Entertainment News Roundup: Heard lawyers will not call Depp back to witness stand -source; Ukrainian director denounces Russian presence at Cannes and more
Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Community-led Lakata film 'War Pony' debuts at Cannes
Set on the Pine Ridge Reservation, "War Pony" began as a project among friends and over seven years grew into a community effort, said directors Gina Gammell and Riley Keough, who presented their directorial debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Cast entirely with first-time actors and set in the sovereign lands of the Oglala Lakota in South Dakota, the movie follows the setbacks and triumphs of 12-year old Matho, played by LaDainian Crazy Thunder and Bill, 23, played by Jojo Bapteise Whiting.
Ukrainian filmmaker Loznitsa plans documentary on Russia invasion
Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa plans to make a documentary about the war in his country, he said on Monday at the Cannes Film Festival, where he showed his film "The Natural History of Destruction." "I haven't yet been back in Ukraine since the war started but of course I intend to go there, and I intend to make a film, about those atrocities that are taking place at the moment," the director, who lives in Lithuania, told Reuters in an interview.
Iranian director Ali Abbasi premiered "Holy Spider" at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, the tale of a serial killer in the holy city Mashhad — based on a true story — dubbing the genre "Persian noir". "This is a film noir. This is a Persian noir," Abbasi told Reuters.
Ukrainian director denounces Russian presence at Cannes
Ukrainian director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk criticised the Cannes Film Festival for including a Russian director in its line-up, as the debut filmmaker's "Pamfir" was shown at Cannes' Directors Fortnight on Saturday. The festival has banned official Russian delegations from attending, but Russian dissident Kirill Serebrennikov, who has spoken out against the invasion of Ukraine, premiered his in-competition film "Tchaikovsky's Wife" at the festival on Wednesday.
Romanian director Mungiu explores xenophobia in Cannes entry 'R.M.N'
Romanian director Cristian Mungiu has returned to the Cannes Film Festival competition with a downbeat social drama confronting xenophobia in central Europe. Set in a multi-ethnic village in Transylvania, "R.M.N." begins with factory worker Matthias returning from Germany to his impoverished village. The close-knit village's calm veneer is shaken when residents, among them ethnic Hungarians, oppose the hiring of Sri Lankan workers in a local bread factory.
Heard lawyers will not call Depp back to witness stand -source
Lawyers for "Aquaman" actor Amber Heard decided not to call Johnny Depp back to the witness stand as they wrapped up their defense this week in the former couple's defamation case, a source close to Heard said on Monday afternoon. Depp appeared on a list of potential witnesses as the trial entered its sixth and final week.
Box Office: 'Downton Abbey 2' Starts Strong With $16 Million as 'Doctor Strange' Rules Again
The Crawley family still has the royal touch at the box office. "Downton Abbey: A New Era," a sequel to the big-screen continuation of the beloved British television show, captured $16 million from 3,815 North American theaters in its domestic debut. Though down slightly from initial projects, those returns mark an encouraging start at a time when older audiences have been selective about going to the movies. There had been understandable concern about the second "Downton Abbey" in terms of commercial prospects, and not because long-time fans of the series had tired of devouring the onscreen palace intrigue and class-system drama. Other than "House of Gucci" and James Bond sequel "No Time to Die," many pandemic-era films catering to adults (such as Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" remake" and the Will Smith sports drama "King Richard") struggled to sell tickets despite positive reviews. So it's no small feat that nearly 50% of ticket buyers for "Downton Abbey: A New Era" a feel-good story set in a familiar franchise, were 55 and older.
'Squid Game' star Lee Jung-jae steps behind the camera for 'Hunt'
"Squid Game" star Lee Jung-jae flexes his filmmaking muscles with "Hunt" , a spy thriller he wrote, directed, produced and also acts in. Lee's directorial and screenwriting debut received its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it is screening out of competition.
Ukraine can win war, Hollywood's Liev Schreiber says in Davos
Ukraine can win the war against Russia but it will be a long fight and the conflict must not be allowed to fade out of the news, Hollywood actor Liev Schreiber said on Monday in Davos. "It's overwhelming how resilient the Ukrainian people are," Schreiber, whose grandfather was of Ukrainian and Polish descent, told Reuters TV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.
(With inputs from agencies.)