Musicians take spotlight at Cannes film festival

PARIS • Bono, Elton John, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits... The red carpet at Cannes is shaping up to look like a dream rock festival line-up.

Not to mention Rihanna and a couple of the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, who may yet put in an appearance at the world's biggest film festival, which starts today.

The opening movie alone, the tongue-in-cheek zombie flick The Dead Don't Die, is full of A-list musicians. As well as Waits and Pop - who plays a rampaging member of the undead - it also stars singer Selena Gomez and rapper RZA.

And that is all before the promise of John bringing his grand piano to the Croisette to play at the premiere of his biopic Rocketman.

With Bohemian Rhapsody taking more than US$900 million (S$1.2 billion) at the box office, cinema bosses are wetting their lips over the amount a film about the sex and drug-fuelled life story of the writer of such standards as I'm Still Standing will rake in.

Unlike the Freddie Mercury movie, which skirted around the singer's complex personal life, the John picture prides itself on its warts-and-all portrayal.

Distributors at Cannes will also get a sneak preview of the first authorised documentary on legendary rock band Led Zeppelin.

Members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and the late John Bonham all spoke to director Bernard McMahon, maker of the acclaimed television series on roots music, American Epic.

Speculation is also rising that pop idol Rihanna - who is about to launch her new luxury Paris-based fashion house Fenty - could also turn up on the Riviera.

U2 frontman Bono will definitely be there to support the documentary 5B, which is showing in the official selection and tells the story of the San Francisco General Hospital ward that was the first in the United States to treat patients with Aids.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 14, 2019, with the headline 'Musicians take spotlight at Cannes film festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe