'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
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
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.

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific