'Queen of Pop' Madonna says she can have it all

Madonna jokingly defended her title as "Queen of Pop" Thursday, quipping she would never give up her throne for love like King Edward VIII - the subject of her latest film screened in Venice.

The blonde diva's second directorial work, "W.E.", starring British actors James D'Arcy and Andrea Riseborough, tells the tale of the king's famous romance with American divorcee Wallis Simpson - and his subsequent abdication.

"Would I ever give up my throne for a man or a woman?" a flirtatious Madonna said after the advance press screening at the 68th Venice Film Festival.

"I think I can have both... or all three!" she told journalists.

The star - looking sleek and glamorous in a black dress and high cream collar pinned with a sparkling jewel cross - had sped across the lagoon from the luxury Bauer hotel on Venice's Grand Canal where she is staying.

Madonna said she had wanted to capture the "world of luxury, beauty and decadence" of the 1930s, as well as the "rarefied air in the modern world", which is also one of wealth and sensuality, but "does not guarantee happiness".

The controversial passion between the king and extravagant socialite Wallis is told through the eyes of a lonely modern-day New Yorker, desperately seeking the fairytale happy ending that she believes the famous couple had.

The cinematography alternates between sharp images drawn out by Wallis's striking red lipstick or startling blue eyes, and grainy, hand-held camera shots evoking the bridge linking the two dramas across history.

Costume designer Arianne Phillips worked extensively with labels such as Cartier, Dior, and Dunhill to recreate Wallis's extraordinary appetite for fashion and exquisite, enormous collection of jewels and shoes.

Style icon Madonna said there were "elements of myself" in the film, and said she could sympathise with Wallis as an outsider, an American living in London.

"I empathize with Wallis. Public figures or icons are often just reduced to a soundbite, just a handful of attributes. I think people tried to diminish her... I tried to make her human," she said.

Earlier on Thursday, rounds of applause and riotous laughter met Roman Polanski's grotesque comedy of manners "Carnage" at the press screening ahead of the world premiere in the evening.

The screen adaptation of playwright Yasmina Reza's acclaimed Broadway play "The God of Carnage", Polanski's film tells the tale of two sets of parents who meet up to talk after their children get into a fight at school.

Electric comic timing and star performances from an A-list cast of Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christopher Waltz drive the film, shot in real time as the adults try settle the dispute with unpredictable twists.

Though "Carnage" is set in Brooklyn, it was shot in Paris as the French-Polish director is unable to travel freely because he is wanted in the United States following a conviction there for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Fears of extradition from other European countries - notably Italy, which has a long history of cooperation with the United States - means Polanski will not be present on the red carpet Thursday evening.

Critics will inevitably draw a comparison between Polanski's status and the film's claustrophobic atmosphere, with the use of close-up shots, mirrored reflections and characters who pace back and forth in a tiny apartment.

Winslet is expected to wow paparazzi at the premiere along with a host of other Hollywood greats including Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon and Keira Knightley.

"W.E." and "Carnage" are in the running for the Golden Lion award at Venice this year against a host of other films, including Wei Te-Sheng's "Seediq Bale", a fierce Taiwanese epic featuring warring tribes.

With a record production cost of 24 million dollars, "Seediq Bale" brings to the big screen the true story about a rebellion of aboriginal tribes against their Japanese colonial rulers in Taiwan in 1930 - and their ultimate defeat.

Produced by renowned Hong Kong-based director John Woo - whose Hollywood films include "Face Off" and "Mission Impossible 2" - the film alternates between fight scenes and moments of spiritual anguish for the proud tribesmen.

Over 12 years in the making, "Seediq Bale" features a cast of 15,000.

Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project