Entertainment News Roundup: ‘Zone of Interest’


Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

‘Zone of Interest’ star: watching myself as Auschwitz commandant frightening

German actor Christian Friedel said on Saturday that watching himself as the commandant of the Auschwitz death camp in Jonathan Glazer’s film “The Zone of Interest” frightened him.

“The challenge in this project (was) for us to find authenticity in the situations,” he told journalists after the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday evening.

McQueen documentary juxtaposes Amsterdam’s Nazi-occupied past with the present

Filmmaker Steve McQueen’s new documentary “Occupied City,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week, juxtaposes modern-day shots of Amsterdam against narration of what happened in specific locations in the city during Nazi occupation, with the aim of drawing a connection between the time periods. The British director of the 2014 Oscar-winning film “12 Years a Slave” said that looking at the past was important for understanding the war in Ukraine or the rise of the far right.

‘Four Daughters’ mixes documentary, fiction to portray Tunisian mother

Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania mixes fiction and documentary to capture the story of Olfa Hamrouni, whose older daughters left to fight for Islamic State in “Four Daughters,” her first entry for the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize. The only Arab entry in competition follows Hamrouni, who drew international attention in 2016 for criticizing Tunisian authorities for failing to stop one of her daughters from fleeing to Libya to join her sister in fighting for the Islamic militant group.

Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman anchor Cannes competitor ‘May December’

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore anchor director Todd Haynes’ attempt at a fourth Palme d’Or in the drama “May December,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday night. Moore plays an older star who became tabloid fodder two decades earlier because of her relationship with a much younger man, played by Charles Melton – best known for “Riverdale.”

Cate Blanchett dons habit in Australian director’s conversion tale

Cate Blanchett, fresh off her Oscar-nominated performance in “Tar”, stars as an eccentric nun at a monastery in 1940s Australia that takes in an Indigenous boy with intriguing powers in “The New Boy,” which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Newcomer Aswan Reid plays the titular 9-year-old New Boy in the film by Warwick Thornton based on his own experience of walking into a church for the first time at the age of 11.

Scorsese’s eagerly awaited ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ premieres at Cannes

Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” one of the most anticipated premieres of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, had the red carpet abuzz on Saturday evening as its star-studded cast attracted throngs of fans to the Croisette boulevard. Tobey Maguire, Cate Blanchett, Robbie Williams and Kirsten Dunst were among the celebrities who attended the showing of the nearly four-hour film at the luxurious Grand Theatre Lumiere.

Auschwitz drama ‘Zone of Interest’ marks director Glazer’s first Cannes foray

British director Jonathan Glazer will compete for the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize for the first time this year with his Auschwitz drama “The Zone of Interest,” whose premiere on Friday evening drew celebrities including Cate Blanchett and Carla Bruni. German actor Christian Friedel plays Rudolf Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz, where over 1.1 million people were murdered in the largest of the concentration camps and extermination centres built by the Nazis in occupied Poland.

Blur’s Alex James on making new album: ‘It’s exciting and emotional’

Recording Blur’s first new album in eight years has been “exciting and emotional”, bassist Alex James says, as the band prepares for a series of gigs this summer where fans will get to hear their new tunes. Blur, who exploded onto the British music scene in the early 1990s with hits like “Girls & Boys” and “Parklife”, surprised fans on Thursday by announcing their ninth studio album, “The Ballad of Darren”, would be released on July 21. First track “The Narcissist” is already out.

No joke: China’s backlash against stand-up stirs fear of comedy clampdown

One joke by a Chinese comedian about the nation’s military has spurred online uproar, a $2 million fine, a police probe, a sweep of cancelled shows and fears for the survival of Chinese stand-up comedy, a rare refuge for somewhat free speech.

The furore over Li Haoshi’s wisecrack in Beijing last weekend marks the biggest scandal yet for a form of entertainment that, despite China’s tightening censorship regime, had managed to gain popularity with performances in small groups and material that managed to just toe the line.

Florida’s DeSantis seeks to disqualify judge in Disney case

Lawyers for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican mulling a 2024 presidential run, are asking that a federal judge be disqualified from overseeing a dispute between DeSantis and Walt Disney Co, questioning the judge’s impartiality in the case. Lawyers for DeSantis, who is being sued for allegedly targeting Disney for company leadership’s political views, filed a motion on Friday in Tallahassee, Florida, asking U.S. District Judge Mark Walker be recused in the case.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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