Entertainment News Roundup: Netflix expands deal with ‘Bridgerton’ producer Shonda Rhimes; Set in Chad, Cannes film ‘Lingui’ explores abortion struggles and more

Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.

U.S. rapper Lil Baby arrested in Paris for carrying cannabis – source

French police arrested U.S. rapper Dominique Jones, who goes by the name Lil Baby, for allegedly carrying cannabis, a judicial source said on Friday, confirming an earlier report by AFP. Lil Baby was arrested on Thursday afternoon and has been kept in custody since, the source said. He was with NBA basketball player James Harden at the time of his arrest.

French film in Cannes follows a family’s tussle with euthanasia

French movie director Francois Ozon tackles the thorny issue of euthanasia in his latest movie at the Cannes Film Festival, with a story of two sisters grappling with their sick father’s desire to end his life. In “Everything Went Fine”, Ozon does not take sides in the debate, preferring to let the siblings’ struggle unfold and leave audiences to ponder what they would do in their situation.

Cannes rock documentary Velvet Underground seeks to inspire new fans

Filmmaker Todd Haynes said he hoped to reach a new generation of fans with a documentary on rock and roll band The Velvet Underground, which includes scenes shot by Andy Warhol that capture the heady creative energy of New York in the 1960s.

“The Velvet Underground” , presented at the Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera, is set to be released on Apple TV+ in October, and Haynes said he was happy to try and reach a new audience this way too.

‘Zigazig ah!’ Spice Girls mark 25 years since ‘Wannabe’ release

The Spice Girls celebrated 25 years since the release of their debut single “Wannabe” on Thursday with heartfelt messages thanking their fans for their continued support in making them one of the most successful girl bands in the world. An upbeat and empowering track, “Wannabe” was released on July 8, 1996 and soared to the top of music charts around the world.

Matt Damon unveils Amanda Knox-inspired film at Cannes

Matt Damon said on Friday he had immersed himself for weeks in Oklahoma with oil rig workers for his role as a disoriented American who travels to France to help his jailed daughter, in a new film loosely inspired by the real-life Amanda Knox case. The U.S. actor – who brought a dose of Hollywood glamour back to the Cannes Film Festival red carpet after the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the event last year – said he spent time driving around and living with the so-called roughnecks in the Republican state to grasp his character’s mindset in “Stillwater”.

Fendi celebrates eternal city Rome at haute couture show

Italian fashion house Fendi used soft colours and marbleised patterns for its haute couture collection on Thursday, presenting a line of luxurious gowns and outfits. Designer Kim Jones said he looked to late Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s depictions of Rome, where Fendi is based, for inspiration.

‘Like a rebirth’: Americans pack reopened concert halls for a summer of music

Pamela Pickens swayed her hips as her husband Tom led her in an impromptu dance to the strumming of guitarist Studebaker John at Chicago’s famed blues bar, Kingston Mines. The couple, wearing fedora hats and wide smiles, had driven five hours from their home in southeast Indiana to visit their favorite blues club, which had recently reopened for live performances after a year of shutdown due to COVID-19.

Set in Chad, Cannes film ‘Lingui’ explores abortion struggles

The director behind “Lingui”, a Cannes Film Festival entry about a teenager’s battle in Chad to get an abortion, said on Friday he hoped the story would resonate well beyond the African country, including in places like the United States where there are vocal anti-abortion movements. Mahamet-Saleh Haroun said he was inspired to explore the issue after reading stories about babies abandoned or killed by their young mothers in Chad, where abortion is only allowed in specific cases where a woman’s life is in danger.

At Cannes, filmmaker Lapid takes seething swipe at Israeli identity

Israeli moviemaker Nadav Lapid’s love-hate relationship with his homeland plays out in his competition entry to this year’s Cannes Film Festival, a back-of-beyond tale inspired by his own experience of government meddling. “Ahed’s Knee” tells of an Israeli moviemaker who arrives in a dusty desert town for a screening of one of his productions. There he meets a young culture ministry official, who asks him to sign a form listing discussion topics he wishes to explore.

Netflix expands deal with ‘Bridgerton’ producer Shonda Rhimes

Netflix on Thursday expanded its deal with “Bridgerton” television producer Shonda Rhimes, adding feature films, gaming and live events to its pact with her company. Netflix said the deal with Rhimes and her Shondaland Media company would give the streaming platform the opportunity to “exclusively produce, stream and distribute feature films as well as potential gaming and virtual reality content.”

(With inputs from agencies.)

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