"Southland Tales" -- Directed by Richard Kelly ("Donnie Darko"), this mysterious, futuristic film is set in Los Angeles in 2008. It is a political film commenting on life in the United States and each character's struggle to overcome his or her own personal trials. Anticipation builds, but it is yet to be determined whether this poetic, musical, dark, but hopeful film will meet the expectations, or whether the plot line is too chaotic. Starring The Rock and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
"Summer Palace" -- The sole Asian entry in competition, the love story about two Chinese students takes place during the upheaval of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations. The real-life politicking surrounding the film came when Chinese director Lou Ye was forced to battle the international relationship department of China's government certification board. Apparently, the film had been submitted to Cannes without the proper approval. The producers of "Summer Palace" allegedly had nothing to do with the submission, which was handled by the film's international sales agents.
"Fast Food Nation" -- Directed by Richard Linklater, "Fast Food Nation" stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and Greg Kinnear. It is a story, not just about the end product, but what goes into the food we eat. As globalization makes the world a smaller place, it is not just a story geared to frighten Americans, but rather has far-reaching implications for society -- from the slaughterhouse to the dinner table.