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Cannes Film Festival 2022: Lineup and Live Updates

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CANNES, France — “Drive My Car.” “The Worst Person in the World.” “Bergman Island.” “The French Dispatch.” “Memoria.” “Annette.” “Vortex.”

Every one of these movies — some great, all worth arguing over — had its premiere over just 12 days at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, the closest thing that world cinema has to an Olympics.

The festival, which takes place annually in the south of France, kicks off its 75th edition today. And whether you’re a stargazer, with eyes on the red carpet, or a die-hard cinephile, desperately trying to scarf a baguette in the dwindling minutes before your fifth challenging movie of the day, Cannes is a spectacle to behold.

The heart of the event is a group of films called the official selection, headlined by the competition — roughly 20 features (21 this year) eligible for the prestigious Palme d’Or, awarded on the festival’s final night, May 28. Last year’s Palme, given by a jury led by Spike Lee, went to “Titane.” Past recipients include “Parasite,” “Pulp Fiction” and “The Piano.”

The official selection also encompasses several sidebars: out of competition (often dominated by big-budget fare, this year “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Elvis”); midnight screenings; special screenings; Cannes Classics; a newer section known as Cannes Premiere; and Un Certain Regard, a separate competition dedicated to less well-known and sometimes more adventurous filmmakers than the marquee names contending for the Palme. And if that weren’t enough, while the formal Cannes Film Festival is unfolding, three parallel festivals — Directors’ Fortnight, Critics’ Week and a less-noticed program called ACID — run by outside organizations take place elsewhere in town.

In 2020, the entire festival was canceled, because of the pandemic. Last year, it went ahead, but it was unusual for many reasons, including its timing — it was delayed from the usual May until July — and its noticeably lower attendance. Masks were required (with varied enforcement), and generally anyone vaccinated outside the European Union had to show a fresh negative coronavirus test to enter the Palais des Festivals, the fancy convention center that serves as the festival hub.

This year, things will be closer to normal. There are no testing requirements, and attendees are merely “strongly advised to wear a mask.” Let’s hope the only outbreaks are the emergence of future classics.

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