Entertainment News Roundup: Claire Denis Seizes the Moment with “Stars at Noon”; Johnny Depp, back on the helm, calls Heard’s abuse allegations ‘cruel and untrue’ and more

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Below is a summary of the entertainment news briefs.

Claire Denis seizes the moment with ‘Stars at Noon’

French filmmaker Claire Denis says the death of writer Denis Johnson prompted her to take action to bring her novel ‘Stars at Noon’ to the big screen. Denis, who is making his Cannes competition return with the film, had discussed the project with the American author and was filming her space drama “High Life” when Johnson died in May 2017.

Johnny Depp, back at the helm, calls Heard’s abuse allegations ‘cruel and untrue’

Actor Johnny Depp returned to the witness box on Wednesday to refute the testimony of ex-wife Amber Heard in their defamation battle, saying the abuse allegations she had made against him were “of a brutality, cruelty and unimaginable lies”. The 58-year-old ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star sued Heard for $50million and claimed she defamed him when she called herself a “public figure representing domestic violence”. Heard, 36, countersued for $100 million, claiming Depp smeared him when his lawyer said his charges were a “hoax”.

Shakira loses appeal to avoid trial in Spanish tax evasion case

A Spanish court has rejected an appeal by Colombian singer Shakira and upheld an earlier decision, which saw “sufficient evidence” to send her to trial for alleged tax evasion, a court document showed on Thursday. Prosecutors claim the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer failed to pay up to 14.5 million euros ($15.54 million) in tax on earned income between 2012 and 2014.

“Dream come true” for the first Cannes screening of Pakistan

The first screening of Pakistan’s first Cannes Film Festival entry felt like “a dream come true”, said one of its stars Sarwat Gilani after the film – which seeks to break gender stereotypes in his country – received a prolonged standing ovation. “It felt like the hard work of people, the struggles that we face as artists in Pakistan, were all worth it,” Gilani told Reuters on Tuesday.

‘Stranger Things’ Returns With More Supernatural Horrors

Netflix’s hit sci-fi drama “Stranger Things” returns this week with the first part of its highly anticipated season four promising more supernatural horrors besetting the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. Set six months after season three ended with the gruesome battle at Starcourt Mall, season four sees the young protagonist friends separated after Eleven, played by Millie Bobbi Brown, moves to California with Joyce (Winona Ryder ) and his two sons, Will and Jonathan.

Key moments from Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s libel trial

Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are suing for defamation, each claiming they were abused before and during their roughly two-year marriage. Heard’s team closed the defense case on Tuesday. Oral arguments are scheduled for Friday. Below are the key moments from the trial so far:

Korean Park Chan-wook leaves violence behind in new ‘adult film’

Acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, best known for his brutal Vengeance trilogy, is breaking new ground with his latest Cannes competition entry, “Decision to Leave.” The romantic thriller about a detective and a murder suspect who fall for each other features, contrary to some expectations, little violence or nudity.

Elvis fever grips Cannes ahead of premiere of Luhrmann biopic

The king of rock ‘n’ roll died 45 years ago, but Elvis fever was high in Cannes on Wednesday as fans were delighted to see an impersonator strolling the famous promenade of the seaside resort, La Croisette . The Elvis lookalike, real name Eryl Prayer, was in town to celebrate the premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s biopic which premieres Wednesday night at the Cannes Film Festival.

Far from the festival spotlight, the Ukrainian is rebuilding in Cannes

When Lesia Bilotserkovets and her family fled Kyiv by car at the start of the war in Ukraine, her father balked at the size of his suitcase, full of winter clothes. The young woman of 24 years did not know that she would find herself in Cannes, on the Côte d’Azur.

Aerosmith cancels summer shows in Vegas after singer Tyler enters rehab

Rock band Aerosmith has canceled the first two months of shows scheduled for its Las Vegas residency after singer Steven Tyler suffered a relapse in sobriety and entered treatment, the band announced Tuesday. The group known for hits such as “Dream On” and “Walk This Way” plans to take the stage at the Park MGM hotel starting in September, according to a statement posted on Twitter.

(With agency contributions.)

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