Venice film fest returns with another blockbuster lineup

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Paris (AFP)

The Venice Film Festival returns Wednesday with an ultra-glitzy lineup, together with the entire world premiere of sci-fi blockbuster “Dune” and Kristen Stewart’s transform as Princess Diana, cementing its standing as a serious rival to Cannes.

Soon after a very low-critical event previous yr due to the pandemic, La Mostra is elevating the stakes once once again in the battle for film fest supremacy with the form of lineup that has drool jogging down the chins of pink carpet gawkers and pretentious movie critics alike.

The world’s oldest film competition has embraced Hollywood in recent decades and its 78th edition, running September 1-11, is no exception.

“Dune” delivers scorching youthful items Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya to the Venice festival, while Ridley Scott’s “The Previous Duel” marks the bromantic return of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, writing and starring alongside one another for the first time considering that their Oscar-successful breakout “Fantastic Will Hunting” in the 1990s.

But Venice even now has major arthouse chops, and the level of competition for the Golden Lion award features some of the era’s most revered filmmakers, like Spain’s Pedro Almodovar, Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino and New Zealand’s Jane Campion.

Almodovar opens the festival with the Penelope Cruz-starring “Parallel Moms” and correct to his provocative fashion, the poster was immediately banned on Instagram for showcasing a lactating nipple.

Even the Princess Di biopic, “Spencer”, guarantees to be more than the typical fawning royal mush, as it will come from Chilean director Pablo Larrain, whose 2016 movie was an intelligent and lauded choose on Jackie Kennedy, starring Natalie Portman.


Kristen Stewart is the hottest to take on the function of Princess Diana, which has produced and ruined occupations in the previous VALERIE MACON AFP

– Oscar excitement-maker –

Because getting about in 2012, competition director Alberto Barbera is credited with rejuvenating La Mostra, partly by positioning it as the launchpad for Academy Award hopefuls.

Two of the past 4 Golden Lion winners, “The Condition of Water” and “Nomadland”, have long gone on to win the very best photograph Oscar — something which had under no circumstances formerly transpired.

Numerous other latest significant and box-office environment hits have debuted in the floating town, like “La La Land”, “Joker” and “A Star Is Born”.

Element of the success is that publicists appreciate owning their stars snapped on gondolas, but it can be largely a question of fortunate timing.

“Venice’s position on the cusp of summer months and tumble gives it unmatchable clout as a launchpad” for the Hollywood awards year, defined The Hollywood Reporter.

Venice has also side-stepped the fracas concerning Netflix and Cannes, around the latter’s need that entries hit the big monitor.

'Joker' won the Golden Lion in 2019, setting up Joaquin Phoenix for a best actor Oscar five months later
‘Joker’ gained the Golden Lion in 2019, setting up Joaquin Phoenix for a greatest actor Oscar 5 months later Alberto PIZZOLI AFP

That has remaining Venice with 1st dibs on modern Netflix hits this kind of as “Roma” and “Relationship Story”, and two of this year’s hopefuls: Campion’s “The Ability of the Doggy” and Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God”.

Flicks from 59 international locations are being introduced this calendar year across its various sections, even though Cannes director Thierry Fremaux has previously sniffed at his Venice counterpart’s “obsession with American videos”.

It is accurate that the main levels of competition has a relatively slim geographic remit, with nothing at all from Africa and only a person from Asia (the sequel to Filipino motion-thriller “On the Job”) amid the 21 options.

But Cannes has hardly steered distinct of Hollywood. Its blockbuster premiere this calendar year was Quickly & Furious 9.

For film fans content to see the schedules flooded with enjoyable releases, all this market jostling is history noise.

And for Italians, it could cap an thrilling summer time that has viewed them get the Entire world Cup, put in a shockingly potent Olympic performance and depart the darkish days of the country’s brutal Covid-19 outbreak at the rear of them.