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CANNES WATCH: Minogue's look; Wurst on fame

Friday - 5/23/2014, 1:11pm  ET

Director Asia Argento, second from left, poses with cast members for Misunderstood as she arrives for the screening of Mommy at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
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The Associated Press

CANNES, France (AP) -- The Associated Press is all over the Cannes Film Festival -- from its glitzy premieres to the celeb parties and quirky moments in between. Here's what reporters have seen and heard:



Kylie Minogue ravished the Antibes' amfAR dinner in a revealing champagne satin dress with plunging neckline by up and coming designer Juan Carlos Obando.

"You know me, I always support great designers, up and comers," said Minogue, who appeared in the 2012 film "Holy Motors" that competed at the Cannes Film Festival.

"Deception" star Marion Cotillard, meanwhile, challenged Minogue for the fashion mantle looking ethereal in an embellished off-white sleeveless gown with segmented panels by Alexander McQueen.

-- Thomas Adamson --



A 25-year-old Quebecois filmmaker is the toast of the Cannes Film Festival.

Xavier Dolan's "Mommy," a mother-son French-language drama, premiered Thursday in Cannes. While the writer-director is only 25, "Mommy" is his fourth film at the festival, though his first in the prestigious competition for the Palme d'Or.

"There might be a proper age to know how to tell stories, but there is no proper age to start telling them," said Dolan. "I'm not thinking of myself as someone young. I feel neither young nor old, I just feel like I'm trying to do the right thing in order to tell a story that haunts me somehow."

Though Dolan has been a fixture on festivals and won admirers for his previous films, his debut on Cannes' main stage had the feel of an international arrival. Appearing Thursday in a trim green blazer, dark-frame glasses and earrings on both ears, Dolan -- often labeled a wunderkind or a prodigy -- regaled festival-goers with an intelligence and poise beyond his years.

He spoke passionately about -- of all things -- James Cameron's "Titanic" and its inspiration to him. He said the 1997 film was the first time it dawned on him that there was "an order to filmmaking."

"It sort of gave me the faith in crazy and ambitious ideas," said Dolan.

"Mommy" was made in an unusual, Instagram-like 1:1 aspect ratio -- a square-sized frame that Dolan said gave viewers nowhere to focus but on his characters. It stars Anne Dorval as Diana "Die" Despres, a theatrical, feisty widow as she wrestles with homeschooling her ADHD-afflicted teenage son, Steve (Antoine Olivier Pilon).

Critical reaction to "Mommy" was mixed, though some predicted it would be in the running for the Palme d'Or. Asked about what such an honor would mean, Dolan said:

"It would just be an extraordinary message to people my age and my generation"

-- Jake Coyle --



Conchita Wurst, the Austrian bearded drag queen who won the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this month, is enjoying her newfound fame.

"I love this. This is the life I always wanted. So it feels really great," Wurst said, dressed in a sparkling blue evening gown at the amfAR dinner against Aids at Antibes.

Wurst -- the alter ego of 25-year-old Thomas Neuwirth -- said she's hoping to go even further in the music business after years of appearing on television in two reality shows and another talent show in 2011.

"I've not been invited to the World Music Awards although I'd love to. Maybe next year," she said.

"I want to record an album and I have to make more music," she said.

-- Thomas Adamson --



Ken Loach isn't done yet.

The 77-year-old British director said he has "enough petrol in the tank" to probably make a "little one more." While making his latest film, "Jimmy's Hall," Loach suggested it would be his last fictional feature.

But at the Cannes Film Festival, where "Jimmy's Hall" premiered Thursday, Loach said his retirement announcement was uttered in "a moment of maximum pressure" during production.

"It's a hard job to give up, really," said Loach.

"Jimmy's Hall," which Sony Pictures Classics acquired for distribution ahead of its debut, is a kind of real-life Irish "Footloose" about the Irish 1930s communist leader James Gralton (Barry Ward) and the dance and schooling hall he opens to the anger of local conservatives. It's Loach's record 12th film in competition at Cannes.

Loach said one of the dispiriting trends in movies he's witnessed has been the phasing out of film in favor of digital. Loach not only still shoots on film, but he edits on film, too -- which is particularly unusual these days.

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