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Roman Polanski’s new film, Venus in Fur, with the director beautiful wife’s Emmanuelle Seigner in female leading role, is adapted from the stage-play by David Ives.
The movie is set continuously in one location: a theatre auditorium in Paris, where a harassed director has just spent a long and disagreeable afternoon auditioning actresses for a new version of Venus In Furs, the Leopold von Sacher-Masoch novel about s***al submission.
The last film screened in competition at Cannes 2013 is a slight, spry comedy of s** and power; a doodle in the festival’s margins, perhaps, but it has certainly been sketched with a flourish.
Roman Polanski has adapted the David Ives play Venus in Fur, which is itself based on a novella by the Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.
Emmanuelle Seigner plays Vanda in Roman Polanski’s latest film Venus In Fur
The playwright, Thomas (Mathieu Amalric), has decided to direct his own script, and as the film begins, he is lamenting the lack of suitable actresses for the Vanda role.
“I need a s**y young woman with classical training and a scrap of brain in her skull,” he fumes.
At that moment, an actress blows in through the door, although she is not the erudite gamine of Thomas’s casting-call fantasies. She is in her mid-40s; a blur of blonde hair and blue eyeshadow; and she seems to have only the vaguest idea as to what the text is about. Her name, oddly enough, is Vanda, and she is played by Emmanuelle Seigner.
The shrugging, gum-chewing Vanda seems to be even worse than the others, but after she begs, Thomas is finally persuaded to give her a try – and of course he is astonished by what Vanda comes up with. Soon their relationship begins to change and Roman Polanski shows how Thomas experiences precisely that forbidden frisson celebrated in the novel.
It is a Pygmalion story, in its way, a story of transformation. The director might consider it his prerogative to shape and develop his leading lady in rehearsal. But that is not how Vanda sees it. For all its avowed danger and transgression there is something a little bit dated and even genteel in this theatregoers’ adventure in s**.
Blue is the Warmest Colour, an intimate love story between two young women, directed by Tunisian-born French director Abdellatif Kechiche, has received rave reviews in Cannes as the film festival draws to a close.
The film has shocked some critics with its s** scenes.
Variety magazine said it contained “the most explosively gr***ic lesbian s** scenes in recent memory”.
The film is the bookmakers’ favorite to win the Palme d’Or on Sunday.
But reviewers have speculated the film may require editing to secure cinema distribution.
The three-hour character study centres on the 15-year-old Adele, played by French actress Adele Exarchopoulos, and her lover Emma, played by Lea Seydoux.
The Hollywood Reporter said the “sprawling drama” would “raise eyebrows” as it crossed the barrier “between performance and the real deal”.
Abdellatif Kechiche, best known for his critically acclaimed 2007 film Couscous, said he would consider cutting some scenes to allow the widest possible audience to see the work.
“We wouldn’t want the film not to be screened because of one scene,” he said.
Blue is the Warmest Colour directed by Abdellatif Kechiche is tipped to win Cannes’ Palme d’Or prize
“But of course that wouldn’t apply if it were the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, director Alexander Payne, best known for his Oscar-winning films The Descendants and Sideways, received a standing ovation at the premiere of his latest production Nebraska.
Cannes judges Nicole Kidman and Ang Lee joined Alexander Payne on the red carpet alongside stars of the road movie, Bruce Dern and Will Forte.
Bruce Dern portrays an ageing resident of the US state of Montana who is convinced he has won $1 million in a sweepstake and is determined to travel to a prize headquarters in Nebraska to collect the winnings.
His son, played by Saturday Night Live comedian Will Forte, agrees to drive him, taking a side trip to the small Nebraska town where his father was born.
Critics have praised the film, which is also a late contender for the Palme d’Or.
In his four-star review, Robbie Collins in the Daily Telegraph described it as a “resounding return to form for Payne”.
The Guardian called Bruce Dern’s performance “terrific” in the “thoroughly sweet and charming movie”.
Elsewhere, the stars at Cannes were at an exclusive hotel on the French Riviera for the 20th American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) gala.
Hosted by actress Sharon Stone, the event attracted stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jessica Chastain, Janet Jackson and Goldie Hawn and raised around $25 million for AIDS research.
The Great Gatsby actor Leonardo DiCaprio agreed to travel into space aboard the Virgin Galactic alongside a bidder who paid $1.5 million to join him on the journey.
The event, which also saw bids for Oscar tickets and a six-a-side football game against a team led by Zinedine Zidane, raised more than twice the amount collected last year.
Princess Charlene of Monaco boarded designer Roberto Cavalli’s yacht in Cannes on Wednesday evening as the designer invited a number of big names to let their hair down for the night.
Princess Charlene, 35, ensured she fitted in with the A list crowd by turning up in a stylish number.
She opted for a sleek black trouser suit with wide legs and a stylish blazer for the outing.
The princess even dared to flash some flesh with the plunging cut, while she wore her hair to the side in a sleek fashion.
To complete her look Princess Charlene carried a green clutch bag to give the ensemble a flash of color.
Obviously happy to be on the guest list, she grinned widely as she made her entrance on the boat
And once aboard she truly came into her own, happily mingling with the stars and even taking pictures with them.
Princess Charlene of Monaco boarded designer Roberto Cavalli’s yacht in Cannes
Princess Charlene even got the chance to chat to actress Sharon Stone, who she photographed during the evening as they chatted amongst themselves.
Throughout the rest of the night she was spotted chatting and giggling to pals at the bash as she managed to fit in with the prestigious guests.
While on board Princess Charlene would have also rubbed shoulders with the likes of Uma Thurman, Paris Hilton, Kylie Minogue and Adrien Brody, who all happily arrived at the yacht ready to party for the evening.
Earlier on in the night Princess Charlene had mingled at another event, where she posed for photographs alongside Julian Lennon.
Princess Charlene and Julian Lennon were at the exclusive LOVA World Images Exhibition, which showcased twenty photographs donated by five world class photographers, including Lennon, the Grammy Nominated Director and Wildlife/Fashion Photographer Kristian Schmidt and Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran to raise funds for The Lovaganza Foundation.
Following the LOVA World Images exhibition, a VIP beach party closed the bash at the Baoli Beach Club.
Other guests included the likes of Rick Yune, Kimberly Garner, Sid Owen and Julie Henderson.
Irina Shayk almost suffered a wardrobe malfunction as she arrived on the red carpet at the All Is Lost premiere in Cannes.
The 27-year-old Russian model was in danger of exposing her chest in the outfit that boasted a plunging neckline and cut out panelling.
Irina Shayk almost suffered a wardrobe malfunction as she arrived on the red carpet at the All Is Lost premiere in Cannes
The flowing black dress was covered with beading and sequins, making it all the more show-stopping.
Irina Shayk teamed the dress with a pair of peep toe heels and no accessories, leaving the dress to do the talking.
The brunette beauty wore her hair down and sported smokey eyes, bronzed cheeks and pink lips for the occasion.
Irina Shayk wasn’t the only beauty to grace the red carpet at Robert Redford’s new film.
Jessica Chastain wowed in a dramatic purple dress, which was encrusted with beading and jewel detail.
When Keanu Reeves hit the Cannes scene on Sunday, it came as a shock to see the Hollywood hunk look anything less than handsome.
Keanu Reeves, 48, stepped onto a yacht looking bloated and aged.
The actor usually adorns his face and neck with grizzly facial hair, but Keanu went for a clean shaven look that revealed a drooping jaw and neckline.
Attempting to hold onto his Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures youth, the star wore his black locks long in a beach-boy style that only acted as a harsh contrast to his ageing face.
When Keanu Reeves hit the Cannes scene on Sunday, it came as a shock to see the Hollywood hunk look anything less than handsome
Perhaps a late night of partying caused his eyes to appear puffier than usual, but the actor looked tired nonetheless.
Further adding to his less-than-hunky appearance was a grey tight V-neck T-shirt that hugged his bloated midsection.
A cream linen blazer layered over his shirt and distressed denim, concealing part of his weight gain.
Keanu Reeves has two films that are set to be released later in 2013, both of which must have required that Keanu be in top form.
In 47 Ronin, Keanu Reeves stars as an 18th century samurai who sets out to avenge the death of his troupe’s master.
Additionally, in Man of Tai Chi, Keanu Reeves directs and stars in the film based on martial artists.
It’s quite possible the actor is just letting loose in his off season after months of filming and recently promoting the film Generation Um…
Keanu Reeves is also rumored to be in talks to star alongside Reese Witherspoon in new sci-fi film Passengers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Janet Jackson arrived at amFAR’s Cinema Against AIDS annual ball at Cannes in a stunning bright white Pucci by Peter Dundas gown that showed off her slim, toned frame.
Janet Jackson, 46, paired the show-stopping number with shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti and jewelry by Pomellato.
The singer has become a spokesperson for NutriSystem after her most recent successful attempt to battle the bulge.
Michael Jackson’s little sister is dedicated to helping others shed weight, as much for their health as anything else as she has admitted that she put her own in danger by being overweight.
Janet Jackson arrived at amFAR's Cinema Against AIDS annual ball at Cannes in a stunning bright white Pucci by Peter Dundas gown that showed off her slim, toned frame
Janet Jackson told Prevention magazine: “Health was always a concern. When I gained weight in 2005, my nutritionist was very worried. I was close to having diabetes.
“Even when I lost it and then gained quite a bit back, there was always the thought of heart disease.”
But Janet Jackson credits her trainer with helping her get motivated, she said: “I don’t like to work out, and I get bored easily. [Trainer] Tony Martinez is great. When I’m getting ready for a tour, I’ll work out with the dancers. He’ll put us in teams and we’ll do all sorts of drills and races.”
The singer adds: “I think people really connect with the idea of someone who’s gained and lost weight in a very public way, and also someone who’s an emotional eater.”
In the commercial, released last month, a newly-slim Janet Jackson said: “This is what success looks like.”
Back in 2006, Janet Jackson weighed 180 lbs before slimming down. However following the death of sibling Michael three years later, she began to pile on the pounds again.
Janet Jackson has championed the brand on Twitter, simply saying: “Nutrisystem works. #SUCCESS”
In her book, True You, release last year, Janet Jackson wrote: “For more than three decades, I’ve struggled with yo-yo dieting. Some of my battles with weight have been very public.
“But most of them have been internal. Even at my thinnest, when my body was being praised, I wasn’t happy with what I saw in the mirror or how I felt about myself.”
Paris Hilton had some hot competition in the form of her successor Kim Kardashian as they were both on board for P Diddy’s yacht party in Cannes last night.
It is not clear whether their paths crossed – but the two ladies were seen waltzing around in their respective glamorous ensembles.
Kim Kardashian poured her ample curves into a stunning lace outfit which consisted of a crop top and matching maxi skirt.
The two-piece outfit featured a beige slip and black lace overlay which included sequinned detailing.
The top had a sexy cut-out back and fell high enough for Kim Kardashian to flash her toned stomach.
Kim Kardashian poured her ample curves into a stunning lace outfit which consisted of a crop top and matching maxi skirt
Kim Kardashian swept her brunette tresses into an elegant ponytail and accessorized her outfit with black and silver chandelier earrings and a cute black bracelet.
Earlier, she attended the famous VIP Room club at the JW Marriott hotel to kick off her first evening at the Film Festival.
The skirt trailed along the floor as Kim walked the red carpet, giving a wave to her admirers at the same time.
Paris Hilton, meanwhile, opted for a demure floor-length deep pink dress, wearing her blonde locks on the Diddy boat party.
Paris Hilton, of course, is credited with teaching Kim Kardashian the ropes of the reality TV world.
They used to be firm friends back in the day – although their relationship has cooled over recent years.
Other celebs at the party tonight included Paris Hilton’s sister Nicky, Michelle Rodriguez, Adrien Brody and Tara Reid, who was spotted leaving at 4:00 a.m. looking a little worse for wear.
Earlier in the day Kim Kardashian was spotted in an all-black outfit but the French sunshine wasn’t enough to put a smile on her face.
However the reason behind her miserable mood may have been that she was forced to drag herself away from boyfriend Kanye West today to fly to Nice.
She left her man behind in London where he will play another show at the O2 London tonight with Jay-Z.
However the couple were later reunited and spotted walking arm in arm around the Cannes harbor at around 4:00 a.m. this morning after Kanye West jetted in.