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Cannes basks in Hollywood glamour with Ocean's 13 screening

india Updated: May 25, 2007 15:19 IST
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Brad Pitt returned to the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday, this time along with Matt Damon, George Clooney and the other stars of Steven Soderbergh's slick crime sequel, Ocean's 13.

Earlier in the week, Pitt turned up at the festival for the screening of Michael Winterbottom's A Mighty Heart, in which his partner Angelina Jolie starred and he acted as co-producer.

But while A Mighty Heart looks at the terrible events surrounding the death of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, Ocean's Thirteen is the third in Soderbergh's light-hearted sequels about a stylish and smart con gang.

This time, however, they are mounting their most ambitious and risky heist yet when they take revenge on a ruthless casino owner (Al Pacino) after he double crosses a friend of Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney.

Ocean's Thirteen has brought a fresh blast of Hollywood glamour to Cannes with other stars of the movie including Ellen Barkin, Elliott Gould, Scott Cann, Andy Garcia and Don Cheadle turning up for the film's world premiere in Cannes.

<b1>Such star power created real buzz at Cannes for the film, even though it was not part of the line-up for the Palme d'Or prize with the cast and director joking and wisecracking their way through a packed press conference.

"Why are we not in competition?" asked Clooney. "We are going to win."

"The movie is an equal opportunity offender," said Soderbergh when asked whether it offended the Chinese. "I don't think anyone is left out."

Rejecting suggestions that the movie created a negative picture of the Chinese, China-born Shaobo Qin, who played an acrobat in the film called Yen seemed to sum the mood among the cast and director: "It is just entertainment."

The job description for cast members was "no jerks", said Soderbergh.

"We had made a rule not to bring on anybody who had a reputation for being unpleasant," he said.

Loosely based on the so-called rat pack movies of the 1950s and 1960s, which starred Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr, Ocean's 13 is set in Las Vegas.

"There is something compelling about that city," said Soderbergh. "As a social experiment it is fascinating. People feel they can go there and cut loose."

Clooney, Pitt and other members of the cast have also sought to use both their visit to Cannes and the publicity surrounding the movie to try to heighten international concern about the crisis in Darfur.

"There is a life-and-death struggle happening now," Clooney told the press conference.

Over the course of two nights in Cannes, the Ocean's 13 cast has reportedly raised more than nine million dollars for Darfur as part of the Not on Our Watch project, a Darfur relief organization.

As to whether there will be another Ocean heist film, the cast were a little more divided than the comradeship their characters showed in the movie.

While Damon indicated he would be open to another sequel, Clooney was more skeptical.

"I think we have sapped this tree," Clooney said.