Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Elvis film director calls Presley family response ‘greatest review of my life’
Film director Baz Luhrmann said the reaction of Elvis Presley’s family to his film about the flamboyant American icon, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, was “the greatest review of my life.” The film chronicles over 20 years of the life of the King of Rock and Roll, throwing the spotlight on the relationship between Presley, played by Austin Butler, and his enigmatic manager Colonel Tom Parker, played by Tom Hanks.
UK prosecutors authorise charges against actor Kevin Spacey for sex crimes
Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has authorised charges against Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey for sex offences including assaults on three men following an investigation by police in London, said on Thursday. Police said the alleged offences had taken place between March 2005 and April 2013, with four incidents taking place in the capital and one in Gloucestershire. They involved one man who is now in his 40s and two men now in their 30s.
Super Trouper: ABBA returns to stage as virtual avatars for London gigs
Performing their much-loved hits like “Mamma Mia!” and “Dancing Queen”, Swedish supergroup ABBA returned to the stage on Thursday, albeit as digital avatars, for a new London concert residency. The band – Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – have been brought to virtual life as digital versions of themselves from their 1970s heyday, thanks to motion-capture technology. Their last performance together was some 40 years ago.
Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are suing each other for defamation, each claiming they were abused before and during their roughly two-year marriage. The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Friday after each side delivers their closing arguments.
Claire Denis seizes the moment with ‘Stars at Noon’
French auteur filmmaker Claire Denis says the death of writer Denis Johnson spurred her into action to bring his novel “Stars at Noon” to the big screen. Denis, who makes her Cannes competition return with the movie, had discussed the project with the American author and was shooting her space drama “High Life” when Johnson passed away in May 2017.
Biden to host K-pop stars BTS, discuss anti-Asian hate crimes
K-pop superstars BTS will head to the White House next week to address hate crimes targeting Asians and people of Asian descent with U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House said in a statement on Thursday. Biden would host the global phenomenon musical group on Tuesday and would “discuss Asian inclusion and representation, and to address anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination which have become more prominent issues in recent years,” it said.
Ukrainian director explores war trauma in Cannes debut ‘Butterfly Vision’
Ukrainian director Maksym Nakonechnyi gives a raw and timely representation of post-traumatic stress disorder in his Cannes debut entry “Butterfly Vision” , which premiered on Wednesday at the film festival. The Kyiv-based director sets his story in the Donbas region of Ukraine. In the fictional tale, female fighter Lilia, played by Rita Burkovska, has just been released by a pro-Russia militia.
“Aquaman” actor Amber Heard delivered the final testimony in the multimillion-dollar defamation battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp on Thursday, telling jurors she has faced daily harassment and death threats since she accused the Hollywood star of abuse. Depp, 58, sued Heard in Virginia for $50 million and argued that she defamed him when she called herself “a public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Shakira loses appeal to avoid trial in Spanish tax fraud case
A Spanish court has dismissed an appeal from Colombian singer Shakira and ratified a prior decision, which saw “sufficient evidence” to send her to stand trial over alleged tax fraud, a court document showed on Thursday. Prosecutors claim the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer failed to pay up to 14.5 million euros ($15.54 million) in tax on income earned between 2012 and 2014.
‘Goodfellas’ actor Ray Liotta dies
American actor Ray Liotta, 67, who starred in the 1990 blockbuster crime film “Goodfellas,” died in his sleep on Thursday in the Dominican Republic, the Dominican Republic General Directorate of Cinema confirmed to Reuters. Liotta died in bed at a hotel where he was staying with his fiancée Jacy Nittolo while filming “Dangerous Waters,” said his publicist Jennifer Allen. He had a leading role in the film about a sailing holiday that goes awry when family secrets are revealed.
(With inputs from agencies.)