MovieDirector Baz Luhrmann was greatly relieved when Priscilla Presley, the widow of singer Elvis, first saw Luhrmann’s film and gave her consent. He said this on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film was shown in the world on Wednesday evening. The film mainly focuses on the relationship between Elvis and his manager, Colonel Parker.
“I had some conversations with Priscilla at first,” says Luhrmann, who previously had as many points as the Moulin Rouge! And they made “Romeo + Juliet”. But due to Corona, running was much more difficult than expected. Normally I would have kept in more contact with her. But it was really difficult to keep all the balls in the air. If one ball falls to the ground, the project will not move forward.”
In the end, Presley didn’t see Elvis until after he finished editing. “We were still working on the post-processing and visual effects,” says the director. It was a show for Priscilla only. “After that she didn’t want to talk to anyone. I was very nervous and that was a wrong sign. I also heard afterwards from one of the guards sitting in the hall that she was crying. I honestly thought: What have we done?”
But a few days later, the filmmakers received an email from Elvis’ widow. “I only repeat this because she said it herself in public. She thanked us and said, with every breath and movement of Austin Butler, who plays the title role, I was able to portray my husband’s humanity. You show the man in the movie, not the icon. My husband was with me while I watched the movie.” I can now show his grandson and later grandchildren what kind of man their grandfather and grandfather were.”
Incidentally, Lurhmann didn’t necessarily want to make the movie because he’s a fan of Elvis. “I am a huge fan of Shakespeare,” said the director, “because his stories also say something about the time the stories ran.” “I also wanted to paint a picture of the changes that took place in the United States in the 50s, 60s and 70s using this film. I found the relationship between Elvis and Colonel Parker very fascinating. Just as “Amadeus” is not about Mozart’s life, but more about the relationship the antics between him and his rival Salieri.”
Tom Hanks plays Colonel Parker, Elvis Presley’s Dutch manager. Talk to the widow of a rock legend about the man behind the director. “I spoke to Priscilla Presley and other friends of Elvis and they all said he was a very nice guy to deal with. Of course, he too committed fraud and filled his pockets. But that wasn’t the element I wanted to emphasize in the role.”
The movie “Elvis” will be shown in Belgian cinemas at the end of June.
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