Cannes marks its 75th year in nostalgic form

PARIS – From Maverick to Bowie to Elvis, the Cannes Film Festival launches its 75th-anniversary edition on Thursday with a roster full of icons from the last century. The world’s foremost film festival always tries to strike a balance between serious arthouse fare and popcorn-guzzling entertainment. It has scored some big crowd-pleasers for its diamond jubilee, with Tom Cruise coming to the French Riviera for the European launch of “Top Gun: Maverick”, the sequel to his era-defining mega-hit from 1986. Music legends will feature prominently, with flamboyant Australian director Baz Luhrmann screening his biopic “Elvis” along with new documentaries about David Bowie (“Moonage Daydream”) and rock’n’roller Jerry Lee Lewis (“Trouble in Mind” by one-half of the Coen brothers, Ethan Coen). While those are all playing outside the main competition, there are also iconic names in the race for the top prize Palme d’Or, not least Canadian horror maestro David Cronenberg.
The 79-year-old returns to his body-horror (dis)comfort zone with “Crimes of the Future”, in which Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and Viggo Mortensen turn gruesome surgical alterations into a sexualised performance art.

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