Saturday, September 10, 2011

68 Venice International Film Festival - And the Winners Are!

Faust - Directed by Alexsander Sokurov
(Venice, Italy) Russian director Alexsander Sokuroy's FAUST won the Golden Lion, the top prize at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, so I guess all the gossip about some jury members walking out of the film was not true. When asked about Russian distribution, Sokuroy said he wasn't going to spend any money to promote it: "The film doesn't need the public. The public needs the film." Faust, of course, sells his soul to the devil in exchange for worldly knowledge and pleasure. Sokuroy said his goal in coming to Venice had been to simply to get the film shown. He stressed the importance of culture, and spoke very strongly about funding being an obligation of the government. He said, "If culture remains delicate and fragile, it will disappear and then we will disappear." (Today is the birthday of Giancarlo Galan, the Italian Minister of Culture, and he honored us with his presence in the audience at the award ceremony this evening.)

Michael Fassbinder in SHAME
The German-born Irish actor Michael Fassbinder won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor in the movie SHAME, directed by Steve McQueen, a graphic account of a man with a serious sex addiction. Fassbinder said he played the part because Steve McQueen had changed his life by casting him in HUNGER, and that he would always jump on board for him.

Fassbinder with Volpi Cup
"He always wants to talk about things that 'we' don't want to address." Fassbinder said it was nice to come to Venice and have an audience reaction where "people are honest enough and open enough to embrace it for what it is." Jury President Darren Aronofsky said that he had been "blown away" by SHAME and that it was the best orgasm he had seen since Fellini's Nights of Cabiria, and that as a director he was impressed with the enormous level of trust between an actor and a director.

The Chinese film REN SHAN REN HAIR (People Mountain People Sea) won the Silver Lion for Best Director, Shangjun Cai.

Italy won the Special Jury Prize for Terraferma, directed by Emanuele Crialese.

The United States did not win any awards at all this year even though the jury president was American Darren Aronofsky and included Scottish-born American David Byrne. Here is the Venetian Cat post about the jury if you are interested in seeing what kind of minds came up with this list of winners -- which went against the opinions of many people in the press. We must remember that Aronofsky studied film theory at Harvard, after all:)

The complete list:

Ermanuele Crialese directs TERRAFERMA Photo: agrigentooggi
 BEST FILM GOLDEN LION
- "Faust" by Alexander Sokurov (Russia)
BEST DIRECTOR SILVER LION
- Shangjun Cai for "People Mountain People Sea" (China)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
- "Terraferma" by Emanuele Crialese (Italy)
BEST FIRST FEATURE
- "La-Bas" by Guido Lombardi (Italy)
BEST ACTRESS
- Deanie Yip for "A Simple Life" (Hong Kong)
BEST ACTOR
- Michael Fassbender for "Shame" (Britain)
EMERGING PERFORMER
- Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaidou for "Himizu" (Japan)
BEST SCREENPLAY
- "Alpis" (Alps) by Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
- "Wuthering Heights" directed by Andrea Arnold (Britain)

Ciao from Venice,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. The German-born Irish actor Michael Fassbinder won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor in the movie SHAME, directed by Steve McQueen, a graphic account of a man with a serious sex addiction.

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