MALICK'S 'TO THE WONDER' ALSO COMPETING; JURY HEADED BY MICHAEL MANN
Brian De Palma's Passion has been selected as one of 18 films to compete at this year's Venice Film Festival, which runs August 29 to September 8. De Palma's film, officially a French-German production, is listed as running a lean and mean 94 minutes. Also among the selections is Terrence Malick's To The Wonder. Both films feature Rachel McAdams, who, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is expected to appear at the festival. The line-up was announced this morning, with an additional secret competition title to be announced at a later date. Many are speculating that the additional film will be Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.
Ever since De Palma began shooting Passion earlier this year, reports have erroneously been stating that it has been six years since De Palma's last film. In fact, his most recent film, Redacted, premiered at Venice five years ago, in 2007. That film also played at Telluride and Toronto within days of its Venice premiere. While the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday announced many titles that will screen there this year, there are still more titles to be announced. Telluride keeps its line-up secret until the film is actually playing. The Deauville American Film Festival announced it's slate today, as well, but Passion was not included.
"In preparing Venice," said Venice Fest director Alberto Barbera at a press conference in Rome today (via Variety), "I have very much admired and envied my friend and colleague who heads the Toronto Film Festival. He has an easy job: He can take 350 movies, and therefore accept almost anything. We have chosen a much tougher path, in which, after lots of discussions, we had to say 'no' a lot. And it was very tough." The Globe And Mail further quotes Barbera: "The main recurring theme is the crisis. The economic crisis, which is having devastating social effects, but also the crisis of values, the political crisis." Passion appears to fit this theme, with its focus on the politics of the corporate business world.
Despite the crisis, Barbera wanted to showcase "a great productive ferment" in the industry, according to the Globe And Mail. "We have taken risks," Barbera is quoted telling reporters. "There are many established directors but also less famous directors and many unknown young directors from countries without cinematic traditions and without real access to the market. Festivals should revert to their original roles of exploration, of scoping out innovation, instead of relying only on the established producers.”
The jury at this year's Venice fest will be headed by Michael Mann, who will also screen his out-of-competition documentary Witness: Libya. The closing film will be the out-of-competition L'homme qui rit, Jean-Pierre Ameris' remake of Paul Leni's The Man Who Laughs, a film which factored into the plot of De Palma's The Black Dahlia. Opening the fest, also out-of-competition, will be Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Among the competition films announced are Olivier Assayas' Something In The Air, Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, and Marco Bellocchio's Dormant Beauty. Out of competition titles include Robert Redford's The Company You Keep, Spike Lee's Bad 25 (a documentary of Michael Jackson's Bad), Ariel Vromen's The Iceman, and Henry-Alex Rubin's Disconnect.
As this year marks the Venice Festival's 80th anniversary (although it is only the 69th festival), it will feature a new regular section, Venice Classics, which will screen restored versions of films that premiered at Venice. Michael Cimino is expected to attend this year's screening of the Criterion restored version of Heaven's Gate, which had its premiere at the Venice Festival in 1982. Other titles in the Classics section this year include Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard and Orson Welles' Chimes At Midnight.