The 78th Film Festival will begin in Venice on Wednesday (September 1st, 2021) – Hollywood has also returned to the Lido.
Venice – As soon as the cinemas are open again, what the industry calls “award season” begins again – at least in Venice. The film festival on the Lido has proven to be a true truffle lion of future Oscar winners in recent years: “Birdman”, “Shape of Water” and most recently “Nomadland” premiered here, as did the prestigious productions “Roma” and ” Joker”.
No wonder that Venice is hoping for the return of its guests from the USA from the festival, which starts on Wednesday (September 1st, 2021), who had to stay at home last year due to the pandemic. It’s a wrong world: Now American entry restrictions are preventing European guests from traveling to Los Angeles, where the Academy’s huge film museum will finally open on September 30th.
After Corona year: Hollywood stars back at the Venice Film Festival
For example, Matt Damon is expected at the Lido, who not only took on the lead role in Ridley Scott’s lavish knight film “The Last Duel”, but also wrote the screenplay together with his film partner Ben Affleck and the American filmmaker Nicole Holofcener. Jodie Comer plays his wife, who has been accused of infidelity with his best friend (Adam Driver) – and a drama like that of King Arthur’s court is finished. If the 83-year-old Briton Ridley Scott intended to end his career with this epic, he would come full circle: In 1977 she began with the costume film “The Duelists”, in which two warring officers almost became friends through their numerous duels.
Venice Film Festival on the Lido: American films in focus
Quentin Tarantino is paying homage to one of the prettiest competitions in Venice – documentaries about filmmaking. In “Django & Django” he bows to Sergio Corbucci, who, along with the other Sergio, the great Leone, is probably the best stylist in spaghetti westerns.
While only a few American films were shown in Cannes, Venice took hold of it. The 75-year-old Paul Schrader, who last demonstrated his mastery here in 2017 with the religiously critical drama “First Reformed”, shows “The Card Counter” in the competition. What could fit better than a poker film at a festival that is centered in a former casino from the fascist era. Obsessions are a leitmotif in the work of the author of “Taxi Driver”. Oscar Isaac plays the obsessed professional gamer who ravages the gambling halls of the Midwest.
Filmed after 40 years: science fiction blockbuster at the Venice Film Festival
And the festival even landed a long-awaited science fiction blockbuster: The fan base has been waiting for a suitable film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s fantastic novel “Dune” for almost forty years – when one failed instead of the still unfilmed project by Alejandro Jodorowsky European co-production directed by David Lynch.
Now the Canadian Denis Villeneuve dares to break the curse; after all, he recently brought a Blade Runner sequel to the stage. A worm will definitely be in it, but it only eats its way through desert sand.
Venice Film Festival: Genre and art cinema in one place
One is always amazed how Venice’s director Alberto Barbera manages to show genre and art cinema in the same breath. The common trick is a penchant for indulgence, which can also be found in a midnight film like “Halloween Kills”.
Jamie Lee Curtis, who also received an honorary lion for her life’s work, plays her role from John Carpenter’s 1978 classic again in David Gordon Green’s sequel. “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon”, the new film by, will certainly fit in with this in the competition Ana Lily Amirpour. The elegant horror of their debut “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” is still in their limbs for some.
From Diego Maradona to Penelope Cruz: Venice Film Festival has a lot to offer
Luxurious cinema, that is probably also a formula that combines other expected competition highlights. Italy’s currently most popular auteur filmmaker, Paolo Sorrentino, interweaves the autobiographical and the surreal in “Hand of God”: In the 80s, a young football fan from Napoli fell into a state of joy when he heard that none other than Maradona had signed his team. But then a sudden tragedy and the arrival of a film crew throw his life in a different direction.
Just like in the opening film by another master, life events for two women turn out to be fateful. Pedro Almodóvar called his new film “Parallel Mothers”, and Penelope Cruz is playing in one of his works for the sixth time. She acts as one of two new mothers of different generations who make friends for life in a maternity ward.
A lot of condensed life for a festival already speaks from these contents, the decisive factor will of course be how much art will be added in order to present worthy winners of the Golden and Silver Lions in ten days. (Daniel Kothenschulte)