Paul Verhoeven interview: more controversy as latest film at Cannes

At the age of 77, Paul Verhoeven’s status as one of the bad boys of European cinema hasn’t diminished in the slightest. His new film Elle (premiered at the Cannes festival and the first movie has made in France) had stoked up plenty of controversy even in advance of its screening. In the film, Isabelle Huppert plays the victim of a violent sexual assault. Her assailant is masked (although she later discovers his identity). She reacts to the trauma in a way that will startle audiences.

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Cannes review: Canine accolade and Hitler's return are high spots amid

Cannes 2012 was the dampest festival in recent memory and one of the more muted. The Croisette – the main sea-front thoroughfare – was as crammed as ever but the European film industry is clearly feeling the pinch. The yachts seemed smaller this year, the restaurants emptier. The sales agents presenting new films in the market grumbled privately that Italian and Spanish distributors simply weren't buying any more.