Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master has a huge amount of attention being thrust up on it. Everything looks great about it and it has done a masterful job of building buzz through various advanced Guerrilla screenings in the States. The Venice Film Festival had the World Premiere and below are the first reactions on the social sphere:
The Venice Film Festival is in full swing and the latest big film to have its World Premiere is the highly anticipated Spike Lee doc on the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s iconic album Bad. The doc, which promises a great look at the making of the album and the influence the album has had since. This one is on the top of my list for TIFF, however it has also been announced that ABC will be airing it on TV later this Fall so I might just skip at the fest and catch it on TV.
At any rate, the first reactions have dropped and we have compiled them for you below.
The 69th Venice Film Festival started out strongly with Mira Nair‘s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Reaction was favourable making it an even hotter ticket for TIFF12. Next up we have first reactions to Jonathan Demme‘s Enzo Avitabile Music Life. Check them out below and stay tuned to Xavierpop for our ongoing coverage.
While TIFF hosts “public” World Premieres, Venice hosts “actual” ones.
Now let me back up a moment:
You have your Toronto International Film Festival pass, you have the full film list before you, you meticulously build your schedule. And then, just when you’ve finally got it carved in stone, here comes Venice and Telluride a week before TIFF to break the news on the biggest titles set to appear in Toronto. You just fit the new Olivier Assayas in your sched, and then maybe it gets trashed at Venice, forcing you to scramble to figure out what the other 43 options are for that time slot (a daunting task since every TIFF write-up boasts that all films they program are extraordinarily profoundly movingly masterworks of grand visionariness).
Part of the fun as well as the madness of devising a TIFF schedule is the total crap-shoot of it all when you figure in those earlier fests. Oops, we all picked the new De Palma only to discover it’s more Black Dahlia-dud than Femme Fatale-sexy. Maybe the new Abbas Kiarostami we left off our schedule is actually good for a change, and not just because the academic film snobs who keep inexplicably putting him in the Masters programme said so.
While TIFF is the biggest public exhibitor of films during the year, Venice and Telluride–geared towards press and industry insiders–are quick to break the news on potential Oscar Contenders, just in time for us to realize we put $40 down on a turkey in the Gala or Special Presentations lineup. Or, consequently, we learn that we chose well. In any case, avid film lovers are driven crazy by those earlier fests, which invariably lead us to modifying our schedules as we go.
Over the coming days, films in competition at Venice include the new one by the aforementioned Brian De Palma, with Passion, as well as Olivier Assayas with the 60′s drama Something in the Air. Other huge World Premieres: Terence Malick‘s To the Wonder, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s loosely-based-on-scientology pic The Master, and Xavier Giannoli‘s (check out his overlooked ’09 pic A L’Origine)Superstar.
Other notable titles to follow this week in Venice are Ramin Bahrani‘s At Any Price, the midwest drama with Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron. He’s the Iranian-American neo-realist-indie darling of previous festival smash hits Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, and Goodbye Solo. This family drama looks like another one of his character-driven affairs, only with a budget and some big stars this time.
Home-grown favorite Marco Bellocchio dazzled with his previous film Vincere, so watch out for Sleeping Beauty, his new drama with Isabelle Huppert and the moral complexities involving the right to die.
I’m hoping they’ll also love Pieta, the new one from South Korean helmer Kim Ki-duk, and not just because it’s already cemented into my sched. He directed the wonderful Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…Spring and 3-Iron.
We’ll also find out in the coming days if Ulrich Seidl‘s Paradise: Faith is any good. That’s the first in a trilogy of films he’s making. The Czech helmer won acclaim previously for his edgy films Dog Days and Import/Export.
You can count on the new Harmony Korine pic Spring Breakers to befuddle the industry in Italy, since the free-spirited director of Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy works without a safety net and makes films that are practically impossible to critique. Takeshi Kitano is beyond criticism as well: He has his following and always delivers something interesting, so his sequel Outrage Beyond will be liked by his fans, no matter what the critical consensus is.
The President of Venice’s jury this year is American helmer Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider). On one hand, that leads me to believe that a more mainstream pic will take the Golden Lion this year, but on the other, the jury also includes the legendary Serbian-born performance artist Marina Abramovic, so all bets are off!
Notable films playing outside of the main competition include Sarah Polley‘s first foray into documentary territory with Stories We Tell; the new political-thriller from Robert Redford–a.k.a. the guy the industry loves more than they ever love his movies–with The Company You Keep; Best Foreign Language Oscar-winner Susanne Bier (In a Better World) with Love is All You Need; Spike Lee‘s Michael Jackson doc Bad 25; and Mira Nair‘s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
All of these films will be breaking news in the coming days, so keep it tuned to Xavierpop’s coverage of Venice and Telluride this week, along with our excellent TIFF coverage, in order to get the sweet ‘n lowdown and all these titles and more.