'Greek' problems may keep Godard away from Cannes

French New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard, whose "Socialisme" screens Monday at Cannes, will probably not turn up for a scheduled press conference due to "problems of the Greek type".

Godard said in a fax to festival director Thierry Fremaux that "I will go to my death with the festival, but I will not take a single step more," Fremaux told AFP, confirming a report in Liberation newspaper.

Godard said in the fax that his absence was due to "problems of the Greek type", but did not elaborate, according to a copy of the fax printed in the paper.

Fremaux said Godard had followed up that mysterious messsage with another fax containing an extract from a poem.

"I am now waiting to see if indeed he will be there or not for the press conference scheduled for 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) after the projection of his film," Fremaux added.

Godard, who sprang to fame in 1960 with "Breathless", was one of a group of filmmakers who in 1968, in the middle of a student revolt gripping France, helped shut down the festival here.

His 2010 Cannes press conference had been expected to be one of the highlights of the festival.

Trailers of "Socialisme", which is in a sidebar competition at the festival, have been viewable for the past month online. One trailer shows the entire film accelerated into a couple of minutes.

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