CANNES : Yanks Nix Flicks

The 47th annual Cannes Film Festival opens Thursday on the French Riviera with a low U.S. profile. Few major studio films or top American stars will be on hand this year, and the excuses vary.

Some reports say the American filmmakers are retaliating for the French government's success in having the entertainment industry excluded from protection under world trade rules, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Explanations from Hollywood argue that participation at Cannes has become too expensive, or that this year's top films will not be ready in time for screening there.

The handful of U.S. entries will include independent productions, low-budget studio releases and some films, like "The Hudsucker Proxy," that have been released in America but have done poorly at the box office.

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