CANNES, France (AP) — Cannes is by the water so it was only appropriate that the film festival on Wednesday celebrated a stunning mermaid dress. Day Eight also uncovered news that the '80s pop band Pet Shop Boys influenced a film from China and the upcoming "Toy Story 4" won't be simply a sequel to the hit franchise. Josh Brolin also revealed something very personal on the red carpet: a special love project.
CANNES LOOK OF THE DAY:
Romanian model-turned-actress Madalina Ghenea had already grabbed attention at the Cannes Film Festival by featuring nude on the provocative poster for the film "Youth."
The 26-year-old Ghenea, who stars in the film, on Wednesday grabbed the limelight all over again, this time on the red carpet in a white mermaid gown for the movie's premiere on the French Riviera.
Ghenea appeared alongside the actresses Jane Fonda and Rachel Weisz.
But she more than held her own thanks to this fashion coup — a sheer, figure-hugging silk gown with pearl clusters which showed off her curves and flared stylishly at the knee with huge embroidered plumes.
— By Thomas Adamson, http://www.twitter.com/thomasadamsonap
FINDING NEMO SEQUEL, TOY STORY 4
After the enthusiastically received premiere of the growing-up tale "Inside Out," John Lasseter presented a preview of Pixar and Disney Animation's upcoming slate.
The Pixar and Disney Animation chief creative officer presented footage to a Cannes Film Festival audience of Pixar's delayed movie "The Good Dinosaur," which he called the studio's biggest "What if?" — as in "What if the asteroid that wiped out dinosaurs actually missed Earth?"
Lasseter said the film about a boy and a dog reversed their usual roles, portraying a talking dinosaur and a wild, grunting boy, and touted the level of detail in the film's animation. It's due out Nov. 25.
He also previewed the "Finding Nemo" sequel: "Finding Dory," which is slated for summer 2016. Lasseter said in the 12 years since the original children's blockbuster, animation technology has greatly increased, especially its depiction of water.
Lasseter had no drawings of footage to show of the film he's directing, "Toy Story 4," but said it's "not as much a continuation of past films but a brand new chapter in the Toy Story world."
On the Disney Animation side, he promoted "Zootopia," which is about a world without humans populated by very human-like animals. Sloths, for instance, work at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Along with that film, planned for March 2016, Lasseter also previewed "Moana," a Polynesian princess musical.
"Moana" appeared to bear out Lasseter's recent proclamation at Cannes that Pixar and Disney are interested in having more female and ethnic protagonists.
— AP Film Writer Jake Coyle, http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP
NEW LOVE REVEALED ON RED CARPET
Josh Brolin used the Cannes Film Festival not only as an opportunity to promote his new film, but to reveal his new fiancee.
Brolin and Kathryn Boyd shared smiles and a kiss on the red carpet at the premiere of "Sicario" on Tuesday night, as they made their first appearance as an engaged couple. His publicist confirmed the engagement on Wednesday.
It's unclear if the couple has set a wedding date.
This will be the third marriage for the 47-year-old Brolin, who split from actress Diane Lane in 2013 after eight years.
— By Louise Dixon, http://www/twitter.com/loudixon
OLD DISCO HIT INSPIRES FILM
Chinese director Jia Zhangke had some musical inspiration for his Cannes entry "Mountains May Depart": the Pet Shop Boys.
The disco duo's version of "Go West" plays over the opening and closing scenes of the film, which charts the fates of a woman (Zhao Tao) and the men in her life from 1999 to the year 2025.
It has been called a futurist melodrama, and also depicts China's dizzying social and economic changes as it has gone from Communist state to market-mad emerging superpower.
Jia said he chose the Pet Shop Boys' electro hit — a cover of a Village People song — to capture the energy and optimism of Chinese youth in the 1990s, as the country began to rapidly open up.
"In the mid-1990s, there were a lot of discos popping up in China," the 45-year-old director told reporters Wednesday in Cannes, where his film is competing for the Palme d'Or. "A lot of young people loved dancing, including me. We'd go a little bit crazy on the weekends.
"'Go West' was my favorite song and it left a deep impression on me. Because whenever they played this song, all the young people in the disco, it didn't matter whether you know each other or not, would line up and start dancing together."
Jia said the song represented mobility, the idea "that I can go anywhere in the world."
"To me, the 'west' part of the song is not important," he said. "The important part is 'go.'"
— By Jill Lawless, http://Twitter.com/JillLawless and Angela Chen
EDITOR'S NOTE — "Cannes Watch" brings you the excitement of the Cannes Film Festival and related events through the reporting of AP journalists on the ground. Follow them on Twitter with the handles listed after each item. Longer versions of most items have also moved.