Film Festival Today

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The Glitz And Glamour Of Venice

Written by: FFT Webmaster | August 15th, 2011

Of the troika of film festivals coming up in the next month, it could be argued that the Venice Film Festival has the most glitz and glamour. The Festival, the oldest in the world set up during the Fascist period of the 1930s, provides the kind of backdrop that is hard to beat….the magisterial glory of the canal city and its diverse history. While the Montreal World Film Festival delivers on Gallic superstars and the Toronto International Film Festival has become the defacto place to launch the awards season, Venice is rather unbeatable as a glamorous place to bring world attention to a new film.

THE IDES OF MARCH, the political drama directed by George Clooney, opens the Festival on August 31, and DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, the first film in ten years by indie wunderkind Whit Stillman closes the festivities on September 10. As it has for the past several years, the final weekend of Venice collides with the opening weekend of Toronto, so the film community moves effortlessly from one to the next in a transatlantic puddle jumper. Other high profile titles receiving their world premieres at the event include the newest works from David Cronenberg, Steven Soderbergh, Roman Polanski, Todd Solondz, Mary Harron, William Friedkin and Madonna (her historical mashup W.E. plays out of competition, as does Steven Soderbergh’s CONTAGION and Mary Harron’s THE MOTH DIARIES. Among the most buzzed about titles also world premiering on the Lido is WILDE SALOME, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s sexy biblical story, which stars Pacino along with Jessica Chastain (whose career is red hot with her appearances in the past two months with THE TREE OF LIFE and THE HELP, as well TEXAS KILLING FIELDS, which also will be seen in Venice).

As has been true in the past number of years that Festival Director Marco Mueller has been at the helm, there is a very strong presence of English-language titles. Five U.S. films are in the main competition section, including IDES OF MARCH, 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH, TEXAS KILLING FIELDS, KILLER JOE and DARK HORSE. Other English language titles include TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY (an Italian production by Tomas Alfredson), A DANGEROUS METHOD by Canada’s David Cronenberg, Roman Polanski’s CARNAGE (which also opens the New York Film Festival in late September) and the U.K. entries SHAME by artist-turned-director Steve McQueen and the latest adaptation of the classic novel WUTHERING HEIGHTS by Andrea Arnold.

So, aside from these star directors, what cinema deities can we expect to see arriving on the Venice canals? How about…….. George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Willem Dafoe, and Al Pacino, just to name a few. And yes, let’s not forget, Madonna…..a media sensation if ever there was one. The Venice Film Festival runs from August 31 to September 10. Many of the same films and stars will make the scene in Toronto for the North American press and industry, but Venice has them first. Here are the lists of the films in and out of competition:



THE IDES OF MARCH (George Clooney, U.S.)

TINKER, TAILOR, SOLIDER, SPY (Tomas Alfredson, Italy)



A DANGEROUS METHOD (David Cronenberg, Germany/Canada)

4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH (Abel Ferrara, U.S.)

KILLER JOE (William Friedkin, U.S.)

THE EXCHANGE (Eran Kolirin, Israel/Germany)

ALPS (Yorgos Lamthimos, Greece)

SHAME (Steve McQueen, U.K.)

CARNAGE (Roman Polanski, France/Germany/Spain/Poland)

CHICKEN WITH PLUMS (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, France/Germany)

A BURNING SUMMER (Philippe Garrel, France)

A SIMPLE LIFE (Ann Hui, China)

FAUST (Aleksander Sokurov, Russia)

DARK HORSE (Todd Solondz, U.S.)

HIMIZU (Sion Sono, Japan)

SEEDIQ BALE (Wei Desheng, Taiwan)

QUANDO LA NOTTE (Cristina Comencini (Italy)

TERRAFERMA (Emanuele Crialese, Italy)



Out of Competition


VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! (Victor Kossakovsky, Germany/Russia)

LA FOLIE ALMAYER (Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France)

THE  MOTH DIARIES (Mary Harron, Canada/Ireland)

W.E. (Madonna, U.K.)


WILDE SALOME (Al Pacino, U.S.)

CONTAGION (Steven Soderbergh, U.S.)


GIOCHI D’ESTATE (Rolando Colla, Switzerland/Italy)

LA DESINTEGRATION (Philippe Faucon, Belgium)

ALOIS NEBEL (Tomas Lunak, Czech Republic/Germany)

EVA (Kike Maillo, Spain/France)

SCOSSA (Francesco Maselli, Carlo Lizzani, Ugo Gregoretti, Nino Russo, Italy)

LA CLE DES CHAMPS (Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou, France)

TORMENTED (Takashi Shimizu, Japan)

MARCO BELLOCCHIO, VENEZIA 2011 (Pietro Marcello, Italy)

LA MEDITAZIONE DI HAYEZ (Mario Martone, Italy)

TAHRIR 2011 (Tamer Ezzat, Ahmad Abdalla, Ayten Amin, Amr Salama, Egypt)

THE END (Collective Abounabbara, Syria)

VANGUARD (Collective Abounabbara, Syria)

EVOLUTION: MEGAPLEX 3D (Marco Brambilla, U.S.)

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