Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Venice International Film Festival: Day 9

Festival Director Alberto Barbera © la Biennale di Venezia
Day 9 - Thursday, September 5

Screening today:

In competition, from Taiwan, Stray Dogs by Tsai Ming Liang.

From the previous Golden Lion winner for Vive l'amour (1994), a tale of a poor homeless family on the margins of society in modern day Taipei.

In competition, from Italy, Sacro Gra by Gianfranco Rosi.

From the acclaimed Italian documentarian, his latest is inspired by Rome's giant ring-road.

In competition, from France, La Jalousie by Philippe Garrel.

A semi-autobiographical story set in present day France, starring the director's son Louis Garrel, and Anna Mouglalis.

Venezia 70 Competition Film
Stray Dogs
directed by Tsai Ming Liang
Taiwan, 138'

A father and his two children wander the margins of modern day Taipei, from the woods and rivers of the outskirts to the rain streaked streets of the city. By day the father scrapes out a meager income as a human billboard for luxury apartments, while his young son and daughter roam the supermarkets and malls surviving off free food samples. Each night the family takes shelter in an abandoned building. The father is strangely affected by a hypnotic mural adorning the wall of this makeshift home. On the day of the father’s birthday the family is joined by a woman—might she be the key to unlocking the buried emotions that linger from the past?
Critical Reception:

"Every shot in this film instantly etches itself on the memory, but you'll have to find a special place for the last three which are some of the most extraordinary ever committed to film."David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
"Watching paint dry is an action movie compared to some of the agonisingly slow one-shot or two-shot scenes that Tsai forces his audience to sit through."Lee Marshall (Screen Daily)
"“Stray Dogs” works with effective perversity: Never the most broadly accessible of filmmakers, Tsai here seems to be stripping his ornately eccentric style down to formal fundamentals."Guy Lodge (Variety)
"Every shot of Stray Dogs has been built with utter formal mastery; every sequence exerts an almost telepathic grip. This film could have been beamed to Venice from another planet."Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
Venezia 70 Competition Film
Sacro Gra
directed by Gianfranco Rosi
Italy, 93'

Gianfranco Rosi has decided to tell the tale of a part of his own country, roaming and filming for over two years in a minivan on Rome’s giant ring road—the Grande Raccordo Anulare, or GRA—to discover the invisible worlds and possible futures harbored in this area of constant turmoil.
Critical Reception:

"The recurring characters, almost all of them funny in an absurd, gentle way, make this intelligent film a curious outsider in the Italian film panorama."Deborah Young (The Hollywood Reporter)
"Rosi has found amongst the hobos and prostitutes, noblemen and workers, an immense poetry and humanity."Jo-Ann Titmarsh (Hey U Guys)
Venezia 70 Competition Film
La Jalousie
directed by Philippe Garrel
France, 77'

A 30-year-old man lives with a woman in a small, furnished, rented apartment. It’s a love story. The man has a daughter by a woman he walked out on. He sees the child of course, but the woman lives alone with her and has to work to feed her because the man gives her nothing. The man is very poor and he is an actor. A theater actor. And now he is madly in love with this other woman, who is also an actress. But she is out of work. She was once a rising star, but offers of parts dried up. He does everything he can to get her a role, using all his contacts in the business. To no avail. And then the woman cheats on him in turn. She comes to see him in the small apartment. And then she says she can’t bear it there and leaves. He shoots himself in the chest but the revolver slips and, instead of lodging fatally in his heart, the bullet perforates his left lung. In the hospital, his sister comes to see him and stays at his bedside. She’s all he has left.
Critical Reception:

"More tightly scripted than Garrel’s usual rambles, the comedy-drama also has an unexpected emotional warmth, thanks partly to a cute if slightly sentimental subplot about a father and daughter, fetchingly thesped by Louis Garrel and Olga Milshtein."Leslie Felperin (Variety)
"Offers moments of quiet tragedy in some seemingly innocent throwaway moments. In the hands of Garrel, clearly drawing on his own experience but with the benefit of hindsight, these moments have the painful ring of truth."Boyd van Hoeij (The Hollywood Reporter)
Screening tomorrow (Friday, September 6):
  • The Rooftops by Merzak Allouache (In Competition)
  • The Unforgiven by Lee Sang-il (Out of Competition)

See our other #Venice2013 coverage:


Unknown said...

I think things are winding down right now. The more obscure films are coming. You're doing an excellent job as usual in covering the festival.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I actually think it would be wise of them to move the festival a week earlier. This year Telluride scooped them twice, screening Under the Skin, and The Unknown Known before their Venice premieres. And now nearing the end of the fest, all the media attention is on TIFF.

Unknown said...

I'd watch Stray Dogs. It sounds okay as long as you know what you're getting into. It could be decent. Now La Jalousie? I might look forward to it if I didn't feel the entire movie was played out in the synopsis.

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