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“ It is wonderful to be back here again at Cannes. It is great to be here today for T3: The Rise of the Machines. ”

Arnold Schwarzenegger calls out to the croud

Arnie storms Cannes

Sun 18 May 2003 | 10h10 GMT+1
Info: TF News search

Schwarzenegger was not just creating a pop culture cliche when he brayed: "I'll be back!" in The Terminator movies.

Yesterday, he really was back at the French film festival where he launched his movie career 26 years ago with the body-building documentary Pumping Iron.

The 55-year-old Austrian-American superstar with the bulging muscles and burgeoning U.S. political aspirations stormed Cannes to promote his latest action-hero flick, Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines. Set for release this summer, it is expected to be a box-office blockbuster.

"Remember, as I always say, I'll be back!" Schwarzenegger bellowed as thousands of media and fans gathered in front of a huge stage where a trio of the cyborg killing machines from T3 were set up. Schwarzenegger, dressed impeccably in a tan sports jacket and crisp white shirt, briefly pretended to fight the machines as part of his publicity stunt. But the best he could do was tell the machines: "Don't shoot!"

On campaign

Instead, Schwarzenegger was on a campaign, in this case to raise the profile of T3. In future, according to speculation, America's most famous Republican is going to be running for the governor's office in California.

"Hello everybody," Schwarzenegger said as fans screamed and paparazzi shouted out his name in the vain hope "Arnold" would turn precisely their way for a candid photograph. "It is wonderful to be back here again at Cannes. It is great to be here today for Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines."

Thanking his producers and distributors for "this gigantic promotion," Schwarzenegger then started a self-aggrandizement spiel that was so over the top that people in the audience started to laugh out loud at how silly it sounded.

"We're all so excited about the movie coming out and, of course, this is the best place to promote the movie," Schwarzenegger said of Cannes, where the 56th film festival is in full swing. "This is the capital of promotion for movies."

For the international press, Schwarzenegger was shameless enough to exhort: "Make sure that you urge all the fans to see the Terminator movie when it comes out in your country."

Schwarzenegger even supplied his own review, a rave: "It is a fantastic movie. It has the best special effects you have ever seen in your life. It has incredible stunts that are absolutely gigantic. The movie turned out to be a straight '10'!"

That took a lot of gall to say, considering Schwarzenegger was in front of the Carlton Hotel, which is also plastered with giant promotional posters for two other effects-driven sequels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and the Matrix Reloaded, in which the Wachowski Brothers take F/X to a spectacular new level.

T3 is the first Terminator movie not co-written and directed by James Cameron. Instead, Schwarzenegger enlisted Jonathan Mostow (U-157) to helm the special effects-driven science fiction spectacular that began with the rather modest original in 1984 and continued with the ground-breaking Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991.

In an odd coincidence, Cameron, Canada's most famous export to Hollywood, is also at Cannes this weekend. He is here to present Ghosts of the Abyss, his 62-minute IMAX opus about the real Titanic. It is a special presentation in the official selection at Cannes. (Unlike T3, it is already on screens back in Canada and the U.S.)

T3 not up for prizes

Being part of the official selection carries prestige, even if, as is the case of Cameron's film, it is not eligible for prizes after it makes its European debut tonight in Cannes' best venue, the Grand Theatre Lumiere.

In contrast, Terminator 3 is a sideshow at Cannes, a movie that was not invited by the festival, that is not being shown to the media nor the public. The filmmakers are simply using the venue as a stage for their publicity stunt. Being "back" has its rewards for someone like Schwarzenegger. Or even Claire Danes, one of the co-stars of T3 -- on Friday, she got to officially open the American Pavilion at Cannes.

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