Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Venice International Film Festival: Day 8

Scarlett Johansson on the red carpet 03/09/2013 © la Biennale di Venezia
Day 8 - Wednesday, September 4

Screening today:

In competition, from the USA, The Unknown Known by Errol Morris .

A documentary portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, former US Secretary of Defense.

In competition, from Italy, l'Intrepido (A Lonely Hero) by Gianni Amelio.

Taken from the weekly comic books the director read as a child. A story set in present day Italy about an unemployed man who fills in for random people as a temporary replacement.

Venezia 70 Competition Film
The Unknown Known
directed by Errol Morris
USA, 105'

A mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War.
Critical Reception:

"The film just seems to tread water, both because Morris tediously recycles points he already made in his 2008 look at the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Standard Operating Procedure and even more because Rumsfeld gives away virtually nothing."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
"The upshot is a film that is at turns mesmerising and frustrating, as questioner and subject circle each other, tussle briefly and back off."Lee Marshall (Screen Daily)
"Rumsfeld looks primed for battle and proves, throughout, to be a more combative, less revealing subject than his predecessor (Robert McNamara), drunk on ego and unflappable in the face of self-contradiction. "Scott Foundas (Variety)
"The film's failure to offer any big revelations is just as much Morris' fault as Rumsfeld's, as he too often feeds questions to his subject in a jokey, barroom manner which highlights a potential intellectual chasm between interviewer and subject. "David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
Venezia 70 Competition Film
directed by Gianni Amelio
Italy, 104'

Let’s imagine there’s a new occupation and it’s called “replacement.” Let’s imagine that an unemployed man practices it every day, this occupation. And thus that he works really hard and that he’s a happy man in his own way. He does nothing but take the place, sometimes just for a few hours, of someone who has absented himself, for reasons that can be more or less serious, from his official job. He is content with little, our hero, but money isn’t everything in life: there’s the need to stay in shape, not to let yourself go in a moment, as they say, of deep crisis. Let’s imagine then that there’s a young man of twenty, his son, who plays the sax divinely and so is lucky because he’s an artist. And let’s imagine Lucia, uneasy and circumspect, who is hiding a secret behind her desire to get on in life. Will they manage to reach the next episode safe and sound?
Critical Reception:

"One waits uneasily for the story to turn dark, but instead the film just runs out of energy in its second half."Deborah Young (The Hollywood Reporter)
"The idea of someone filling in for people's jobs - a 'rimpiazzo', literally a 'replacement' - has a dash of magical realism to it. Sadly, as far as Amelio's latest is concerned, that's pretty much the end of both the magic and the realism."John Bleasdale (Cine-vue)
"The direction of one of cinema’s great masters, combined by the photographical talent of Luca Bigazzi, is not enough to resolve the indecisiveness of intents. Didactic dialogues, and implausible narrative elements are only partially saved by a grotesque and personable Antonio Abanese."Camillo De Marco (Cineuropa)
Screening tomorrow (Thursday, September 5):
  • Stray Dogs by Tsai Ming-liang (In Competition)
  • Sacro Gra by Gianfranco Rosi (In Competition)
  • La Jalousie by Philippe Garrel (In Competition)

See our other #Venice2013 coverage:


Unknown said...

Fantastic! I love your blog and don't visit often enough. THAT.IS.ALL.


Unknown said...

First I was happy just to find a nice sweet picture of Scarlet Johansson. Then I see the basis of what l'Intrepido could be, I get excited, and then it falls flat. Honestly, there's gotta be some potential there. It's a cool idea to build on!

Unknown said...

That is a nice-ass picture of Scar-Jo. She's winning film buffs all over again. I'm disappointed over the reviews towards the new Errol Morris as I do like his work though I could see why a doc on Donald Rumsfeld wouldn't work.

Unknown said...

Thanks Aurora!

Unknown said...

If you like that concept, you should watch Holy Motors.

Unknown said...

It was a slow day on the Lido. Needed that pic to make the post worth looking at.

Unknown said...

Did I not come on here after watching Holy Motors? I thought I did, I try and come back after every amazing movie I see thanks to you. I loved it, but I really need to watch it again to grab all those details and attempt at making sense of a few things.

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