With a mix of great American productions, copyrighted films and stars, the 78th edition of the Venice Film Festival begins this week and tries to regain its post-Covid splendor.
The world’s oldest film festival, held last year despite the pandemic, will this year follow the same safety plan with strict hygiene measures, reserved spaces and the use of masks, apart from requiring a health passport.
Thanks to the vaccination campaign, directors around the world are returning and, in particular, Hollywood studios, 2020’s big absentee, who have been using Venice as a springboard for the Oscar race for many years.
The stars are also back, including Kristen Stewart, Matt Damon, Penelope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Benedict Cumberbatch, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tim Roth, Adam Driver, Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, among others.
Like last year, a “wall” would protect the red carpet to avoid hordes of fans and autograph seekers, but there would be no shortage of photographers and television cameras.
“The quality of this year’s films is higher than usual, as if the pandemic had inspired creativity,” said Italian critic Alberto Barbera, director of Mostra.
Films from 59 countries will be screened at the festival, including 21 in the prestigious Golden Lion competition.
Famous names in cinema, among them Spaniard Pedro Almodovar, New Zealander Jan Campion, Italian Paolo Sorrentino and Chilean Pablo Lahren are in the official exhibition.
– Almodóvar promises feelings –
The festival will begin with Almodovar’s most recent feature film: “Parallel Mothers”, a portrait of motherhood, a film that “will excite a lot”, the director promised in an interview with the newspaper La Repubblica.
Streaming giant Netflix enters the competition for the top prize in Venice, which has already been won by Mexican Alfonso Cuarón with “Roma” in 2018.
Unlike the Cannes Film Festival, Venice will receive the long-awaited films of two important directors produced by Netflix: “E’ stata la mano di dio”, by Italian Paolo Sorrentino, for a foreign film for “The Great Beauty”. Oscar winner” (2013), and “The Power of the Dog”, by New Zealander Jane Campion, at the Palme d’Or at Cannes with “The Piano” (1993).
This is the first time that the Italian director, who has already attended Cannes several times, is attending the most important festival in his country.
Sorrentino draws inspiration from the goal made famous by Diego Armando Maradona of Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup to describe a personal, intimate and painful play.
Her fetish actor, Tony Cervillo, stars in the film.
American Maggie Gyllenhaal will debut in Venice as a director with “The Lost Daughter” and her compatriot Paul Schrader will present the thriller “The Card Counter”.
Out of competition, an adaptation of “Dune” (Warner Bros.), directed by Canadian Denis Villeneuve, one of the most anticipated films of the year, will be shown in Venice, the same situation as “The Last Duel” (Disney) by directors Matt Damon and Ben Ridley Scott with Affleck, which reaffirms Venice’s excellent relationship with the large studio.
The Honorary Golden Lion will be awarded to Italian filmmaker and actor Roberto Benigni, director of “A Vida a Bella” (1997), and American actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho – lauded as “Parasite” (2019) – will preside over the international jury that will announce the festival’s winners on September 11.
KV / ES / FP