Monday, September 8, 2014

Venice Film Festival - Cat Bauer's Top 10 & George Clooney gets Married in Venice

Amal Alamudden & George Clooney
(Venice, Italy) Some reports complained about the lack of Hollywood shazam at this year's Venice Film Festival. No worries -- I think the star power that will soon descend on the Venetian lagoon will boil the waters when George Clooney marries Amal Alamudden here in Venice.

Roy Andersson with Golden Lion Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images
The Swedes have already infilitrated our homes by way of IKEA. Now, in addition to Electrolux buying GE, the Swedes also soared this week by winning the Golden Lion for "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence," by Roy Andersson. I was initially intrigued by this film, but eventually walked out in frustration a bit more than halfway through. To me, it belongs in the theater, not on the big screen. It needs a live audience living in-the-moment to really pull off what it's trying to accomplish, which was brilliant, but film is the wrong medium. Obviously, my opinion is in the minority. 

In eleven or so days, I saw 22 feature films, and more than half of 4 others. That is an intense amount of film watching. The wonderful thing about the Venice Film Festival is that we get to see films from every corner of the planet, films that people have literally risked their lives to make. It really puts things into perspective, and it is a great honor to watch history in the making. 

Iranian filmmaker Rakhshan Bani-Etemad wins Best Screenplay for TALES
I lived in Hollywood for about 20 years. I love Hollywood movies because I like the structure, which is based on the Hero's Journey. At this year's festival, I saw a movie I had not planned to see simply because I went early to get a seat for the Paoslini and Burying the Ex press conferences, and stumbled into the press conference for Theeb. On the panel were a group of Bedouins, part of an Arabian tribe who lives in the desert. I was fascinated and went to see the film. It was truly a Hero's Journey told through the eyes of a young boy. When the film was over, Theeb got a 10-minute standing ovation. It also won the Best Director award in the Orizzonti section.

Theeb premier
Considering  what you in the States will actually have the opportunity to see, my Top 10 recommendations are as follows:

1. GOOD KILL starring Ethan Hawke, directed by Andrew Niccol

2. THE SOUND OF SILENCE, documentary by Josh Oppenheimer

3. 99 HOMES starring Michael Shannon & Andrew Garfield, directed by Ramin Bahrani

4. THE HUMBLING starring Al Pacino, directed by Barry Levinson

5. BIRDMAN starring Michael Keaton, directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu

6. SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY starring Owen Wilson, directed by Peter Bogdanovich

7. CYMBELINE starring Ethan Hawke, directed by Michael Almereyda

8. NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME I - DIRECTOR'S CUT starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, directed by Lars von Trier

9. OLIVE KITTERIDGE starring Frances McDormand, directed by Lisa Cholodenko

10. BURYING THE EX, directed by Joe Dante

Jackie & Ryan directed by Ami Canaan Mann
Unfortunately, I completely missed "Jackie & Ryan" directed by Ami Canaan Mann, which is a shame because I really like her work. Things are so hectic during the festival that it never blipped on my radar until just now when I was sorting through my Twitter messages and saw that Guy Lodge at Variety gave it a lovely review:

Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes make genuinely sweet music together in this mellow, likably corny heartland romance.


Just when I was beginning to think that I was completely out of sync with the rest of the planet, I was relieved to finally find a critic with whom I agreed, who also thought "Good Kill" was a worthy flick, that Al Pacino was terrific in "The Humbling," and that "Cymbeline" was "brazen and provocative" -- Stephanie Zacharek, principal film critic for The Village Voice. I had heard her speak on the panel for Biennale College, and she knows her stuff.  Click HERE to read her "Good Kill" review, with links to a handful of others.

Here are the official awards: 


The Awards at the 71st Venice International Film Festival
VENEZIA 71
The Venezia 71 Jury, chaired by Alexandre Desplat and comprised of Joan Chen, Philip Gröning, Jessica Hausner, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sandy Powell, Tim Roth, Elia Suleiman and Carlo Verdone having viewed all 20 films in competition, has decided as follows:
GOLDEN LION for Best Film to:
EN DUVA SATT PÅ EN GREN OCH FUNDERADE PÅ TILLVARON
(A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE)
by Roy Andersson (Sweden, Germany, Norway, France)
SILVER LION for Best Director to:
Andrej Končalovskij
for the film BELYE NOCHI POCHTALONA ALEKSEYA TRYAPITSYNA
(THE POSTMAN’S WHITE NIGHTS)
(Russia)
GRAND JURY PRIZE to:
THE LOOK OF SILENCE by Joshua Oppenheimer
(Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Norway, United Kingdom)
COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actor:
Adam Driver
in the film HUNGRY HEARTS by Saverio Costanzo (Italy)
COPPA VOLPI
for Best Actress:
Alba Rohrwacher
in the film HUNGRY HEARTS by Saverio Costanzo (Italy)
MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD
for Best Young Actor or Actress to:
Romain Paul
in the film LE DERNIER COUP DE MARTEAU by Alix Delaporte (France)
AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY to:
Rakhshan Banietemad and Farid Mostafavi
for the film GHESSEHA (TALES) by Rakhshan Banietemad (Iran)
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE to:
SIVAS by Kaan Müjdeci (Turkey, Germany)
LION OF THE FUTURE – “LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM
Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film Jury at the 71st Venice Film Festival, chaired by Alice Rohrwacher and comprised of Lisandro Alonso, Ron Mann, Vivian Qu and Razvan Radulescu,  has decided to award:
LION OF THE FUTURE – “LUIGI DE LAURENTIIS” VENICE AWARD FOR A DEBUT FILM to:
COURT by Chaitanya Tamhane (India)
ORIZZONTI
as well as a prize of 100,000 USD, donated by Filmauro di Aurelio e Luigi  De Laurentiis to be divided equally between director and producer
ORIZZONTI AWARDS
The Orizzonti Jury of the 71st Venice Film Festival, chaired by Ann Hui and composed of Moran Atias, Pernilla August, David Chase, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Roberto Minervini and Alin Taşçiyan after screening the 29 films in competition has decided to award:
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST FILM to:
COURT by Chaitanya Tamhane (India)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR to:
Naji Abu Nowar
for THEEB (Jordan, U.A.E., Qatar, United Kingdom)
the SPECIAL ORIZZONTI JURY PRIZE to:
BELLUSCONE. UNA STORIA SICILIANA
by Franco Maresco (Italy)
the SPECIAL ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR OR ACTRESS to:
Emir Hadžihafizbegović
in the film TAKVA SU PRAVILA (THESE ARE THE RULES)
by Ognjen Sviličić (Croatia, France, Serbia, Macedonia)
the ORIZZONTI AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM to:
MARYAM by Sidi Saleh (Indonesia)
the VENICE SHORT FILM NOMINATION FOR THE EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS 2014 to:
PAT – LEHEM (DAILY BREAD) by Idan Hubel (Israel)
VENEZIA CLASSICI AWARDS
The Venezia Classici Jury, chaired by Giuliano Montaldo composed of 28 students of Cinema History, chosen in particular from the teachers of 13 Italian Dams university programmes and from the Venetian Ca’ Foscari, has decided to award:
the VENEZIA CLASSICI AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY ON CINEMA to:
ANIMATA RESISTENZA by Francesco Montagner and Alberto Girotto (Italy)
the VENEZIA CLASSICI AWARD FOR BEST RESTORED FILM to:
UNA GIORNATA PARTICOLARE by Ettore Scola (1977, Italy, Canada)
GOLDEN LION FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT 2014 to:
Thelma Schoonmaker
Frederick Wiseman
JAEGER-LECOULTRE GLORY TO THE FILMMAKER AWARD 2014 to:
James Franco
PERSOL TRIBUTE VISIONARY TALENT AWARD 2014 to:
Frances McDormand
L’ORÉAL PARIS PER IL CINEMA AWARD to:
Valentina Corti

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat

3 comments:

  1. Some reports complained about the lack of Hollywood shazam at this year's Venice Film Festival. No worries -- I think the star power that will soon descend on the Venetian lagoon will boil the waters when George Clooney marries Amal Alamuddden here in Venice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Clooney.... I just drooled all over my keyboard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. George Clooney is beloved in Venice -- by the good guys, anyway -- so this is excellent news. Let's hope he sets a trend:)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...