Written by: FFT Webmaster | September 12th, 2011
FAUST, a passionate retelling of the Goethe tragedy by Russian director Alexsandr Sokurov was the surprise winner of the Golden Lion as Best Picture at the 68th Venice Film Festival. The complex film runs almost 3 hours and is considered the final installment in the director’s trilogy on the nature of power. The film was a surprise choice at an event that tended to show more mainstream films in its main competition section. Critics were decidedly divided on the film, which eschews traditional storytelling techniques and whose density and complexity firmly places it into the esoteric end of the arthouse market. The film is also screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, where its high profile win is creating renewed interest from international buyers, although its commercial prospects remain decidedly narrow at best. In other awards news, the Chinese film PEOPLE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE SEE won the Silver Lion, with the Italian film TERRAFERMA nabbing the Special Jury Prize. Rising star Michael Fassbender won best actor honors for his portrait of a man obsessed with pornography in the film SHAME (which plays in Toronto this week before heading to the New York Film Festival later this month). The Best Actress prize was won by Deanie Yap for her role as an aging domestic in the Chinese film A SIMPLE LIFE.