Monday, September 14, 2015

72nd Venice Film Festival Wrap Up for 2015 & List of Winners

The Venice Insider
Cat Bauer at Variety opening party - Danieli Terrace - Venice Film Festival
(Venice, Italy) It always takes awhile to return to reality after the relentless pace of the Venice International Film Festival, which started out this year on September 1 with a sublime ritual: the Variety opening party on the Hotel Danieli Terrace, the Ristorante Terrazza Danieli -- and ended on September 12 with the announcement of the winners at the Sala Grande on the Lido.
By now, if you have been following the action, you will know that the top prize of the Golden Lion surprised everyone by going to From Afar (Desde Allà), Venezuela's first-ever entry into the film festival. Written and directed by Lorenzo Vigas, it is a dark drama about the chilling relationship between a middle-aged gay dental technician and the violent young street thug he takes into his home. It would not have been my choice, but I can understand why it won with a jury headed by Alfonso Cuaron.
MOVIES I LIKED:
A War directed by Tobias Lindholm
I thought the Danish film A War was brilliant; it made me realize that the recent wars the US has initiated have had a powerful global impact on many countries. In the press notes, Tobias Lindholm said, "For the past 14 years, Denmark has been a nation at war. It has defined my generation, more than anything else, that we have sent young men to wars that haven't been about defending Denmark's borders but are based on a more abstract political choice. ... This film is my stab at processing Denmark's presence in Iraq and Afghanistan -- a process I don't think has remotely begun. It's high time that we address what we have sent our men off to in the name of democracy."
Heart of a Dog by Laurie Anderson
I've always loved how Laurie Anderson' mind works. Heart of a Dog is not just about her dog, Lolabelle, it is more like a compelling memoir in the form of video art, combining Anderson's unique storytelling with music, images and dreamy meditations on life and death. During the press conference, Anderson said that the spirit of her late husband, Lou Reed, was very present in the film. From Indiewire:
"Haunting and celebratory at once, "Heart of a Dog" ultimately amounts to a contemplation of mortality. "The purpose of death is the release of life," Anderson asserts, in one of several moments that hint at a bigger picture."
Rosa Tran, Tom Noonan, Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Jennifer Jason Lee for Anomalisa
Charlie Kaufman is another fascinating mind filled with wonderful surprises; his latest adventure Anomalisa won the Grand Jury Prize. The stop-action crowd-funded film started out as live theater, and morphed into a film starring some amazing puppets -- there is even a sex scene. All the characters -- both male and female, old and young -- are voiced by Tom Noonan except for the two leads, the motivational speaker, Michael Stone, voiced by David Thewlis, and Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, an anomaly in a drab world of sameness -- hence the nickname: "Anomalisa." From Screen Crush:
"If Anomalisa was just formally brilliant, it would be worth seeing for that alone. But it's also as emotionally moving as it is intellectually stimulating. Puppets or not, Michael and Lisa are amongst the richest and most human characters in any movie in recent memory, and Kaufman remains without peer among working directors at simultaneously critiquing and empathizing with his lovably flawed characters and their bottomless neuroses."
with Tanna cast
I was thrilled that Tanna won the Venice Critics' Week award, a prize worth €5,000. The International Film Critic's Week celebrated its 30th edition this year. Its mission is "to discover, point out and promote quality films and new filmmakers, to bring to the attention of the public artistic expressions characterized by innovative mise en scenes and the use of original languages. In short, the duty of Critics' Week is that of bringing to light directors that have a promise of authorship in them."
I hope that Tanna gets a wide release. Even though the cast speaks their native language, I think this is one of the rare films that non-industry audiences will watch with subtitles.

Remote South Pacific Tribe Arrives in Venice - TANNA at the Venice Film Festival

Future rentals: I enjoyed Amy Berg's Janis documentary about Janis Joplin, and was surprisingly entertained by De Palma by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, which was basically Brian De Palma, who received this year's Jaeger-Lecoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award, talking about all his films. Remember is worth renting if only for Christopher Plummer's performance of a 90-year-old man sent out by Martin Landau, his nursing home neighbor, to get revenge on a former Nazi who killed their families at Auschwitz. Some critics didn't like Shia LaBeouf as an Afghanistan war veteran in Man Down, but I did. The delectable food and gorgeous scenery in A Bigger Splash will make everyone wish they lived in Italy.
Jonathan Demme
As well as receiving the Persol Tribute to Visionary Talent Award 2015, Jonathan Demme was the President of this year's Orizzonti (Horizons) jury, a section of the film festival that focuses on new trends. Even though he missed his New York City premiere of Ricki and The Flash on August 3rd because he is battling cancer, I was happy to see that Jonathan was full of energy, wit and enthusiasm here in Venice. Free in Deed by Jake Mahaffy, which I did not see, won Best Film in the Orizzonti section. Here is the entire list of winners:
72 Venice International Film Festival Winners
Golden Lion: From Afar (Lorenzo Vigas)Silver Lion for Best Director: Pablo Trapero (The Clan)Grand Jury Prize: Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson)Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Fabrice Luchini (L’Hermine)Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Valeria Golino (Per Amor Vostro)Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Abraham Attah, (Beasts Of No Nation)Best Screenplay: Christian Vincent (L’Hermine)Special Jury Prize: Frenzy (Emin Alper) Venice Horizons
Best Film: Free In Deed (Jake Mahaffy)Best Director: Brady Corbet (The Childhood of a Leader)Special Jury Prize: Neon Bull (Gabriel Mascaro)Special Prize for Best Actor: Dominique Leborne (Tempête)Best Short Film: Belladonna (Dubravka Turic)Lion of the Future – "Luigi De Laurentiis" Venice Award for a Debut Film: The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet)
Venice Classics
Best Documentary on Cinema: The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin (Yves Montmayeur)Best Restoration: Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
If Anomalisa was just formally brilliant, it would be worth seeing for that alone. But it’s also as emotionally moving as it is intellectually stimulating. Puppets or not, Michael and Lisa are amongst the richest and most human characters in any movie in recent memory, and Kaufman remains without peer among working directors at simultaneously critiquing and empathizing with his lovably flawed characters’ and their bottomless neuroses.Read More: ‘Anomalisa’ Review: A Stop-Motion Masterpiece From Charlie Kaufman | http://screencrush.com/anomalisa-review-tiff/?trackback=tsmclip
If Anomalisa was just formally brilliant, it would be worth seeing for that alone. But it’s also as emotionally moving as it is intellectually stimulating. Puppets or not, Michael and Lisa are amongst the richest and most human characters in any movie in recent memory, and Kaufman remains without peer among working directors at simultaneously critiquing and empathizing with his lovably flawed characters’ and their bottomless neuroses.Read More: ‘Anomalisa’ Review: A Stop-Motion Masterpiece From Charlie Kaufman | http://screencrush.com/anomalisa-review-tiff/?trackback=tsmclip
If Anomalisa was just formally brilliant, it would be worth seeing for that alone. But it’s also as emotionally moving as it is intellectually stimulating. Puppets or not, Michael and Lisa are amongst the richest and most human characters in any movie in recent memory, and Kaufman remains without peer among working directors at simultaneously critiquing and empathizing with his lovably flawed characters’ and their bottomless neuroses.Read More: ‘Anomalisa’ Review: A Stop-Motion Masterpiece From Charlie Kaufman | http://screencrush.com/anomalisa-review-tiff/?trackback=tsmclip
If Anomalisa was just formally brilliant, it would be worth seeing for that alone. But it’s also as emotionally moving as it is intellectually stimulating. Puppets or not, Michael and Lisa are amongst the richest and most human characters in any movie in recent memory, and Kaufman remains without peer among working directors at simultaneously critiquing and empathizing with his lovably flawed characters’ and their bottomless neuroses.Read More: ‘Anomalisa’ Review: A Stop-Motion Masterpiece From Charlie Kaufman | http://screencrush.com/anomalisa-review-tiff/?trackback=tsmclip

1 comment:

  1. It always takes awhile to return to reality after the relentless pace of the Venice International Film Festival. By now, if you have been following the action, you will know that the top prize of the Golden Lion surprised everyone by going to From Afar (Desde Allà), Venezuela's first-ever entry into the film festival.

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