At 90, the Venice Film Festival looks better than ever
Film industry superstars seem to shine at Venice International Film Festivalstarting this week in the northern Italian city.
Consider Lady Gaga, a woman who never shy away from grand entrances, somehow even standing deftly on the edge of a moving water taxi, vacuuming the cameras like a classic on-screen siren.Or Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck Just last year, they officially debuted as a couple, evoking old Hollywood glamour.
Whether you’re a celebrity sliding down the red carpet in front of hundreds of flashing cameras, or an ocean-going onlooker daydreaming Crystal-encrusted Haider Ackermann by Timothée Chalamet suit, or that electric moment Between non-couple Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, it was an occasion that ignited the imagination. That’s all before you walk into the theater.
For director and actress Olivia Wilde, the Venice dream has been woven into the fabric of her new film,” don’t worry dear. ” Going to a festival became shorthand for the type of film she wanted to make.
“We had several studios and streamers who wanted to make this movie, and I sat down with all of them, and I said, ‘The path I see takes us to Venice. Who of you know what to make based on that dream? Movies?'” Wilde said. “For me, the Venice film is a film that truly embraces all the ambition, romance and beauty in the film. This film is really a love letter to cinema.”
With New Line and Warner Bros., Wilde’s wish came true: a stylish psychological thriller starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles as the perfect couple in a post-war experimental community, set to release in September World premiere on the 5th.
Styles, Pugh and Wilde are just some of the stars expected to pose on the marina outside the luxurious Excelsior Hotel and grace the red carpet outside the Palazzo del Cinema.Their appearance, with Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Catherine DeneuveHugh Jackman, Tilda Swinton, Penelope Cruz, Chalamet, and many others, helped turn Lido, a laid-back seaside town from Piazza San Marco across the Venetian Lagoon, into an Adriatic bastion of glamour, fantasy and cinema.
This year’s festival is full of highly anticipated films and performances on the main competition list: Ana de Armas will make her debut in Andrew Dominik’s “Marilyn Monroe” debut blonde “; Brandon Fraser’s turn in Darren Aronofsky’s new ‘The Whale’ has been hailed as an award-worthy comeback. Cate Blanchett in ” tar,” director Todfield’s first film in 15 years.
“Todfield is as important a film artist as ever,” said Peter Kujavsky, president of Focus Features. “What Kate has done with the character, needless to say too much, is just something you don’t see often at this level.”
The festival, which began in 1932 and is approaching its 79th edition, officially kicks off Wednesday night with its premiere Noah Baumbach Adapts Don DeLillo’s Groundbreaking Novel” White Noise,” starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig.
“White Noise” is one of four high-profile Netflix films looking to make a splash at the festival, an important platform not only for the streaming service but for all Oscar candidates.Baumbach’s last Venice film, “Marriage Story,” goes on to earn six Oscar nominations and one for Laura Dern, who also returns this year in Florian Zeller’s “Son.” This is the first of many fall festivals that will round out the awards conversation for the rest of the year.
Field, Baumbach, Aronofsky and Zeller are also among the many filmmakers with a solid Oscar record to make their first stop in Venice: and Martin MacDonald’s Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson’s friendship drama “The Banshee of Inisherin”; Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s comedy “Bardo, or the False Chronicle of a Few Truths”; and Luca Guadagnino’s Food Human Romance” bones and all,” which reunites the Italian director with Chalamet.
Documentary directors Frederick Wiseman (“A Couple”) and Alice Diop (“Saint Omar”) also have two narrative debuts, one of 23 films vying for the Golden Lion.The coveted prize will be decided by a jury led by Julianne Moore And it’s on display at the end of the festival on September 10.
Participant Media CEO David Linde, a 30-year festival veteran, wants Venice to be dedicated to the premieres of two high-profile documentaries: Oscar winner Laura Poitra (Laura Poitras) All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, about photographer Nan Goldin and the competing Sackler family, and Steve James on nuclear physics “The Compassionate Spy” by Ted Hall.
“The opportunity to get people to a festival is something I cherish,” Lind said. “It’s really about three great American artists coming to Venice: Laura, Nan and Steve.”
Venice may not always pick the best picture, although there are nominees like Birdman, Spotlight, The Shape of Water and Nomads, among many more.But it has become a reliable springboard for eventual Best Director awards, with nine in the past decade alone, including Silver Lion winner Jane Campion earlier this year.
Of course, these films also surpass Hollywood, with the entire roster featuring productions from some 59 countries, including several Oscar candidates like Santiago Mitre’s ‘” Argentina, 1985 “and Roman Gavras” Athena. “
This festival puts the spotlight on the war in Ukrainewith a dedicated day and the premiere of Evgeny Afineevsky’s documentary about the war, and the plight of persecuted directors around the world, such as imprisoned Iranian director Jafar Panahi His film No Bear is one of the titles in competition.
And the list isn’t without some potential controversy: They’ll also host the late South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk’s “Call of God” premierea former Venice champion, has also been accused of sexual assault.
But after two scaled-down versions, it was mostly excitement in the air. The Venice Film Festival is a place to enchant you, whether you are a beginner or an industry veteran.
Maybe it’s the romanticism of northern Italy or the sense of occasion that comes with being part of the world’s oldest film festival. It might be hoping to step it up a notch, say goodbye to the dynamism of summer movie season, and welcome fall’s more adult fare.Or maybe it’s the delightful unpredictability of a festival, a year that awards top prize to “Joker,” helping to build Todd Phillips’ massive studio comic book Film as a serious awards contender, yet another year of ‘It’s Happening,’ a small French drama about abortion.
“No matter what movie you’re making, you come with a sense of purpose and excitement, but I think there’s another aspect to all of us in our community, you’re also just dizzy as a fan. You probably sit and watch Everything will be a thoughtful, meaningful, truly wonderful viewing experience,” Kujavsky said. “That’s the magic of Venice.”
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
For more information about the Venice Film Festival, visit: www.apnews.com/VeniceFilmFestival