By Caroline Briggs
BBC News entertainment reporter in Cannes
Comic book writer Frank Miller has defended the violence in the film Sin City, which is up for the Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes film festival.
Frank Miller (left) worked with Robert Rodriguez on the film
Miller, who co-directed the £24m film with Robert Rodriguez, deflected criticism that violent films might contribute to a more violent society.
He said the bloodshed and brutality in the film noir, which is based on his graphic novels, are very "stylised".
Bruce Willis, Clive Owen and Jessica Alba star in the film.
Sin City, which is almost entirely in black and white, is one of 21 films in contention for the prestigious Palme d'Or prize.
"Violence is a real catchy buzzword these days," Miller told a press conference.
"Considering most drama since The Iliad and before is extremely violent - because that's how people work problems out - it's a bit ridiculous.
"I don't believe in the "monkey see, monkey do" theory of entertainment.
"The Japanese have the most violent fiction and movies in the world and they have among the lowest crime rate."
Scenes in the ultra-violent movie include a man's arm being shot off, women's heads mounted on plaques hanging on the wall and a severed head being put on a table.
British actor Owen plays a former-photographer and is one of the film's only "good" characters.
Cast and crew gathered in Cannes
Mickey Rourke plays a street-fighter out to avenge a woman's death while Bruce Willis - who was not at the festival - plays a policeman who is jailed for a crime he did not commit.
Owen said: "Getting involved with this project was a huge deal for me. When I first saw the finished film I was completely blown away."
Rodriguez, who wore his trademark cowboy hat, said he was pleased to be in Cannes, the "home" of film noir.
He added work had already started on a sequel to Sin City, and would feature many of the same characters.
He added that the next film would be based on Miller's book, A Dame to Kill For.