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Friday, July 26, 2019

76th Venice International Film Festival Lineup


Somehow was able to enjoy yesterday's press conference as even if rhythm was on the slower side, eventually the end was near and finally were able to learn the films in La Mostra competition. My very-spontaneous reaction was feeling this year fest will be as exciting as last year and yes, more interesting than Cannes. This is great but you know me, I'm crazy about French cinema, so wish the French festival will pickup the past glory, leave controversies behind to become more "independent", sigh. Well, but for now, is all about the Italian festival with great movies from around the world becoming not only the Oscars predictor but the one to be consider as the leading force in world cinema

Before getting into post matter, wish to share an extraordinary and outstanding fact about a country with no cinema continuous-trajectory that suddenly is catapulting into remarkable milestones. As far as was able to check from historic info, this is the first time Guatemala has one movie in each of the three major film festivals in the world in the same year. First was Berlinale in Panorama Section with Temblores by Jayro Bustamante, then Cannes Semaine de la Critique and Camera d'Or winner, Nuestras Madres by Cesar Diaz and now is Jayro Bustamante's La Llorona in Venice Days. Remarkable!!!

Because I find it rather inspiring here is an excerpt from Alberto Barbera, Director of the Venice International Film Festival, introduction the fest and his part of his opening remarks at yesterday's press conference.

There is no longer a rigid, unambiguous definition of what cinema is and what it isn't – assuming that that's what it ever was: André Bazin had already stood up for “impure” cinema as opposed to the cold rigour of the purists (and it was only the 1950s) – but a free and adventurous resolve to set sail without knowing where the journey will lead. I believe that this may be the most effective metaphor to evoke the spirit that guided us in putting together this year's line-up. The risk that we consciously took was to appear lacking in direction, and bound to an indulgent conception of cinema. This might very well be the most appropriate way to interrogate cinema, which in the eyes of many appears to be dangerously lost, or threatened and beleaguered by the dominance of other media that coexist with it within the galaxy of integrated communication. Yet, despite the signs that seem to converge towards a dystopic vision of the future, we are tempted to forcefully assert that this is not the threat of extinction, but rather a process of transformation in the making that is one of the most radical in the short-lived existence of cinema, at the end of which it will undoubtedly be different from what we have known and loved until now, but alive and vital, advancing new issues and languages and forms that we will become accustomed to with the speed that distinguishes our time.

Wish many in the industry could share his views and will be open to change in the traditional business model.

Above festival poster was designed again by Lorenzo Mattotti where we also learn that the fest will run from August 28 to September 7, 2019.   Already announced are the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievent to Pedro Almodóvar for "the contribution made through his body of work to the advancement of the art of cinema" and a second Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Julie Andrews.

Again this year La Mostra has no issues with Neflix as two of its most awaited films, Laudromat by Steven Soderbergh and Marriage Story by Noah Baumbachare are in the main Competition. Great!  as still LOVE the fact of being able to watch great films with not the inconveniences of waiting until the cinema-industry-window system decides I can see it. Thinking about the competition, there are 21 films in the competition, even when section description say maximum is 20; so, go figure.  Out of those films, only 2 are by female directors which is NOT the norm anymore as festivals make an effort to include female directors in their main competitions.  Most interesting is the presence of one animated film and one documentary in the lineup, which is not usual at all.

No matter the politics or if lineup is politically correct, the truth is the 2019 competition is fantastic with many outstanding directors showcasing their latest creations and to my surprise, there are quite many great actors in this edition. So, yes, red carpet events will be very interesting (!).  Come on, not often (if ever) you can see Catherine Deneuve and Juliete Binoche together together in the red carpet, then in other days,  Meryl Streep, Gong Li, Penélope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Liv Tyler plus also, Brad Pitt (!) and I'm mentioning only actors in the competition as we already know that in other sections there are films with Kristen Stewart, Lily-Rose Depp plus probably, Monica Bellucci and Cécile de France.

Talking about Lily-Rose Depp, she is in David Michôd's The King (also a Netflix film) co-staring with Robert Pattinson who co-stars with her father in Ciro Guerra's Waiting for the Barbarians. So Pattinson has 2 films in Venice and will once again meet with Kristen Stewart.  Enough entertaiment, lol!

The festival will run from August 28 to September 7 and this year there will be an anteprima again; the pre-openning event is the screening of the 1934 film-scandal Extase (Ectasy) by Gustav Machatý in the world premiere of a new restored 4K digital copy, starring very-young Hedy Kieslev who eventually became none other than Hedy Lamarr!  Most interesting is the review done by young Michelangelo Antonioni, who came to 1934 Venice fest as a film critic, here is an excerpt: «In the garden of the Excelsior, that night, you could hear the breathing of the enthralled viewers, you could feel the shiver running through the audience».

In the competition there are a few master filmmakers like Roy Andersson, Olivier Assayas, or Kore-eda Hirokazu; but, perhaps there are more good contemporary -and young- directors like Pablo Larrain, Noah Baumbach, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Ye Lou, Ciro Guerra among others.  It's not what we can call "traditional line-up" as it tends to go to the younger spectrum of the industry where visions have more modern touch.  I find it interesting but is not until their films are screened when there will be a better what the fest is or is not.

This year organizers saw a total of 3,621 films; out of this total 1,833 were feature films, 1,627 short films and 161 VR films.

These are the films in current edition.  Female filmmakers are in BLUE.

Venezia76 Competition
An International competition comprising a maximum of 20 feature-length films, presented ass world premieres

Opening Film: La vérité (The Truth), Kore-eda Hirokazu, France and Japan
A Herdade (The Domain), Tiago Guedes, Portugal and France
Ad Astra, James Gray, USA
(*) Babyteeth, Shannon Murphy, Australia
Ema, Pablo Larraín, Chile
Gloria Mundi, Robert Guédiguian, France and Italy
Guest of Honour, Atom Egoyan, Canada
Il sindaco del Rione Sanità (The Mayor of Rione Sanità), Mario Martone, Italy
J'Accuse (An Officer and a Spy), Roman Polanski, France and Italy
继园台七号 Ji yuan tai qi hao (No.7 Cherry Lane), Yonfan, Hong Kong (animation)
Joker, Todd Phillips, USA
La Mafia non è più quella di una Volta, Franco Maresco, Italy (documentary)
蘭心大劇院 Lan xin da ju yuan (Saturday Fiction), Ye Lou, China
Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach, USA
Martin Eden, Pietro Marcello, Italy and France
Nabarvené ptáče (The Painted Bird), Václav Marhoul, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Slovakia
Om det oändliga (About Endlessness), Roy Andersson, Sweden Germany, and Norway
The Laundromat, Steven Soderbergh, USA
المرشحة المثالية The Pefect Candidate, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Germany and Saudi Arabia
Waiting for the Barbarians, Ciro Guerra, Italy
Wasp Network, Olivier Assayas, France and Belgium

Venezia76 International Jury
President: Lucrecia Martel, director, Argentina
Piers Handling, historian and critic, Canada
Mary Harron, director, Canada
Stacy Martin, actress, UK
Rodrigo Prieto, cinematographer, Mexico
Tsukamoto Shinya, director, Japan
Paolo Virzì, director, Italy

Out of Competition
Works by established authors, documentaries and films in which the spectacular dimesion is accompanied by forms of expressive originality.

Closing Film: The Burnt Orange Heresy, Giuseppe Capotondi, UK and Italy
Adults in the Room, Costa Gavras, France and Greece
Mosul, Matthew Michael Carnahan, USA
Seberg, Benedict Andrews, USA
The King,  David Michôd, UK and Hungary
Tutto il mio folle Amore, Gabriele Salvatores, Italy
Vivere (To Live), Francesca Archibugi, Italy
Documentaries
45 Seconds of Laughter, Tim Robbins, USA
Citizen K, Alex Gibney, UK and USA
Citizen Rosi, Didi Gnocchi and Carolina Rosi, Italy
Colectiv (Collective), Alexander Nanau, Romania and Luxembourg
I diari di Angela - Noi due cineasti. Capitolo secondo, Yervant Gianikian, Italy
Il Pianeta in Mare, Andrea Segre, Italy
Roger Waters Us + Them, Sean Evans and Roger Waters, UK
State Funeral, Sergei Loznitsa, Netherlands and Lithuania
The Kingmaker, Lauren Greenfeld, USA
Woman, Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Anastasia Mikova, France

Special Screenings
Electric Swan, Konstantina Kotzamani, France, Greece and Argentina, 40'
Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick, USA and UK, 1999
Irréversible - inversion intégrale, Gaspar Noé, France
Never Just A Dream: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut, Matt Wells, UK, 8'
No One Left Behind, Guillermo Arriaga, Mexico
The New Pope, Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, France and Spain (TV show-episodes 2 and 7)
ZeroZeroZero, Stefano Sollima, Italy (TV show)

Check competition and out of competition available info and trailers @MOC

Orizzonti
An international competition dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema

Feature Films
Атлантиду Atlantis, Valentyn Vasyanovych, Ukraine
(*) Bik Eneich - Un Fils (A Son), Mehdi M. Barsaoui, Tunisia, France, Lebanon, and Qatar
Blanco en Blanco (White on White), Théo Court, Spain, Chile, France, and Germany
Borotmokmedi (The Criminal Man), Dmitry Mamuliya, Georgia and Russia
ചോല Chola (Shadow of Water), Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, India
(*) Giants Beign Lonely, Grear Patterson, USA
حوا، مریم، عایشه (*) Hava, Maryam, Ayesha, Sahraa Karimi, Afghanistan
Madre (Mother), Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Spain and France
(*) Mes jours de gloire (My Days of Glory), Antoine de Bary, France
متری شیش و نیم Metri Shesho Nim (Just 6.5), Saeed Roustaee, Iran
Moffie, Oliver Hermanus, South Africa and UK
(*) Nevia, Nunzia De Stefano, Italy
Pelikanblut (Pelican Blood), Katrin Gebbe, Germany and Bulgaria
气球 Qiqiu (Balloon), Pema Tseden, China
Revenir, Jessica Palud, France
Rialto, Peter Mackie Burns, Ireland and UK
(*) Sole, Carlo Sironi, Italy and Poland
(*) Verdict, Raymund Ribay Gutierrez, Philippines
Zumiriki, Oskar Alegria, Spain

Short Films
Cães que Ladram aos Pássaros (Dogs Barking at Birds), Leonor Teles, Portugal, 20'
Darling, Saim Sadiq, Pakistan and USA, 16'
Delphine, Chloé Robichaud, Canada, 14'
Give Up The Ghost, Zain Duraie, Jordan and Sweden, 15'
Le Coup des Larmes (The Tears Thing), Clémence Poesy, France, 20'
Kingdom Come, Sean Robert Dunn, UK, 17'
모래 Morae (Sand), Kyungrae Kim, South Korea, 16'
Nach zwei stunden waren zehn minuten vergangen (After two hours, ten minutes had passed), Steffen Goldkamp, Germany, 19'
Roqaia, Diana Saqeb Jamal, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, 10'
Sh_t Happens, David Štumpf and Michaela Mihályi, Czech Republic, Slovakia and France, 13' (animation)
Supereroi senza superpoteri (Superheroes Without Superpowers), Beatrice Baldacci, Italy, 13'
The Driver, Jamie Helmer and Michael Leonard, France and Australia, 12'

Orizzonti Jury
President: Susana Nicchiarelli, director, Italy
Mark Adams, artistic director, UK
Rachid Bouchareb, director, France
Alvaro Brechner, director, Uruguay
Eva Sangiorgi, director, Italy

Check available info and trailers @MOC

(*) Debut films competing for the Lion of the Future Award.  Besides de above, there are three (3) debut films in Venice Days section and the seven (7) in the Critics' Week section.
Luigi de Laurentiis Venice Award for a Debut Film
Lion of the Future Jury
President: Emir Kusturica, dirctor, Serbia
Antonietta De Lillo, director, Italy
Hend Sabry, actress, Tunisia
Michael J. Werner, producer USA
Terence Nance, producer, USA

Venice Classics
A selection of the finest recent restorations of classic films, and documentaries about cinema or individual authors of yesteryear or today.  To check films in this section go to official site here.

Venice Classici Jury
Chaired by Constanza Quatriglio, director, Italy
22 cinema history students from Italian universities DAMS perfroming arts courses and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Sconfini
A selection of works of different genres, lengths and targets.  The section may include art-house and genre movies, experimental and artists' films, TV series and crossover productions. To check films in this section go official site here.

Biennale College Cinema
An advanced training workshop for the development and production of three micro-budget audio-visual works, open to teams of directors and producers from around the world. To read about this section go official site here.

Venice Virtual Reality
A maximum of 30 world-premieres or international premieres of VR Immersive stories/experiences of any length and of any VR format.  To read about the films go official site here.

Venice Virtual Reality Jury
President: Laurie Anderson, composer, artist, director, USA
Francesco Carrozzini, photographer, Italy
Alysha Naples, designer, Italy

Federico Fellini in frames
At the 76th Venice International Film Festival, the “Pillole d’Archivio” of the Istituto Luce Cinecittà will celebrate the centenary of the wizard of Italian cinema.  A great celebration for my favorite italian director.  To read event in Italian go official Istituto Luce Cinecittà site here (in Italian).

Check all sections movie posters at my pinterest here.

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