Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018

Venice Film Festival shows staying power


(By Kate Carlisle)
Venice, August 27 - The director of Venice's 70th
International Film Festival, which opens Wednesday, is
determined to show that despite variations in attendance and the
proliferation of smaller events, the lifespan of the world's
oldest cinema extravaganza has not come to an end.
"With a touch of pride it can be claimed that, while this
year's Venice Film Festival might not provide any answers, it
does supply a few indications as to why festivals are still
necessary and how they can adapt themselves to this new
situation," said Alberto Barbera.
According to the director, who is making his debut at the
helm this year, there is a "certain widespread impatience with
contemporary cinema and with what, until a short while ago, had
been considered invaluable opportunities for promoting new
movies and meeting new filmmakers".
"It's a changing world. Festivals are both more and less
powerful than they used to be. More powerful because they come
across like the new museum and art gallery curators. Less
powerful because the exclusiveness of participating at festivals
has been weakened by new, direct channels of distribution,"
Barbera says.
Taking place on the Lido di Venezia, the festival runs from
August 28 to September 7 and organized by the Biennale di
Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.
The Festival's four sections - Competition, Out of
Competition, Orizzonti (Horizons) and Venezia Classici (Venice
Classics) - are varied.
The sections are "like a snapshot of the present state of
contemporary cinema," Barbera says.
Established filmmakers will be present alongside debut
directors, and so-called genre films and documentaries will be
screened during the festival's 11 days.
The festival kicks off with a screening of Alfonso Cuaron's
Gravity followed by Venice 70 - Future Reloaded, a collective
film made up of 70 minute-long shorts by directors from around
the world.
The screening lineup includes A Promise (Une promesse) by
French director Patrice Leconte. Screening out of competition
for its worldwide premiere, A Promise is based on a short story
by Stefan Zweig and is set in pre-World War I Germany. It tells
the story of the wife of a wealthy and powerful industrialist
who falls in love with her husband's younger colleague.
The program also includes three new documentaries. These
are Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater by Gabe
Klinger (Venice Classics); Women in Myth: Anna Magnani by
Marco Spagnoli (Venice Classics); From Our Correspondents -
RAI narrates the Venice Festival 1980-1989 by Enrico
Salvatori, Giuseppe Giannotti, and Davide Savelli (Out of
On September 6, a one-day tribute to iconic filmmaker
Federico Fellini will feature Gideon Bachmann's 'Behind the
Scenes of 8 and 1/2', made up of 170 snapshots he took during
the making of the late Fellini's masterpiece (Out of Competition
- Special Events), and the world premiere of Ettore Scola's new
film How Strange To Be Called Federico (Che Strano Chiamarsi
Historic films will also weigh in. A digitally restored
version of Francesco Rosi's masterpiece, 'Le Mani sulla Città'
(Hands over the City, 1963), will be screened as a world
premiere at the pre-opening event on Tuesday.
The film received the Golden Lion at the Venice Film
Festival in 1963 and is a pillar in the history of Italian
cinema as an exposé of the relationship between politics and
economic power in the city of Naples, devastated by building
Actress Carrie Fisher is joining the competition jury, and
Mexican director Amat Escalante is to sit on the Luigi De
Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film jury.
Bernardo Bertolucci, the director whose 1972 Last Tango In
Paris was banned in Italy for obscenity and is considered one of
the most controversial films ever made, was selected as
president of the jury.
Though he has never screened a film in the festival, it
will not be the first time Bertolucci presides over the Venice
jury, following a stint in 1983.
A day-by-day calendar is available online at

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