Film buyers not sold on Cannes

Nearly a week into the Cannes Film Festival Monday, not a single prominent movie had sold.

Sellers remained hopeful that American distribution deals soon could be struck for two high-profile movies that already have premiered: Walter Salles' ("The Motorcycle Diaries") new Brazilian drama "Linha de Passe," and Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind") directorial debut, "Synecdoche, New York," which vaguely rhymes with "Schenectady." But the initial buyer reaction has been tepid.

Filmmaker James Gray's second Cannes movie in two years, "Two Lovers," was having its initial public screening Monday. At last year's festival, Sony Pictures bought Gray's "We Own the Night" for a rich $11.5 million, but the new film may not be as inherently commercial, according to people who have read its script.

On Wednesday, Steven Soderbergh's two-part historical drama "Che" will be shown for the first time. The Weinstein Co. had been negotiating to buy Soderbergh's 4 1/2 -hour movie combination preemptively ahead of its screening (for a rumored $8 million), but the deal didn't close.

-- John Horn

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