THE 2009 VENICE FILM FESTIVAL LINE UP
THE VENICE FILM FESTIVAL has unveiled a refreshingly rich mix of established auteurs and lesser known helmers in its line up of 71 world premieres marked by prominent U.S. and European contingents (with a considerable amount of Asian entries).
There are even a robust number of participants from rarely represented countries such as Egypt and India.
In a year in which American titles were thin in CANNES, there are six entries flying the stars and stripes in VENICE competition berths and 17 spread around the official selection.
U.S. pics vying for a GOLDEN LION are: MICHAEL MOORE’S global meltdown doc CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, Werner Herzog’s BAD LIEUTENANT makeover BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS with NICOLAS CAGE and EVA MENDES, Todd Solondz’s long in gestation LIFE DURING WARTIME, which is a sequel of sorts to HAPPINESS…and former GUCCI creative director TOM FORD’S helming debut A SINGLE MAN with COLIN FIRTH.
STEVEN SODERBERGH’S THE INFORMANT – starring MATT DAMON as a price fixer – will debut out of competition, along with Grant Heslov’s military mind control satire THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, starring GEORGE CLOONEY, JEFF BRIDGES, KEVIN SPACEY and EWAN McGREGOR.
“Everybody thought that the writers’ strike and the economic crisis had created a stall in American cinema. Instead this year, like never before, we found such ample offerings coming from the U.S. – both from established directors like Steven Soderbergh and first timers like Tom Ford,” MARCO MUELLER commented at a packed press conference at ROME’S EXCELSIOR HOTEL on the Via Veneto.
But Mr. Mueller, now in his sixth year as director of the fest, also underlined that, during his tenure, VENICE has never seen so many countries represented — there are 25 this year — and also such a high number of first and second works.
First works at the fest include Egyptian helmer Ahmed Maher’s competition entry EL MOSAFER (THE TRAVELER), which marks OMAR SHARIF’S return to filmmaking in Egypt since the early 1990s. It is one of three Egyptian entries. Another from Egypt is Yousry Nasrallah’s new cut of his SCHEHEREZADE TELL ME A STORY, which stirred local controversy earlier this year for its realistic depiction of women, including their sexuality.
The wide ranging Euro roster includes the customary copious contingents from France and Italy.
Hot sci fi pic MR. NOBODY marks the English language debut of Belgian helmer Jaco van Dormael and stars DIANE KRUGER, SARAH POLLEY and JARED LETO.
As previously announced, the fest will kick off with BAARIA, Giuseppe Tornatore’s big budget Sicilian epic, VENICE’S first ITALIAN opener in two decades. It plays in competition.
Other ITALIAN pics looking to be LIONIZED are: Michele Placido’s 1968 themed IL GRANDE SOGNO (THE BIG DREAM), the Naples set drama LO SPAZIO BIANCO (THE WHITE SPACE) by Francesca Comencini and first timer Giuseppe Capotondi’s psychological thriller LA DOPPIA ORA.
FRENCH fare playing the fest includes: experimental auteur Jacques Rivette’s GALLIC/ITALIAN coproduction 36 VUES DU PIC SAINT LOUP, Claire Denis’ Cameroon set WHITE MATERIAL, starring ISABELLE HUPPERT and CHRISTOPHER LAMBERT and Patrice Chereau’s love triangle drama PERSECUTION with CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG.
Highlights of the more cutting edge HORIZONS section, which is becoming more high profile this year and being equipped with its own red carpet, include REPO CHICK, BRITISH bad boy Alex Cox’s REPO MAN sequel of sorts, set 25 years later during the credit crunch – with JACLYN JONES in the lead along with KAREN BLACK and ROSANNA ARQUETTE and ITALIAN director Luca Guadagnino’s IO SONO L’AMORE (I AM LOVE) with TILDA SWINTON as a high society dame who falls for a cook.
Here is the 66TH ANNUAL VENICE FILM FESTIVAL LINE UP…
BAARIA – GUISEPPE TORNATORE (OPENING FILM)
36 VUES DU PIC SAINT LOUP – JACQUES RIVETTE
ACCIDENT – CHEANG POU SOI
BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS – WERNER HERZOG
BETWEEN TWO WORLDS – VIMUKTHI JAYASUNDRA
CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY – MICHAEL MOORE
LA DOPPIA ORA – GUISEPPE CAPOTONDI
IL GRANDE SOGNO – MICHELE PLACIDO
LEBANON – SAMUEL MAOZ
LIFE DURING WARTIME – TODD SOLONDZ
LO SPAZIO BIANCO – FRANCESCA COMENCINI
LOURDES – JESSICA HAUSNER
MR. NOBODY – JACO VAN DORMAEL
PERSECUTION – PATRICE CHEREAU
PRINCE OF TEARS – YONFAN
THE ROAD – JOHN HILLCOAT
A SINGLE MAN – TOM FORD
SOUL KITCHEN – FATIH AKIN
SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD – GEORGE ROMERO
TETSUO THE BULLET MAN – SHINYA TSUKAMOTO
THE TRAVELER – AHMED MAHER
WHITE MATERIAL – CLAIRE DENIS
WOMEN WITHOUT MEN – SHIRIN NESHAT
OUT OF COMPETITION
ANNI LUCE – FRANCESCO MASELLI
THE HOLE – JOE DANTE
THE INFORMANT – STEVEN SODERBERGH
THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS – GRANT HESLOV
NAPOLI NAPOLI NAPOLI – ABEL FERRARA
L’ORO DI CUBA – GUILIANO MONTALDO
PROVE PER UNA TRAGEDIA SICILIANA –JOHN TURTURRO/ROMAN PASKA
REC 2 – JAUME BALAGUERO/PACO PLAZA
SCHEHERAZADE TELL ME A STORY -YOUSRY NASRALLAH
SOUTH OF THE BORDER – OLIVER STONE
YONA YONA PENGUIN – RINTARO
CHENGDU, I LOVE YOU – FRUIT CHAN/CUI JIAN (CLOSING FILM)
GULULAAL – ANURAG KASHYAP
DEV D – ANURAG KASHYAP
BROOKLYN’S FINEST – ANTOINE FUQUA
DELHI 6 – RAKEYSH O. MEHRA
VALHALLA RISING – NICOLAS WINDING REFN
GOLDEN LION FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
JOHN LASSETER & THE DISNEY/PIXAR DIRECTORS
TOY STORY 3D (NEW VERSION) – JOHN LASSETER
TOY STORY 2D (NEW VERSION) – JOHN LASSETER/LEE UNKRICH/ASH BRANNON
FRANCESCA – BOBBY PAUNESCU (OPENING FILM)
ONE ZERO – KAMLA ABOU ZEKRI
BURIED SECRETS – RAJA AMARI
TENDER PARASITES – CHRISTIAN BECKER/OLIVER SCHWABE
ADRIFT – BUI THAC CHUYEN
CRUSH – PETR BUSLOV/ALEKSEI GERMAN JR./BORISD KHLEBNIKOV/KIRILL SEREBRENNIKOV/IVAN VRYPAYEV
REPO CHICK – ALEX COX
ENGKWENTRO – PEPE DIOKNO
THE MAN’S WOMAN & OTHER STORIES – AMIT DUTTA
PARAISO – HECTOR GALVEZ
IO SONO L’AMORE – LUCA GUADAGNINO
COW – GUAN HU
JUDGE – LIU JIE
PEPPERMINTA – PIPILOTTA RIST
TRIS DI DONNE E ABITI NUNZIALI – MARTINA GEDECK
INSOLACAO -DANIELA THOMAS/FELIPE HIRSCH
1428 – DU HAIBIN
I TRAVEL BECAUSE I HAVE TO, I COME BACK BECAUSE I LOVE YOU – MARCELO GOMES/KARIM AINOUZ
ONCE UPON A TIME PROLETARIAN: 12 TALES OF A CENTURY – GUO XIAOLU
VILLALOBOS – ROMUALD KARMAKAR
IL COLORE DELLE PAROLE – MARCO SIMON PUCCIONI
THE ONE ALL ALONE – FRANK SCHEFFER
TOTO – PETER SCHREINER
THE DEATH OF PENTHEUS – PHILIP HAAS
FACES OF SOUL – GINA KIM
LA BOHEME – WERNER HERZOG
MUDANZA – PERE PORTABELLA
DESERTO ROSA – LUIGI GHIRRI/ELISABETTA SGARBI
READING BOOK OF BLOCKADE – ALEKSANDER SOKUROV
ARMANDO TESTA – POVERO MA MODERNO – PAPPI CORSICATO
LA DANSE – LE BALLET DE L’OPERA DE PARIS – FREDRICK WISEMAN
HUGO EN AFRIQUE – STEFANO KNUCHEL
VIA DELLA CROCE – SERENA NONO
POETI – TONI D’ANGELO
NEGLI OCCHI – FRANCESCO DEL GROSSO
IL COMPLEANNO – DANIELE ANZELLOTTI/MARCO FILIBERTI
DIECI INVERNI – VALERIO MIELI
COSMONAUTA – SUSANNA NICCHIARELLI
HOLLYWOOD SUL TEVERE – MARCO SPAGNOLI
IL PICCOLO – MAURIZIO ZACCARO
CONTROCAMPO ITALIANO EVENTS
GUISEPPE DE SANTIS – CARLO LIZZANI
LOLA – GIULIO QUESTI
HOTEL COURBET – TINTO BRASS