Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk Hat up for Auction 

A Fedora hat that belonged to US singer Michael Jackson, made of wool and lined with silk, is displayed before being put on sale at auction, in Paris, on September 12, 2023. (AFP)
A Fedora hat that belonged to US singer Michael Jackson, made of wool and lined with silk, is displayed before being put on sale at auction, in Paris, on September 12, 2023. (AFP)
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Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk Hat up for Auction 

A Fedora hat that belonged to US singer Michael Jackson, made of wool and lined with silk, is displayed before being put on sale at auction, in Paris, on September 12, 2023. (AFP)
A Fedora hat that belonged to US singer Michael Jackson, made of wool and lined with silk, is displayed before being put on sale at auction, in Paris, on September 12, 2023. (AFP)

Just before performing his famous moonwalk dance for the first time, Michael Jackson tossed his hat to the side of the stage. Four decades later, it's up for auction in Paris.

The sale at the Hotel Drouot in Paris takes place on September 26. The black fedora is expected to fetch between 60,000 and 100,000 euros ($64,000-$107,000).

Though it is the star among some 200 items of rock memorabilia, organizer Arthur Perault of the Artpeges gallery admitted that valuations for Jackson items had fallen lately due to "the sale of fakes and the accusations against him".

Jackson has long been accused of child abuse, which his heirs still contest and which the singer denied up to his death in 2009 at the age of 50.

The King of Pop whipped off the hat while breaking into his hit "Billie Jean" during a televised Motown concert in 1983, at the height of his fame.

Moments later, Jackson showed off what would become his trademark move -- the moonwalk -- a seemingly effortless backwards glide while appearing to walk forwards.

A man named Adam Kelly picked up Jackson's hat, "thinking the singer's staff would come to collect it but they didn't", said Perault.

He held on to it for several years, but it has since passed through a couple of private collectors on its way to Paris.

Also being auctioned are a guitar owned by the legendary bluesman T-Bone Walker that could fetch up to 150,000 euros; a suit worn by Depeche Mode's Martin Gore; and one of Madonna's gold records.

A chunk of wall from the Bus Palladium, a Paris venue that shut down last year, signed by numerous rock stars including members of The Libertines, Air and The Dandy Warhols, is valued at between 5,000 and 8,000 euros.

"Personally, I hope this wall stays in France. It is part of our heritage for all lovers of music and rock," said Perault.

Music memorabilia has become big business.

Co-organizers Lemon Auction made a splash last year with the sale of a guitar smashed by Noel Gallagher on the night Oasis split up in Paris following a fight with his brother Liam. The instrument went for 385,500 euros.

This month, a series of auctions for items belonging to Freddie Mercury -- including the piano on which he composed "Bohemian Rhapsody" -- have made a total of 46.5 million euros at Sotheby's, attracting bidders from 76 countries.



Sony Says Focus is on Creativity, with Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, and not Gadgets

Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
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Sony Says Focus is on Creativity, with Games, Movies, Music, Sensors, IP, and not Gadgets

Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Sony Group CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and President Hiroki Totoki attend the company's annual strategy briefing in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2024. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony says it’s focusing on creativity in movies, animation and video games, rather than old-fashioned gadgetry, The Associated Press reproted.
Its chief executive, Kenichiro Yoshida, outlined the company’s strategy Thursday, saying Sony was helping creative professionals deliver what he called “kando,” or a moving experience.
Yoshida did not speak about reports Tokyo-based Sony and Apollo Global Management are interested in buying Paramount Global.
Yoshida said the company is now emphasizing the creative process itself instead of prized products of the past like the Walkman portable music player and Trinitron color TVs. He said “synergies” are no longer between entertainment and electronics, but determined by intellectual property spanning animation, music, games and films.
“We will continue to support people’s creativity through our technology,” he said in an online briefing.
Sony is adapting to tougher times, with rivals making cheaper but competitive electronics. Critics say venturing into movies, music and other entertainment can be unprofitable.
Starting with its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing in 2018, Sony has invested approximately 1.5 trillion yen ($10 billion) in the last six years to strengthen its content creation.
In 2021 it acquired Crunchyroll, which has more than 13 million paid subscribers and delivers Japanese animation globally. Another was Yoasobi, a Japanese music duo that includes Vocaloid technology, or singing voice synthesizer software, and is attracting global fans.
Sony’s real-time computing technology that records “this moment,” as Yoshida put it, is being used in cameras at sports events because it can capture quickly moving subjects without distortion.
It's also used for news coverage and editing and in 3D video and computer graphics, including hit movies like “Godzilla Minus One,” and games based on human athletes’ movements, according to Yoshida.
Sony recently reported its quarterly profit rose to 189 billion yen ($1.2 billion) from 141 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales for the maker of the PlayStation game machines rose 14% to 3.48 trillion yen ($22 billion).
But for the fiscal year through March, Sony recorded a 3% decline in profit at 970 billion yen ($6.2 billion) due to a weak performance in its financial services segment, which will be partially spun off next year.


‘The Garfield Movie’ Gave Chris Pratt a Reminder of His Lazy Side

 US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)
US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)
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‘The Garfield Movie’ Gave Chris Pratt a Reminder of His Lazy Side

 US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)
US actor Chris Pratt arrives for the premiere of "The Garfield" movie at the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood on May 19, 2024. (AFP)

Voicing the iconic lazy, orange cat in "The Garfield Movie" reminded Chris Pratt of himself when he was in his late 20s and early 30s.

"I ate so much all the time, and I was very lazy," he told Reuters.

"I never exercised and I ate a whole bunch, and it was great," the "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor added. "So, now I don't have that any longer, but I do have the sense that I'm constantly pampered. So, depending on the season of my life we're talking about, there are similarities in the characters, but I've yet to be all of them all at once."

Pratt humorously noted that his connection to his character became stronger in several ways leading up to his interview.

"I've become Garfield. Look. I've got orange all around me. I was pampered and pet all morning before this interview and now I'm going to eat a big bowl of lasagna," he said.

The famed 1976 comic strip from cartoonist Jim Davis is going from page to animation. Distributed by Sony Pictures, it arrives in US movie theaters on Friday.

The film follows Garfield, a lethargic and greedy orange cat, as he’s snatched away from his pampered lifestyle and forced to carry out a heist for the sake of his alley cat father Vic, voiced by Samuel L. Jackson.

Pratt is no stranger to voicing animated characters following his experience portraying the Italian plumber Mario in the box office success "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" and voicing the elf Barley Lightfoot in Pixar's "Onward."

For the 44-year-old actor, it was easy to take on the role because Dindal, a well-known animation pioneer known for leading hits like "The Emperor's New Groove," already imagined his voice being used for Garfield, making it an effortless fit.

"Mark Dindal (the director) said 'I've been working on this for a couple of years, and I just hear your voice coming out of his mouth. To me, this is Chris Pratt as a cat,’" Pratt said.

Getting approval from Davis, whose comic strip has been published in over 2,000 newspapers and journals around the world, meant a lot to Pratt.

"Yeah, he's the character's creator, and I just heard recently that he gave a sweet quote and rated me a 10 out of 10 as the voice of Garfield," Pratt said.

"I don't think I'd quite realized how much pressure I'd been feeling to get the sign-off from him, and, so, the fact that he felt that way means a lot to me," he added


Dreamy Cannes Drama 'Parthenope' Embodies Naples' Character, Says Director

FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)
FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)
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Dreamy Cannes Drama 'Parthenope' Embodies Naples' Character, Says Director

FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)
FILE PHOTO of Members of the public walk in front of the Palais des Festival prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/ Brynn Anderson)

The heroine of "Parthenope," Paolo Sorrentino's new coming-of-age drama, is the embodiment of the city of Naples and all its mysteries and freedoms, the Italian director said on Wednesday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film had its premiere.

Newcomer Celeste Dalla Porta stars as the titular character, a long-haired beauty who enchants the men in her life, with the film following her from her birth in the waters of the Bay of Naples to her last day before retiring as a professor of anthropology.

"Parthenope, in the first part of the film, when she is young, coincides with the city, they are two mysteries," said Sorrentino, a Cannes veteran who has brought seven films to compete for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

Sorrentino was nominated for an Oscar for 2021's "The Hand of God," set in 1980s Naples, and won best foreign language film with 2013's "The Great Beauty."

"In the second part, her view becomes more critical when a more disenchanted phase of her life begins. She is a free and spontaneous woman, who does not judge, exactly like the city."

Naples is sometimes known as Parthenope in reference to the ancient Greek settlement established there, named after a siren who according to legend drowned herself after failing to bewitch Odysseus and whose body washed up on the shores of the city, Reuters reported.

For Dalla Porta, 26, the film not only is an allegory for Naples, but also for her own life.

"Before we started shooting the film I was still in a youthful, carefree phase of my life, where work was still something of a dream and being an actor somewhat an abstract idea," said at a news conference alongside Sorrentino.

"But during the process of making the film, it was as if I had to let go of the little girl in me," she added.


LA Police Probe How ‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Obtained Lethal Ketamine Dose 

A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)
A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)
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LA Police Probe How ‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Obtained Lethal Ketamine Dose 

A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)
A makeshift memorial for actor Matthew Perry, the wise-cracking co-star of the 1990s hit television sitcom "Friends," who was found dead at his Los Angeles home October 28, is pictured on Bedford Street in Manhattan in New York City, US, October 30, 2023. (Reuters)

Los Angeles homicide detectives and federal agents are investigating how "Friends" star Matthew Perry obtained the high dose of the powerful prescription drug ketamine that was found in his body and determined to have caused his death, police said.

The disclosure on Tuesday of an ongoing criminal probe by police and two federal agencies came five months after the Los Angeles County medical examiner concluded Perry succumbed to an accidental drug overdose and drowning, with no foul play suspected.

The Dec. 15 autopsy report concluded Perry died from the "acute effects of ketamine," which combined with other factors caused the actor to lose consciousness and slip below the water in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home.

"Based on the medical examiner's findings, the Los Angeles Police Department, with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service, has continued its investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Perry's death," the LAPD said in a statement.

A police spokesperson said detectives from the LAPD's robbery-homicide division were conducting the police inquiry.

Toxicology tests found ketamine, a short-acting anesthetic with hallucinogenic properties, in Perry's body at dangerously high levels well within the range typically associated with general anesthesia used in monitored surgical care, the autopsy said.

Coronary artery disease, the effects of the opioid-addiction medicine buprenorphine - also detected in his system - and drowning were listed as contributing factors in his Oct. 28 death.

Perry, 54, who publicly acknowledged decades of drug and alcohol abuse, including the years he starred as Chandler Bing on the hit 1990s television sitcom "Friends," had been sober for 19 months with no known relapses before his death, according to interviews cited in his autopsy.

Witness interviews in the report said he had been undergoing ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety. But his last known treatment was a week and a half before his death, so the ketamine found in his system by medical examiners would have been introduced since that last infusion, the autopsy said.

"The exact method of intake in Mr. Perry's case is unknown," the report said, adding that trace amounts of ketamine showed up in his stomach. No needle marks were found on his body, it said.

How the actor might have obtained ketamine on his own or who might have supplied it to him were left open questions and, according to an LAPD spokesperson, are the focus of the ongoing investigation.

A DEA spokesperson declined to comment on the investigation, referring media inquiries to the LAPD.


Oscar-Winning Composer of ‘Finding Neverland’ Music, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Dies at Age 71 

Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)
Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)
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Oscar-Winning Composer of ‘Finding Neverland’ Music, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Dies at Age 71 

Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)
Jan. A.P. Kaczmarek poses with the Oscar for best original score for his work on "Finding Neverland" during the 77th Academy Awards, Feb. 27, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP)

Polish composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, who won a 2005 Oscar for the musical score of “Finding Neverland,” died Tuesday. He was 71.

Kaczmarek’s death was announced by Poland’s Music Foundation which had been informed of his passing by the composer’s wife. Kaczmarek had suffered from MSA, a rare degenerative neurological disorder.

He authored music for movies made in Europe and Hollywood, like the 1995 “Total Eclipse” with Leonardo DiCaprio, and the 2002 “Unfaithful” with Richard Gere and Diane Lane.

Global fame came when he won the Oscar for Best Original Score in the biographic fantasy “Finding Neverland” inspired by the life of J.M. Barrie, with Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.

Born in Poland in 1953, Kaczmarek wanted to be a diplomat and studied law, but a brief association with the avant-garde theater of Jerzy Grotowski set him on the musical career.

In 1989, he settled in Los Angeles, but toward the end of his life lived in Krakow in southern Poland.

He is survived by his second wife Aleksandra Twardowska-Kaczmarek and five children.


Movie Review: ‘The Garfield Movie’ Is a Bizarre Animated Tale That’s Not Pur-Fect in Any Way 

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)
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Movie Review: ‘The Garfield Movie’ Is a Bizarre Animated Tale That’s Not Pur-Fect in Any Way 

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)
This image released by Sony Pictures shows Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, in a scene from the animated film "The Garfield Movie." (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP)

If you catch the latest Garfield movie, you might not expect to find the famous orange feline at one point running from bad guys on the top of a speeding train. Lasagna eating? Sure. But any sort of cardio?

Then prepare for “The Garfield Movie,” a curious new animated attempt to monetize the comic icon again by giving him an origin story and then asking him to do things a galaxy away from what he does in the funny pages. It's like if Snoopy ran an underground bare-knuckle fight club.

Chris Pratt voices the Monday-hating, self-centered hero and Samuel L. Jackson animates his long-lost father, who abandoned Garfield in an alley one rainy night, leading to lifelong trauma. That may explain his endless appetite, to fill the void of parental neglect. What does “The Garfield Movie” say about that idea? Are you kidding?

“The Garfield Movie,” directed by Mark Dindal, reunites Garfield and his not-so-savory dad — there's no mention of a mom and there are shades of the plots from “Kung Fu Panda 3” and "Chicken Run” — as he gets caught up in a criminal plot to raid a corporate dairy and steal thousands of gallons of milk.

Sorry, what was that? Garfield is perhaps the most indoor cat in history and seeing him dodge massive chopping blades or boulders onscreen is just plain weird. Making it even weirder is that his partner Odie — traditionally a drooling idiot — is remade here as highly competent, perhaps even a savant. This is not canon.

The movie gets mildly amusing as it recreates the kind of vent-crawling, security guard-avoiding heist in the dairy along to the theme from “Mission: Impossible” and that's largely because the gang is being directed by a bull voiced by Ving Rhames, a veteran of that franchise. There are also nods to “Top Gun”: I do my own stunts,” Garfield says. “Me and Tom Cruise.”

The script — by Paul A. Kaplan, Mark Torgove and David Reynolds— grounds the movie firmly in today, with Garfield using food delivery phone apps and Bluetooth, watching Catflix and characters declaring that they are “self-actualized.” There's also some pretty awkward product placement, like for Olive Garden, that may not send the message they wanted.

This is the part when we talk about food abuse. Garfield has a bit of a problem on this front, and the filmmakers more than lean into it. Thousands of pounds of junk food get inhaled by the tabby, but not salad. Heaven is described as an “all-you-can-eat buffet in the sky” and cheese is Garfield's “love language.” It's the laziest kind of writing.

There's a mini “Ted Lasso” reunion when Hannah Waddingham (playing a psychotic gang leader) and Brett Goldstein (as her henchman) appear, while Snoop Dogg has a cameo as the voice of a one-eyed cat and offers a song that runs over the credits.

The animation is pretty great — the backgrounds, at least. Ladders show rust and forests are lush, but then the main characters are a step or two less realized, more cartoonish. Jim Davis, who created Garfield, is an executive producer so he must be OK with all of this, a forgettable, unfunny animated slog. At one point, Garfield says “Bury me in cheese” and that seems a fitting final resting place for this cat's film career.


Election Year Trump Biopic ‘The Apprentice’ Premieres at Cannes 

Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)
Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)
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Election Year Trump Biopic ‘The Apprentice’ Premieres at Cannes 

Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)
Director Ali Abbasi poses close to photographers on the red carpet during arrivals for the screening of the film "The Apprentice" in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 20, 2024. (Reuters)

"The Apprentice", Iran-born director Ali Abbasi's much-anticipated drama of a young Donald Trump's ascendancy as a New York real estate mogul, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday.

Part of the pull of the film is its timing, as Trump, now 77, looks to win another term as US president in November.

The film shares its title with the reality show that helped turn Trump into a household name.

Sebastian Stan, who made his name in the Captain America trilogy as the Winter Soldier, morphs into Trump, from his early stages as an upstart working for his father's business to a brazen, self-centered tycoon.

The story focuses on Trump's time under the tutelage of Roy Cohn, a political fixer best known for his involvement in Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist scare campaigns of the 1950s and portrayed by "Succession's" Jeremy Strong.

His three rules for success, which Trump later takes credit for while speaking with the writer of his business advice book "The Art of the Deal", are prescient of his traits in office: deny everything, always be on the attack and never admit defeat.

Abbasi is known for his eclectic film repertoire, including 2022's Cannes entry "Holy Spider" about the killings of sex workers in Iran and "Border", a fantasy love story in Sweden.

Critics were mixed, praising for Stan and Strong while seeing the film's basis in actual events as a limitation.

"Sebastian Stan Plays Donald Trump in a Docudrama That Nails Everything About Him but His Mystery," read the headline for entertainment website Variety, while trade publication IndieWire pointed out that the film "can't get around the fact that Trump is too base and pathological to be of much dramatic interest".


Studio Ghibli Takes a Bow at Cannes with an Honorary Palme D’Or 

Goro Miyazaki, left, and Kenichi Yoda pose for photographers with the Studio Ghibli honorary Palme d'Or upon arrival at the premiere of the film "The Apprentice" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP)
Goro Miyazaki, left, and Kenichi Yoda pose for photographers with the Studio Ghibli honorary Palme d'Or upon arrival at the premiere of the film "The Apprentice" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP)
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Studio Ghibli Takes a Bow at Cannes with an Honorary Palme D’Or 

Goro Miyazaki, left, and Kenichi Yoda pose for photographers with the Studio Ghibli honorary Palme d'Or upon arrival at the premiere of the film "The Apprentice" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP)
Goro Miyazaki, left, and Kenichi Yoda pose for photographers with the Studio Ghibli honorary Palme d'Or upon arrival at the premiere of the film "The Apprentice" at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 20, 2024. (AP)

Studio Ghibli, the Japanese anime factory of surreal ecological wonders that has for 39 years spirited away moviegoers with tales of Totoros, magical jellyfish and floating castles, was celebrated Monday by the Cannes Film Festival with an honorary Palme d'Or.

In the 22 years that Cannes has been handing out honorary Palmes, the award for Ghibli was the first for anything but an individual filmmaker or actor. (This year's other recipients are George Lucas and Meryl Streep.) Hayao Miyazaki, the 83-year-old animation master who founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki, didn't attend the ceremony, but he spoke in a video message taped in Japan.

“I don't understand any of this,” said Miyazaki. “But thank you.”

At Cannes, where standing ovations can stretch on end, the fervor that greeted Ghibli's emissaries — Goro Miyazaki (son of Hayao) and Kenichi Yoda — was nevertheless among the most thunderous receptions at the festival. Thierry Fremaux, Cannes' artistic director, walked across the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière filming the long ovation, he said, for a video to send to Miyazaki.

“With this Palme d'Or, we'd like to thank you for all the magic you've brought to cinema,” said Iris Knobloch, the president of the festival, presenting the award.

The occasion wasn't marked by any new Ghibli film but four earlier shorts that hadn't previously been shown outside Japan. “Mei and the Baby Cat Bus,” a brief follow-up to Miyazaki's 1989 “My Neighbor Totoro,” expands the Cat Bus of that classic to a whole fleet of cat conveyances, most notably the mini Baby Cat Bus.

The shorts, all of which were made for the Studio Ghibli Museum outside Tokyo, included “Mr. Dough and the Egg Princess,” a culinary-themed desert for Miyazaki's 2001 film “Spirited Away.” The other two — “House Hunting” and “Boro the Caterpillar” — make musical mini-adventures for forest creatures.

The Studio Ghibli celebration came on the heels of Miyazaki's long-awaited “The Boy and the Heron” winning the Academy Award in March for best animated film. (A documentary on its making, “Hayao Miyazaki and the Heron,” also played in Cannes.)

Miyazaki sat out that ceremony, too. Goro Miyazaki, whose own films include “From Up on Poppy Hill” and “Tales From Earthsea,” said they had to use a hotel towel to wrap the Oscar to bring home to his father. On Monday, he was relieved by the portability of the Cannes prize.

“I'm reassured seeing the Palme d'Or was in a box,” he said, grinning.


Kevin Costner Jokes about Blocking Cannes Yachts to Finance ‘Horizon’ Films

US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)
US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)
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Kevin Costner Jokes about Blocking Cannes Yachts to Finance ‘Horizon’ Films

US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)
US director Kevin Costner attends the press conference for "Horizon: An American Saga" during the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 20 May 2024. (Getty Images)

Kevin Costner joked at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday that he was ready to blockade rich people on their yachts unless they gave him money to finance his planned four-part Western series "Horizon: An American Saga."

The Hollywood star has already taken out a mortgage on 10 acres of his waterfront property in California to help fund the film project, which tells of the challenges faced by settlers expanding the American West in the late 1800s. Now, he needs more financial backing for the project.

"If we all went out together into this harbor and we stood in front of one boat. And didn't let those rich people off, and we can tell them, 'Look, you can dress up, you can walk on the red carpet,' you know..." Costner told a packed news conference.

"I have knocked on every boat in Cannes to help me. They say 'Ooh, come have a picture', I say 'No, come get your chequebook out. I want to see. Let's talk money," he added.

The first two parts are complete, with the 181-minute initial chapter premiering out of competition at the festival on Sunday. It will be released in North America and select European locations on June 28, followed by part two on Aug. 16.

Filming on the third chapter began before Costner set out for Cannes.

"This has been so hard. And it's not over yet," he told Reuters in an interview at the festival.

MIXED REVIEWS

Costner will star in, direct, produce and co-write the film series, which covers a 15-year period before and after the 1861-1865 Civil War when white settlers expanded westward in the United States, taking land from American Indians.

Costner's previous credits in Westerns include his Oscar-winning "Dances With Wolves" in 1990 and more recently as the star of the successful five-season TV series "Yellowstone."

"I can't fill every box every time I try to make a movie, but I'm absolutely conscious of what's at stake, and trying to represent people," Costner said at the news conference.

"Horizon," with Sienna Miller, Jena Malone, Abbey Lee and Dale Dickey among the cast, is also heavily oriented towards women, added Costner.

Reviews trended towards the negative, with Britain's The Guardian newspaper calling it "a big vain slog up familiar old west alleys," while another British newspaper, The Telegraph, said it would please those who pine for old-fashioned Westerns.

"Costner may have just invented granddad cinema," read The Telegraph headline.


The Unstoppable Duo of Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos

Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP
Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP
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The Unstoppable Duo of Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos

Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP
Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. - The AP

Before a journalist has even lobbed a question, Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos spit out a string of overlapping answers.

“We have a great relationship,” begins Lanthimos. ‘“We just love working together,” adds Stone. “It was cool to do a modern-day piece.” “Going back to some of the early stuff,” says Lanthimos. “A throwback,” says Stone. “Our relationship has evolved over time,” Lanthimos adds.

“Totally,” says Stone.

Stone and Lanthimos have by now honed their patter. They're just barely removed from the Oscar campaign for “Poor Things,” which culminated in four Academy Awards, including best actress for Stone. Just two months later, they’re back together at the Cannes Film Festival with “Kinds of Kindness,” their third feature together and fourth film, counting the 2022 short “Bleat.”

“We do have a bit of a double act going on,” shrugs Stone, The AP reported.

Their collaboration has by now become so regular, and the talking points so scripted, that it would be easy to take it for granted. Minutes before they sat down for an interview in Cannes, a press release went out with the news that Lanthimos and Stone will soon begin shooting another movie together, titled “Bugonia.”

Opposite as they may seem — one a 35-year-old star from Arizona, the other a 50-year-old arthouse filmmaker from Athens — they’ve rapidly formed one of the movies’ strongest director-actor partnerships, a collaboration based on a shared sense of absurdity and a willingness to go, full-tilt, to some very strange places.

For Stone, the connection she feels with Lanthimos isn’t so different than the one she does with Nathan Fielder, the darkly deadpan comedian of “The Curse.”

“I don’t say this lightly even though I know it’s easy to use this word flippantly: They’re both geniuses," says Stone. “They are. I think it’s just an innate thing. It can’t really be taught or described. It’s just a way of seeing society and people. You’re actually both drawn to themes of: Why is this social structure like this? Why do we have these rules? How are we supposed to function within them?”

You can grasp a similar attitude in Lanthimos and Stone’s opening volley of answers to unasked questions, disarming the regular rhythms of an interview. Or in how Stone, every bit the movie star, constantly undercuts herself with self-deprecating sarcasm.

But you can most see it in their movies together. The aggressive period farce of “The Favourite." Bella Baxter’s childlike experience of social mores in “Poor Things.” In “Kinds of Kindness,” a triptych of extreme tales of controlling relationships, Lanthimos, working again with screenwriter Efthimis Filippou, continues his idiosyncratic examinations of social conformity.

“I got inspired by reading ‘Caligula’ by Camus,” Lanthimos says. “I just started thinking about one man’s control over other people’s lives. Then I thought it would be interesting to explore on a more personal level how that would feel, having someone be in total control over your life, even in the most minute detail.”

“Kinds of Kindness,” which Searchlight Pictures will release June 21 in theaters, was an opportunity for Stone (aside from “Bleat”) to work with Lanthimos in the style of his earlier films (“The Lobster," “The Killing of a Sacred Deer" ) with Filippou.

“It was the chance to finally be in that version of Yorgos’ mind,” Stone says. “Before I met him, obviously, those were the only ones I had seen.”

The two had discussed making “Kinds of Kindness” before “Poor Things,” but shot it in the aftermath of their Oscar-winner during its lengthy post-production process due to the film’s large amount of special effects.

“Do you remember we made this as fast as we could because we were like, ‘I don’t know what the hell is going to happen on “Poor Things?’” Stone reminds Lanthimos.

“Everyday after work, we’d talk about it. How was it? Did you watch the rushes? What do you think?” continues Stone. “And he’s like: ‘This is a disaster.’ Every single day. And I'd go, ‘OK, that’s what I thought.’”

Alternatively, “Kinds of Kindness,” Stone says “was free and happy and everyone’s going to love this.”

That might be surprising for anyone's who's seen the three-hour “Kinds of Kindness,” which uses largely the same company of actors across all three stories. (Among them: Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley.) The three parts take stories of work-life balance, spousal suspicion and sexual abuse to severe, surreal lengths.

For Stone, “Kinds of Kindness” extends a run of daringly unconventional projects, including “The Curse” and Jane Schoenbrun's “I Saw the TV Glow,” which she produced, at a time when Stone could, by herself, help greenlight nearly anything.

“The common denominator of the things I’ve been a part of are that they’re things I want to watch,” Stone says. “That’s the only gauge that I have. If it’s not something that I would be like, ‘I gotta go see this the day it comes out,’ then it’s probably not a good fit for me.”

But she and Lanthimos may be shifting the bar for what constitutes “mainstream.” The brutal extremes of “Kinds of Kindness” have led to some, in comparing it to “Poor Things,” referencing their last one — an unabashedly profane coming-of-age tale about a dead woman reanimated with a child’s brain — like it was some kind of all-audiences crowd pleaser.

“It’s so funny to hear people talk about ‘Poor Things’ like the conventional film that we made,” says Lanthimos, smiling. “I get a little bit irritated but then I go, no wait, it’s great that people consider ‘Poor Things,’ like, a normal thing. We couldn’t get it made for 12 years.”

Yet at this point, Stone and Lanthimos’ collaboration is so continuous that the projects can bleed into each other. Take Stone’s already viral dance in “Kinds of Kindness,” a moment splashed through the film’s trailers. That was initially just something Stone was doing in between scenes on “Poor Things.”

“She would put on a song and dance like crazy,” says Lanthimos. “I was like, ‘I want you to do this in ‘Kinds of Kindness.’”