Venice Film Festival 2016 Preview

Venice 2016 poster
Venice 2016

Venice Film Festival

31 August – 10 September 2016

Venice, Italy

Venice website

With a star-studded line-up but no opening night gala to present them (the event was cancelled at short notice in solidarity with the victims of the powerful earthquake that hit a stretch of central Italy on 24 August), the Venice Film Festivals puts the focus right on the films of this year’s promising selection.

The first film on show to ring in the 73rd edition of the festival on 31 August is La La Land, Damien Chazelle’s light-haerted musical follow up to Whiplash , while Antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven will serve as the closing film on 10 September, following its world premiere at TIFF just two days before.

Among the 20 titles competing for the Golden Lion this year are Denis Villenueve’s Arrival , which stars Amy Adams as a linguistics expert recruited by the United States government after an alien spacecraft lands on Earth, and Tom Ford’s Noctural Animals, a thriller set in the L.A. art scene and the Texas criminal underworld. Ana Lily Amirpour’s highly anticipated second feature, the dystopian love story The Bad Batch, will also screen in competition along with The Light Between Oceans, Derek Cianfrance’s follow up to The Place Beyond the Pines, Francois Ozon’s foray into period drama with Frantz and Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, a biopic of sorts of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Also worth of note are Amat Escalante’s The Untamed, the Mexican director’s second feature after the critically acclaimed Heli which premiered in Cannes in 2013 and Brimstone by Dutch director Martin Koolhoven, hailed as a female empowerment Western about a woman falsely accused of a crime.

Wim Wenders is back on the Lido with his latest venture into 3D filmmaking called The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez, based on a play by his Wings of Desire co-writer Peter Handke, while Terence Malick presents his IMAX documentary Voyage of Time, which has been described as a ‘celebration of the universe, displaying the whole of time, from its start to its final collapse.’

The more cutting-edge Horizons sidebar, another competitive section that runs parallel to the main selection, features Kei Ishikawa’s Gukoroku, a promising debut feature about a multiple murder in Tokyo, alongside Bill Morrison’s Dawson City: Frozen Time, based on a collection of some 500 films dating from the 1910s and ’20s found buried in a sub-arctic swimming pool deep in the Yukon.

This year’s documentary offering is as strong as ever including Andrew Dominik’s Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds documentary One More Time with Feeling and Safari by Austrian maverick Ulrich Seidl, about trophy hunting in Africa. Screening in the Venice Classics strand is David Lynch The Art of Life, the third in a trio of documentaries about Lynch by filmmaker Jon Nguyen who collaborated on the last instalment with Victoria co-writer and editor Olivia Neergaard-Holm, while the Italien Horizons entry Liberami looks at the dramatic increase in exorcism in the contemporary Catholic Church.

The standout Italian offering in the official selection however is Paolo Sorrentino’s TV series The Young Pope, starring Jude Law as conservative, cigarette-smoking American pontiff Pius XIII, of which the first two episodes will be presented as a special event. Plus, we also look forward to Japanese manga movie Gantz:O by Japanese director Yasushi Kawamura which will play out-of-competition as a midnight movie.

Pamela Jahn

For more information about the programme visit the Venice website.

Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London unveils fall 2016 line-up


Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London

Fall 2016 season:
Sept – Dec 2016

Dates: 22 September, 13 October, 10 November, 8 December

Time: 7-10pm

Venue: Horse Hospital

Address: Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD

Prices: £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concs / £35 full season ticket

Miskatonic website


The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – London returns to the Horse Hospital for another semester of film and pop culture classes, with a 2016 fall line-up led by some of the genre world’s most renowned critical luminaries.

Mark Pilkington (Owner of Strange Attractor Press, writer/director of Mirage Men) launches the season in September with his lecture Rituals in the Dark: Evoking Magic on Film. From the grit of medieval grimoires and spellcraft to the spiritual liberation of mid-twentieth century witchcraft, this lecture will look at a number of representations of magic on film, from the silent era, through Expressionism, B-movies, the avant garde and into the mainstream.

He will be followed in October by visiting instructor Daniel Bird, whose studies in Poland led to his becoming the pre-eminent biographer of both Walerian Borowczyk and Andrzej Żuławski. In Vulgar Structures; or Andrzej Żuławski’s Love Triangles, he will use his intimate knowledge of the late Żuławski’s work to look at the love triangle fundamental to all of his films, and to square it with this remarkable director’s life and loves.

In November, Warwick University scholar Catherine Lester will present Little Terrors: Children’s Horror on Film and Television. This class will explore in detail the area of horror films and television programmes created specifically for children in the UK and the US, with an emphasis on programming from the 70s and 80s.

And to close the season, the Horse Hospital turns into The Black Lodge when acclaimed horror author Maura McHugh visits from Ireland to bring us Working the Blue Rose Case: Signs, Codes, and Mysteries in David Lynch’s Fire Walk with Me.

Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a non-profit, community-based organisation that started in Winnipeg and Montreal, Canada, founded by Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. Miskatonic London operates under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse and Virginie Sélavy.

All classes take place at the historic Horse Hospital, the heart of the city’s underground culture. Registration for the full season is £35. Individual class tickets are £10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concessions and will be available 30 days in advance of each class.

For the full details of the courses please check the Miskatonic website. For all enquiries, please email