Cannes — The Cannes Film Festival officially gets underway Wednesday and as usual it's set to be one of the most dazzling events in the European calendar.The festival, in its 69th year, brings a mix of Hollywood A-listers and world cinema auteurs to the French Riviera.This year, films by Pedro Almodovar, Sean Penn, Kean Loach and Asghar Farhadi are among those competing for the coveted Palme d'Or. Stars including George Clooney, Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Gerard Depardieu are due to climb the famous red-carpeted steps outside the Palais, Cannes' main movie venue.Away from the glare of the competition, thousands of celeb-spotters will throng the boutique-lined Boulevard de la Croisette, one of Europe's glitziest seafront promenades. Looking out to sea, the super-yachts on display will no doubt get their fair share of attention as well.The Associated Press has been on the French Riviera for years chronicling the serious business of the festival as well as the accompanying stardust.Here are some moments captured by photographers from The AP over the years that illustrate some of Cannes' trademark style and glamour.
1 1956: Ingrid Bergman is snapped from all sides by a crowd of photographers at Cannes.
2 1961: Italian actress Sophia Loren and her company are protected by police as they arrive at Festival Palace for the opening of the Cannes film festival.
3 1972: Robert Redford and wife Lola, and director Sydney Pollack and wife, Claire Griswold.
4 1976: Gene Kelly, left, and Fred Astaire arrive at the Festival Palace.
5 1977: Arnold Schwarzenegger shows off his body for an appreciative beach audience in Cannes.
6 1979: British actress Joan Collins poses for the media before the presentation of her film "The Bitch".
7 1986: Grace Jones is photographed in Cannes, France during the the 39th film festival.
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