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Bringing the unforgettable Elvis to life

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June 24, 2022 at 7:33 p.m.

Thousands of people continue to believe that Elvis may not be dead or that he was abducted by aliens and managed to escape. His figure has changed to the point that we are in the presence of an idol who is transformed into a demi-god. Well, Presley is already a saint to many people, as evidenced by the existence of “Elvis shrines” and the pilgrimage to Graceland. And the myth grows again with the premiere of the new film “Elvis”, directed by Baz Luhrmann.

We’ve waited a decade for the Australian filmmaker to sign a new film in theaters. Since “The Great Gatsby”, with which he won two Oscars, the director has not made a feature film. Luhrmann has been hard at work on what some might consider the mega biography of all biographies: the story of rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley with Cindy Crawford’s nephew Austin Butler as the singer. It took the actor two years to fully get into character.

“I basically put the rest of my life on hold for two years. I just got in the way of the obsession,” Butler told a packed press room at the Cannes Film Festival, his voice deep. “I would watch for a second of a clip over and over and watch what his eyes were doing, what his hands were doing, and practice until it was in the marrow. The reason he moved like that and why he talked like that: it meant cultivating his inner self. That’s the hardest part.”

He added: “Elvis is considered an icon, or an image of society. Finding a way to strip him of all that and reclaim his deeper human nature, that’s what fascinated me.”

A lot of technical work has been done to embody the rock star. While filming a scene in which Elvis performs “Hound Dog,” the actor said he watched the playback and felt like he was overreacting. So he had to start over.

“(Luhrmann) told me I had to get over my nerves and feel alive,” Butler said of some “unrealistic expectations” that hampered his early success, while opening up about the unprecedented challenges on the plateau. “When I started, I had these unrealistic expectations that somehow, if I worked hard enough, I could make my face look like Elvis. And my eyes would look exactly like Elvis’. ‘Elvis and you wouldn’t notice the difference.

The figure of Elvis cannot be understood without one of the key figures in his life: his agent, the Colonel. Hanks described the character as “a pretty witty pimp who seemed to enjoy robbing a little boy 25 cents more as much as he did robbing a $45 million Las Vegas casino”. The actor also opened up about filming in Australia during the incredible covid restrictions:

“One thing that was frustrating was that we shot this under covid protocols so there were a lot of people not seeing each other every day. In fact, the joy of having a common hair and makeup trailer was lost, we were all separated. I couldn’t see Austin until he was made up by Elvis on set. It wasn’t the easiest of circumstances to make a film but I have to say it was a fabulous studio the film industry is as big there as anywhere in the world and I would come back anytime , but not with the same coveted attention”.

There’s a scene a few minutes into the film where the Beale Street-loving Elvis – dressed in a bubblegum pink suit and sheer black lace shirt – shows a new audience some of his hypnotic moves as it fuses bluegrass with R&B, gospel and country. Those locomotive hips swirled against the strict social laws of 1950s America and into the retinas of conservative gatekeepers. But it’s the sexual arousal women across the country felt watching Elvis move that’s so arousing, as shown in this scene where a woman, to her own surprise, lets out an almost primal scream.

“You know, I’m the last underdog. I come from a very small town. As an outsider, when I do something like Moulin Rouge in Paris, or Gatsby, I live the story like Fitzgerald, probably too much, but I live it. That’s why I so rarely make films. The greatest pleasure is to be a foreigner and to live it. What became so obvious to me as I lived through this story was the number one question in Elvis Presley’s journey. It is the canvas on which history is written. For me, it was as important to reveal the era as the figure of Elvis,” said the filmmaker.

Luhrmann met Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ ex-wife, their daughter Lisa-Marie Presley, and granddaughter Riley Keough before making the film. When the final cut was ready for screening, the family was the first to see it.

“I think Priscilla was scared to see the movie. The icon has been talked about so much that she’s almost become a God, but to them it’s family. So many things have been said that aren’t true and we wanted to do it right.”

Butler was with Luhrmann at the same time Priscilla was watching the film, an agonizing three-hour wait that the Aussie director struggles to put into words. Leaving the cinema, Luhrmann spoke to her:

“She said, I wasn’t ready for this. Every breath of Austin, every movement, the spirit, the humanity, the man, not the icon. If my husband was here today, he’d look at Austin and say, “Damn, you’re me.

The day after the Cannes premiere, the whole city felt the Rock ‘n’ Roll hangover:

“There are many reasons, but I think basically we all feel the humanity of someone who is such a great icon. He is credited with superhuman status. But exploring that and getting to know the way it was, and finding the human in that icon, was truly a joy that I will never forget,” Butler concluded.

The world will never forget Elvis either.

“Basically, I put the rest of my life on hold for two years. I got carried away by obsession.

Austin Butler, an American actor, has commented on preparations to play Elvis Presley.

June 24

This is the date on which “Elvis” will be released.

159

minutes is the duration of the movie.

$85 million

That’s the budget for the new biographical musical drama.

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Source metroecuador.com

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