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Spielberg's BFG premieres at Cannes

Associated Press Associated Press 14/05/2016

Steven Spielberg has landed at the Cannes Film Festival with his gentle Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG.

The film, about a young orphan (Ruby Barnhill) taken away by a friendly, big-eared giant (recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance), marks a return for Spielberg to the magical kind of fable he has largely moved away from in recent years.

It's also his second film with E.T. writer Melissa Mathison, who died last November. Spielberg has dedicated The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) to her.

"It's a love story that children have for their grandparents. It's a love story that grandparents have for their children," Spielberg told reporters on Saturday.

"I think this probably the closest I've ever come to telling a love story."

Sitting between his young star and his new favourite actor (Rylance is starring in the director's next two films as well), Spielberg said enchanting fantasies like The BFG are just as vital as more realistic tales.

"The worse the world gets, the more magic we have to believe in," said Spielberg.

"Hope comes from magic and I think that's what movies can give people. They can give people hope that there will be a reason to fight on to the next day. Hope is everything to me."

The BFG, which drew warmly respectful reviews in its Cannes premiere, is largely faithful to Dahl's 1982 classic and was made in concert with the Dahl estate. The author died in 1990.

Producer Kathleen Kennedy first obtained the rights in 1993 and later turned to Mathison for the script.

Spielberg called collaborating with Mathison again "a wonderful reunion and a very bittersweet time, as it turned out, for us."

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