CANNES, France: Pop diva Lady Gaga has denied she will appear in a much-publicized upcoming film about singer Dionne Warwick in which she was said to be set to play the soul legend’s British “nemesis” Cilla Black.
Warwick appeared at the Cannes film festival Friday to promote the biopic, Dionne, revealing that former Destiny’s Child member LeToya Luckett would play her while Gaga would be Black, who died last year.
But Gaga’s publicist immediately shot the idea down, telling the film industry bible Variety in comments published Saturday that she is “not attached to this project”.
The casting had promoted much online speculation—and hilarity—over how the American singer would replicated Black’s strong Liverpool “Scouse” accent.
The feud between the two 1960s stars dates back five decades to Warwick’s fury at the way she claimed Black “copied” her vocal inflections on “Anyone Who Had A Heart”.
Warwick’s great standard also became a huge hit for Black in 1964.
Black “stole my music, and I was not a very happy camper about that”, Warwick told reporters.
But the two did finally manage to bury the hatchet, Warwick said. “We grew up and understood each other. It all got cleared away.”
Producers WW Film Company said it has already taken them 10 years to get the story—based on Warwick’s autobiography—this far, and that shooting would begin in October.
It is not unusual for stars to be “attached” to projects launched at Cannes—the world’s most important film festival and market—before final contracts are signed.
Hollywood takes notice as Korean films ‘surf’ K-culture wave
SEOUL: With K-pop and K-drama television series riding high across Asia and beyond, a trio of South Korean films with top billing at this year’s Cannes film festival also shows the country’s growing cinematic clout.
Leading the pack is director Park Chan-Wook, whose period drama The Handmaiden—adapted from the British writer Sarah Waters’ erotic crime novel Fingersmith—premieres Saturday, one of 21 films competing for the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or.
It will be Park’s third entry in the main competition at Cannes, and his record so far has been impressive.
His best-known film, the dark revenge thriller Oldboy, came away with the Grand Prix award in 2004, while his blood-and-gore vampire romance Thirst took the Jury Prize in 2009.
At a press screening for his new film, Park said he was surprised at being selected for the competition.
“I’m not sure if it’s suitable for Cannes. It’s a very straightforward film with a happy ending and no ambiguity,” Park said.
“Those film festivals usually like films that make you feel uncomfortable,” he added.
Na Hong-jin’s supernatural police drama The Wailing is showing in the official out-of-competition section, while the highly-rated zombie-virus thriller by Yeon Sang-Ho Train to Busan has been selected for the Midnight Screenings programme.
South Korea’s most successful cultural exports to date have been the K-pop songs and K-drama soap operas of the so-called “Hallyu,” or “Korean Wave,” which have swept the rest of Asia and beyond in the last 15 years.
Korean movies have had to work harder for mainstream foreign audiences, although they have passionate genre fan bases, especially for their highly-stylized—and often hyper-violent—crime and horror offerings.
Contemporary Korean cinema came of age with its own “New Wave” of directors who were involved in the tumultuous pro-democracy movements of the 1980s and 1990s against military rule.
Their neo-realist offerings were socially conscious and rooted in domestic culture and politics, especially the notion of a repressed and exploited underclass.
The movies of Park Chan-Wook, who was born in 1963, post-date the movement, but the director was heavily influenced by the upheavals he witnessed as a young man.
“I saw a lot of my friends taken away by the authorities and many were tortured,” Park said in a recent interview with Variety Magazine.
“I saw them fight actively against the dictatorship and they suffered as a consequence. I didn’t take an active part and I felt guilty about this,” he said.
“I channelled this sense of guilt into my films.”