The Venice Film Festival bets on the future
by Camillo De Marco
- Host Alberto Barbera promises great artists, long-awaited movies, emerging directors and cinema from countries yet to be discovered
Great artists, long-awaited movies, emerging directors and cinema from countries yet to be discovered, The Venice International Film Festival returns with its 71st edition from 27 August to 6 September with a programme that, as artistic director Alberto Barbera firmly stated at the presentation today in Rome, "dares to gamble and to take risks, to invest in young artists with Biennale College, to give visibility to movies, including via the 'web room', by rising to the challenges of contemporary life". A few North American stars and lots of quality European titles, in a line-up that includes for the first time no less than 40 countries. Starting with two highly anticipated films about two of the most important Italian poets: Pasolini by Abel Ferrara, a Franco-Belgian co-production and Il giovane favoloso, dedicated to Giacomo Leopardi, directed by Mario Martone.
Among the twenty films in the Competition, we witness the return of Fatih Akin with The Cut [+see also:
interview: Fatih Akin
interview: Tahar Rahim
film profile], about the Armenian genocide; A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence [+see also:
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile] by Swedish Roy Andersson, a regular at the Cannes Festival and "one of the Venice Film Festival surprises", Barbera assures us. Once again, Xavier Beauvois with La Rançon de la gloire (The Price of Fame), starring Benoit Poelvoorde and Chiara Mastroianni who appear in Three Hearts by Benoit Jacquot. And France with David Oelhoffen who brings us Far From Men with Viggo Mortensen, and Alix Delaporte with Le dernier coup de marteau.
The second Italian in competition is Anime nere (Black Souls) by Francesco Munzi, while Saverio Costanzo directs Hungry Hearts filmed in New York on a low budget with just two actors, Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher.
After many years we see the return of Andrei Konchalovsky with The Postman's White Nights and a pan-European co-production, the only documentary in competition, The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheimer.
There's a wealth of quality names out of competition: Amos Gitai with Tsili, Manoel de Oliveira, 105 years old, with The Old Man of Belem, Ulrich Seidl who with In the Basement explores the wineries of Vienna and Austria the result, in the words of the director, "will shock and please you at the same time". The only animation movie is the British movie The Boxtrolls by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable, while Sabina Guzzanti after lengthy preparations screens La trattativa, about the events that involved the Mafia and top-dogs in government. Davide Ferrario's documentary Devil's Soup which uses archive footage to illustrate the industrialisation dreams of a bygone Italy, countered by Gabriele Salvatores's Italy in a Day, a brilliant format devised by Ridley Scott a few years ago. Another Italian film is Perez by Edoardo De Angelis.
(Translated from Italian)