62th Venice International Film Festival

62th Venice International Film Festival, Italy (August 31 - September 10, 2005)

It is always nice to visit Venice. The festival, however, faces problems. It doesn't take place in the city but on the tiny island of Lido . While the festivals of Cannes and Berlin have built up new palaces and facilities to ensure they run smoothly, Venice still uses the palace put up by Vittorio Mussolini, the dictator's son, over 60 years ago, which has almost no surrounding facilities (not to talk about coffee shops or restaurants — you survive from sandwiches). Moreover, the respective government in Rome pulls the strings at the festival. No fest director has stayed more than four years, with each government appointing a new director of its choice — and in Italy governments change with an astonishing frequency. This makes long-term planning of the festival a near impossibility. One can't, however, reproach Marco Mueller, the current director, for that. He can only 'administrate the defects'. He has improved the organization (at least this year projections started on time). He invited far too many Asian films (amongst them restrospectives of Japanese and Chinese cinemas which were worth seeing but impossible to catch), and also invited a considerable selection of European (in particular French and Italian) films. He managed to bring quite a lot of stars to the Lido. But this cannot conceal the fact that the festival needs an overral improvement and revival. Already, a lot of film companies, directors, and critics prefer the Canadian festival of Toronto (starting when Venice is still going on) — and which over the last few years has made a meteoric rise. Next year, Venice will have to face another rivalry: a new festival in Rome, in October, organized under the patronage of Rome's mayor Walter Veltroni, possibly headed by festival veteran Giorgio Gosetti (who organizes the Venice "Authors' Days"), and equipped with the extraordinary budget of seven million Euros. (The fact cannot be ignored that this rivalry is a cultural war between the left-wing Veltroni and the conservative Berlusconi administration of which the Venice festival is a part). To put it another way: if nothing is improved, the 'Biennale Cinema' will slowly sink into the sea, centimeter by centimeter. (Klaus Eder)

FIPRESCI PRIZE

Good Night, and Good Luck
(USA, 2005, 35mm, 93 mins) Jury: Klaus Eder (Germany) , Derek Malcolm (UK) , Pamela Biénzobas (Chile) , Esin Kücüktepepinar (Turkey) , Hassouna Mansouri (Tunisia) , Mathilde Lorit (France) , Karel Och (Czech Republic) , Saul Symonds (Australia) , Gabriele Barrera (Italy)
International Sales: 2929 International

9100 Wilshire Blvd. 500 West, 90212 Beverly Hills, CA, USA, T +1 (310) 3095 706, F +1 (310) 3095 708, twagner@2929entertainment.com, www.2929entertainment.com.

The Wild Blue Yonder
(Germany, UK, France, 2005, 35mm, 80 mins)
International Sales: Werner Herzog Film

Türkenstr. 91, D 80799 Munich, Germany, T +49 (89) 3854 7070, F +49 (89) 3304 0768, office@wernerherzog.com

Well Worth Attending

by Derek Malcolm

After the disastrous chaos of last year, it was diffic... read more

The Incorruptibles

by Klaus Eder

For his film "Good Night, And Good Luck" George Cloone... read more

Beyond the World, Beyond Cinema

by Hassouna Mansouri

One could be surprised to see Werner Herzog's movie in... read more

A Wild Eye Yonder

by Gabriele Barrera

Yes, as usual "Truth is stranger than fiction", says W... read more

Intimacy, All That Matters

by Esin Kücüktepepinar

In Patrice Chereau's latest film Gabrielle, we are giv... read more

Kill Baek

by Mathilde Lorit

Sympathy For Lady Vengeance might have been the most a... read more

Swimming Against the Current

by Karel Och

In 2000, Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney formed S... read more

The Invisible Weavers Of Our Golden Robes

by Pamela Biénzobas

"In war," answered the weaver, "the strong make slaves... read more

The Moonlit Space of Dreams and Ambitions

by Saul Symonds

Alexei Fedortchenko's The First on the Moon (Pervye na... read more