Wouldn’t it help to fall in love with Elvis

Job by Loris Bouillant May 27, 2022

After Patrouille de France planes arrived to celebrate the release of the TOP GUN MAVERICK, nearly 200 drones lit up the night sky on the Croisette on the occasion of the night screening of the film ELVIS. Awarded on May 25 at the Théâtre Lumière, it broke the record for the highest standing ovation in Cannes this year (12 minutes!). The rock n ’roll fever thus descended on the festival attendees giving a triumphant welcome to the King’s biopic. The evening continued with this air show and a concert by the group Maneskin: a memorable party in Cannes that we haven’t seen in 3 years!

With still strong emotions that director Baz Luhrmann (who had been to Cannes three times to present BALROOM DANCING in 1992, MOULIN ROUGE in 2001 and GATSBY LE MAGNIFIQUE in 2013) recalled the victory the day before.

“Our film was made for a purpose: to bring the public to the cinemas, it was for the cinemas that we made this film. This ovation was not so much for the film itself but for the love of cinema.»

Another round of applause. It is important to note that it is rare for press conferences where one attends at the end of each speech for the director with acclamations. After 9 years of absence, it is clear that the unequal style of the author of ROMÉO + JULIETTE combining music and cinema is missed by the audience. The icon of 50s America seems to be the perfect fit for him. The Australian director really loves to thrive in universes full of rhinestones and sequins. But that’s not all if we believe his colleagues were full of admiration for him:

“What’s inspiring about working with Baz is working to create good and exciting fun, a show that reveals deeper emotions and higher ideas.” Schuyler Weiss (Producer at ELVIS).

“It’s a joy to be a part of her world because she’s so powerful and attractive. When I met Baz I was literally sucked into his creative spiral. “. Alton Mason (Actor who played Little Richard in the film)

“What’s great after 30 years of working together is that Baz always pushes you beyond what you thought possible, he always surprises you”. Catherine Martin (His wife and film producer)

In Baz Luhrmann’s films there is the lyrical virtuosity of a master of entertainment but also an obsession with reality, with what is hidden in the shadows of the spotlight. Elvis isn’t just a star, he’s above all a man: “He’s a father, he’s a husband, and he’s a grandfather” (whose granddaughter Riley Keough presented last week in the film WAR PONY in Un Certain Regard section). Before a success story, the film was above all the story of a young man from a poor, mostly African-American background, a key factor in his personal development.

“The most important thing in this film is to show that a white child growing up in a black community, like Eminem, ignores this factor and simply absorbs music from his surroundings. Baz Luhrmann

Equally decisive is the meeting with Colonel Parker, played by Tom Hanks in the film, a greedy impresario who takes the young rocker under his wing before cutting himself at the height of his glory.

“There would be no Elvis without Colonel Tom Parker and there would be no Colonel Tom Parker without Elvis. There is a form of symbiosis between them.” Tom Hanks

In his attention to detail, the director said he was able to communicate at length with the star’s family. Of all the criticisms that could have been directed at his film, none is more important than Priscilla Presley, Elvis ’widow. Present during the screening, she was told by the director that if her husband were still there today she would have said to Austin Butler who borrowed her features in the film: “Damn it, you’re me! “.

But for the young American actor, the most important thing is not that Elvis ’body is equally replicated but that his spirit and his genius can be shown on screen.

“I watched every second of the‘ Hound Dog ’clip over and over, what his eyes were doing, his hands, the angle of his head, etc. I repeated, repeated over and over until it is rooted in my mind. spirit. “.

“I’ve been living with him for the past three years so the feeling of giving him justice and making him alive in the eyes of his family, his wife, his children, it really made me even happier”. Austin Butler

photos © AFP

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