By ALI NADERZAD – January 7, 2011

As a longtime Cannes-goer I felt obliged to report, with unchecked amounts of glee, that Robert De Niro has just been named president of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The news is stupendous for a number of reasons: an American will lead Cannes again, and that’s a good thing in and of itself. Then, it’s Robert De Niro who’ll be our prez this year, a living legend like few exist nowadays. America the great is the second most-represented country in Cannes (France is first–noblesse oblige). The first American was Joseph Losey, who officiated in the early seventies (if you don’t count Olivia de Haviland, who was half-British and who plied her trade as festival president in the sixties). In all, thirteen Americans have run the show on the Croisette.