Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Venice 71: Film Festival – Loin des Hommes – David Oelhoffen



 Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
 Venice 71: Film Festival – Loin des Hommes – David Oelhoffen. Loin des Hommes directed by David Oelhoffen stars Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb. Algeria, 1954. While the rebellion rumbles in the valley, two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil, are forced to flee together across the Atlas mountains. In the midst of an icy winter, Daru, the reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder. Pursued by horsemen seeking summary justice and vengeful settlers, the two men decide to affront the unknown. Together, they fight to gain their freedom.
 

Photograph ASAC courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Loin des Hommes. Director’s Statement. “From my very first reading of Camus’ short story L’hote, I visualized a western. Admittedly, an unconventional western, being steeped in European history and set against the backdrop of the North African highlands, but a western all the same. True to the codes, there are colonizers and the colonized, a prisoner to be escorted and a plot that spirals into violence. A collision between two systems of law is at the heart of the story and its characters. We bear witness to two cultures and two moralities forced into coexistence by history. I had dreamed of bringing Viggo Mortensen on board; his singularity made him the perfect fit for the role. Reda Kateb, mysterious, opaque and earthy, provided a perfect counterpoint. The desert landscape takes on the role of an additional character in the story. Basking in the radiant North African light, it was a beautiful but unpredictable companion for the film.”
Above. Reda Kateb, David Oelhoffen and Viggo Mortensen.
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Venice 71: Film Festival - En Duva Satt Pa en Gren och Funderade pa Tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence) - Roy Andersson



Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Venice 71: Film Festival - En Duva Satt Pa en Gren och Funderade pa Tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence) - Roy Andersson. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence directed by Roy Andersson, staring Holger Andersson, Nisse Vestblom. Like modern times’ Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sam and Jonathan, two traveling salesmen peddling novelty items, take us on a kaleidoscopic wandering through human destinies. A trip that shows us the beauty of single moments, the pettiness of others, the humor and tragedy that is in us, life’s grandeur as well as frailty of humanity.

 Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence consists of everyday and out-of-the ordinary stories portraying our existence in its grandeur and pettiness, beauty and tragedy, exaggeration and sadness—with a panoramic view, as if told by a bird reflecting on the human condition. The pigeon is astonished by the humans—their activities, follies, prides, and agitation, which he tries to make sense of and understand. In the Living Trilogy, of which En duva satt pa en gren och funderade pa tillvaron is the third film, I aim to create a tension between the banal and the essential, the comic and the tragic—to show the dialectic and dynamic nature of existence, while shaping the thought that mankind is potentially heading towards apocalypse, but also that the outcome is in our hands. The Swedish director Roy Andersson states.



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Venice 71: Film Festival – Jayueui Onduk (Hill of Freedom) - Hong Sangsoo

  Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Venice 71: Film Festival – Jayueui Onduk (Hill of Freedom) - Hong Sangsoo. Jayueui Onduk directed by Korean Hong Sangsoo stars Ryo Kase, Moon Sori, Younghwa Seo and Kim Euisung.  Kwon, a language school instructor, stops by her old workplace and receives a thick envelope addressed to her. A Japanese instructor named Mori had proposed to her two years ago. She turned him down. Mori had immediately gone back to Japan, but now was back in Korea looking for her. The envelope enclosed letters he had written to her during his search through Seoul. After Kwon finishes the first letter in the lobby, she grows faint coming down the staircase and drops the letters. She gathers them off the floor and sees there are no dates on the letters. She now has no way of knowing the order in which they were written.


Jayueui Onduk - Hong Sangsoo. “These were my initial thoughts: a woman receives letters from a man from her past. A man she remains undecided about. The thick envelope contains number of undated letters written in diary format. The startled woman fumbles with the letters, messing up their sequential order by mistake. How does this affect the significance of the content she will be reading? Can this disorder of sequence work to lessen the woman’s shock when reading the man’s letters?” States Sangsoo.
Above. The director and cast arrive for the premiere of Jayueui Onduk (Hill of Freedom).


Hong Sangsoo and Kase Ryo




Kim Euisung and Kase Ryo
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Seen @Venice 71



Seen @Venezia71 Eva Robin’s, Roberto Spada, Carla Alvera and Randy Ingerman
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Venice 71: Film Festival – Berlluscone. Una Storia Siciliana – Franco Maresco



Venice 71: Film Festival – Berlluscone. Una Storia Siciliana – Franco Maresco. Directed by Franco Maresco and staring Ciccio Mira, Salvatore De Castro, Vittorio Ricciardi, Tatti Sanguineti, Salvatore Ficarra and Valentino Picone, the film critic Tatti Sanguineti arrives in Palermo to find out what has happened to Franco Maresco’s unfinished movie: Belluscone. Una storia siciliana. A film that was supposed to tell the story of the unique relationship between Berlusconi and Sicily through the misadventures of the Palermitan impresario of Neapolitan “neomelodic” singers and organizer of street festivals, Ciccio Mira, an undaunted supporter of Berlusconi, nostalgic for the old days’ Mafia— and two artists in his stable, Erik and Vittorio Ricciardi, who perform in the squares of Palermo a song entitled “Vorrei conoscere Berlusconi” (“I Want to Meet Berlusconi”). The film focuses on three failures: the political and human one of a Berlusconi now on the wane; that of the unfortunate and “slapdash” Ciccio Mira, rooted in an old but tenacious culture; and finally, the artistic one of the director, who chooses to disappear after realizing that tilting at political windmills is pointless, in a country that has long identified with Berlusconian “culture” and probably continues to do so.

 
Berlluscone. Una Storia Siciliana – Tatti Sanguineti and Franco Maresco

 
Berlluscone. Una Storia Siciliana – Andrea Occhipinti

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Venice 71: Film Festival – The Cut – Fatih Akin


 Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia


Venice 71: Film Festival – The Cut – Fatih Akin. Fatih Akin’s The Cut stars Tahar Rahim, Akin Gazi, Simon Abkarian and George Georgiou. Armenian man, Nazareth Manoogian, after surviving the genocide learns that his twin daughters may be alive, and goes on a quest to find them. This takes him from his village Mardin to Mesopotamian deserts, Havana and finally North Dakota. “The Cut is an epic film, a drama, an adventure movie and a western all rolled into one. The film may be set a hundred years ago, but it could not be more topical: it tells a tale of war and displacement, as well as portraying the power of love and hope, which enables us to achieve the unimaginable. The Cut is the conclusion of the Love, Death and the Devil trilogy. It explores the theme of “the devil,” examining evil and the harm we are capable of inflicting on others—both unwittingly and deliberately—showing the fine line that often separates good from evil. The Cut has become a very personal film. Thematically, it explores my conscience and formally it expresses my passion for the medium of film.” The director Fatih Akin states.
Above. The director Fatih Akin.

 Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

The Cut

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Venice 71: Film Festival – Hungry Hearts - Saverio Costanzo

 
Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia


Venice 71: Film Festival – Hungry Hearts - Saverio Costanzo. Costanzo’s Hungry Hearts stars Adam Driver, Alba Rohrwacher and Roberta Maxwell.  Jude is an American, Mina an Italian. They meet by chance in New York City. After a whirlwind romance, they get married and she becomes pregnant. A brand new life begins for both of them. Since the early months of pregnancy Mina is convinced that her child will be special; it is her mother instinct that tells her so. This child must be protected from all the pollution of the outside world and, to respect his nature, his purity must also be preserved. For the sake of his love for Mina, Jude plays along with her, until he reaches the point where he has to face a terrible truth: his son is not growing, and his life is in danger. Jude must act quickly. A covert battle of suspicions and resentments begins between Jude and Mina, leading to a desperate search for a solution in which everyone’s motive gets blurred.
Above. Alba Rohrwacher and Adam Driver in Hungry Hearts.



Hungry Hearts - Alba Rohrwacher
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Venice 71: Film Festival – Manglehorn - David Gordon Green

 Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia


Venice 71: Film Festival – Manglehorn - David Gordon Green. David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn stars the great Al Pacino.  Reclusive small town locksmith Angelo Manglehorn has never quite recovered from losing the love of his life, Clara. Fixated on her memory, he feels closer to his beloved cat than the people around him and prefers to find comfort in his work and daily routine. Still, he forges on with his tenuous human connections, maintaining intermittent contact with his son, taking misplaced pride in a former protégé gone astray, and establishing a cautious friendship with a kindhearted woman from the local bank. As this solitary man approaches the possibility of new love, he finds himself at a crossroads between remaining consumed by the past and embracing the present. Manglehorn is a movingly humanistic portrait of a man rendered with unsentimental simplicity and idiosyncratic humor.

 
Manglehorn Press Conference - David Gordon Green and Al Pacino



Manglehorn Press Conference - Al Pacino
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Venice 71: Film Festival – 3 Coeurs (3 Hearts) – Benoit Jacquot


 

Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia


Venice 71: Film Festival – 3 Coeurs (3 Hearts) – Benoit Jacquot.  3 Coeurs directed by Benoit Jacquot stars Benoit Poelvoorde, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chiara Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve. One night in a French provincial city, Marc meets Sylvie after missing his train back to Paris. They wander through the streets until morning, talking about everything except themselves, in rare, almost choreographed, harmony. Marc takes the first train back, and sets a date with Sylvie in Paris, a few days later. They know nothing about each other, but this is much more than a game. Sylvie keeps the date. Misfortune befalls Marc, and he cannot. He searches for her and ends up finding someone else: Sophie. He does not know that she is Sylvie’s sister. Marc and Sylvie meet again. Their unparalleled harmony still exists... but it is too late...

Above. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Benoit Poelvoorde in 3 Coeurs.

 
  photograph ASAC - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

3 Coeurs director Benoit Jacquot


  photograph ASAC - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

3 Coeurs – Chiara Mastrioanni and Catherine Deneuve

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Venice 71: Film Festival - Ich Seh Ich Seh (Goodnight Mommy) - Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala



Venice 71: Film Festival - Ich Seh Ich Seh (Goodnight Mommy) - Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala.  Ich Seh Ich Seh (Goodnight Mommy) directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, stars Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz and Lukas Schwarz. In the heat of the summer. An isolated house in the countryside between woods and cornfields. Ten-year-old twins wait for their mother. When she comes back, her head wrapped in bandages after plastic surgery, nothing is as it was before. Stern and distant now, she shuts the family off from the outside world. Starting to doubt that this woman is actually their mother, the boys are determined to find the truth by any means.
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Venice 71: Film Festival - Anime Nere (Black Souls) - Francesco Munzi


 Photograph courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Venice 71: Film Festival - Anime Nere (Black Souls) - Francesco Munzi.  The story of Anime Nere, directed by Francesco Munzi is of a Calabrian criminal family unfolds like a western set in our own day, where the laws of blood and the vendetta take precedence over everything. A tale that begins in the Netherlands and passes through Milan on its way to Calabria, amid the peaks of the Aspromonte, where everything begins and ends. Anime Nere is the story of three brothers, the sons of a shepherd, close to the ’Ndrangheta, and of their divided soul. Luigi, the youngest, is an international drug dealer. Rocco, Milanese by adoption and a member of the middle class, runs a business funded by his brother’s ill-gotten gains. Luciano, the oldest, cherishes the pathological illusion of a preindustrial Calabria, conducting a gloomy and solitary dialogue with the deads. Leo, his twenty-year-old son, represents the lost generation, without an identity. All he has inherited from his forebears is hatred. As a result of a trivial quarrel he carries out an act of intimidation against a bar under the protection of the rival clan. Anywhere else it would have been no more than a prank. Not in Calabria. It’s the spark that sets off a blaze. Luciano finds himself in the same predicament as at the time his father was killed many years earlier. In a dimension suspended between the archaic and the modern the characters are drawn into the archetypes of tragedy. Staring; Marco Leonardi, Peppino Mazzotta, Fabrizio Ferracane, Anna Ferruzzo and Barbora Bobulova.
Above. Director Francesco Munzi.
 
 Photograph by Marco Leonardi courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Anime Nere




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