Thursday, September 03, 2015

Day 2 #Venezia72

Yesterday's live coverage of the red carpet and the opening ceremony was surprisingly good as probably not many people were watching the live streaming. Great!!!

Let me remind you all that if you wish to watch some of the available fest VOD films you can do it at the 4th edition of the Sala Web. You have to HURRY as there are only 400 digital tickets for each film. To learn VOD films and order them go Festival Scope here.

So, lets review what's going on during the second day of the festival.

Official Selection


Looking for Grace by Sue Brooks

Seems critics didn't enjoy much film but according to Italian press those in the film premiere gave a standing ovation when movie was over. So, not sure what think about movie. Perhaps I should re-watch Japanese Story again and then will look for Grace.  No, reactions do not make me wish watching movie, sigh.

Press Reactions
- ... It might have lacked this film's ambition, and delivered a much simpler story, but simplicity would have been a great virtue here where so much is unnecessarily complicated. Jessica Kiang-Playlist Indiwire, USA
- All this stylisation tends to stifle the truth of a small, honest story that could have done with a little more breathing space. Lee Marshall-Screendaily, UK
-I love Sue Brooks' JAPANESE STORY, so I really wanted LOOKING FOR GRACE to be great. It's not, but it has moments. Guy Lodge-Variety, USA
-Drifts after an intriguing start toward an unsatisfying payoff. David Rooney-THR, USA.

Beasts of No Nation by Cary Fukunaga

I wanted press to like -as much as the word like can be use with the story- Fukunaga's film and seems that most say is a good movie; but, unfortunately for me. many make it a "war" film rather than a child-soldier drama. There are subtle differences between one and the other.  Still, UK press reactions seems closer to what I hoped for this movie.  Of course is most be seen for me but now I know will have to take a strong drink before and another after watching.

Regret Idris Elba was not in Venice as photo-ops with Cary Fukunaga would have been awesome; if you can't imagine what I'm talking about, just check Variety photo below.

Press Reactions
-A pulverising war movie. Robbie Collin-Telegraph, UK
- ... is every bit as good as one might have hoped. It’s a harrowing, heart-breaking and physically exhausting account of the loss of innocence. Demetrios Matheou-Thompson on Hollywood, indiewire, USA
- ... Fukunaga has delivered one of the most viscerally stylized war films in recent memory ... is a relentlessly violent, vibrant, and electric film that is at once as druggy and entrancing as Coppola’s 1979 cut of Apocalypse Now and as sonically inventive as Elem Klimov’s Come and See. Rory O'Connor-TheFilmStage, USA
- ... is an artful, accomplished yet not entirely sustained portrait of an African child soldier. Justin Chang-Variety, USA
-Fukunaga brings flair, muscular storytelling, directness and a persuasively epic sweep to this brutal, heartrending movie about child soldiers and a civil war in an imaginary West African country. Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian, UK

-Beasts of No Nation treats your heart, mind & soul like the Hulk would a punchbag. Peeling myself off the back wall of the cinema. Bring googles and gum shield. Robbie Collin
-Cary Fukunaga's Beasts Of No Nation is a brutal civil war nightmare with a shiver of Coppola's Apocalypse Now. Peter Bradshaw

Out of Competition

Spotlight by Tom McCarthy

Like someone said, horrific tale in a decent film. The surprising part is that actor-turned-director Tom McCarthy does a decent film that premieres in the oldest fest in the world and most reactions to film -without considering the story- are more on the acceptable side of the scale than in other place. Most comment on actors performances of the all-star cast and the good fluid storytelling style, elements that obviously interest me in a commercial movie and won't deny that wish to see what director did with story.  So with its Venice premiere film makes positive waves that maybe will reach the upcoming American award season. 

Venice premiere was attended only by Tom McCarthy, Stanley Tucci and Mark Ruffalo; so there was no Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Billy Crudup and many more... sigh. By-the-way after tonight premiere and according to French press, film got a standing ovation.

Press Reactions
- ... a superbly controlled and engrossingly detailed account of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the widespread pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church. Justin Chang-Variety, USA
-Tom McCarthy's forensic look at a newspaper exposé of child abuse by the Catholic Church is as unshowy as it is gripping. Robbie Collin-Telegraph, UK
- Catholic church child abuse film decently tells an awful story. Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian, UK
-There are just enough testimonies here and encounters with victims to make the human side of the story crystal clear without losing focus on the bigger picture of establishment corruption. It’s that all-too-rare beast: a movie that’s both important and engrossing. Dave Calhoun-Timeout, UK
-Hanno una tonaca, ma sembrano gangsters in colletto bianco. Che in effetti hanno. Boris Sollazzo-Rolling Stone, Italy

Молитва за Украину Winter on Fire by Evgeny Afineevsky

The "other" Ukranian documentary that according to some tells a more straightforward, simplistic take about the 2014 Ukranian revolution ... well, at least more that what Sergei Loznitsa's has done before and in the other Ukranian revolution documentary in La Mostra. Loznitsa is one of my favorite directors in the world so when you have tales about the same event, guess which documentary will I watch.  Yes, not this one.


Italian Gangsters by Renato De Maria

Not my kind of story or movie.  Then you have Deborah Young in her THR review saying that film is "psychological portrait of the Italian underworld after the war is a true crime orgy" and the bottom line is: "Director Renato De Maria's most entertaining film to date". No, not interested. 

Boi Neon (Neon Bull) by Gabriel Mascaro

Exploring gender and body issues while telling about a cowhand worker of vaquejada rodeos that spends his spare time dreaming up sexy get-ups for a truck-driving female colleague who moonlights as an exotic dancer ... wow! I'm exhausted just from what I imagine while writing about the film.

Seems this is my kind of movie, not only for a weird-enough story but also because some are commenting that has no narrative, which for me is a plus and not a negative. Still there are some points that suggest film will not be easy-to-watch as includes non-conventional nudity scenes of humans and not-humans.  Maybe will watch it, as of this moment I'm not sure.

Film is also in the new Toronto fest Platform competition, so imagine that will have high festival exposure beyond Venezia72.

Short Films: 2 programs with short films in competition

Venezia Classici
Three VERY well-known and classic films; one that I still recall when saw it the first time inside a very obscure movie theater in Las Ramblas, Barcelone, Spain. Yes Aleksandr Nevskij was the second (or third?) Sergei Eisenstein film I saw (after Ivan I and II) and I was fascinated with this amazing director; if you haven't seen anything by Eisenstein I strongly suggest you do before ... before you die.

Now all four films have been restored for new generations of cinephiles delight. Enjoy!!!

Aleksandr Nevskij by Sergej Eisenstein, USSR, 1938
The Merchant of Venice by Orson Welles, USA, 1969
Othello by Orson Welles, Italy, France and USA, 1951
Vogliamo I Colonnelli by Mario Monicelli, Italy, 1973

Venice Days

Lolo by Julie Delpy

Some of you know about my intense love-relationship with French cinema but perhaps you haven't realize that the relationship does not include Julie Delpy.  Perhaps her greatest performance was in Kieslowki's White but after that all I can recall are her acting along Ethan Hawke plus more similar roles in other American indie films.

With only eight (8) films as a director and most with stories happening in the English-language, the idea of a French-language film starring none other than Dany Boon seemed interesting -to put it softly.  But then I recalled that I don't like (I hate) French comedies, so there was no way I could enjoy this movie. (lol)

Still, I suggest that you watch with caution as initial press reactions tell about the reasons why I dislike French comedies:  borderline on silly and idiocy.

Press Reactions
-Indie comedy darling Julie Delpy convincingly moves into the mainstream. Boyd van Hoeij-THR, USA
-What begins as a nervous romance between two sympathetic, intelligent fortysomethings soon descends into silliness and idiocy. Tim Grierson-Screendaily, UK
- Well cast and funny just often enough to recommend, the film has every shot at snaring a decent audience in France, though international markets will be tough to crack. Andrew Barker-Variety, USA

Early Winter by Michael Rowe

The new film from Mexico City-based Australian director in a Canadian-Australian production starring none other than Suzanne Clément is a puzzle for me as his debut feature film Cannes Camera d'Or Winner Leap Year was too-hard to watch for me.

So I don't know what this very international movie could be about and initial press reactions tend to place film more among festivals audiences than in theaters.

Screendaily's Sarah Ward writes about Rowe's last installment in the loneliness and cultural isolation trilogy and his first English-language film , "That Doucet and Clement enliven the feature, albeit only slightly, says much about their strengths and subtleties, rather than those of a movie that is well observed and composed but cold and distancing otherwise."

Maybe I should give film a try, sigh.

Miu Miu Women's Tales #9 and #10

So what can I say about the fantastic series of Women's Tales that continues telling nice stories in long-form advertising? Keep them coming please. Here are the two short films. Enjoy!!!

Just as gossip, thanks to getty images noticed that during the Women Tales Photocall most photos are of Hailee Steinfeld!  Have no idea why she was there, then perhaps she works with Miu Miu ... yes, after a quick google search, she is a Miu Miu girl.

#9 - De Djess by Alice Rohrwacher - starring her sister Alba

#10 - Les 3 Boutons by Agnès Varda

International Critics'Week

Out of Competition - Special Event - Opening Film: Orphans by Peter Mullan, 1998

Peter Mullan receives the award and the Settimana della Critica uploads a video with Mullan comments as well as others (in Italian). Mullan does not go to Venice.  If you feel like watching video go here.

Biennale College - Cinema
Baby Bump by Kuba Czekaj, Poland
Not really my kind of movie but director's second feature-film seems is a powerful drama that pushes boundaries in an "urealistic " (sic director's statement) comic-book style film.

Press Rreactions
Kuba Czebaj's Baby Bump shows the violence inherent in coming of age. Sabine Kues-Cineuropa

Il Cinema nel Giardino
Carlo Lizzani, Il Mio Cinema by Roberto Torelli, Cristina Torelli and Paolo Luciani
A documentary about the director, scriptwriter, actor, producer, film critic and Venice film festival director from 1979 to 1982. Imagine will be very nice watching when you see it in a beautiful garden as a garden is where all films in section will be screened.

-Today at 3:00pm in the Sala Darsena of the Lido Jonathan Demme received the Tribute to Visionary Talent Award 2015 given by the fest and partner Luxottica Group (Persol).


The Two cinema-outstanding Rohrwacher sisters Alice and Alba

Alessandra Ambrosio at Spotlight premiere

Hailee Steinfeld


Here is the video with the complete Opening Ceremony

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