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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Day 9 - 69th Venice International Film Festival


In two more days the fest will close but today media attention will be less than before (if possible) as today Toronto fest starts and has not only more celebrities but an interesting -different to other years- lineup. The most surprising news I read today is about Robert Redford greeting the Italian President, check photo at the end of post.

Venezia 69

La Cinquiéme Saison by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth

Not much interested in watching this movie as I did not enjoyed his last film Altiplano, but maybe now that they returned to what they really know, Belgium, film could be interesting; besides the film premise seems could be interesting as another way to view where inevitability we are going and sooner than later, we will arrive.. The synopsis.

A mysterious calamity strikes: spring doesn’t come. In a village deep in the Ardennes the cycle of nature is capsized. WINTER—In which Alice, a farmer’s daughter, and Thomas, a reclusive teenager, are in love. And in which the annual bonfire celebrating the end of winter fails to burn. SPRING—In which the bees vanish, the seeds won’t grow and the cows refuse to give milk. And in which the first victim falls. SUMMER—In which a passing flower vendor brings ephemeral joy. And in which insects abound, panic mounts and violence explodes. FALL—In which all civility has dissolved. And in which the angels take flight.

Film closes a trilogy that started in Mongolia and continued in Peru. The directors' statement.

What would happen if spring didn’t come? After shooting Khadak in Mongolia and Altiplano in Peru it was a necessity to conclude our trilogy in the place where we live in Belgium. In La cinquième saison nature takes the upper hand in its protest against man’s arrogance. By doing nothing, giving nothing, by denying the earth fertility, nature sparks the rapid implosion of a whole community. Emerging from the wreckage are a few souls who take flight. Their fate is unknown.

Maybe is not another "end of the world" movie but surely and perhaps with a bit of fantasy, film will shows us a perspective of what we are doing to Planet Earth. Finally watched trailer and as expected images are great, hope story doesn't interfere with great images as happened with Altiplano

Sinapupunan (Thy Womb) by Brillante Mendoza

I have seen very interesting movies by Mendoza but somehow wonder if this film will be one that I could enjoy. The synopsis first, the director's statement next.

Shaleha Sarail hails from a water-village in Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi. The province is a seaweed producing area in the southern most part of the Philippines down to the Malaysian and Indonesian archipelagos. A woman of mature years, experiencing a 3rd miscarriage, Shaleha agonizes that she can’t bear a child. Though an adoptive parent to her nephew, she still feels that her husband Bangas An desires to be a father. To fulfill her husband’s only wish and to be blessed by Allah as having a child is a tangible proof of divine grace, Shaleha decides to march to a different drummer. Her resolve is to find a new partner for her husband. Night and day, she and her husband sail island, floating-village, and nearby communities in search of a fertile woman. Providentially, Shaleha finds the girl as recommended by friends. But on the eve of her husband’s second marriage to Mersila, a gnawing jealousy consumes Shaleha.

As a film, Sinapupunan examines the opposing natures of two women (Shaleha’s sterility against Mersila’s fertility) to reflect the prevailing condition in Tawi-Tawi, a place endowed with natural beauty and rich resources but mired in economic and socio-political crises. A quiet hell of a paradise, Sinapupunan’s “birth place” and its environs are constant reminders of yesterday’s conflict that has remained unresolved up to the present.

Surely will give film a try hoping that story will be interesting and that Mendoza goes back to his top form as a filmmaker. There is a so-called trailer around but is not and images look with very low quality, was able to see the official trailer that debuted at festival and yes, images are stunning! Perhaps is Mendoza's most visually appealing film to date. Great. Unfortunately can't embed trailer to trailer blog from source. Found a HD video that almost looks like the one I saw. Check trailer blog.

Out of Competition

The Company You Keep by Robert Redford

Definitively a mainstream movie from America but worth mention is that Julie Christie and Richard Jenkins also are in film along Redford and the young kid that I've been waiting for him to stop doing Summer movies, Shia LaBeouf. The very long synopsis for you, as won't read it.

Jim Grant is a civil rights lawyer and single father raising his daughter in the tranquil suburbs of Albany, NY. His world is turned upside down, when a brash young reporter named Ben Shepard, exposes Grant’s true identity as a former 1970s antiwar radical fugitive wanted for murder. After living for more than thirty years underground as a lawyer, Grant must now go on the run. He is the center of a nationwide manhunt and with the FBI in hot pursuit, he sets off on a cross-country journey to track down the one person that can clear his name. Shepard knows the significance of the national news story he has exposed and for a journalist, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Hell-bent on making a name for himself, he is willing to stop at nothing to capitalize on it. He digs deep into Grant’s past. Despite warnings from his editor and threats from the FBI, Shepard relentlessly tracks Grant across the country. As Grant reopens old wounds and reconnects with former members of his group, the Weather Underground, Shepard realizes something about this man is just not adding up. With the FBI closing in, Shepard uncovers the shocking secrets Grant has been keeping for the past three decades. As the Grant and Shepard come face to face in the wilderness of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, they each must come to terms with who they really are.

The director's statement seems more interesting and yes I read it.

I’ve always been drawn to stories about America that dig under the surface and focus in on the gray areas— exploring the complex picture versus the more oft used two-dimensional one—the truth (writ large) that defines who we really are. This is a story about facing the repercussions of our sometimes misguided choices of youth and how the challenges of love and conviction permeate time and are at once perilous and inescapable.

No doubt I'll be watching this movie but not rushing to do so.

Not So Serious

I'm starting to worry, no Noomi in Venice and tomorrow is the premiere; not even Brian de Palma or Rachel McAdams. Strange because photos start to appear the day before the photocall, press conference, and premiere.

Photo

Robert Redford greeting Italy's President.

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