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VENICE 2018 Competition / Out of Competition

Venice 2018: A well-rounded panorama of film

by 

- Damien Chazelle's First Man is set to open the festival, Lady Gaga will take her first steps as a lead actress and big names like Olivier Assayas, Jacques Audiard and Mike Leigh will be in competition

Venice 2018: A well-rounded panorama of film
Peterloo by Mike Leigh

The 75th Venice International Film Festival will take place between 29 August and 8 September 2018 and the defining feature of this year’s edition, as director Alberto Barbera explained when presenting the festival at a press conference held earlier today in Rome, is the selection of “a great number of genre films which are also auteur films. This year’s directors understand the need to reconnect with audiences through shared codes, such as westerns, comedies, costume-dramas, crime films or musicals". The festival will welcome a host of well-known directors, and perhaps some familiar faces from Cannes, all hailing from lesser explored countries such as Indonesia, Syria and Kazakhstan. A number of undiscovered works are also set to be showcased: no less than eight first films and two second films will feature in the main competition. "Each year we place our trust in a new director and throw him/her into the ring to fight it out with the big guns”, Barbera explains.

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There is much anticipation surrounding the opening title of the festival which was revealed a couple of days ago to be First Man, the new film by Damien Chazelle, set to be screened in competition following on from the planetary success of La La Land. "First Man is nothing like its predecessor, there’s no music, no sentimentality, it’s an entirely different piece of work ", reveals Barbera. The story is that of Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling), the astronaut who first set foot on the moon in July 1969.

Another 20 films are scheduled to screen in competition, in this particularly rich cinema season. The Mountain is directed by Rick Alverson, who previously garnered awards in Rotterdam and Locarno. Non Fiction [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
 by Olivier Assayas is a sleek and exquisite comedy, telling the story of two couples whose lives overlap both romantically and professionally, following on from the digital revolution. The Sisters Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
 by Jacques Audiard is a European western, told over 6 episodes, and shot between Spain and Romania, featuring a fully-American cast (led by Joaquin Phoenix) and crew. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by the Coen brothers, with the likes of James Franco, Liam Neeson and Tom Waits topping the bill. Vox Lux by Brady Corbet, starring Nathalie Portman and Jude Law, is the unexpected story of a young woman who becomes a huge popstar. Much anticipated for some years now is the new Alfonso Cuarón film, following on from Gravity [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
 in 2013: largely autobiographical, Roma, which has been bought by Netflix, explores one year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the 1970s. Paul Greengrass looks back on one of the most atrocious terrorist acts of recent years with 22 July [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, a film which documents the dreaded day in 2011 on which a fanatical neo-Nazi set out on a killing spree, mowing down youngsters at a summer camp near Oslo. The director takes us back to the day’s events and the subsequent attempts of survivors to move on with their lives. The remake of Suspiria [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, directed by Dario Argento and shot by Luca Guadagnino, is set to surprise audiences. It’s an ambitious film which had been a work-in-progress for many years, "with Tilda Swinton playing three different roles", Barbera tells us.

The festival also hails the return of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, following on from The Lives of Others [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Florian Henckel von Donners…
interview: Ulrich Muehe
film profile
]
, with Never Look Away, which tells the story of Germany from the time of Nazism to the 1960s-1970s, and which is also a reflection on art. The Nightingale comes courtesy of Jennifer Kent, the young rising star of Australian cinema who previously gave us The Babadook. Also much anticipated is The Favourite [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Yorgos Lanthimos, featuring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, exploring the life of Queen Anne in early 18th century England. Perterloo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mike Leigh
film profile
]
 by Mike Leigh, meanwhile, offers up a reflection on power, recounting an episode from the history of Manchester where, in 1919, a demonstration suppressed by police on horseback resulted in the death of dozens of protesters. Next, the new film by Mario Martone, Capri-Revolution [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
]
, is set at the beginning of the First World War and follows a young shepherdess who discovers a community of proto-hippy intellectuals, while the new documentary by Roberto MinerviniWhat You Gonna Do When The World's on Fire? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roberto Minervini
film profile
]
 made in the US just like its predecessors, shines a light on the racism which circulates in the Trump era and the subsequent reaction of the reborn Black Panthers. There’s also the second film by the Oscar-winning and extraordinarily talented László NemesSunset [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: László Nemes
film profile
]
, also set on the eve of the outbreak of WW1. David Oelhoffen will be in attendance with his film, Close Enemies [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Oelhoffen
film profile
]
, which follows three friends from the Parisian suburbs who take different paths, with one becoming a police officer and the other two criminals. Our Time [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Reygadas
film profile
]
is a new notch on the cinema belt of Carlos Reygadas, who also plays the lead role in the film, alongside his wife Eleazar. Julian Schnabel attempts to get inside the mind of artistic genius Vincent Van Gogh with At Eternity's Gate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julian Schnabel
film profile
]
, starring Willem DafoeThe Accused, meanwhile, another gamble on the part of the festival organisers, is a super tense film by Argentine director Gonzalo Tobal, who is trying his hand at filmmaking for a second time. Last but not least, Killing by Shinya Tsukamoto is a costume-drama and a story about a samurai who is incapable of killing.

Taking place out-of-competition as a Special Event, and causing heated debate in Cannes, is the eagerly awaited screening of The Other Side of the Wind. The film will have its world premiere in Venice, before heading off to Toronto and then into the arms of Netflix, whose support has allowed Frank Marshall, an associate of Orson Welles, to see this 40-year project through, bringing to life a film that was shot by Welles in 35, 16 and 8mm between 1970 and 1976 but which had, until now, remained unedited. "We pick out the best films of the season ", Barbera stresses. "If we come across a few films by Netflix or Amazon, we can’t not take these innovative productions, or directors who prefer online media, into account. I don’t agree that we should exclude films by Cuarón or Scorsese from the festival on the sole basis that they’re distributed by Netflix. This doesn’t exclude us from doing everything we can to prioritise movie theatres and promote their survival".

In the same vein as the 2016 screening of Paolo Sorrentino’s Young Pope, Venice will host a Special Screening of two installments of My Brilliant Friend by Saverio Costanzo, drawn from the novel of Elena Ferrante, and produced by HBO-Rai with Wildside.

Among the excellent works featuring outside of the competition in the Venice Film Festival will be A Star Is Born, the world premiere of Bradley Cooper’s long-awaited debut film as a director, also featuring a cast led by Cooper and the multi-award-winning musical superstar and Oscar nominee, Lady Gaga, in her first leading film role. And also The Summer House [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
film profile
]
 by Valeria Bruni TedeschiUna storia senza nome [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Roberto AndòMi obra maestra [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gastón Duprat
film profile
]
 by Gaston DupratA Tramway in Jerusalem [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Amos Gitai
film profile
]
 by Amos Gitai, and The Quietude [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Pablo Trapero.

Lastly, we should make brief mention of the new non-competitive Sconfini (lit. “Trespassing”) section, which is dedicated to works with absolutely no connection in terms of genre, length or target market: particularly noteworthy are the new film by cartoonist Gianni Pacinotti aka GipiIl ragazzo più felice del mondoArrivederci Saigon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Wilma Labate, the incredible story of a girl band on tour in Vietnam during the war; and the extended cut (189 minutes long) of Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.

Here is the complete list of titles:

Competition

First Man - Damien Chazelle (USA)
The Mountain - Rick Alverson (USA)
Non Fiction [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
 - Olivier Assayas (France)
The Sisters Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
 - Jacques Audiard (France/Belgium/Romania/Spain)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - Ethan and Joel Coen (USA)
Vox Lux - Brady Corbet (USA)
Roma - Alfonso Cuaron (Mexico)
22 July [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Paul Greengrass (Norway/Iceland)
Suspiria [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Luca Guadagnino (Italy)
Never Look Away [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Florian Henckel von Donners…
film profile
]
 - Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck (Germany)
The Nightingale - Jennifer Kent (Australia)
The Favourite [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Yorgos Lanthimos (Ireland/UK/USA)
Peterloo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mike Leigh
film profile
]
 - Mike Leigh (UK/USA)
Capri-Revolution [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
]
 - Mario Martone (Italy/France)
What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Roberto Minervini
film profile
]
 - Roberto Minervini (Italy/USA/France)
Sunset [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: László Nemes
film profile
]
 - Laszlo Nemes (Hungary/France)
Close Enemies [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Oelhoffen
film profile
]
 - David Oelhoffen (France/Belgium)
Our Time [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlos Reygadas
film profile
]
 - Carlos Reygadas (Mexico/France/Germany/Denmark/Sweden)
At Eternity’s Gate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julian Schnabel
film profile
]
 - Julian Schnabel (USA/France)
Killing - Shinya Tsukamoto (Japan)
The Accused - Gonzalo Tobal (Argentina/Mexico)

Out of Competition - Special Events

Il Diario Di Angela – Noi Due Cineasti [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Yervant Gianikian (Italy)
The Other Side of the Wind
 - Orson Welles (USA)
They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead - Morgan Neville (USA)

Out of Competition - Fiction

Una storia senza nome [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Roberto Andò (Italy)
The Summer House [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
film profile
]
 - Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (France/Italy)
A Star Is Born - Bradley Cooper (USA)
My Brilliant Friend - Saverio Costanzo (Italy/Belgium) (TV series)
Mi obra maestra [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gastón Duprat
film profile
]
 - Gaston Duprat (Argentina/Spain)
A Tramway in Jerusalem [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Amos Gitai
film profile
]
 - Amos Gitai (Israel/France)
One Nation, One King [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pierre Schoeller
film profile
]
 - Pierre Schoeller (France/Belgium)
The Quietude [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Pablo Trapero (Argentina/France)
Dragged Across Concrete - S Craig Zahler (USA)
Shadow - Zhang Yimou (China)

Out of Competition - Non-fiction

A Letter to a Friend in Gaza - Amos Gitai (Israel) (medium-length film)
Aquarela [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Victor Kossakovsky
film profile
]
 - Victor Kossakovsky (UK/Germany/Denmark/USA)
El Pepe, una vida suprema [+see also:
film review
interview: Emir Kusturica
film profile
]
 - Emir Kusturica (Argentina/Uruguay/Serbia)
The Trial [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 - Sergei Loznitsa (Netherlands)
Carmine Street Guitars - Ron Mann (Canada)
ISIS, Tomorrow. The Lost Souls of Mosul [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francesca Mannocchi, Alessi…
film profile
]
 - Francesca MannocchiAlessio Romenzi (Italy/Germany)
American Dharma [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
 - Errol Morris (USA/UK)
Introduzione All’Oscuro [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gastón Solnicki
film profile
]
 - Gaston Solnicki (Argentina/Austria)
1938 Diversi [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Giorgio Treves
film profile
]
 - Giorgio Treves (Italy)
Your Face - Tsai Ming-Liang (Chinese Taipei)
Monrovia, Indiana - Frederick Wiseman (USA)

Sconfini

Blood Kin - Ramin Bahrani (USA) (short film)
Il banchiere anarchico [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Giulio Base (Italy)
Il ragazzo più felice del mondo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Gipi
film profile
]
- Gianni Pacinotti aka Gipi (Italy)
Arrivederci Saigon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Wilma Labate (Italy)
The Tree of Life (Extended Cut) - Terrence Malick (USA)
School's Out [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sébastien Marnier
film profile
]
- Sébastien Marnier (France)
Magic Lantern - Amir Naderi (USA)
Camorra [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Francesco Patierno (Italy)

Biennale College Cinema

Zen in the Ice Rift [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Margherita Ferri (Italy)
Deva [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Petra Szőcs
film profile
]
- Petra Szöcs (Hungary)
Yuva [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
- Emre Yeksan (Turkey)

(Translated from Italian)

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