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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Cannes cheers Tarantino's return
By Stephen Robb
Entertainment reporter, BBC News in Cannes

Quentin Tarantino in Cannes
Tarantino's film is one of 22 competing for the Palme d'Or
Director Quentin Tarantino has received a hero's welcome in Cannes, where he was cheered by journalists for his new film Death Proof.

The film-maker, who won the Palme d'Or in 1994 for Pulp Fiction, said being a "favourite son" of the festival was "an honour beyond measure".

Journalists hailed Death Proof, which stars Kurt Russell, as "amazing".

It is an extended version of the film that formed part of the Grindhouse double bill in the US.

Tarantino said Cannes was cinema's "Mount Olympus".

"It's where the gods go, it's where the great film-makers go, it's where the greatest films ever made had their first screenings," he said.

Death Proof follows two groups of young women who attract the unwelcome attention of Russell's Stuntman Mike, who uses his "death proof" car as a deadly weapon.

Kurt Russell
Kurt Russell plays Stuntman Mike in the Tarantino film
The disappointing US box office performance of Grindhouse has seen plans abandoned for the double bill's international release.

Grindhouse also featured zombie movie Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez, and fake trailers made by the likes of Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright.

Russell said: "I am disappointed for any audience that won't get the Grindhouse experience.

"If you want to have the full effect, the experience is something bizarre - I just have never experienced it before."

But executive producer Harvey Weinstein insisted that the editing of the movies to make the double bill had "removed some of the essence of the films".

"European audiences are going to get a lot more, and a lot more enjoyment, when they see the films as intended.

"You are going to get Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino doing their thing, and it will dwarf Grindhouse."

Quentin Tarantino directs
As well as directing, Tarantino appears on-screen in Death Proof
Tarantino said: "We didn't cut our movies to the bone, we cut them past the bone."

The longer version of Death Proof includes long conversational scenes involving actresses including Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan and Tracie Thoms.

"I can't figure out how he [Tarantino] knows how we talk to each other when men aren't around," said Thoms.

"I read the script and I said, 'I have had this conversation - a lot. How did he know?'"

Dawson said: "Quentin definitely prides himself on being the lone guy among his girlfriends."

Death Proof also features deliberately scratchy film and a reel where the colour is lost, intended to recreate the look of 70s B-movie screenings.


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