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A.R. Rahman’s Virtual Reality Film ‘Le Musk’ Premieres at the Cannes Film Festival Today

The Oscar and Grammy-winning composer’s directorial debut also has a sense of smell integrated, marking a new milestone in global immersive cinema

Rolling Stone India May 17, 2022

A.R. Rahman's 'Le Musk' is premiering exclusively at Cannes XR in collaboration with Marché du Film, a part of the Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Courtesy of Artist.

Indian composer A.R. Rahman’s VR film Le Musk has premiered at the 75th Cannes Film Festival which commences today and runs up to May 25th. The Oscar and Grammy-winning artist makes his directorial debut with Le Musk — a tale about revenge that’s punctuated by motion, music and perfume. The film is being premiered exclusively at Cannes XR in collaboration with Marché du Film, a part of the Cannes Film Festival.

Le Musk is a first-of-its-kind full-length virtual reality film imagined by Rahman with Intel and partners. The film follows Juliet Merdinian (Army of the Dead’s Nora Arnezeder), who 20 years since she was orphaned, seeks out the men who changed her destiny with one powerful memory — that of their scent. Le Musk marks Rahman tapping into an immersive medium of storytelling that explores the infinite possibilities posed by VR and the artist’s imagination.

Rahman revealed in a statement that the film has been several years in the making with collaborators worldwide. He said, “We’ve aimed to create an unprecedented, subtle sensory cinematic surrealism. Aroma and music together bring warm memories subjectively for the audience.” Le Musk is Rahman’s second film after 2021’s 99 Songs which saw the composer make his writing and production debut.

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Rahman will be seen walking the Cannes red carpet alongside British actor Guy Burnet (Mortdecai, Pitch Perfect 3, Ray Donavan) who plays a musician in Le Musk as well as Ravindra Velhal (Dunkirk, Save Every Breath, Spider-Man: Far From Home, FirstMan VREs), Intel’s Global Content Technologist who serves as executive producer and VR technology director for Le Musk. The musician and filmmaker is part of the Indian delegation at Cannes led by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur that also comprises artistic personalities from the country such as Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mame Khan, Ricky Kej and others. 

‘Le Musk’ is a first-of-its-kind full-length virtual reality film.

The past two years have witnessed Rahman start a new creative chapter through filmmaking after composing for movies such as Slumdog Millionaire (2008) which brought him awards from the Academy, Grammys, Golden Globes, BAFTA and more. “Creating a feature-length Cinema VR experience that pushes boundaries of storytelling and incorporates multiple senses was a guiding force for me,” he added in his statement.

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