Blindness set for first sight at Cannes

Speculation was mounting last night that Brazilian film-maker Fernando Meirelles' adaptation of Jose Saramago's bestselling mystery Blindness will open the Cannes international film festival on May 14.

Meirelles's latest offering was among a handful of notable absentees when the bulk of the competition and out-of-competition lineup was unveiled earlier this week. Blindness and Agnes Varda's autobiographical documentary Les Plages d'Agnes are both ready and had been widely expected to secure berths in the festival.

Now it seems that Meirelles' tale of a bizarre blindness pandemic may figure more prominently than had originally been predicted. Sources in the industry believe the film will open proceedings on the Croisette and take its place alongside Steven Soderbergh's Che double feature, Clint Eastwood's The Changeling and Wim Wenders' The Palermo Shooting.

Meirelles' sprawling Rio crime drama City of God screened at Cannes in 2002 and he followed that up three years later with his first English-language film The Constant Gardener.

Blindness stars Julianne Moore as the only person who is not affected by a blindness pandemic that afflicts an entire town. Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover and Sandra Oh also star.

Friday April 25, 2008

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