Cannes Film Festival 2019: Films to watch out for
The 72nd Cannes Film Festival begins on Tuesday with a heady mix of star names, fresh faces and both high- and low-brow subject matters.
From familiar-looking zombies to a late Hollywood arrival - via football icons, rock stars and zero-hour contracts - here are nine films sure to make the headlines.
1) The Dead Don't Die
It all gets going on Tuesday evening with the official premiere of US director Jim Jarmusch's comedy-horror, The Dead Don't Die, at the city's Grand Théâtre Lumière.
The film, which boasts "the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled", finds police officers (Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny and Adam Driver) and a morgue expert (Tilda Swinton) attempting to keep the humdrum town of Centerville safe from a horde of zombies, including Iggy Pop, Sara Driver and Carol Kane.
The un-dead Iggy previously teamed up with Jarmusch on the 2016 Stooges rock doc Gimme Danger and he isn't the only music star in this one, as Selena Gomez, Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and Tom Waits all appear.
The festival opener is one of 21 films 'in competition' for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize finale, and in a show of strength for cinema, it will be broadcast simultaneously in more than 400 theatres across France.
Better bring a jacket to hide/laugh behind...
2) Little Joe
Little Joe is an unsettling-sounding story, about a genetically engineered crimson flower plant causing strange changes in living creatures.
It stars Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw, and as one of two BBC and BFI-backed films at this year's event you're bound to see it on UK telly over the next few years.
Austrian director Jessica Hausner is also one of only four female directors up for the top prize this year, including Celine Sciamma for her Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The only other time that not-so-lofty figure was reached was in 2011.
Last year, dozens of women - including acting stars Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart and Salma Hayek - staged a red-carpet demonstration against gender-based discrimination in the industry. As Blanchett remarked: "The prestigious Palme d'Or has been bestowed upon 71 male directors... but only two female directors."
For the first time Cannes claims to have "methodically counted the female directors submitting their films for selection" and the jury for the big one is made up of four men and four women; including movie star Elle Fanning.
Festival president Pierre Lescure honoured the late French women filmmaker and "icon of the festival" Agnès Varda, by featuring her on the official poster.
3) Sorry We Missed You
Ken Loach is on a Palme d'Or hat-trick as he returns to Cannes this year with the other British-backed film, Sorry We Missed You - written by Paul Laverty.
The 82-year-old UK director has bagged the big one twice before, first in 2006 for the Irish war drama, The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Ten years later he won again for I, Daniel Blake, which tackled unemployment and food banks in England.
That film sparked a national debate and Loach will be hoping for more of the same with his latest politicised effort, which follows a delivery driver and his carer wife, who are pushed to breaking point as they struggle to keep their family going on zero-hour contracts.
One of Loach's veteran US counterparts, Terrence Malick, 75, returns this year too with his historical drama, A Hidden Life, which tells the story of Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector from Austria, who refuses to fight for the Nazis in World War Two.
Malick took the Palme d'Or in 2011 for The Tree of Life; an experimental movie which found Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain pondering the origins of existence and the very meaning of life itself (we've all done that on a rainy Wednesday in work).
Cannes loves nothing more than a good 'auteur' and so along with Malick and Loach, Pedro Almodóvar's new film about a director in decline, Pain and Glory - starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz - also makes the esteemed list.
While female directors have often been overlooked in the competition, black female filmmakers have been absent entirely.
French-Senegalese director Mati Diop, therefore, makes history this year by becoming the first-ever woman of African descent in the Cannes competition with her feature directorial debut, Atlantics.
It stars Mame Sane (above) as a young woman in the Senegalese capital of Dakar, whose lover disappears by boat in search of greater opportunities in Europe.
A most topical movie for the festival which will also hold discussions about the impact of Brexit on the film industry. -BBC