30 July 2010

Gallo, Ozon, Reichardt, Schnabel, Hellman, Kechiche, Coppola, etc, Screening at Venice

The complete line-up of the 67th Venice Film Festival was announced yesterday, with twenty-two films competing for the the Golden Lion, the festival's highest honor which was awarded to Samuel Maoz's Lebanon last year. Not paying attention to films in production has its benefits; quite a few of the filmmakers presenting their works this year came as a pleasant surprise. Among those surprises: Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff which re-teams the director with her Wendy & Lucy star Michelle Williams; a brand new film written, directed, starring, composed and edited (naturally) by Vincent Gallo called Promises Written in Water; Pablo Larraín's follow-up to Tony Manero, Post mortem; Abdellatif Kechiche's Vénus noire [Black Venus], his first film since La graine et le mulet [The Secret of the Grain] which won a Special Jury Prize at the 2007 fest; Tran Anh Hung's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood; and Road to Nowhere, the first feature-length film from Monte Hellman in twenty-one years (following, uh, Silent Night, Deadly Night 3) which stars two former "It" girls Shannyn Sossamon and Dominique Swain. Gallo will also be presenting a short entitled The Agent as part of the Horizons sidebar, which–like Promises–stars Sylvester Stallone's son Sage. Other high profile filmmakers in competition: Sofia Coppola with Somewhere; Julian Schnabel with Miral; François Ozon with Potiche; Tom Tykwer with Drei [Three]; Tsui Hark with Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame; Takashi Miike with 13 Assassins; Darren Aronofsky with Black Swan; and Álex de la Iglesia with Balada triste de trompeta [A Sad Trumpet Ballad]. Four Italian films will be screening in competition, and unfortunately the national titles have proven to be the weakest entries in recent history. The sore thumb of the lot appears to be Barney's Version, whose fine cast feels overshadowed by the fact that the last film outing from the director, Richard J. Lewis, was a direct-to-video sequel to the buddy-cop-and-dog classic K-9 (starring, uh, Jim Belushi). Tran Anh Hung and Darren Aronofsky are the only past Golden Lion winners in competition, for Cyclo in 1995 and The Wrestler in 2008 respectively. The competition line-up can be found below. The festival runs from 1-11 September.

- 13 Assassins, d. Takashi Miike, Japan
- Attenberg, d. Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece, w. Yorgos Lanthimos
- Balada triste de trompeta [A Sad Trumpet Ballad], d. Álex de la Iglesia (Dance with the Devil), Spain/France, w. Carmen Maura, Fernando Guillén Cuervo, Antonio de la Torre
- Barney's Version, d. Richard J. Lewis, Canada/Italy, w. Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver
- Black Swan, d. Darren Aronofsky, USA, w. Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder, Bruce Greenwood, Scott Speedman
- Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame, d. Tsui Hark (Once Upon a Time in China), China/Hong Kong, w. Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Li Bingbing, Tony Leung Ka-Fai
- Drei [Three], d. Tom Tykwer, Germany, w. Devid Striesow
- Happy Few, d. Antony Cordier (Douches froides), France, w. Marina Foïs, Élodie Bouchez, Roschdy Zem, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Jean-François Stévenin
- Meek's Cutoff, d. Kelly Reichardt, USA, w. Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano, Shirley Henderson
- Miral, d. Julian Schnabel, France/Israel/UK/Italy/USA, w. Hiam Abbass, Freida Pinto, Willem Dafoe, Vanessa Redgrave, Alexander Siddig, Stella Schnabel
- Noi credevamo, d. Mario Martone (L'odore del sengue), Italy/France, w. Luigi Lo Cascio, Toni Servillo
- Norwegian Wood, d. Tran Anh Hung, Japan, w. Rinko Kikuchi
- La passione, d. Carlo Mazzacurati (La lingua del santo), Italy, w. Stefania Sandrelli
- La pecora nera, d. Ascanio Celestini, Italy, w. Maya Sansa
- Post mortem, d. Pablo Larraín, Chile/Mexico/Germany
- Potiche, d. François Ozon, France/Belgium, w. Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Judith Godrèche, Jérémie Renier
- Promises Written in Water, d. Vincent Gallo, USA, w. Gallo
- Road to Nowhere, d. Monte Hellman (Two-Lane Blacktop), USA, w. Shannyn Sossamon, Dominique Swain, John Diehl, Fabio Testi
- Silent Souls, d. Aleksei Fedorchenko (First on the Moon), Russia
- La solitudine dei numeri primi [The Solitude of Prime Numbers], d. Saverio Costanzo (In Memory of Me), Italy/France/Germany, w. Filippo Timi, Isabella Rossellini
- Somewhere, d. Sofia Coppola, USA, w. Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, Benicio del Toro, Michelle Monaghan, Benicio Del Toro
- Vénus noire [Black Venus], d. Abdellatif Kechiche, France/Italy/Belgium, w. Olivier Gourmet

Out of competition, you'll find directorial efforts from both the Affleck brothers. The elder will follow his well-received (but, still, not that good) Gone Baby Gone with The Town, a crime thriller about a Boston-area gang of thieves. Casey's directorial debut is I'm Still Here, a documentary that received a lot of press last year which follows Joaquin Phoenix's retirement from acting to pursue a career as a rapper. In addition to 13 Assassins, Takashi Miike's Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City will premiere, likely as part of the festival's midnight screenings, which will open with Robert Rodriguez's star-and-"star"-studded Machete. Julie Taymor's return to Shakespeare, The Tempest, will close this portion. Below you'll find a selection of the films playing out of competition.

- 1960, d. Gabriele Salvatores (I'm Not Scared), Italy
- The Child's Eye 3D, d. Oxide Pang, Danny Pang, Hong Kong/China
- I'm Still Here, d. Casey Affleck, USA, w. Joaquin Phoenix
- The Last Movie, d. Dennis Hopper, USA, w. Hopper, Tomas Milian, Samuel Fuller, Sylvia Miles, Peter Fonda, Kris Kristofferson, Henry Jaglom, John Phillip Law, Michelle Phillips, Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, Toni Basil
- Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, d. Andrew Lau, Hong Kong/China, w. Donnie Yen, Shu Qi
- A Letter to Elia, d. Martin Scorsese, Kent Jones, USA
- Lope, d. Andrucha Waddington (House of Sand), Spain/Brazil, w. Leonor Watling, Pilar López de Ayala, Sonia Braga, Luis Tosar
- Machete, d. Robert Rodriguez, USA, w. Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey, Steven Seagal, Don Johnson, Rose McGowan, Tom Savini
- Passione, d. John Turturro, Italy
- Přežít svůj život [Surviving Life], d. Jan Švankmajer, Czech Republic/Slovakia
- Raavanan, d. Mani Ratnam, India, w. Aishwarya Rai
- Reign of Assassins, d. John Woo, Su Chao-Bin, China/Hong Kong/Taiwan, w. Michelle Yeoh, Kelly Lin
- Shock Labyrinth 3D, d. Takashi Shimizu (Ju-on), Japan
- Showtime, d. Stanley Kwan (Lan yu), China, w. Carina Lau, Tony Leung Ka-Fai
- Sorelle mai, d. Marco Bellocchio, Italy
- The Tempest, d. Julie Taymor, USA, w. Helen Mirren, Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Alfred Molina, Alan Cumming, Ben Whishaw
- That Girl in Yellow Boots, d. Anurag Kashyap (Dev.D), India
- The Town, d. Ben Affleck, USA, w. Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively
- Vallanzasca - Gli angeli del male, d. Michele Placido (Romanzo criminale), Italy/France, w. Kim Rossi Stuart, Filippo Timi, Moritz Bleibtreu, Paz Vega
- Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City, d. Takashi Miike, Japan

The Horizons portion of this year's selection will open with La belle endormie [Sleeping Beauty], another fairy tale adaptation from Catherine Breillat following last year's Barbe Bleue; like its predecessor, La belle endormie was produced by Arte Télévision and employs a cast of unknowns. Hong Sang-soo's Oki's Movie will close the section; Oki's Movie is Hong Sang-soo's second film to premiere in 2010 following Ha Ha Ha, which was awarded the Un Certain Regard Prize at Cannes in May. Not a whole lot of information was available about the rest of the films (some of them shorts), but I listed below the films from directors I knew. And following that is a selection of the films screening as part of the Venice Days, one of the festival's autonomous sidebars.


- The Agent, d. Vincent Gallo, USA, w. Sage Stallone, Gallo
- La belle endormie [Sleeping Beauty], d. Catherine Breillat, France
- Better Life, d. Isaac Julien, UK/China, w. Maggie Cheung
- Cold Fish, d. Sion Sono, Japan
- Guest, d. José Luis Guerin, Spain
- The Leopard, d. Isaac Julien, UK/Italy
- A Loft, d. Ken Jacobs, USA
- News from Nowhere, d. Paul Morrissey, USA
- Oki's Movie, d. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea
- Painéis de São Vicente de Fora, Visão Poética, d. Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal, w. Ricardo Trêpa
- Red Earth, d. Clara Law, Hong Kong/China

Venice Days

- L'amour buio, d. Antonio Capuano (Luna rossa), Italy, w. Valeria Golino
- Le bruit des glaçons [The Clink of Ice], d. Bertrand Blier (Beau-père), France, w. Jean Duhardin, Albert Dupontel
- Cirkus Columbia, d. Danis Tanović (No Man's Land), Bosnia & Herzegovina/France/UK/Slovenia/Germany/Belgium/Serbia, w. Miki Manojlović, Mira Furlan
- Hitler à Hollywood [Hitler in Hollywood], d. Frédéric Sojcher, w. Maria de Medeiros, Micheline Presle
- Incendies, d. Denis Villeneuve (Polytechnique), Canada/France, w. Lubna Azabal
- Noir océan, d. Marion Hänsel (The Quarry), w. Adrien Joliver
- La vida de los peces, d. Matías Bize (En la cama), Chile, w. Santiago Cabrera, Blanca Lewin


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