Cannes Diary: Jailbreak rock

Days after being released from prison in Tehran, the US-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi faces the wrath of the authorities yet again with a secretly-produced film about the Iranian capital's underground music scene.
No One Knows About Persian Cats, which premiered last night, was co-written by Saberi and directed by her boyfriend, the acclaimed Kurdish Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi. Covertly filmed in September, the upbeat musical stars real underground rappers and rockers in Tehran, defying the censors who brand western-style music "obscene" and dole out lashings, fines and jail sentences.

No love lost in the East

Likewise the Chinese director Lou Ye is pondering the repercussions back home after he flouted a five-year ban to secretly make his latest controversial film, Spring Fever, which depicts homosexual love in explicit detail. Spring Fever will not, unsurprisingly, have a cinema release in China, where homosexuality remains taboo. Lou said: "It is ridiculous for a Chinese director to have his audience only see his film in pirated DVDs." The film, competing for the Palme D'Or, was shot on the fly in Nanjing, eastern China, using a handheld camera and five actors. "I hope nothing happens when I get back to China," Lou said.

Ledger's last act

When Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was filmed on location in London in the winter of 2007, the cast, including Lily Cole, Tom Waits and Heath Ledger, barely attracted a second glance. And that was despite wearing outrageous Gothic costumes and sitting atop a wagon pulled by four black horses with the world's shortest actor (2ft 8ins). A source close to Gilliam attributed that to the fact that, being filmed during Christmas party season, the actors were mistaken for "festival revellers". The movie is to be screened out of competition next week.

A-list anguish flick

It may be the grim story of an obese, illiterate 16-year-old enduring years of sexual abuse and pregnancies, but Precious will provide the most red carpet glamour today. Its cast includes Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey.

Anthony Quinn's verdict on Angels & Demons

Arts&Books, pages 10&11

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment

Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy

Arts and Entertainment
And now for something completely different: the ‘Sin City’ episode of ‘Casualty’
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen