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Deauville blends talent with glamour

Docus get space at fest

DEAUVILLE, France — Glamour goes hand in hand with talent at the Deauville Festival of American Film, which opens Friday evening with a screening of Michael Douglas starrer “King of California.”

Matt Damon (“The Bourne Ultimatum”), Monica Bellucci (“Shoot ‘Em Up”) and George Clooney (“Michael Clayton”) are among the luminaries accompanying new pics in the first 48 hours. Brad Pitt will be hot on their heels Monday, riding into town with “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.”

The fest also rolls out tributes to Douglas and Sigourney Weaver.

The 33rd edition of the only major fest outside Yank borders to celebrate exclusively American fare, balances fluff and substance across its spectrum of programming, with a keen eye for docs in particular.

This year auds at the Normandy resort town two hours to the west of Paris will be able to see Spike Lee’s four-part “When the Levees Broke” as well as Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s epic “The War” projected on the bigscreen.

And the fest undertakes an ambitious experiment with the new “American Nights” sidebar during which 60 American classics will be shown back-to-back, 24 hours a day for 10 days.

“Knocked Up” —- whose French title translates as “A User’s Manual to Being Knocked Up” — makes its French bow on Sunday, with Judd Apatow, Leslie Mann and Seth Rogan attending.

Yasmina Reza — the “Art” playwright whose account of her 18 months on the campaign trail with French president Nicolas Sarkozy prior to his victory in May was just published to enormous hoopla — has had to withdraw from the Andre Techine-led jury for “personal reasons.” Reza stated in a last minute communique that she regrets her cancellation all the more as “the invitation was an honor and a joy for me.”

The competition, centered on indies, begins on Monday. Awards are announced on Sept. 9.

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