Contemporary open borders, history and literature marks 67th Mostra
by Camillo de Marco
31/08/2010 - Tomorrow marks the start of the 67th Venice Film Festival with the official screening of opening film Black Swan, a thriller set in the dance world by US director Darren Aronofsky (2008 Golden Lion winner for The Wrestler). The red carpet will be graced by Natalie Portman, Winona Ryder, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey and Vincent Cassel, who may be accompanied by his wife, Monica Bellucci.
The line-up features numerous American films (six in competition alone) and Italian titles (four in competition, 24 overall, see article) and some of Europe's top names, from Abdellatif Kechiche to Tom Tykwer and Alex De La Iglesia (see article).
The seven members of the international jury, headed by Quentin Tarantino; the Horizons jury; and the audiences themselves will be able to choose from a wealth of offerings that offer much innovation (maestros such as Manoel De Oliveira, Martin Scorsese and Marco Bellocchio have been selected in the parallel sections, alongside numerous debut directors). Venice Festival director Marco Müller wanted to highlight the "flexibility of contemporary cinema", a cinema of open and proudly uncertain borders, paying particular attention to the Horizons section, which opens Catherine Breillat and Pasquale Scimeca’s adaptations of the literary classics Sleeping Beauty and I Malavoglia, respectively.
Many of the films at this year’s festival have literary roots, including Julie Taymor's Shakespearian The Tempest; Norwegian Wood by Tran Anh Hung, based on Haruki Murakami’s cult youth novel; The Solitude of Prime Numbers [trailer] by Saverio Costanzo, who wrote his script with the author of the eponymous bestseller, Paolo Giordano; Barney’s Version [trailer], Richard J. Lewis’ version of the acclaimed book by Mordecai Richler; Ben Affleck’s The Town, from Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan; Emidio Greco’s Notizie degli scavi from Franco Lucentini’s 1964 short story; Michele Placido’s Vallanzasca [trailer] from the recent Carlo Bonini book; and We Believed [trailer, film focus], which Mario Martone adapted from beautiful homonymous novel by Anna Banti.
Besides the Risorgimento Martone’s film, which Gianfranco Pannone also tackles in his documentary Ma che Storia (in Controcampo), the Festival will also feature other historical films on: the birth of Israel (Julian Schnabel, MIral [trailer], Competition); the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship (De la Iglesia, A Sad Trumpet Ballad [trailer, film focus], Competition); the military coup and the Pinochet dictatorship (Pablo Larrain, Post Mortem [trailer], Competition); Italy’s economic boom 50 years ago and internal south-north immigration (Gabriele Salvatores, 1960, Out of Competition); workers’ battles in 1970s France (François Ozon, Potiche [trailer], Competition); slavery and 19th century European racism (Abdellatif Kechiche, Venus Noire [trailer, film focus], Competition); the Iraq war and the massacre in Nassyria in December 2003 (Aureliano Amadei, 20 Cigarettes, Controcampo italiano); the formation of the Lebanese Communist Party (Maher Abi Samra, When We Were Communists, Horizons); American pioneers (Kelly Reichardt, Meek's Cutoff, Competition).
(Translated from Italian)