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At Cannes, vivid and violent films figure prominently

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But other factors, such as the pulpy nature of many of the entries in the competition and parallel sections, may dominate conversations along the Croisette, Cannes' bustling beachside promenade.

The presence of the "grands names" is undeniable. But whether they or one of the several directors looking for their first Palm will get the nod from the competition jury is the subject of much intrigue.

The face-off will be between previous Palm winners Tarantino, Campion, Ken Loach, and Lars von Trier versus Palm-less competition stalwarts Haneke, Resnais, Pedro Almodovar, Ang Lee, Marco Bellocchio, and Tsai Ming-liang.

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