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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Day 1 #Venezia72

Finally today the oldest film festival in the world starts with the premier of a 3D film to be screened after the opening ceremony. But press has already seen film so there are reactions to Everest all over as well as to other films that will open the parallel sections.

As a matter of fact festival really started yesterday with the pre-opening event Tribute to Orson Welles for the centennial of his birth that included the screening of Welles "Venetian" film 1969 The Merchant of Venice and 1951 Otello. Also yesterday, the Variety Starwood Party at Hotel Danieli and sponsored by the Polish Film Institute there was a screening of Klezmer by Piotr Chrzan that's in Venice Days section.

So let's review what's going on today.

Official Selection

Out of Competition

Everest by Baltasar Kormákur

The festival opening film is by one of my favorite directors that has made outstanding films in the NOT-English language. Unfortunately this is an English-language film full of Hollywood actors that many are speculating will get Oscar nominations. The premiere is tonight after the opening ceremony. This is the kind of movie that I don't need a festival to interest me in watching as with cast plus director of course will watch it.

Press has seen the movie, so first reactions and film reviews tend to be divided with some seem liked film while others did not that much as seems is lacking the "punch". Perhaps is only my impression but seems American press liked more film than British press. Here are some examples of their first reactions.

Press Reactions
-Although hardly a peak achievement, Baltasar Kormakur's Himalayan epic is a properly grueling, strikingly unsentimental chronicle of the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy. Justin Chang-Variety, USA
-Baltasar Kormákur's unsettling look at the 1996 mountain tragedy is an intense thriller engineered for the big screen. Eric Kohn-Indiewire, USA
-A gripping and immersive dramatization of a tragic trek. Todd McCarthy-THR, USA
-Star-studded adventure proves a difficult summit. Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian, UK
-This pulverizing tale of real-life tragedy on the mountain never quite hits the heights. Robbie Collin-Telegraph, UK
-Ultimately, Everest is not concerned with the why, but with the how and it's grimly efficient at building up the drama, helped on by Clarke's wonderful character study, even if the film as a whole never quite reaches the dizzying heights of its subject. John Bleasdale-CineVue, UK
-But Everest certainly doesn’t contribute to conditioning the development of American film with European language, aesthetics and themes Camillo de Marco-Cineuropa

-The star-studded Everest tells a thin story on a grand scale. The Film Stage, USA
-is a nausea-inspiring, intense thriller not for the faint of heart. Indiewire, USA
-Everest is Titanic at 29,029 ft – in a good way! Little White Lies, UK
-Just watched Everest at #Venezia72. Did Jake Gyllenhaal get lost in the edit? He's hardly in it. Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian, UK


Un Monstruo de Mil Cabezas (A Monster with a Thousand Heads) by Rodrigo Plá

The Orizzonti opening film by the Uruguay-born director that works in Mexico. His fourth feature film is must be seen for me as I follow his career and the story written by his real-life partner and long-time collaborator, Laura Santullo, absolutely calls my attention.

Press Reactions
-The film is not as complete as his debut La Zona (2007) but Plá's film is a caustic, genuine swipe at a selfish and insincere society which is content to make money from the suffering of ordinary people. John Beasdale-CineVue, UK
-Un film opprimente per il senso di inevitabilità che lo permane ma allo stesso tempo ben ritmato, strutturato in modo tale da riuscire a concedere, nonostante il buio che mano a mano avanza, dei paradossali sorrisi. Lucia Mancini-Italy

International Critics' Week

Pre-Opening Film - Out of Competition Special Event
Jia (The Family) by Liu Shumin

This Australian/Chinese production suggests to have an interesting simple story that seems is/could be presented with special care in the visuals, which makes film my kind of cinema.

Press Reactions
- folgorante e fluviale esordio del cinese Liu Shumin. Una monumentale opera girata in 35mm (lunga 4 ore e 40 minuti!) che emoziona e che racconta con tenerezza la Cina dei nostri giorni. Giacomo Arico-Camera Look, Italy

Venice Days

Opening Film: El Desconocido by Dani de la Torre

The only film from Spain in La Mostra starring a well-known Spanish-cinema actor, Luis Tosar, with a story and style (noir) that could be interesting but have to admit that lately I haven't been able to enjoy a film from Spain as I really do not understand what is going on in that industry. Nevertheless, know that perhaps will give film a chance, sigh.

Press Reactions
-Está llena de acción, con estupendas persecuciones, y es cine negro ... es también cine de denuncia. EFE/Venecia

Juries Photocall

#Venezia72 Competition

Orizzonti Competition jury

Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Debut Film Jury


The Complete Everest team in Venezia72


Everest Press Conference

Un Monstruo de Mil Cabezas Press Conference

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