CANNES: The Cannes film festival ends Saturday with the race for the Palme d’Or wide open and a cracking crop of movies vying for the top prize.
With the jury now deliberating in secret in a villa overlooking the Mediterranean, four films have emerged as the favourites from a field The Guardian described as “outstanding”.
The Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar has made the running almost from the start of the 12-day marathon with his most personal film yet, “Pain & Glory”, in which Antonio Banderas plays an ageing gay director not unlike the maker of “All About My Mother”.
Almodovar, 69, has yet to win the Palme d’Or in six attempts, but has brought up the big emotional guns this time, with Penelope Cruz playing his mother.
Whether a jury led by the Oscar-winning Mexican tyro Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of “Birdman” and “The Revenant” fame will be swayed by such an array of Latin talent remains to be seen.
Nor is there much arguing with the star power of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”, which brings Tinseltown’s two most dashing leading men, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, together on screen for the first time.
– Is it Tarantino’s year? –
Many critics loved the rollicking odyssey through the Los Angeles of 1969 in the period leading up to the Manson family murders, particularly Pitt’s performance as a hoary stuntman.
But there were haters too, and the French actress Emmanuelle Seigner fired a shot across Tarantino’s bows by complaining that he did not consult her husband, director Roman Polanski, whose murdered wife Sharon Tate is at the film’s heart.
Tellingly, Tarantino — who won the Palme d’Or 25 years ago for “Pulp Fiction” — has stayed behind in Cannes, prompting speculation that he is set for a big prize.
He collected the Palm Dog prize Friday for Cannes’ best canine performance at the festival, joking, “At least I do not go home empty-handed.”
Adnan Sami’s Twitter account hacked
MUMBAI: International hackers hacked the Twitter account of singer and music composer Adnan Sami Khan and replaced his display picture with the picture of Pakistan premier Imran Khan.
According to reports, the account was hacked by the same group that had earlier targeted Bollywood legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan’s account on the social networking site.
“We would be happy to be visit our brother country Pakistan and have a cup of tea with your esteemed Prime Minister. This will be a great opportunity to visit your country and meet our brothers. @ImranKhanPTI” read one tweet.
Microsoft gives glimpse of new Xbox console
LOS ANGELES: Microsoft on Sunday gave the world a first glimpse of a powerful next-generation Xbox gaming console that it aims to release late next year.
Xbox head Phil Spencer pulled back the curtain on “Project Scarlett,” the creation of a successor to the Xbox One that will give game makers “the power they need to bring their creative visions to life.”
No pricing plans for the new console were revealed at a gala event ahead of the opening of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game industry gathering.
The new Xbox was promised to be released in time for the Christmas holiday shopping season in 2020.
“For us, the console is vital and central to our experience,” Spencer said during a media event that showcased 60 new games for Xbox.
Xbox battles in the console gaming arena with Sony, which is working on a new generation PlayStation.
The commitment to consoles by longtime contenders in the market comes with the rise of video games hosted as subscription services streamed Netflix-style from data centers in the internet cloud.
Xbox said at the E3 event that it is adding the ability for players to stream games in their libraries for play on mobile devices with Game Pass subscriptions.
“We will bring Xbox to the cloud with Project and console streaming,” Spencer said.
“Where you play is entirely your choice, you decide.”
The new service will be previewed later this year, according to Microsoft.
Rihanna is the richest female musician: Forbes
Forbes has reported that presently Rihanna, worth $600 million, is the richest female musician on Earth.
According to the publication, the secret of her wealth lies in her recent tie-up with LVMH, and not her music.
It is pertinent to mention here that Madonna is worth $570 million, Céline Dion $450 million while Beyoncé $400 million.
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