72nd Venice International Film Festival

72nd Venice International Film Festival, Italy (September 2 - September 12, 2015)

This year's Venice International Film Festival was a look at cinema's legacy. In addition to the lifetime awards given to Brian de Palma, Bertrand Tavernier, Jonathan Demme and Arturo Ripstein, there were numerous films examining the histories of directors and stars.  Documentaries reviewed the careers of De Palma, Jacques Tourneur, Guy Maddin, Toshiro Mifune, Helmut Berger and Lina Wertmüller. Wertmüller rarely gets much international attention these days, although it must be admitted that her "On A Moonlit Night" (1989) remains a rich enigma, with the kind of wild ambition and scope – fusing contemporary dance, AIDS, advertising, true love and opera – which few directors dare to take on.

The main competition included work from some of cinema's major innovators: Charlie Kaufman, Alexander Sokurov, Jerzy Skolimowski, and of course, the great Marco Bellocchio. Perhaps more than any other director, Bellocchio has explored the making of memories and history, showing how people can undergo a shared hallucination which later becomes universally accepted as reality.

On that note, one of the revelations of the Horizons section was the exhilarating and terrifying "The Childhood of a Leader". Although it might be taken for the late work of a European master, this film is the debut of 27-year-old American director Brady Corbet: an investigation of power and the psychological complexes which underlie oppression and megalomania. It is an astonishingly assured film, as spectacular and precisely orchestrated as its thunderous soundtrack. (Lesley Chow)

Venice International Film Festival: www.labiennale.org

FIPRESCI PRIZE

Blood of My Blood (2015) Sangue del mio sangue Blood of My Blood (2015)
(Italy, France, Switzerland, 2015, 107 mins) Jury: Michel Ciment (France) , Ninos Feneck Mikelides (Greece) , Gianlorenzo Franzi (Italy) , Lesley Chow (Australia) , Quirijn Foeken (Netherlands) , Ezio Leoni (Italy)
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FIPRESCI Prize in Venice 2015 (competition).

Wednesday, Day 9 Chaharshanbeh, 19 Ordibehesht Wednesday, May 9
(Iran, 2015, 102 mins)
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FIPRESCI Prize in Venice 2015 (Parallel Sections)

Will to Power

by Lesley Chow

In the wake of Alexander Sokurov's series on dictators... read more

Australian Cinema in Venice

by Ezio Leoni

Australian cinema was well represented this year in Ve... read more

The Way of the Mostra

by Michel Ciment

Once again, the Venice Film Festival upholds its offic... read more

The Psychology of "Blood of My Blood"

by Gianlorenzo Franzi

In Bobbio, a nun has seduced a priest; she is therefor... read more

An Iranian Fairytale

by Quirijn Foeken

There are certain distinct features in most Iranian fi... read more

Blood of Mine

by Ninos Feneck Mikelides

Catholicism, hypocrisy, true faith, the thirst for pow... read more