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Arts and Entertainment Jane Campion will succeed Steven Spielberg as president of the Cannes jury

The first female director to win the Palme d'Or said she 'can't wait' until May

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Cannes Diary: What a good year for neuroses

CANNES ON its 51st birthday is afflicted by a sense of morning after in the wake of last year's monumental half- century bender. The festival's very poster, butterfly-shaped shards of celluloid flapping through the sky, looks like something advertising a horror flick called Invasion of the Killer Bats - which would be light relief compared to some of the actual fare on view. Drug and alcohol abuse, madness, concentration camps, Stalinist purges: these are the subjects with which film-makers have seen fit to entertain us. Paedophilia and sodomy are the topics of choice (the latter even figures in Ingmar Bergman's new telefilm, In the Presence of a Clown) and there is a whole slew of movies about the end-of-millennium apocalypse. Fortunately - and this must reveal something about the current zeitgeist - a number of them are comedies.

Cannes Diary: May '68 and life mirrors art

ROMAN POLANSKI is in town and has been reminiscing of his time on the Cannes jury in 1968, a somewhat hairy year in France.

Cannes Diary: In the national interests

TODAY the British pavilion here will stop all film business to show the FA Cup Final to all the temporary ex-pats.

Cannes Diary: Quality assurance in Lebanon

THOSE who think the press can be beastly will have their minds change if they attend the daily press conferences for the stars at the Palais des Festivals. Here, the film critics of the world gather for an orgy of sycophancy.

Cannes Diary: Prestige but few financial rewards

THE FESTIVAL climaxes with the Palme d'Or, one of the most prestigious prizes in world cinema.

Cannes Diary: Aliens and gut reactions

ALONGSIDE the Palme D'Or I would like to see a special award for La Grande Gaffe. The lifetime achievement award for a Cannes Gaffe belongs, of course, to former Conservative arts minister Stephen Dorrell, who came here a couple of years back and praised the then president of the festival jury, the exquisite actress Jeanne Moreau, as "a great Frenchman". He needed several bodyguards when he walked down the Croisette after that.

Brits do their gritty bit at glitzy Cannes

ON THE beachfront, in the blazing sun, Emma Thompson was giving interviews, her American publicist resolutely keeping the troublesome British press at bay. Across the Croisette, at Planet Hollywood, the security men were practising their scowls as they prepared for John Travolta's party later this week.

'It's just one long party from beginning to end'

You can go to the Cannes Film Festival and enjoy some of the best drama, comedy and acting without ever seeing a movie. Socialising, hustling, networking are what matter. With the 51st festival opening this week, Cannes regulars recall the highs and lows of a showbiz event like no other

Opening a Cannes of worms

Geoffrey Macnab sets the scene for another fortnight of film, fury and farce on the French Riveria

Burke posts British triumph but Cannes critics unmoved

The British actress Kathy Burke last night won Best Actress at the 50th Cannes Film Festival. Burke, known to millions of television viewers as Waynetta Slob in Harry Enfield & Friends, won for her performance in Nil By Mouth, directed by Gary Oldman.

Cannon fodder

From 'Revenge of the Ninja' to 'Delta Force', director / producer Menachem Golan is noted more for the quantity than the quality of his output. Geoffrey Macnab met him on the Croisette in Cannes, where this year, like every other year since 1965, he has been promising more than he can possibly deliver

The last of the auteurs

Ingmar Bergman wasn't in Cannes to receive his gong. But would young film-goers really know who he (and others of his generation) were anyway, asks Geoffrey Macnab

Life's a beach for Labour's new minister for the movies

Perhaps it was the sight of all those yachts and designer swim wear. But it took the Cannes Film Festival to provoke a New Labour minister to talk about his socialist youth.
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