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by Peter Knegt
July 30, 2009 12:38 PM
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Herzog, Moore and "The Road" Lead Venice's Competition Lineup

A scene from John Hillcoat's "The Road." Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company.

The Venice Film Festival has announced the full program for its 66th edition, which will run September 2-12, 2009. Twenty-three films will be competing for the coveted Golden Lion, which in the recent past has been awarded to Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler" and Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution." American productions led the pack, with new works from Michael Moore, Werner Herzog, Todd Solondz, George A. Romero, the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford, and John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" all heading to the Lido. Other highlights included new works from Fatih Akin, Yonfan, Shinya Tsukamoto, and an impressive French quartet in Patrice Chereau, Claire Denis, Jacques Rivette, and Jaco van Dormael. It was also noted that an additional "surprise film" will also be screening in competition.

The festival also announced seven films screening out of competition, as well as its Cinema Del Presente program and its Midnight Screenings selections. Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero's "[Rec] 2," Joe Dante's "The Hole," Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant!" and Grant Heslov's "The Men Who Stare at Goats" are among the non-competition, while Oliver Stone's Hugo Chavez documentary "South of the Border" and the latest from Abel Ferrara (the director the original "Bad Lieutenant," on hand for the premiere of the not-quite-remake-or-sequel) screening in the Cinema Del Presente section.

The complete list of announced titles is listed below. You can also check out indieWIRE's stories on the previous announced Venice Days sidebar, and the festival's jury selection.

A scene from Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story." Image courtesy of Overture Films.

The Competition

Opening Film: "Baaria," directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (Italy)

"Soul Kitchen," directed by Fatih Akin (Germany)

"La Doppia Ora," directed by Giuseppe Capotondi (Italy)

"Yi ngoi" (Accident), directed by Cheang Pou- Soi (China/Hong Kong)

"Persecution," directed by Patrice Chereau (France)

"Lo Spazio Bianco" (White Space), directed by Francesca Comencini (Italy)

"White Material," directed by Claire Denis (France)

"Mr. Nobody," directed by Jaco van Dormael (France)

"A Single Man," directed Tom Ford (USA)

"Lourdes," directed by Jessica Hausner (Austria)

"Bad Lieutenant: Port Of New Orleans," directed by Werner Herzog (USA)

"The Road," directed by John Hillcoat (USA)

"Ahasin Wetei" (Between Two Worlds), directed by Vimukhti Jayasundara (Sri Lanka)

"El Mosafer" (The Traveller), directed by Ahmed Maher (Eqypt)

"Levanon" (Lebanon), directed by Samuel Maoz (Israel)

"Capitalism: A Love Story," directed by Michael Moore (USA)

"Zanan-e-bedun-e mardan" (Women Without Men), directed by Shirin Neshat (Germany)

"Il Grande Sogno" (The Big Dream), directed by Michele Placido (Italy)

"36 Vues Du Pic Saint Loup," directed by Jacques Rivette (France)

"Survival of the Dead," directed by George A. Romero (USA)

"Life During Wartime," directed by Todd Solondz (USA)

"Tetsuo The Bullet Man," directed by Shinya Tsukamoto (Japan)

"Lei wangzi" (Prince of Tears), directed by Yonfan (China/Taiwan/Hong Kong)

-For out of competition titles, please continue to the next page-

A scene from Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant." Image courtesy of Warner Brothers.

Out of Competition

"[Rec] 2," directed by Paco Plaza and Jaume Balaguero (Spain)

"Chengdu, Wo Ai Ni" (Chengdu, I Love You), directed by Fruit Chan and Cui Jian (China)

"The Hole," directed by Joe Dante (USA)

"The Men Who Stare At Goats," directed by Grant Heslov (USA)

"Ehky ya Schahrazad" (Scheherazade, Tell Me A Story), directed by Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt)

"Yona Yona Penguin," directed by Rintaro (Japan)

"The Informant!," directed by Steven Soderbergh (USA)


Cinema Del Presente

"Napoli, Napoli, Napoli," directed by Abel Ferrara (Italy)

"Anni Luce," directed by Francesco Maselli (Italy)

"L’Oro Di Cuba," directed by Giuliano Montaldo (Italy)

"Prove Per Una Tragedia Siciliana," directed by Roman Paska and John Tuturro (Italy)

"South Of The Border," directed by Oliver Stone (USA)

A scene from Antoine Fuqua's "Brooklyn's Finest." Image courtesy of the Sundance Film Festival.

Midnight Screenings

"Gulaal," directed by Anurag Kashyap (India)

"Dev D," directed by Anurag Kashyap (India)

"Brooklyn’s Finest," directed by Antoine Fuqua (USA)

"Deli 6," directed by Mehra Rakeysh Omprakash (India)

"Valhalla Rising," directed by Nicolas Winding Refn - Denmark

"Toy Story 3-D," directed by John Lasseter (USA)

"Toy Story 2 3-D," directed by John Lasseter, Lee Unkrich, and Ash Brannon (USA)

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2 Comments

  • sandwichman | August 1, 2009 5:31 AMReply

    Film geeks and Herzog fans, check out this hilarious spoof... Werner hosts a cooking show: www.WernerHerzogEatsTheWorld.com

  • JackO | July 31, 2009 11:09 AMReply

    The Road follows an unnamed father and son journeying together toward the sea for many months across a post-apocalyptic landscape, some years after a great, unexplained cataclysm. It is revealed via flashback that the boy's mother, pregnant at the time of the disaster, committed suicide after the birth of her son because of the ultimate certainty of her and her family's death by starvation or at the hands of the roving bands of cannibalistic survivors. She preferred to reclaim some semblance of power by choosing the manner of her death. The man carries a revolver with two bullets meant for protection or suicide in a worst case scenario.

    Civilization has been destroyed and it seems that all life except for a dwindling population of human beings is extinct. The sun is obscured by ash and the climate is cold: "hard enough to crack stones." Plants do not grow. As the father and son travel across the landscape, they encounter horrific scenes, including an army of roving cannibals and their catamites and slaves; an infant roasting on a spit; and a basement where cannibals keep their victims and harvest for still-living limbs for food.

    As the journey progresses, the father begins to cough up blood and he knows that he will soon die, but he holds on as long as he can because of his love for his son. Finally, after the two reach the sea and begin traveling along the coast, the man dies. The grieving boy is taken in by a couple who have been observing him and his father and who have young children of their own, but his future -- and that of the earth -- is left uncertain. Congratulation.