"Sin City" isn't typical fare at the Cannes Film Festival, more accustomed to art house flicks than Frank Miller's dark world of tough guys in trench coats and scantily clad ladies.
"Sin City" is competing for the top prize, and at a news conference May 18, a few journalists wanted to know: Is the movie sexist? And what about all that violence?
Miller, the comic book artist who co-directed the film with Robert Rodriguez, pooh-poohed the questions.
"When I sat down to do 'Sin City,' I decided the guys would all be tough, the women would all be beautiful and the cars would all be vintage," he said.
"The dirty secret of cartoonists is that we tend to write stories that give us fun things to draw," he added. Miller created the graphic novel on which the movie is based.
Some critics have found the movie's violence against women misogynistic. As for all the stabbing and shooting, Miller said he wasn't worried that it might desensitize people.
"I don't believe in the 'monkey-see, monkey-do' theory of violence," he said.
A few members of the huge ensemble cast were in Cannes for the premiere, including Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Madsen and Mickey Rourke.