60th Venice Fest Announces Lineup, Declaring that Cinema Isn't Dead
by Eugene Hernandez
Director Peter Greenaway had hoped that organizers of the upcoming Venice Film Festival (August 27 - September 6) would present a seminar entitled "Cinema is Dead," according to fest director Moritz de Hadeln. The fest chief couldn't disagree more. In announcing the lineup Thursday for the 60th Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica, de Hadeln said that he received a total of 1,591 entries this year, an event record. Four hundred of those, he said, arrived after July 15th. He was watching films right up until the last minute this week in advance of the lineup announcement.
"This all goes to prove that not only is cinema not dead," de Hadeln said in his announcement, "But also that the selection of the programme for the 60th Festival was rather hard and, if there be a miracle, it lies in the fact that we are ready on 31st July to render the final selection public!"
Bruno Dumont ("Twentynine Palms"), Amos Gitai ("Alila"), Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu ("21 Grams"), Manoel de Oliveira ("A Talking Picture"), Tsai Ming Liang ("Goodbye Dragon Inn") and Michael Winterbottom ("Code 46") are among the notable filmmakers in this year's main competition, while such notables as Woody Allen ("Anything Else"), Robert Benton ("The Human Stain"), Bernardo Bertolucci ("The Dreamers"), Joel & Ethan Coen ("Intolerable Cruelty"), Jim Jarmusch ("Coffee and Cigarettes"), Robert Rodriguez ("Once Upon A Time in Mexico"), and Ridley Scott ("Matchstick Men") are the big names out of competition.
In announcing the lineup, de Hadeln cited a large number of European film in this year's program. "A geographic unity is appearing beyond the linguistic barriers, and in this unity our shared past becomes the factor that bonds and provides a source of vitality," he said.
The festival's Upstream (Controcorrente) competition includes a notable lineup of projects. It was created for "feature films that stand out for their 'innovative intent, creative originality or alternative cinematographic languages.'" That section will include Sofia Coppola ("Lost In Translation"), Jorgen Leth & Lars von Trier ("The Five Obstructions"), Babak Payami ("Silence Between Two Thoughts"), Raoul Ruiz ("Une Place Parmi Les Vivants"), and John Sayles ("Casa de los Babys").
Notable this year are a retrospective of work from Italian producers of the 1950s and 60s, as well as a market sidebar dubbed "Venice Screenings."
"Cinema is not just alive, it is very much so," said de Hadeln in announcing the program for this year's festival. "More than ever it is a mirror of the uncertainties and anxieties of our times, as though the directors of so many works have sought a hidden truth for a better, more just life, but are aware of human imperfections.
60th VENICE FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP:
"Buongiorno, Notte," directed by Marco Bellocchio
"Segreti Di Stato," directed by Paolo Benvenuti
"Le Cerf-Volant," directed by Randa Chahal Sabbag
"Raja," directed by Jacques Doillon
"Twentynine Palms," directed by Bruno Dumont
"Alila," directed by Amos Gitai
"21 Grams," directed by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu
"Imagining Argentina," directed by Christopher Hampton
"A Good Lawyer's Wife" (Baram-Nan Gajok), directed by Im Sangsoo
"Loving Glances" (Sjaj u Ocima), directed by Srdjan Karanovic
"Zatoichi," directed by Takeshi Kitano
"Pornogrphy" (Pornografia), directed by Jan Jakob Kolski
"Floating Landscape," directed by Carol Lai Miu Suet
"Les Sentiments," directed by Noemie Lvovsky
"A Talking Picture" (Un Filme Falado), directed by Manoel De Oliveira
"Rosenstrasse," directed by Margarethe Von Trotta
"Goodbye Dragon Inn," directed by Tsai Ming-Liang
"Il Miracolo," directed by Edoardo Winspeare
"Code 46," directed by Michael Winterbottom
"The Return" (Vosvrascenie), directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Out Of Competition:
"Anything Else," directed by Woody Allen (opening night film)
"The Human Stain," directed by dir Robert Benton
"The Dreamers," directed by Bernardo Bertolucci
"Intolerable Cruelty," directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
"Monsieur Ibrahim Et Les Fleurs Du Coran," directed by Fran