While most folks are focused on next week’s Cannes Film Festival, that’s not stopping the Venice Film Festival from churning out the announcements. Last week, the fest said it would honor William Friedkin with a Lifetime Achievement Golden Lion and today it’s set Bernardo Bertolucci as jury president for the 70th anniversary run. This is the second time Bertolucci will head the panel; his first was back in 1983. Bertolucci has been to Venice several times with his own movies including 1962′s The Grim Reaper, 1968′s Partner, 1970′s The Spider’s Strategum, 1979′s Luna and 2003′s The Dreamers. His 2012 film, Me And You, screened out of competition in Cannes.
Following some controversy on awards night in Venice last year, the festival today outlined the rules for competition prizes. Last year Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix shared an acting Volpi Cup for The Master, which also took the directing Silver Lion, making for an unprecedented three prizes. At the time, it was understood that the jury originally wanted to give the top prize Golden Lion to The Master, but the panel was hampered READ MORE »
Veteran French Connection and Exorcist helmer William Friedkin will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival later this year. Friedkin has a history with the festival where his 1995 thriller … Read More »
Passion played in competition at Venice and also hit Toronto this year. Entertainment One has acquired North American rights from SBS Productions and is aiming for an early 2013 release for the thriller. Rachel McAdams and Noomi … Read More »
Several movies that premiered during the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals over the past month or so are already earning serious Oscar buzz as the movie awards season has officially kicked off, Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond tells ENTV. Check out Pete’s thoughts on what films … Read More »
With today’s wrap of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, the Fall festival trifecta of Venice, Telluride and Toronto officially kicked off the six-month movie awards season. What does it say, if anything, about where the race for Oscar is at this … Read More »
Two years ago Quentin Tarantino’s Venice jury gave his ex-girlfriend Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere the top prize Golden Lion. An uproar followed and the film did not figure in that year’s awards season. This year’s Lido scandal turns around … Read More »
The closing of the 69th Venice Film Festival this evening was awash in scandal, and the preamble to the prizes appears to have had its share of confusion as well. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master took the most kudos with the Silver Lion for directing and a shared best actor Volpi Cup for Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. However, a person close to the process confirms to Deadline that the jury originally wanted to give the top prize Golden Lion to The Master, but the panel was hampered by rules that don’t allow for one film to be too heavily weighted. So, tonight, the Golden Lion was given to South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk for redemption story Pieta. That film was very well-received during the festival and indeed was the one that most considered a challenger to The Master. But it’s a scandal this does not reflect the Venice jury’s true intent.
Related: P.T. Anderson On ‘The Master’, Scientology, & Screening It For Tom Cruise
Meanwhile, at the Lido’s Sala Grande tonight, the jury mixed up the Silver Lion for best director and the special jury prize between The Master and Ulrich Seidl’s absurdist religious tale Paradise: Faith. Ultimately, it was Anderson who won the Silver Lion and Paradise: Faith which snagged the jury prize. Hoffman had just jetted in from Toronto, and had already said his thanks for the jury prize on behalf of Anderson, before bouncing back up to the stage to collect the Lion when the mistake was noted. He had also accepted the acting awards on his and Phoenix’s behalf.
Hadas Yaron took the Volpi Cup for best actress in Rama Burshtein’s Israeli arranged marriage drama Fill The Void. Olivier Assayas won for best screenplay for his 1970s-set French film Après Mai. Daniele Cipri was recognized for technical achievement for Italy’s E Stato Il Figlio and Fabrizio Falco was named best emerging talent for the same film.
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Deadline’s International Editor, Nancy Tartaglione, checks in on this podcast with her colleague, David Bloom about two of the biggest films to appear at the 69th Venice Film Festival: Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, and Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder. Hear Nancy’s analysis on what the response has been and why. Read More »
Some people are still parsing Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, but it’s emerging as a favorite among festgoers and the press here in Venice. Of 8 films that have officially screened, Anderson’s lush post-war relationship opus, set against … Read More »
As is typical with a Terrence Malick film, there was a lot of mystery surrounding To The Wonder ahead of its Venice debut this morning. The recent confirmation of who made the director’s final … Read More »
To The Wonder, Terrence Malick’s impressionistic take on love and religion, was met with a mix of bravos and boos at the end of this morning’s first screening in Venice. Applause was hearty in my section of the … Read More »
Related: VENICE: P.T. Anderson On ‘The Master’, Scientology, & Screening It For Tom Cruise
A Venice Film Festival audience lined up starting at about 8 AM today to catch the first press screening of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The packed house was hushed throughout the entirety of the film with only a handful of walkouts. Although immediate reaction following the screening was enormously positive, applause when the credits rolled was muted. After sitting through 2 hours of a gorgeous yet emotionally grueling and difficult-to-decipher picture, folks say they’re still parsing the movie. As one industryite and self-professed fan of Anderson’s work said to me this morning, “I would have preferred if it moved from Point A to Point B, not because I’m illiterate about film or need signposts along the way, but it seems to keep circling around.” An across-the-board consensus, however, is that Joaquin Phoenix should earn a Best Actor Oscar nomination. His portrayal of a disturbed World War II veteran Navy man is disturbing itself for the masterful way he embodies such an enigmatic character.
The Weinstein Company releases The Master on September 14th in the U.S., and sneak screenings around the country have resulted in largely glowing reviews. Curiously, a scene that was part of one of the original trailers for The Master — in which Phoenix’s Freddie Quell screams at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Lancaster Dodd, aka The Master: “I know you’re trying to calm me down, but just say something that’s true!” — was not in the version screened in Venice this morning. Nor was a scene in which Quell is being questioned about “an incident.”
Related: Hot Trailer: Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘The Master’
Anderson is known for operatic tales, whether set against the backdrop of the porn industry, the San Fernando Valley during a frog storm, or the Southern California oil boom. But this one will be a tougher sell to audiences not used to the director’s work. The movie has been regarded as a thinly-veiled treatise on Scientology, and someone who’s not heard all of the Scientology talk before seeing the film would immediately recognize references to it. Read More »
Spike Lee was on the Lido today with Michael Jackson documentary Bad 25, and producer John Branca who reps the late singer’s … Read More »
Clouds rolled into Venice on Friday, but that didn’t stop the crowds from finally turning up. After a few sluggish days in sky-high temperatures and a sort of meh attitude towards the films, the Lido was awash in fans lining … Read More »
This morning, Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour shared details of what it’s like to be the first female director of a Saudi film which is also the first-ever feature shot entirely inside the Kingdom. Speaking of Venice Horizons entry … Read More »
The Venice Film Festival kicked off last night with the premiere of Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Indian-born filmmaker Nair, one of 21 female directors in the main selection – notable after a year when Cannes saw zero in competition – said yesterday she felt she was “put on this earth to tell stories about people like me who live between two worlds.”
Based on the book by Mohsin Hamid, the story follows a young Pakistani man’s rise from Lahore to Princeton to the height of Wall Street success pre-9/11. A brunette Kate Hudson plays lead Riz Ahmed’s love interest. They’re torn apart as Ahmed’s character, Changez, is treated with overt suspicion and brutality by American authorities post-9/11. Disillusioned by the American Dream, he heads back to Lahore and becomes a teacher while local radicals attempt to recruit him. Liev Schreiber plays a journalist/spook who finds an uneasy kinship with Changez while investigating the kidnapping of an American citizen.
Nair won the Golden Lion in 2001 for Monsoon Wedding and a few days later was in Toronto when planes crashed into the World Trade Center. With this film, she said, “I sought to bring some sense of bridge-making between America and the Muslim world that goes beyond myopia and ignorance.” Ahmed, easily the biggest takeaway from the movie, said “Viewers will react differently. I hope the film has respect for its audience.” The actor is known in Britain for films that include Michael Winterbottom’s The Road To Guantanamo and Trishna and the recent drama Ill Manors by English rapper Ben Drew (aka Plan B), but he has yet to break in the States. I’d expect that to change soon. At the opening night dinner, admirers positively swooned around him. Upping the “aw” factor, he mostly spent the evening tending to his date – his mother. Read More »
BREAKING: Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder debuts in Venice on Sunday, but a handful of actors who were initially part of the film won’t be on the big screen in the Sala Grande. I’ve confirmed that Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, … Read More »
Among the new initiatives to bow in Venice this year is a market that’s been met with curiosity mixed with skepticism and a wait-and-see stance in Hollywood and Europe.
US companies including FilmNation, LD Entertainment and The Weinstein Co. are on the official list of attendees, but with Venice so close to Toronto, folks are dubious about big ticket business. “The only reason to go to Venice is if you have a film there,” says one veteran Hollywood exec. Momentum UK’s Robert Walak, who does not attend Venice, echoes that, “With the amount of organizing that you have to do for Toronto to make sure that things are covered,” going to Toronto and Venice is a bit much. Still, the company has its ear to the Lido. Sony Pictures Classics, which does have films here, is not sending executives since it doesn’t have Italy on its three titles in selection, but will cover from afar.
RELATED: Venice Preview: What’s On Deck At Season’s First International Festival
The proximity to Toronto which starts on September 6 – and the notorious cost of Venice – mean Hollywood tends to sit this one out biz-wise. But veteran French exec Pascal Diot, who is heading up the new business initiative, tells me, “There was a lot of business here about 15 years ago, but Toronto wasn’t as big then… We found it abnormal that a festival as prestigious as Venice didn’t have a market.” He allows the fest “also found it ridiculous to cross with Toronto,” so the market will run only from Aug 30-Sept 3, allowing execs enough time to hightail it to Canada. One European sales exec says he thinks Venice’s real market “is still Toronto” where deals are sealed after an initial taste. “And it’s fine like that,” the exec says. “I don’t think Venice wanted to create an extra market, it wanted to improve working conditions for buyers.” The improved conditions include a fully dedicated space at the Excelsior Hotel, a digital video library, industry business center, industry club and an exclusive meeting area for producers, buyers and sellers.
For its debut year, the Venice Film Market invited (read: is paying for) 100 distributors. Insiders suggest that’s a big incentive. Read More »