The Venice Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, and among our 10 Most Anticipated Films of the fest is Fatih Akin‘s “The Cut,” but it’s arriving on the Lido with a bit of baggage. Earlier this year, a minor stir resulted when the filmmaker pulled his movie from the Cannes Film Festival citing “personal reasons.” It was inevitable Akin would be asked about the decision, but as it turns out, the explanation isn’t quite as controversial as you might think.
“We showed the film to Cannes and Venice at the same time. The reaction of Venice was very enthusiastic and Cannes was a bit much more careful, like they always are. So I was nervous, and I followed my instincts,” the director explained to The New York Times. “But I couldn’t talk about my decision in the press because Venice asked me to wait until they made their own announcement. The people in Cannes never rejected the film but I had the feeling that it wasn’t what they expected from me. Because it’s historical, because it’s in English, it’s not minimalistic, I’m not sure. But I cannot fulfill other people’s expectations. I have to fulfill my own.”
And so, that leads to the next question —what can we expect from this movie, which closes the filmmaker’s “Love, Death and the Devil trilogy”? Previous descriptions have cited the influence of Sergio Leone and Charlie Chaplin, and Akin elaborates on the tone and texture of his movie which follows an Armenian blacksmith who searches far and wide for his two daughters after they go missing following the conflict with Turkey in 1915.
“‘The Cut’ is not just a film about the material, it’s about my personal journey through cinema, and the directors who I admire and who influence my work. Elia Kazan’s ‘America America‘ is a very important influence. So is the work of Sergio Leone, how he used framing. It’s also an homage somehow to Scorsese. I wrote this film with Mardik Martin, Martin Scorsese’s very early scriptwriter who wrote ‘Mean Streets‘ and the first draft of ‘Raging Bull.’ Because he was Armenian, I discovered him on this project, and he helped me write it. And we spoke a lot about obsessional characters in Scorsese films,” Akin said.
“The film deals also a lot with my admiration for Bertolucci, and Italian westerns and how Eastwood adapted Italian westerns,” he continued. “And the way we try to catch the light, always having it behind us, is very inspired by the work of Terrence Malick. So this film is very much in the Atlantic ocean, somewhere near the Azores —for a European film it’s too American, for an American film it’s too European.”
Here are some new pics from the film.