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Venice Film Festival 2017 Preview

Venice 2017

Venice Film Festival

30 August – 09 September 2017

Venice, Italy

Venice website

Billed as the world’s oldest film festival, the prestigious Venice film festival has announced a star-studded line up which sets the tone for this year’s awards season. Venie has seen some proud premieres in recent years as a hotspot for launching awards contenders, including La La Land, Spotlight and Birdman, and this year is shaping up to be no different.

Opening the festival on 30 August is Alexander Payne‘s sci-fi satire Downsizing. The film stars Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, Christoph Waltz and Jason Sudekis, and follows a man who decides to shrink himself to better deal with life. Damon also appears in George Clooney‘s Coen Brothers-scripted crime comedy Suburbicon, which also screens as part of this year’s Official Competition.

Other world premieres include Guillermo Del Toro‘s The Shape of Water, a strange love story between a sea creature and a lonely government clerk, Darren Aronofsky‘s highly anticipated mother!, and Martin McDonough‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, which sees Frances McDormand going against a small town’s police chief after her daughter is murdered.

Genre fans should also look out for the premieres of the follow up from Bone Tomahawk director S. Craig Zahler, Brawl in Cell Block 99, starring Vince Vaughn, and A24’s latest horror venture, Woodshock, with Kirsten Dunst in the lead.

The festival will also feature a special section dedicated solely to virtual reality, including a reworked 3D version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller directed by John Landis.

Pamela Jahn

Check out the full line up below

VENICE 74 COMPETITION
Downsizing, Alexander Payne
Human Flow, Al Weiwei
mother!, Darren Aronofsky
Suburbicon, George Clooney
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro
L’insulte, Ziad Doueiri
La Villa, Robert Guediguian
Lean on Pete, Andrew Haigh
Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, Abdellatif Kechiche
Sandome No Satsujin (The Third Murder), Hirokazu Koreeda
Custody (Jusqu’a La Garde), Xavier Legrand
Ammore e Malavita, Manetti Bros
Foxtrot, Samuel Maoz
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh
Hannah, Andrea Pallaoro
Jia Nian Hua (Angels Wear White), Vivian Qu
Una Famiglia, Sebastiano Rosa
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton
The Leisure Seeker, Paolo Virzi
Ex Libris – New York Public Library, Frederick Wiseman

OUT OF COMPETITION (FICTION)
Our Souls At Night, Ritesh Batra
Victoria And Abdul, Stephen Frears
La Melodie, Rachid Hami
Outrage Coda, Takeshi Kitano (closing film)
Loving Pablo, Fernando León de Aranoa
Il Signor Rotpeter, Antonietta de Lillo
Diva!, Francesco Patierno
Racer and The Jailbird, Michaël R. Roskam
Zama, Lucrecia Martel
Wormwood, Errol Morris
The Private Life of A Modern Woman, James Toback
Brawl In Cell Block 99, S. Craig Zahler
Il Colore Nascosto Delle Cose, Silvio Soldini

OUT OF COMPETITION (NON-FICTION)
Cuba and the Cameraman, Jon Alpert
My Generation, David Batty
The Devil and Father Amorth, William Friedkin
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, Stephen Nomura Schible
Piazza Vittorio, Abel Ferrara
This Is Congo, Daniel McCabe
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond: The Story of Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton, Chris Smith
Happy Winter, Giovanni Totaro

SPECIAL EVENTS
Casa d’Altri, Gianni Amelio
Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D, John Landis
Making Of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Jerry Kramer

ORIZZONTI
Disappearance, Ali Asgari
Especes Menacees, Gilles Bourdos
The Rape of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski
Caniba, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel
Les Bienheureux, Sofia Djama
Marvin, Anne Fontaine
Invisible, Pablo Giorgelli
Brutti e Cattivi, Cosimo Gomez
The Cousin, Tzahi Grad
The Testament, Amichai Greenberg
No Date, No Signature, Vahid Jalilvand
Los Versos Del Olvido, Alireza Khatami
The Night I Swam, Damien Manivel, Igarashi Kohei
Nico, 1988, Susanna Nicchiarelli
Krieg, Rick Ostermann
West Of Sunshine, Jason Raftopoulos
Gatta Cenerentola, Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Dario Sansone
Under The Tree, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson
La Vita in Comune, Edoardo Winspeare

For more information about the programme visit the Venice website.

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.

Venice Film Festival 2015 Preview

Venice 2015
Venice 2015

Venice Film Festival

2 – 12 September 2015

Venice, Italy

Venice website

The 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival is underway and opening this year’s festival is Baltasar Kormákur‘s survival thriller Everest, while Scott Cooper’s highly anticipated gangster drama Black Mass, screens out of Competition.

Among the 21 titles competing for the Golden Lion this year are Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, a love story inspired by the live of the artist Einar Wegener, who became one of the world’s first transgender women, and Thomas McCarthy’s Spotlight, starring Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo in the true story of how the Boston Globe revealed a child molestation cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. Other promising titles include Drake Doremus’ Equals, a futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated, along with A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino’s star-studded remake of Jacques Deray’s superb 1969 thriller La piscine, 11 Minutes by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski (Essential Killing), and Heart of A Dog, the feature debut of experimental performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson. We will also check out Atom Egoyan’s revenge thriller Remember, Marco Bellocchio’s Sangue Del Mio Sangue (Blood Of My Blood), Charlie Kaufman’s animation feature Anomalisa, and Pablo Trapero’s crime family story El Clan, produced by Pedro and Augustin Almodóvar.

Beyond its Competition line-up, Venice has a strong penchant for documentaries which are almost always worth a watch. This year Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow will present their co-directed documentary De Palma, while documentary-veteran Frederick Wiseman returns with In Jackson Heights. Plus, one of the most controversial works on show could be Helmut Berger, Actor, a relentless, yet intimate portrait of the legendary actor and former Luchino Visconti “muse” Helmut Berger.

The Horizons sidebar, another competitive section that runs parallel, features The Childhood Of A Leader by actor-turned-director Brady Corbet, alongside Danish drama A War, about an officer who is put on trial upon his return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, directed by A Hijacking director Tobias Lindholm.

Pamela Jahn

For more information about the programme visit the Venice website.