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Monday, May 17, 1999 Published at 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK


The battle for the Palme d'Or

Gong Li and Chinese director Chen Kaige hoping for success at Cannes

As the second week of the world's most famous film festival gets underway, competition for the festival's most prestigious prize - the Palme d'Or - continues.

On Monday, Canadian director Atom Egoyan's film Felicia's Journey, starring Bob Hoskins, made its debut.

While on Sunday, two films which focused on historical subject matter were shown at the festival: Raoul Ruiz's Le Temps Retrouve and Chen Kaige's The Emperor and the Assassin.

[ image: Catherine Deneuve and Chilean director Raoul Ruiz turning up for the Cannes showing of  Le Temps Retrouve]
Catherine Deneuve and Chilean director Raoul Ruiz turning up for the Cannes showing of Le Temps Retrouve
Hoskins was not at the launch of Felicia's Journey, but the film's Canadian director Atom Egoyan and actresses Elaine Cassidy and Arsinee Meneur attended the viewing - hoping that it has the right stuff to impress the judges and bag the top prize of a Palme d'Or.

The film is set in the UK and Hoskins plays Hilditch, a solitary man with a sinister side.

It is one of the 22 films from all over the world in competition for the Palme d'Or prizes.

Chilean director Raoul Ruiz unveiled his Le Temps Retrouve (Time Regained), an adaptation of the Marcel Proust novel Le Temps, on Sunday.

Starring Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Beart and Chiara Mastroianni, it is a contemplative story set in the years around World War I.

[ image:  ]
Chinese director Chen Kaige also showed his film The Emperor and the Assassin, starring the actress Gong Li, on Sunday.

The film is Chen's fifth entry at Cannes and is set during the third century BC. It charts the first emperor of China's reign of terror and his obsession with unifying the whole country.

Chen said the themes in the film could be applied to modern day events, including the conflict in Yugoslavia.

"If you see what's happening in Yugoslavia today you understand why I wanted to make this movie.

"I am here to show my love and to tell people how much I hate violence, that's it," he said.

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