Most of the world's film press might be at Comic-Con right now (including a Playlister), but we're already starting to itch for the start of festival season. After all, with "The Dark Knight Rises" hitting theaters this week, there's only a few weeks of summer blockbuster season left, and the fall festivals — Toronto, Telluride, et al. — will almost be upon us. Things kick off in about six weeks time with the Venice Film Festival, and a major Italian newspaper has just run a report that, if true, confirms a few long-rumored pictures for the festival as well as adding a few more names to the mix.
After yesterday's announcement of the jury, which includes Matteo Garrone, Samantha Morton, Maria Abramovich, Ari Folman and Pablo Trapero, all headed by Michael Mann, La Repubblica, Italy's best-selling newspaper, has run a preview of the festival. And while we're limited a little by our lack of Italian and the drawbacks of Google Translate, it seems to make clear that some of the most high-profile films of the year will be bowing there.
Both Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" have been heavily rumored for months, but proceed with caution before you get too excited. A Malick fansite claims that a source at FilmNation told them the movie would not be released this year (note, it still doesn't have a U.S. distributor) and even a trailer arriving was "possibly unlikely." That said, the film has been submitted to the MPAA and received an R rating, suggesting it's completed, so we'll see. Meanwhile, word circulating around has suggested that the New York Film Festival was trying to land the premiere of "The Master" (though what fall festival isn't?) and that it might be skipping festivals entirely, but both are named as likely inclusions on the Lido by La Repubblica. Joining them as English-language fare seem to be Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina," Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep" and Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond the Pines."
Also mentioned are films we've long pegged for inclusion, including Manoel De Oliver's "Gebo Et L'Hombre," Marco Bellocchio's "Dormant Beauty," Bahman Ghobadi's "Rhinos Season," Susanne Bier's "All You Need Is Love," Olivier Assayas' "Something In The Air," Kim Ki-Duk's "Pieta" and Francois Ozon's "Dans La Maison." More out of the blue is the mention of new films from Takeshi Kitano (likely "Outrage Beyond"), Daniel Cipri, Paolo Virzi, Johnnie To and Israeli director Rama Burshstein. You can see how that compares with some of the predictions we made for the festival recently here.
It should be noted that we're not 100% sure on the source, at least until a helpful Italian-speaking reader can let us know how confident La Repubblica are. But the paper is a reputable source and likely has an inside line on the selection process, so this is as good an indication as we've got of late. Last year's line-up was announced on July 28th, so we'd expect the truth to emerge in the next couple of weeks, possibly with opening and closing film announcements to precede that.