Saturday, 11 August 2007

DIGRESSIONS: Venice Film Festival from Griffith to Anderson

Venezia .64 is getting closer. The Venice Film Festival reaching its 75th anniversary is trying to put a firm on its organisation after the earthquake caused by the birth of Festa del Cinema di Roma (we wonder if all of these "big" Festivals are not too much for one country alone). Still trying to come to terms with the shock of the Carreer Golden Lion assigned to Tim Burton – not that he won't deserve it in a decade or so, but it does feel like a subtile scheme to attract stars, press, consensus, audience in the best populistic way –, we cast a first gaze on this year's programme and the first few things catching our attention are the following:

1) ZERO WOMEN IN THE MAIN COMPETITION! (is it coceivable that among all the good films by women about to flod the market there is none worth the Venetian Lions? Mystery on the lagoon...). The only traces of women in the director's chair are to be found in the "fuori concorso" and the "orizzonti" selections. Shari Springer Berman (together with Robert Pulcini, authors together of the beautiful American Splendor never distributed in Italy.) is the sole woman in the "fuori concorso" section with The Nanny Diaries, a light comedy, following the best of Hollywood's traditions, and another title likely to attract stars and populistic acclaim. In the "Orizzonti" section an "impressive" 4 women compete for one of the minor awards: Laura Amelia Guzman with Cochochi, Barbara Cupisti with Madri, Paloma Rocha with Anabazys and Penny Woolcock with Exodus. A total of 5 women! Anything left to say?

2) For the "Special Events" Venezia .64 features the screening of the freshly restaured version of Intolerance (1916) by Cinema's pioneer David Wark Griffith. Not to miss!

3) Wes Anderson – the guy who gave us The Royal Tenebaums and The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou – is running for the Golden Lion with his new poetic, surreal, beautiful family saga titled The Darjeeling Limited. For this new film Anderson has teamed up with the usual Owen Wilson and nonetheless than the Coppolas' clan; in fact Roman (son of Francis Ford) is producer and writer together with his cousin Jason Schwartzman, who is in turn also one of the protagonists of the film; costumes are by Milena Canonero, who scored the 2007 Oscar for Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola.

As fans of Anderson's work since the word start –he's the American Gondry and, besides the undeniable technical and formal skills, he is also one of the very few who seem to remember the negligible detail that makes Cinema synonimous of pure and simple entertainment, not a medium for critics' lucubrations, nor a blatant mirror of reality...just Cinema: a dreams' factory that, from dream to dream manages also, between a tears and a smile, to make people think – we have definetively found our darling for this year's Golden Lion: all united for Wes!

Trailer The Darjeeling Limited (2007) by Wes Anderson

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