Cannes Report

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  • Topic: Cinema of India, Justin Timberlake, Feature film
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  • Published : June 20, 2013
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15th MAY
It's day one of Cannes and some heavy early rain did not put off some lengthy queues for the first screening of The Great Gatsby in 3D.As usual, there were the usual sighs and moans of discontent as the accredited press, segregated by the colour of their passes - which meant some had to spend a little longer sheltering under their dripping copies of Screen International - the festival's daily bible.The film is the second that Leonardo DiCaprio, in the title role, has worked with director Baz Luhrmann, following Romeo and Juliet in 1996.Luhrmann took some liberties with that sacred Shakespeare text and his take on the American classic is no different.A visual explosion, his scenes of Gatsby's flamboyant parties, though set during the roaring twenties, are accompanied by contemporary artists like Jay-Z, Beyonce and Lana Del Ray.In the press conference that followed, Luhrmann said Scott's granddaughter had approached him and said his book would have made her grandfather proud "and by the way I love the music".As for the reaction in the packed cinema, there was a peculiar silence as the credits rolled. The film has had mixed reviews in the States.DiCaprio excels as the doomed Gatsby, older than the teen heartthrob days of Romeo and Titanic's Jack, but he retains a youthfulness that is perfect for the man-child Gatsby, still clinging to the dream of a time past."It's one of those iconic American novels that's woven into the fabric of our country," he told BBC News.Of his preparation for the role DiCaprio said: "I looked at it as not a love story any more, but as a man obsessed with a version of his past that he never got to complete, something that was missing."Even though this woman right in front of him was everything he thought would complete him, she was a relic of the past, she didn't really exist," he added.Some other news from the festival - Martin Scorsese is expected in Cannes at some point to talk about his next project Silence, starring Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield as a 17th Century missionary.There is some excitement that none other than Mr Justin Timberlake will also make an appearance to support his new film Spinning Gold - a biopic of 1970s music entrepreneur Neil Bogart - the man who launched the careers of music stars such Kiss and Donna Summer.Another music connection comes in the form of 1970s electro-nerds Sparks who are in town looking for funding for a musical project called The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman.Brothers Ron and Russell Mael will be in Cannes ahead of a show they are playing in Paris.News of British film plans: Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, David Tennant and Ben Miller will star in What We Did on Our Holiday, by the co-creators of Outnumbered, Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton. The film, which will begin shooting next month, is about a dysfunctional family on a trip to Scotland for a big family gathering.Day one at Cannes has drawn to a close and a little rain - well actually scratch that, a lot of rain - failed to dampen the spirits of the fans who lined the red carpet at the premiere of The Great Gatsby earlier.People who booked their spaces days ago were rewarded with the sight of Leonardo DiCaprio, Baz Luhrmann and Carey Mulligan. Written by F Scott Fitzgerald, the 1920s-set film has been soundtracked by modern artists.The reaction to the film itself felt a little muted in the morning screening, though director Luhrmann, whose frenetic visual style employed on films like Moulin Rouge does tend to divide critics, told the BBC that he was well prepared for the worst."When Fitzgerald died, his book was horribly criticised," he said. "He had very mixed reviews. Some extremely cruel. Some of the grand critics called him a clown."When he died, he was buying copies of his own book just so some sales would register. Fitzgerald had to suffer much crueller and more ill-informed criticisms than I have.He tried to write the great American novel. I wish he knew that he did."Alongside the cast...
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