Cannes rocks! Tsunami of pop stars make film festival splash - GulfToday

Cannes rocks! Tsunami of pop stars make film festival splash


English rock singer-song writer Elton John performs on stage.

Bono, Elton John, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits... The red carpet at Cannes is shaping up to look like a dream rock festival line-up.

Not to mention Rihanna and a couple of the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, who may yet put in an appearance at the world's biggest film festival, which starts Tuesday.

The opening movie alone, the tongue-in-cheek zombie flick "The Dead Don't Die", is chock full of A-lister musicians.

As well as Waits and Iggy Pop -- who plays a rampaging member of the undead -- it also stars singer Selena Gomez and rapper and Wu-Tang Clan guru RZA.

And that is all before the promise of Elton John bringing his grand piano to the Croisette to play at the premiere of his biopic, "Rocketman".

Sex, drugs and Elton John

Irish rock band U2 singer Bono flashes the Victory sign.

Unlike that the Freddie Mercury movie, which skirted around the singer's complex personal life, the Elton John picture prides itself on its warts-and-all portrayal.

The singer -- who has been frank about his struggles with his sexuality, drugs and alcohol -- was himself deeply involved in the film, which his husband David Furnish produced.

"We didn't want to compromise the fact we felt it had to be hard-hitting and truthful," Furnish said.

"I think we would have got a lot more interest (from studios) at the higher-budget levels if we'd been willing to produce a more sanitised version of Elton's life.

"That never appealed to Elton," he added. "His life has had incredible moments of lightness but also moments of real darkness. We wanted to be very honest about those and not gloss them over."

Led Zeppelin documentary

Distributors at Cannes will also get a sneak preview of first authorised documentary on the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin.

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and the late John Bonham all spoke to director Bernard McMahon, the maker of the acclaimed television series on roots music, "American Epic".

US singer Iggy Pop poses during a photocall for the film "Gimme Danger."

"When I saw everything Bernard had done both visually and sonically on 'American Epic', I knew he would be qualified to tell our story," Page said in a statement.

Speculation is also rising that pop idol Rihanna -- who is about to launch her new luxury Paris-based fashion house Fenty -- could also turn up on the Riviera, with a source close to her entourage telling AFP that he "wouldn't be shocked up she drops by".

U2 frontman Bono will definitely be there to support the documentary "5B", which is showing in the official selection and tells the story of the San Francisco General Hospital ward that was the first in the States to treat patients with AIDS.

"Bono has been a fervent champion of the cause" and the "fight against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria", the festival said.

Star pianist James Rhodes' struggle with post traumatic stress disorder after a teacher raped him as a child is also coming to the big screen in the forthcoming film "Instrumental", with its producers Lionsgate set to unveil the project at Cannes.

Londoner Rhodes, who will be played by actor Andrew Garfield, had to go to court in 2015 to get a ban on the publishing of his autobiography lifted.

Agence France-Presse

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