The first is Shield of Straw (藁の楯) by Takashi Miike (三池崇史). Prolific and hard working, it's hard to describe the work of Miike, as there is no comparable directors in the world of cinema. From the surealism of David Lynch, the violence of Tarantino, it was the shockingly graphic films like Audition and Ichi the Killer that helped develop his cult following in the west.
Miike's latest film features Tatsuya Fujiwara (藤原竜也) of Battle Royale and Death Note fame, Nanako Matushima (松島奈々子) from Ring, Ring 2, the Japanese remake of Ghost (Yes, the Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore Ghost), and a long list of Japanese TV dramas, and stage, TV and movie star Takao Osawa (大沢たかお) who recently featured in the main role in the TV adaption of JIN (仁).
The other film up for the Palme d'Or is Like Father, Like Son (そして父になる). Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda (是枝裕和) who has previously featured at Cannes with Air Doll (空気人形), Nobody Knows (誰も知らない), and Distance (ディスタンス). Staring Japanese musician, actor, entertainer, heartthrob, Masaharu Fukuyama (福山雅治), it also features Machiko Ono (尾野真千子), Yoko Maki (真木よう子), and Lily Franky(リリー・フランキー).
Both films will hit cinemas in Japan later in the year.
Shield of Straw (Cannes Film Festival Summary)
Like Father, Like Son (Cannes Film Festival Summary)