues. Ricardo Darin, the star of recent Oscar-winning pic “The Secret in Their Eyes,” toplines as a ruthless personal injury lawyer. Darin stars opposite thesp/producer Martina Gusman, who starred in Trapero’s prison drama “Leonera,” which competed at Cannes in 2008. Also added to the lineup is Romanian helmer Andrei Ujica’s “The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu,” which will unspool Out of Competition. Ujica has only directed a handful of pics since launching his his career in 1992 with Cold War-set feature “Videograms of a Revolution.” Lucy Walker’s docu “Countdown to Zero,” which bowed at Sundance, took a Special Screening slot. Produced by Participant Media, “Zero” deals with proliferation of nuclear weapons and threat of nuclear disaster. Walker also had doc “Waste Land” at Sundance this year, and that pic took the Audience Award. The festival has also announced that French composer Alexandre Desplat will join the Competition jury.