Exclusive, “Elvis” – Photos of Elvis Presley’s biopic commented on by director Baz Luhrmann

While his biopic on King made the event in Cannes, Baz Luhrmann only commented on the film’s photos.

Phoenix will always rise from its ashes. On June 27, 1968, an ousted king was about to return to his throne. Elvis knows the glory, the delirium of the fans, marks a generation with his big rock and his proposed thighs. Then a career as a comfortable movie star, on the advice of “Colonel” Parker. Impresario, mentor, surrogate father and marketing genius, he molded Elvis into a tasteless product. But you can’t keep a rebel in a knot for long. “I am no longer the king? Elvis asked. Aw! I did it again. »

Parker has signed a contract with NBC for $ 1.25 million: a “Christmas Special” in which Elvis will sing candy, silly Christmas songs. But the King thwarted the Colonel’s cunning plan. She called her musicians, wore a black leather jumpsuit and sang her hits “Love Me Tender”, “Blue Suede Shoes”.

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“Elvis is the hero of an imaginary opera-tragedy about America”, launched Australian director Baz Luhrmann, esthete, music lover, passionate about modern myths he puts in pictures, such as “Moulin Red! ” or “The Great Gatsby”. “Elvis” is a Dantesque project on which he worked for eight years. “A simple biopic doesn’t interest me. His story is the changing America. The change against conservatism, blacks against whites, soul against increased consumerism. Elvis’ life is set in motion. these fights, especially his explosive and sonly relationship with Colonel Parker, prove to be a compulsive gambler and an impostor.Tom Hanks plays Parker, and Austin Butler, a young man -the American television shooter, also a singer and dancer, wore the heavy costume of God.At 30, the role of a lifetime.

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Elvis Aaron Presley outside his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi in the early 1940s. He is played by Chaydon Jay (right)

© Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures, Capital Pictures/News Pictures

Elvis said that when he was the shy, lame little kid he dreamed of becoming a comic book superhero. He wanted to be a unique person. And he succeeded.

King with Priscilla at the wedding of his friend, TV host George Klein, in Las Vegas in 1970. Olivia DeJonge plays his only wife (right).

King with Priscilla at the wedding of his friend, TV host George Klein, in Las Vegas in 1970. Olivia DeJonge plays his only wife (right).

© Sygma by Getty Images

Their love story is obviously a motivating factor in her existence. He carries a form of peace in a boiling spirit. Priscilla and her daughter Lisa Marie saw the film. I was a little scared.

To understand the Elvis phenomenon, you have to go back in time, on January 8, 1935, to East Tupelo, Mississippi. A city whose population is mostly black, but where a young white couple lives. Vernon tried to fill the requirements and Gladys gave birth to a dead child, Jesse Garon. Elvis, his twin, arrived a few minutes later, alive. The father quickly stays in prison while the child, shy and vulnerable, escapes by swallowing comic books. She dreams of superheroes, immersed in the gospel and rhythm’n’blues of the Pentecostal church attended by her parents, where the dance always rhymes with trance. “Talking to Elvis, Luhrmann said, was about sinking back into America from the 1950s to the 1970s, racism and the struggle for civil rights. As a child, he was the little white man. It was creative. of his rebellious and defiant nature. Then he became a star, laid a stone, made the Puritan leagues tremble with terror. »

“I wanted to show how cruel Elvismania was. The women, but also some men, touched her, touched her and even tore her clothes.

© Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

From the late 1950s, Parker transformed the idol into a neat product for white America, until he was taken to Hollywood where he would collect turnips. “America realizes that its young people are now consumers,” Baz Luhrmann continues. Young people become the market. Parker felt it. There is, in my film, this scene where he decides to sell the “I love Elvis” pin, but others are also marked “I hate Elvis”, if possible! In this flawed relationship between the two men, politics is disrupted, creating tensions. When Elvis wanted to respond to the murder of Martin Luther King in Memphis, his hometown, Parker ordered him to remain silent. On the other hand, he went to the White House in 1970, expressing his patriotism to Nixon when the new counter-culture, which he despised, was likely to impose itself. “If you want to convey a message, it’s always more dangerous to speak than to sing”: this dialogue, taken from the film, illustrates the power of music in words and pain.

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The delirious fans during his concert tour of the United States in 1956.

The delirious fans during his concert tour of the United States in 1956.

© Getty Images

He never invented rock, moderating the director, but he will remain his first planet star. All this in less than three years. Paul McCartney explains it: “There’s Elvis on one side and we’re all on the other.” Even the Beatles did not experience such idolatry.

The main thing left: music and movies. It doesn’t have to live on Presley’s ingenuity, his ability to mix styles, influences; he even invented dry guitar sessions… His film career, imposed by Parker, was less interesting. For a “Rock du galne”, by Richard Thorpe (1957), there are a lot of cretin bluettes… or, worse, roles that Parker has denied for him, like the Jets leader in “West Side Story”!

With this

With “Colonel” Tom Parker in Memphis in 1956.

© Getty Images

Tom Hanks plays Elvis ’manager and mentor.

Tom Hanks plays Elvis ’manager and mentor.

© Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Their meeting took place in a restaurant, but I preferred to film it at a carnival because Parker loves these places. To me, Tom Hanks is one of the best actors in cinema history.

In addition to being a filmmaker, Baz Luhrmann is a musician at heart, a friend of Madonna and Michael Jackson. She welcomed us to the music in her expensive four-story New York home, in bohemian chic south of Manhattan (an order from “Gatsby” was even shot in the elevator). Elvis’s body was full of speakers. Luhrmann, who finished his feature film just a few days ago, is working hard on the soundtrack, “which will contain a lot of surprises”, he says, enigmatic. He listened to us with a few quotes. As is customary for this eclectic man, the mix of genres prevails. Even if it means shocking, like Elvis in his time. “He never invented rock, moderated the director, but he will remain his first planetary star. It’s all been less than three years. Paul McCartney explains it:” There’s Elvis on one side and we all the other way around. “Even the Beatles didn’t experience such idolatry. I’ve always been fascinated by the unrealistic way that Elvis, and Michael Jackson, have to trigger a wave of unconditional love. Which, to some extent, locked them in. in a golden prison from which they cannot escape.This is also the theme of the film… ”

Go to the Steve Allen Show.  The 21-year-old singer recently got her first No.  1 sa

Go to the Steve Allen Show. The 21-year-old singer recently got her first No. 1 at “Heartbreak Hotel.” In New York in 1956.

© Getty Images, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

He would seek out his musicians for his famous performance in 1968. He moved from Parker and continued his career on hand.

Love, the other essential element of the Presley legend. It is always necessary to silence the young connection with the adored singer, so as not to create harmful jealousy among the fans. A man of many conquests, Elvis was the husband of only one, Priscilla Beaulieu, whom he met at the dawn of the 1960s but he took seven years to get married. She will remain the great love of her life, despite their divorce which, in 1973, left her injured and alone. Some women share her last years, very sadly, where moral suffering does not help the body damaged by drug abuse. From “Moulin Rouge!” to “Australia”, restrained love is a recurring theme of Luhrmann. “When I was preparing the film, he continued, I clearly knew I needed to awaken the unity between Elvis and Priscilla. But, in the end, I understood that the real passionate story was between the two. singer and her manager: an artistic union every moment, one can’t go without the other to build the myth.This duo is quickly ruined by a poisonous marriage for the two of them.There is this pair a lie air of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, Edward Albee’s play in which two creatures separate from each other. »

The Australian director at his Manhattan apartment on May 9th.

The Australian director at his Manhattan apartment on May 9th.

© EVA SAKELLARIDES

Priscilla Presley didn’t get involved at any time in making the biopic, even to say that she was, at first glance, skeptical about Austin Butler’s choice to play the man she knew so well. Luhrmann heard his reservations. She lost her excitement about ten days later, when a screening was organized for Priscilla and her daughter the singer, Lisa Marie Presley. Delighted with the result, the two women warmly congratulated the director and Austin Butler, who both had tears in their eyes. There’s also a third -generation Presley: Riley Keough, King’s granddaughter. At the age of 32, this actress and model recently hid behind the camera to co-direct her first film, “War Pony”, which will also be presented at the Cannes Film Festival. Complete circle…

“Elvis” by Baz Luhrmann. Screened at the Cannes Film Festival on May 25. Released June 22.

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