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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Glitz Opens Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France -- Fans besieged hotels, agents bustled in the hallways and stars played hide-and-seek with the paparazzi as the three-ring circus of the 49th-annual Cannes Film Festival picked up steam.

But Dustin Hoffman, announcing plans to make arty low-budget movies Friday, complained that Cannes and Hollywood are dominated by big money and television.

"The media aspect seems to take over and the festival aspect is trying to keep afloat," Hoffman told a packed news conference. He also attacked Hollywood as a "euphemism" that relies on violence to sell movies.

The festival opened Thursday night under a steady rain and stars sloshing up the red-carpeted steps to the gala ceremony.

Opening the festival was one of five French films in the competition -- the Louis XVI-era "Ridicule," a portrayal of a modest provincial aristocrat discovering the hard-ball politics of the king's court.

This festival's favorite actress seems to be Liv Tyler, who stars in Bernardo Bertolucci's "Stealing Beauty" as an American teenager living her sexual awakening in Tuscany. Also starring Jeremy Irons, the film opened in Italy with rave reviews.

Among the favorites in the 22-film competition is Mike Leigh's "Secrets and Lies," an anti-racist film about a black woman searching for her biological mother.

Robert Altman's "Kansas City" explores jazz nightclubs in the '30s with Harry Belafonte and Jennifer Jason Leigh. It's likely to repair Altman's image after the disappointing "Pret-A-Porter" ("Ready To Wear").

Joel and Ethan Coen, who won at Cannes in 1992 with "Barton Fink," return with "Fargo," starring Frances McDormand.

Another Cannes laureate is Chinese director Chen Kaige ("Farewell My Concubine"), whose new film "Temptress Moon" starting Gong Li portrays an unscrupulous gigolo in a China of the 1920s.