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The BFG is a Spielberg love story

Associated Press Associated Press 15/05/2016 Jake Coyle

Steven Spielberg, a giant in the world of cinema, 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."

Spielberg acknowledged his interest has recently drifted to historical dramas like Lincoln and last year's Bridge of Spies, but he said making The BFG was liberating.

"It was revisiting something that I've always loved to do, which is just to tell stories that are from the imagination," he said.

"It brought back feelings I had as a younger filmmaker."

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.

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