Cannes 2019 day 1 roundup: The Dead Don't Die premieres; first looks of Minamata, Ammonite revealed
Alejandro Inarritu, in his opening speech at the Cannes Film Festival, took a veiled attack at Donald Trump's call to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
As the 72nd Cannes Film Festival opened to the world on 14 May, the French Riviera opened itself to flashy red carpet appearances, a moving opening ceremony and a grand beginning to film premieres. Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu headed the festival jury this year.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's opening speech
Living up to expectations, Inarritu's opening speech was contrite of the present political scenario in the US. Not particularly naming Donald Trump, Inarritu opposed the US President's call for building a wall on the US-Mexico border.
The filmmaker said ignorance among the masses makes it easier for governments to "manipulate" them. "I'm not a politician. As an artist, I can express through my job and with my heart open what I think to be truthful. I think the problem is what is happening is the ignorance. People do not know, it's very easy to manipulate," the director said when asked about Trump's policies.
Inarritu said he tried giving an insight into the condition of immigrants in his 2017 virtual reality (VR) film Carne Y Arena. The movie, that premiered at Cannes two years ago, was the first VR film to be screened at the prestigious movie gala.
Inarritu also touched upon the ongoing debate between traditional theatres and streaming services, such as Netflix. The Revenant director said cinema is supposed to be a "communal experience", but added that streamers could never completely replace theatres.
The Dead Don't Die premiere
The next event was the premiere of Jim Jarmusch's dark zombie comedy The Dead Don't Die. Taking a thread from Inarritu's speech, the film took a more satirical take on world leaders, climate change and immigration policies. The opening film was simultaneously screened at 600 cinemas across France.
Featuring Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Tilda Swinton, The Dead Don't Die depicts a zombie apocalypse caused by "polar fracking", which pushes the Earth off its axis. Selena Gomez and Chloe Sevigny also appear in crucial roles.
The cast of The Dead Don't Die attended briefly before moving to the festival, but they are scheduled to return on Wednesday to address media questions.
Johnny Depp's first look from Minamata
The first Cannes look of the Pirates of the Carribean actor Johnny Depp as a war photographer was released. Depp has been joined by Japanese actor Minami to feature in the drama Minamata.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the drama, directed by Andrew Levitas, witnesses Depp essaying the character of acclaimed war photographer W Eugene Smith. Levitas directs from a screenplay by David K Kessler, who adapted the book by Smith and his wife, Aileen Mioko Smith.
The film also stars Bill Nighy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Ryo Kase and Jun Kunimura.
The redemptive thriller sees Smith (essayed by Depp) take on a powerful corporation responsible for poisoning the people of Minamata, Japan, in 1971. With the glory days of World War II far behind him, Smith has become a recluse, disconnected from society and his career. But an old friend and a commission from Life magazine editor (Nighy) convinces him to journey back to Japan to expose a big story: the devastating annihilation of a coastal community.
Ammonite first look
Ammonite, the Kate Winslet-Saoirse Ronan romantic drama is set in 1840s England. The narrative charts the intense romance which developed between an infamous fossil hunter, Mary Anning (Winslet) and a young woman Charlotte Murchison (played by Ronan).
The Francis Lee directorial has sold to France (Pyramide), Germany/Austria (Tobis), Switzerland (Ascot Elite), Japan (Gaga), states Screen Daily. Also featuring in Ammonite are Fiona Shaw, James McArdle, plus God’s Own Country alumni Gemma Jones and Alec Secareanu.
AR Rahman breaks Ramadan fast at Cannes
Grammy and Oscar-winning musician AR Rahman broke his Ramadan fast and ate his Iftar dinner at Cannes on Tuesday. Rahman was present at the film festival to promote his directorial Le Musk (which is also India's first VR film). The musician took to his social media to share updates with fans and followers.
(With inputs from agencies)
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