US & World

Four things to expect this week: Eurovision, Cannes and a cup final

It’s Monday, it’s a new week, and while we won’t pretend to know everything that’s going to happen over the next seven days, we have some sense of what’s coming up.

Here’s your briefing on some of the most important and interesting stories happening in the week ahead.

1) The high festival of kitsch

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Israel’s Netta Barzilai celebrates her win in 2018

Come on, there’s no point denying it. You know you enjoy it.

This is technically Eurovision Song Contest week, because why restrict the fun to only one night? There will be a number of knock-out rounds in Europe’s premier singing contest over the week, culminating in the final on Saturday night.

Well, we say Europe… the final is actually in Tel Aviv, because last year’s winner, Netta Barzilai, was from Israel.

What should you expect this time around?

An up-and-coming performer by the name of Madonna is expected to play two songs during the interval. Iceland’s entry (an anti-capitalist metal group clad in bondage gear) have been openly critical of this year’s hosts.

The favourite right now seems to be a Dutchman by the name of Duncan Laurence (whose real name is Duncan de Moor), and his song Arcade is an old-fashioned power ballad. In English, obviously.

2) Roll out the red carpet

Anyone who matters in the film world will be on the French Riviera from Tuesday for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. This year’s event is chaired by Oscar-winning Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant).

Cannes is often the first place we hear whether some of the year’s big films are any good (even if the Cannes audience’s reactions are notoriously a bit more aggressive than that of your average film viewer).

Among the titles worth keeping an eye out for are Quentin Tarantino’s 60s-set Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, with the Charles Manson murders serving as a backdrop, and British director Ken Loach’s latest realist drama, Sorry We Missed You, about a delivery driver on a zero-hours contract

Just don’t expect anything with Netflix’s branding in any of the official competitions. The organisers still won’t accept films from the streaming service, despite it emerging as a production powerhouse in recent years.

There are more female directors in the spotlight this year, 12 months after a red-carpet protest by leading female film industry figures, but their work still makes up the minority of what’s on show.

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Media captionEighty-two women took part in an equality march on the Cannes red carpet

3) Time for another Australian election

With parliamentary terms of only three years, Australia sees more elections than many other countries (and tends to change its prime minister even more regularly too).

And so here we are again, with another general election on Saturday.

The current prime minister, Scott Morrison, will be hoping to hand the conservative government its third consecutive term. But it is facing a real challenge by the opposition Labor, led by Bill Shorten.

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Media captionAustralia election 2019: What’s up for grabs?

There is one burning topic – pun intended – on which the election is being fought: the climate. About 29% of voters say it is their biggest concern – a big jump from the 2016 election.

4) Treble time?

Manchester City had a few days to put their feet up after an exhausting Premier League season, which they won on Sunday – just about – after a long race with Liverpool.

Now they face another challenge – Saturday’s FA Cup final against Watford. Winning it would hand them their first domestic treble, having also claimed the League Cup earlier in the season.

But it’s not that clear-cut. Watford pose a real threat, and came back in dramatic fashion to reach the cup final. They have the potential to produce a big upset at Wembley on Saturday, and claim a spot in European competition next season.

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