Rounding up the latest from the fall festival circuit on a daily basis…
Darren Aronofsky’s Venice opener “Black Swan” has been the buzz title on the fest circuit since premiering tonight. Veteran film critic Todd McCarthy saw an advance screening in Los Angeles with a few of other writers and offered up a mixed reaction to the film in his review, posted on his Deep Focus blog today. “As a sensory experience for the eyes and ears, ‘Black Swan’ provides bountiful stimulation,” McCarthy writes. But McCarthy then adds: “But when the script by Mark Heyman and Andres Heinz, based on the latter’s story, struggles to carve out a real-world parallel to the life-and-death struggle depicted in the dance story, it goes over the top in something approaching grand guignol fashion.” indieWIRE’s Associate Editor Peter Knegt also dedicated a blog post to Aronofsky’s follow up to “The Wrestler” by posting five links to industry reviews made live this morning.
Meanwhile in Venice, Anne Thompson caught a screening of Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete” and declared the film to be “the return to form that Rodriguez fans have been waiting for. It’s profane, political, hilarious, sexy, packed with masterfully choreographed action and hugely entertaining.” The film opens wide this Friday.
To see the full lineup for this year’s Venice Film Festival, indieWIRE has posted a guide that offers synopses of each film in and out of competition.
– ABC News reported that Iranian director Jafar Panahi will not be attending Venice where his short film “The Accordion” is screening, due to being detained by his home country after getting released from jail earlier this year. “When a filmmaker is not allowed to make films, it is as if his mind was still imprisoned,” Panahi said in a written statement to the festival. “Maybe he is not locked up in a small cell, but he keeps wandering in a much bigger jail.”
– The upcoming Toronto International Film Festival will be bug free according to Cineplex Entertainment, which owns the Scotiabank Theater that was rumored to have been infested. In relieving news, The Toronto Star aired out how the misunderstanding came to be, and set the record straight.
– The Guardian is sporting a fab photo of Jury Prez Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez who is at the festival with his latest, “Machete” with Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro and Jessica Alba.
– Venice head Marco Mueller told the A.P. that big name directors to come up with cheaper means of production giving rise to innovation and an “in-between” budget category – bridging low-budget under a million dollars and mid-range to $7.5 million to $9 million. “In between there was very little. And now several people rush to occupy that special space,” Mueller told The Associated Press in an interview. “Because it’s also the space where with some local, regional subsidy, some private money, and maybe with a few distributors interested in the project you can get your film off the ground.”
– Venice jury president Quentin Tarantino told Reuters his time in Venice would be more work than play. “”There’s a lot of really exciting movies, exciting directors. It’s a fantastic line-up. I’m keen with anticipation…”
indieWIRE will continue to track the latest from the fall festival circuit with daily round-ups and reports from the scene.
[Brian Brooks contributed to this article.]