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Cannes celebrates the movie mavericks

by Vanessa Thorpe.

When Bruce Dern, 76, stood up and received a 10-minute ovation at Cannes after the premiere of his film Nebraska he took the opportunity to praise his director. The screen veteran, who surely has the most unnerving glassy blue stare in cinema history, hailed Alexander Payne as one of the greats.

“I can say I’ve worked for six geniuses: [Elia] Kazan, Hitchcock, Douglas Trumbull – a lot of people ask about that one, but trust me, he’s a genius – Francis Ford Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, and of course, Alexander Payne,” Dern said, looking back on 50 years of acting.

His words resonated around Cannes because this weekend the festival has celebrated the talents of Hollywood’s mavericks: those influential film-makers who survive in spite of their struggle with the populist demands of the industry. So, to Dern’s roll call of brave maestros, we can add three names he has yet to work with: Steven Soderbergh, Jim Jarmusch and Roman Polanski.

Like Payne, they are contemporary film-makers with cult followings who have walked the rocky path between pleasing their producers and making films that illuminate the dark underbelly of life. And all of them premiered work in Cannes in the last four days. Beyond the glitter and hype of the red carpet, these rebellious souls have demonstrated a love-hate relationship with showbusiness that has shaped their careers.

Read the rest of this article from The Guardian.

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