"Venice is key to getting things going again," insists the International Film Critics’ Week
- The Venetian event will boast seven first works in competition, all of which screened in world premieres, an opening film bearing the name of Terrence Malick and a closing slot dedicated to Rossellini
"The Venice International Film Festival is key to the film industry, which is having to get going again at such a difficult time", the president of the Italian Syndicate of Film Critics Franco Montini stressed yesterday in Rome as he presented the 35th edition of International Film Critics’ Week, set to unspool on the Venice Lido from 2–12 September as an independent, parallel section of the city’s film festival. There’ll be no changes made as a result of the health crisis: "This edition", Montini reassures us, "will be exactly like those of previous years".
Seven first works will be screened in competition, all of them world premieres, selected from among the 475 movies submitted, and two exceptional Italian offerings will open and close the event: The Book of Vision [+see also:
film profile] by Carlo S Hintermann, executively produced by Terrence Malick, which we’ve already covered at length (read our article), and The Rossellinis, a documentary film by Alessandro Rossellini who, at 55 years of age, is dedicating his first film to his grandfather, taking the opportunity to convey an authentic image of the family, one which is both intense and painful, moving beyond the legend that has built up around the great master of cinema. The title is produced by B&B Film and co-produced by VFS Film, alongside Rai Cinema, in association with the Istituto Luce Cinecittà.
The seven debut films in competition are of predominantly European derivation. The Flood Won’t Come by Armenia’s Marat Sargsyan speaks of some forgotten corner in the East where a no-holds-barred war is being waged. Danish directors Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid sign their names to Shorta [+see also:
film profile], which sees officers Jens and Mike on patrol in the Svalegården ghetto when the radio announces the death of 19-year-old Talib Ben Hassi while in police custody. Ukrainian national Natalya Vorozhbyt is the writer and director behind Bad Roads, four stories set along the war-torn streets of Donbass, told via a series of seemingly disconnected situations and portraits. Italy’s Mauro Mancini is the author of Thou Shalt Not Hate [+see also:
film profile], an example of social criticism cinema set in a north-eastern city which is home to Simone Segre (Alessandro Gassmann), a well-known surgeon of Jewish origin (read our article). Ghosts, meanwhile, is written and directed by Turkish filmmaker Azra Deniz Okyay, who describes a day on which a power surge threatens the entire country and four characters cross paths in Istanbul, in a neighbourhood undergoing gentrification as part of the creation of the "New Turkey".
As for Two Whales Meet at the Beach by Mexico’s Jorge Cuchí, his is a "chilling tale of a (an un)sentimental education”, to borrow the words of Critics’ Week’s General Delegate Giona A Nazzaro, which sees 17-year-old Félix receive an invitation via WhatsApp: Do you want to play Blue Whale?. And, last but not least, the American work Topside by Celine Held and Logan George (who were recently named as two of the "25 new faces of independent film" by Filmmaker Magazine) leads us into the bowels of New York City, where a five-year-old girl and her mother live in disused subway tunnels. Unexpectedly evicted by the police, the mother and daughter will find themselves forced to make their return above ground.
The list of films:
50 or Two Whales Meet at the Beach - Jorge Cuchi (Mexico)
Ghosts - Azra Deniz Okyay (Turkey/Qatar)
Thou Shalt Not Hate [+see also:
film profile] - Mauro Mancini (Italy/Poland)
Bad Roads - Natalya Vorozhbyt (Ukraine)
Shorta [+see also:
film profile] - Anders Ølholm, Frederik Louis Hviid (Denmark)
Topside - Celine Held, George Logan (USA)
The Flood Won’t Come - Marat Sargsyan (Lithuania)
(Translated from Italian)
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