The Venice International Film Festival is part of a greater artistic event: the Venice Biennale (La Biennale Di Venezia). Art, music, theater, architecture, dance and, of course, film transform the city into a party of creativity every two years. This year, the film festival celebrates its 72nd birthday and its line up is as rich as its history.
Divided into six official and two autonomous sections, this festival has it all: personal drama, thriller, documentary, romance, history, politics, biographies- some films seem to be progressive, some not. This year, despite world-wide political agitation, filmmakers seem to be primarily interested in two kinds of stories: biographies and personal dramas.
By exploring three official divisions (Out of Competition, Orizzonti and Venezia 72), we’ve made a selection of Venice’s finest with our 10 films to watch at the event, so that we make Biennale experience a bit easier. Enjoy!
Janis, Amy Berg, USA, 114’ (Out of Competition)
A documentary on the life of the first female to enter the legendary Club 27. Berg unveils the life of a charismatic singer, whose legacy has left its mark on contemporary music. Let’s see if the comparison between Janis and Amy is (un)avoidable…
Winter on Fire, Evgeny Afineevsky, Ukraine, 85’ (Out of Competition)
Ukraine’s own “May ’68,” lasted 93 days. An originally peaceful student movement changed into a fight for civil rights and led to the nation’s president’s resignation. The rest is history in the making…
Go With Me, Daniel Alfredson, USA, Canada, Sweeden, 90’ (Out of Competition)
Lilian decides to return in her hometown, where she becomes the victim of harassment by a former police officer. Will she be able to break the town’s peace and reveal the scandal? Anthony Hopkins, in the genre he knows best, is, the ever-so-rare, ‘good guy.’
Interruption, Yorgos Zois, Greece, France, Croatia, 109’ (Orizzonti)
The performance of an ancient Greek classic is interrupted by a group of black-clothed, armed revolutionaries, inviting the audience to get onstage, where art imitates life. Zois was inspired by the 2002 events in Czech Republic, but is there, maybe, a message to all Greeks to stop watching the events from a safe distance and start acting instead? Yes. Yes, there is.
Taj Mahal, Nicolas Saada, France/ Belcium, 89’ (Orizzonti)
18- year- old Louise is waiting for her parents to return from dinner. While in the hotel room, some strange noises make her realize a terrorist attack is going down around her. As her father tries to contact her from the other side of Mumbai, having faced danger alone, Louise is surely never going to be the same.
Mountain, Yaelle Kayam, Israel/Denmark, 83’ (Orizzonti)
A devout Jewish woman realizes there are unconventional ways of exploring one’s sexuality, often breaking with the ‘norm.’ Kayam, who likes unraveling her heroes in combination with the landscape, places this natural journey in a…cemetery!
11 Minut, Jerzy Skolimowski, 81’, Poland/Ireland 81’ (Venezia 72)
What could a Hollywood director have in common with a group of nuns? How is a hot wife connected to a student? Eleven different stories of eleven different (groups of) people culminate to the same point of a bigger story, and all in eleven minutes.
A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino, Italy/France 120’ (Venezia 72)
A rock legend goes to a volcanic island with her partner to recuperate, but a ghost from the past appears. Nostalgia and other emotions are overwhelming. Will they manage to keep it balanced? With Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes.
Sangue Del Mio Sangue, Marco Bellocchio, Italy/ France/ Switzerland 107’ (Venezia 72)
Two brothers fall under the spell of the same ‘witch.’ The second will meet her again thirty years as he visits her in prison. Some centuries later, Federico Mai, Minister inspector, visits the same prison, which is about to be sold, only to realize there is somebody there, who has never left the building.
(+1) The Danish Girl, Tom Hooper, UK/USA, 120’
In the long-awaited film of this year’s festival, Academy Award winner, Eddie Redmayne, is called to defend his victory by portraying the first –known to history- transvestite woman to proceed to a full sex changing operation.
(+2) Beasts of No Nation, Cary Fukunaga, USA, 133′
True Detective Season 1. Enough said…