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Furiosa headlines 12 days of new movies at Cannes

Source: Getty

The 77th Cannes Film Festival began its 12-day movie-fest this week with the global premiere of Australian blockbuster, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.

(Watch the video slideshow above to see the best pictures and red carpet looks from Cannes)

George Miller, the director of the past four Mad Max films, joined its stars on the red carpet, Chris Hemsworth and Anya Taylor-Joy, and spoke of his passion for the French Riviera festival after serving on the Cannes jury several times over his six-decade career.

“I got addicted to it simply because it’s like film camp,” Miller said.

“It’s kind of optimal cinema, really. The moment that they said, ‘OK, we’re happy to show this film here,’ I jumped at it.”

By all accounts, after the post-apocalyptic thriller rolled the credits, the 2000-strong audience inside the Grand Lumière Theatre also jumped to their feet for a seven-minute standing ovation.

Often seen as a measure of the success of the film, the longest ovation to date was a staggering 22 minutes for the 2006 Pan’s Labyrinth, according to IndieWire.

Meryl Streep on the red carpet for Le Deuxième Acte (The Second Act). Photo: Getty

The Furiosa cast weren’t the only ones preparing for a big week of movie-watching.

Cannes’ official opener on the same day as Furiosa was The Second Act, a French comedy by Quentin Dupieux, starring Lea Seydoux (James Bond films, Dune 2), Louis Garrel and Vincent Lindon.

During the opening ceremony, Hollywood veteran and three-time Oscar winner, Meryl Streep, 74, was handed an honorary Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest honour.

Streep made her Cannes debut 35 years ago with 1988’s biopic, Evil Angels (playing Lindy Chamberlain whose baby Azaria disappeared at Ayres Rock in 1980), for which she won the festival’s best actress award. She also had classic roles in 1979’s Kramer vs Kramer and Sophie’s Choice.

In her acceptance speech, Streep admitted she was sceptical about the future of her career when she first came to Cannes in 1988, adding: “Thirty-five years ago when I was here for the first time, I was already a mother of three.”

“I was about to turn 40 and I thought that my career was over.

“And that was not an unrealistic expectation for actresses at that time … but my mother, who was usually right about everything, said to me, ‘Meryl, darling, you’ll see it all goes so fast. So fast’.

 

There are 22 films competing for the Palme d’Or and 50 other films premiering outside of the main competition.

At the closing ceremony on May 25, American filmmaker George Lucas – who  created the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founded Lucasfilm, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and THX – will receive an honorary Palme D’Or.

Arguably the most keenly awaited entry is Francis Ford Coppola’s self-financed opus, Megalopolis. Coppola is no stranger to Cannes. An unfinished cut of Apocalypse Now won him (in a tie) his second Palme d’Or more than four decades ago.

Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof, just days before his latest film The Seed of the Sacred Fig will debut at Cannes, was sentenced to eight years in prison by the Islamic Revolutionary Court, reported Associated Press.

The film remains on Cannes’ schedule.

Another keenly anticipated film premiere is Ali Abbasi’s The Apprentice, starring Sebastian Stan as a young Donald Trump.

There will also be new films from Kevin Costner (Horizon: An American Saga, starring Costner, Sienna Miller and Australian Sam Worthington), Paolo Sorrentino, Sean Baker and Yorgos Lanthimos.

There’s also a Faye Dunaway documentary, a short film, Moi Aussi (Me Too), from actress Judith Godrèche and two other Australian films, The Surfer, and Withered Blossoms.

French legal drama, Anatomy of a Fall, won the Palme d’Or and the Palm Dog Award, which starred French border collie, Messi. He was invited back. Photo: Getty

The festival, which has been running since 1946, has a long history of showcasing the world’s greatest film artists and emerging talent, and it all begins on the red carpet and the Palais des Festival’s famous 20 steps.

“They are our flagship!” says boss Thiérry Fremaux of the red steps.

“They represent an opportunity to honour the creativity of those artists on whom the festival’s prestige depends.

“After appearing at Cannes, which boosts directors’ reputation, the films often enjoy success at cinemas and festivals around the world.”

Cinta Laura Kiehl. Photo: Getty

Hofit Golan. Photo: Getty

Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky. Photo: Getty

German model Heidi Klum. Photo: Getty

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