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Looking over the enticingly eclectic official selection lineup for the 64th Cannes Film Festival, its hard not to wonder if fest topper Thierry Fremaux has borrowed a few tips of late from Venice director Marco Mueller.
Last year, many festgoers felt the Lido upstaged its more prestigious summertime rival with a program that struck an ideal balance of American critical hits (Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan," Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff'), uncompromising art cinema (Pablo Larrain's "Post Mortem," Aleksei Fedorchenko's "Silent Souls") and classy action fare (Takashi Miike's "13 Assassins," Tsul Hark's "Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame"). Mueller also made a point of presenting three female filmmakers in competition--Reichardt, Athina Rachel Tsangari with "Attenberg" and Sofia Coppola with the Golden Lion-winning "Somewhere"--in a year when not a single woman was deemed worthy of a shot at the Palme d'Or.
On this last point, at least, Fremaux has taken obvious pains to avoid a repeat scenario. This year, an unprecedented four female filmmakers will compete at Cannes: respected Scottish talent Lynne Ramsay with "We Need to Talk About Kevin" (already stirring buzz for lead actress Tilda Swinton); Grand Prix winner Naomi Kawase of Japan with "Hanezu no tsuki"; Australian …