Friday, July 27, 2012

69th Venice Film Festival: Preview


Hot on the heels of the TIFF announcement earlier this week. The official selection films for the 69th Venice Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia) were revealed at a press conference held Thursday, July 26th 2012, in Rome.

17 world premiere films were announced for this year's competition lineup, leaving room for a few late additions. Some big names vying for the Golden Lion include: Olivier Assayas 'Something in the Air', Brian De Palma 'Passion', Terrence Malick 'To the Wonder', and Takeshi Kitano 'Outrage Beyond'. The fest also sees the second films of the year from Brillante Mendoza 'Thy Womb' and Ulrich Seidl 'Paradise: Faith'.

Opening the festival, out of competition, will be 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' from Indian director Mira Nair, an international political thriller based on a best-selling novel by Mohsin Hamid. The closing film, also out of competition, is 'The Man Who Laughs (L'homme qui rit)' by Jean-Pierre Améris, an adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel.

The previously announced International Jury will be led by American director Michael Mann. He is joined by Serbian artist and performer Marina Abramovic, French actress and model Laetitia Casta, Hong Kong producer and director Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Israeli director and screenwriter Ari Folman, Italian director Matteo Garrone, French/Swiss director Ursula Meier, British actress Samantha Morton, and Argentinian director and producer Pablo Trapero.

Read on for a preview of the films in competition at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival (August 29 - September 8):
Competition Films
Something in the Air (Après Mai)
directed by Olivier Assayas
France France
French auteur Olivier Assayas (Carlos), returns with another one of his specialties. A multilingual international drama, that takes place in France, Italy and England. The loosely autobiographical coming of age story is centered on a young student shortly after the radical events of May 1968. Starring Clément Metayer, Lola Créton, Félix Armand.
At Any Price
directed by Ramin Bahrani
USA USA
American director Ramin Bahrani, winner of the FIPRESCI prize at Venice in 2008 for Goodbye Solo, returns with the dramatic story of a rebellious son of a wealthy farmer, who has dreams of becoming a race-car driver. Starring Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, Maika Monroe.
Dormant Beauty (Bella addormentata)
directed by Marco Bellocchio
Italy Italy, France France
Veteran Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio's latest is based on a true story, and centers on the last week in the life of Eluana Englaro, a young woman who lived 17 years in a vegetative state before her death in 2009. Starring Isabelle Huppert, Alba Rohrwacher, Maya Sansa, Toni Servillo.
The Fifth Season (La cinquième saison)
directed by Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth
Belgium Belgium, Netherlands Netherlands, France France
Directorial team Peter Brosens and Jessica Hope Woodworth's latest, is the final film in a trilogy, following Khadak (winner of the Luigi De Laurentiis Award in 2006) and Altiplano, that explores the contentious relationship between man and nature. A haunting tale set in a Belgian village during a never-ending winter. Starring Aurélia Poirier, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck, Gill Vancompernolle.
Fill the Void (Lemale et ha'chalal)
directed by Rama Burshtein
Israel Israel
From Israeli director Rama Burshtein, tells the story of an Orthodox Hassidic family from Tel Aviv, and the difficult decision a young girl about to be married must make. Starring Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir.
He Was the Son (È stato il figlio)
directed by Daniele Ciprì
Italy Italy
The feature debut from Italian director cinematographer Daniele Ciprì, is a hyper realistic dramatic comedy about a family in modern day Sicily. Starring Toni Servillo, Giselda Volodi, Alfredo Castro, Fabrizio Falco
A Special Day (Un giorno speciale)
directed by Francesca Comencini
Italy Italy
Italian director Francesca Comencini returns to Venice for the second year in a row, after last year's When the Night, with a tale loosely based on a novel by Claudio Bigagli about two young people who dream of a better future, but clash with the rules, seductions, and cynicism of the world. Starring Filippo Scicchitano, Giulia Valentini.
Passion
directed by Brian De Palma
France France, Germany Germany
The hotly anticipated latest from American director Brian De Palma. A remake of Alain Corneau's Love Crime. The suspenseful tale of a young businesswoman's revenge on her ruthless boss. Starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace.
Superstar
directed by Xavier Giannoli
France France, Belgium Belgium
Promising French director Xavier Giannoli's thriller about a humble nobody who inexplicably becomes an overnight celebrity, and struggles under the intense media spotlight. Starring Kad Merad and Cécile de France.
Pieta (피에타)
directed by Kim Ki-Duk
Portugal South Korea
The 18th film from South Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, and 4th to premiere at Venice. Is named after Michelangelo's sculpture and was recently given a 19+ rating in its home country for its violent and sexual content. Tells the story of a ruthless debt collector working for a loan shark, who one day encounters a mysterious woman claiming she is his mother. Starring Cho Min-soo, Lee Jung-jin.
Outrage Beyond (アウトレイジ ビヨンド)
directed by Takeshi Kitano
Japan Japan
Japanese director Takeshi Kitano's anticipated sequel to his 2010 yakuza film Outrage. Was put on hold after the March 11 disaster, but will be ready for Venice, making it his 7th time at the festival. He won the Golden Lion in 1997 for Fireworks. It sees the lead character of the first film released from prison in order to help defeat a violent new gang. Starring Takeshi Kitano, Toshiyuki Nishida, Tomokazu Miura, Ryo Kase, Hideo Nakano.
Spring Breakers
directed by Harmony Korine
USA USA
Ever provocative American director Harmony Korine, brings the bound to be outrageous story of four college girls who embark on an unforgettable spring break. Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, James Franco.
To the Wonder
directed by Terrence Malick
USA USA
The suddenly prolific American director Terrence Malick's likely to be highly experimental and visually breathtaking, romantic drama centered on a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage fails. Starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz.
Thy Womb (Sinapupunan)
directed by Brillante Mendoza
Philippines Philippines
Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza's second film of the year, after Captive which premiered at the Berlinale. It's about a Bajau midwife coping with the irony of her own infertility, set on the island of Tawi-Tawi. Starring Nora Aunor, Mercedes Cabral, Lovi Poe, Bembol Roco.
Lines of Wellington (Linhas de Wellington)
directed by Valeria Sarmiento
Portugal Portugal, France France
An historical epic conceived by Chilean born filmmaking legend Raúl Ruiz and completed by his widow Valeria Sarmiento, after his passing in 2011. Tells of the 1810 Battle of Bussaco which saw the defeat of French invading forces by the Duke of Wellington's Anglo-Portuguese Army. Starring John Malkovich, Nuno Lopes, Soraia Chaves, Marisa Paredes, Melvil Poupaud, Mathieu Amalric.
Paradise: Faith (Paradies: Glaube)
directed by Ulrich Seidl
Austria Austria, France France, Germany Germany
The second part of Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy, the first chapter Paradise: Love premiered in competition at Cannes in May. Follows the sister of Love's main character, a woman who devotes her holiday traveling from door to door, handing out statues of the Virgin Mary. Starring Maria Hofstätter, Nabil Saleh.
Betrayal (Измена)
directed by Kirill Serebrennikov
Russia Russia
Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov's story about two strangers who meet by chance and find out that their partners are lovers. Hmm, sounds like it could be a darker version of In the Mood for Love. Starring Franziska Petri, Dejan Lilic, Albina Dzhanabaeva, Arturs Skrastins.

What do you think of the lineup? Who do you think will win the Golden Lion?

18 comments:

365 moviesandsongs365 said...

Wasn't aware that Kim Ki-Duk has new material out, his films are usually visually gorgeous.
You don't miss a beat with film festival announcements! Good work


I guess Malick is making up for lost time! Whether that is a good thing for him to be prolific now, remains to be seen.

Diana said...

Interesting line-up, and I am very intrigued in some of the casting (John Malkovich in a Portuguese film and so on). Also, new Terrence Malick? I'm in!

d_4 said...

Similar feeling to the TIFF.. but there's a few titles here that I don't think I'd like. Which is odd, would've expected it to be the other way around.

Margaret said...

Wow, thought Passion won't be ready until next year! Can't wait for this one.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks, I have my eye on that Lammy next year :)

This was the first I heard of Pieta too, but it looks like an intense film; and yeah I guess we'll soon find out whether Malick can maintain his quality at this pace.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

That Sarmiento film has an epic cast, there's also Catherine Deneuve, her daughter Chaira Mastroianni, and Isabelle Huppert who seems to be everywhere this year.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Have to admit there's a couple I'm not too excited about either At Any Price, Fill the Void, but I'll keep an open mind for now.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah that was a surprise. Have you seen/enjoyed the original?

The Movie Waffler said...

I awarded you a Liebster. Collect it here http://www.themoviewaffler.com/2012/07/the-liebster-award.html

Nick Powell said...

Passion and To the Wonder I really wanted to see... and ironically, just like The Movie Waffler, I awarded you a Liebster as well..
http://www.cinekatz.com/2012/07/the-liebster-award.html Didn't see he gave you one...

Michaël Parent said...

The Mostra might be one of the most interesting Festival after Cannes! Very great line-up!

DEZMOND HUNT said...

not sure how SPRING BREAKERS fit in this selection. Hope Madonna won't be there like the last year. Nice to see Serbia's Marina Abramovic there, and I think I'd like to see Lines of Wellington

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thank you.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Those both look very good. Could be a return to form for De Palma, and it will be interesting to see what Malick does without 5 years of post production. Also thanks for the award.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah I call it even with the Berlinale for second place after Cannes.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah that one seems to be an odd choice, but I guess we'll see how it turns out. I too look forward to seeing Lines of Wellington, as the last project by Ruiz, and for its amazing cast.

ruth said...

I'm mildly curious about To the Wonder though some of the negative reviews I read so far is disappointing. I haven't even heard of 'Lines of Wellington,' but with Malkovich, I might rent that one!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

As always a very informative read. I have become an ardent fan of Terrence Malick of late and rate him as the best American filmmaker alive today. It's indeed remarkable that a recluse like Malick who made only five full movies during the first four decades of his career (that includes a two-decade-long hiatus) has suddenly become so prolific that as many as 4 movies are lined up for a release (in the very near future). Needless to say, I am quite excited about To the Wonder.

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