68th Venice Film Festival

68th Venice Film Festival, Italy (August 31 - September 10, 2011)

Someone has said that the Lido seems to be Alcatraz Turing La Mostra, and this is true. Absolutely. Screenings from 9am to midnight, 23 films in Official Competition, 8 in Critics Week, more than 50 titles in Horizons, and so on. And everything in their first world screening, or almost. But it's fantastic to be here looking at the Venice skyline in the near distance, untouchable.

Some subjects were frequent in La Mostra: free adaptations or researches of literature works (Carnage, Faust, Wilde Salomé, Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy, etc.), a new powerful image of the woman (generally, but in the Critics Week particularly), and in Italian cinema, the emerging importance of immigration.

The FIPRESCI Prize in the main Competition went to Shame, a hard and touching portrait of self-destruction through sex and emptiness by English director Steve McQueen. But it's worth mentioning some other works, as Andrea Arnold's peculiar adaptation of Wuthering Heights, an impressionist view with non-professional actors, adding racism to the story. Or two films with problems of absolute actuality, as Sion Sono's Himizu, about the social and psychological consequences of the Fukushima disaster; or Life Without a Principle, Johnnie To's coral film about the financial crisis in Hong Kong, exposing present problems that are similar to the rest of the world. Two Italian movies in Competition focused on the arrival of 'alien' people to Europe: Terraferma, by Emanuele Crialese, shows the moral and human conflict that is aroused in Sicilian people who confront the young people arriving from Africa and struggle between the new political laws that forbid to host them, and of human solidarity. In a more symbolic way, L´ultimo terrestre is Gian Alfonso Patinotti's allegory about the reaction humans have when some aliens arrive from outer space.

The other jury had to work with the combination of the Critic's Week and Horizons sections. Because of the quantity of titles, it had to be limited to first feature-length fiction movies, and the FIPRESCI Prize in this section went to Two Years at Sea, by Ben Rivers, also from the United Kingdom. A portrait — without dialogue — about a man in the forest, and crossing the border line between fiction and documentary, as was also the case in Lung Neaw Visits his Neighbours, by Rirkrit Tiravanija. (Josefina Sartora)

Venice Film Festival: www.labiennale.org


Shame Shame Shame
(UK, 2011, 101 mins) Jury: Josefina Sartora (Argentina) , Gautaman Bhaskaran (India) , Pierre Pageau (Canada) , Eva af Geijerstam (Sweden) , Susanna Harutyunyan (Armenia) , Mahmoud Osman (Tunisia) , Frédéric Jaeger (Germany) , Dana Duma (Romania) , Paola Casella (Italy)
International Sales: HanWay Films

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T: +44 20 7290 0750
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Two Years at Sea Two Years at Sea Two Years at Sea

by Ben Rivers  

(UK, 2011, 88 mins)
International Sales: Flamin

The Arts Building, Morris Place
London N4 3JG, T: 020 7613 7694
e-mail: flamin@filmlondon.org.uk 
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A Tear on Michael Fassbender's Face

by Frédéric Jaeger

In the first scene Michael Fassbender lies motionless ... read more

Strong Female Leads

by Paola Casella

While in the main competition section of the 68th Veni... read more

Is Film Dead?

by Eva af Geijerstam

"Film history is burning! Film is turning into ashes!"... read more

Johnnie To and Andrea Arnold Fulfill Their Promise

by Pierre Pageau

The Official Competition of the 68th edition of the Mo... read more

The Troubled Path to Glory

by Susanna Harutyunyan

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Post-Apocalypse Now

by Dana Duma

For most of us critics who seek out innovative works i... read more

There Are No Prisons for Creativity of Though

by Josefina Sartora

On its last day, the la Mostra section screened an emb... read more

The Venetian Cocktail

by Gautaman Bhaskaran

One important reason as to why this year's festival qu... read more

Venice 2011

by Paola Casella

When asked the question on whether or not Marco Muelle... read more