Venice Fest Reveals Robust Lineup Featuring Hollywood Stars and International … | News Entertainment

Venice Fest Reveals Robust Lineup Featuring Hollywood Stars and International …

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Kristen Stewart, Idris Elba in Venice Film Festival Lineup.

ROME — The Venice Film Festival has unveiled a potentially strong lineup with enough studio/specialty titles toplining A-list stars — including Jake Gyllenhaal (“Everest”), Johnny Depp (“Black Mass”) and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”) — to boost its role as a classy awards-season platform, plus new works by Charlie Kaufman, Alexander Sokurov, Amos Gitai, Marco Bellocchio and many other high-caliber international auteurs.Kristen Stewart, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson are among the stars in movies coming to the world’s oldest major film festival.The star of Looking For Grace, Odessa Young, also stars in Simon Stone’s drama, The Daughter, which. will screen at the coming Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. As previously announced, Baltasar Kormakur’s mountain-climbing thriller “Everest” from Universal, starring Gyllenhaal, will open Venice out of competition on Sept. 2 — a nice coup for artistic director Alberto Barbera, segueing from “Birdman” as opener last year, and sci-fi thriller “Gravity” in 2013.

Organizers announced a 21-strong competition lineup Wednesday for the festival, which takes over the Italian maritime city’s Lido island for 11 days in September. With Toronto less aggressive in its push to secure more world preems, Venice is bowing several hot titles — including Cary Fukunaga’s child-soldier drama “Beasts of No Nation,” Atom Egoyan’s “Remember” and Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” featuring Michael Keaton’s first post-“Birdman” screen appearance — that are subsequently Toronto-bound. “Toronto’s attitude has radically changed; they are a lot less aggressive this year,” Barbera told Variety. “We got together and talked, in Berlin and at Cannes.” “Meanwhile, the international perception of Venice has changed over the years, thanks in part to films like “Gravity” and “Birdman,” and I’ve found a lot more receptivity,” he added.

It includes Drake Doremus’ futuristic “Equals,” with Stewart and Nicholas Hoult; Luca Guadagnino’s “A Bigger Splash,” with Swinton, Johnson and Ralph Fiennes; and Cary Fukunaga’s African child-soldier story “Beasts of No Nation,” starring Elba. It is only the second Australian film to be selected for the official competition at Venice in the past decade — the other being John Curran’s Tracks in 2013 — and is one of only four to be selected in competition for the prestigious Golden Lion in the past two decades.

Luca Guadagnino’s “A Bigger Splash” (pictured), a psychological drama about a famous rock star and a filmmaker (Matthias Schoenaerts and Swinton) vacationing and recovering on the strange sun-drenched Italian island of Pantelleria, is among the promising titles in competition, as are Argentinian Pablo Trapero’s crimer “The Clan” and Gitai’s “Rabin, the Last Day,” a hot-button drama centering around the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Brooks, who directed Road To Nhill and Japanese Story, wrote and directed the film about a runaway teen (played by Young) followed to Western Australia’s wheat belt by her parents (Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell). Out-of-competition entries – which are not in the running for festival prizes but could be Academy Awards contenders – include Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass,” starring Depp as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, and Thomas McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” which features Michael Keaton as the editor of a Boston Globe team investigating clerical sex abuse. There are also new films from Canada’s Atom Egoyan (Remember, a Nazi-hunting thriller starring Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau), Russia’s Aleksandr Sokurov (the Paris-set Francofonia) and Italy’s Marco Bellocchio (vampire-themed Blood of My Blood).

Martin Scorsese will bring “The Audition,” a short starring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, while documentaries include Amy Berg’s Janis Joplin biopic “Janis.” The 72nd Venice festival opens Sept. 2 with the world premiere of Baltasar Kormakur’s mountain drama “Everest,” starring Gyllenhaal and Robin Wright. Also vying for the prize is “Francofonia,” in which Aleksandr Sokurov explores the Louvre Museum during the German occupation of Paris. (His award-winning “Russian Ark” in 2002 was filmed at the State Hermitage Museum in St. The Dressmaker, starring Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving, will have its world premiere in the red carpet Gala Presentations section, and The Daughter will have its North American premiere in the Special Presentations section in Canada.

He cited its range, noting the presence of quintessential indie pics such as Laurie Anderson’s “extraordinary” full-length directorial debut “Heart of a Dog,” which is about loss; “Anomalisa,” the fest’s only animated title, which, he said, “is not for kids”; and “Equals,” the latest from “Like Crazy” helmer Drake Doremus, billed as a futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated. But there also more mainstream, big-buzz titles like “The Danish Girl,” in which Redmayne plays Lili Ebe, one of the earliest known recipients of male-to-female gender reassignment surgery; and Fukunaga’s “Beasts,” which stars Idris Elba as commander of a child soldiers’ guerrilla force in West Africa.

Drake Doremus’ futurisitic love story Equals, starring Kristen Stewart, Jacki Weaver and Guy Pearce, will also compete for Venice’s Golden Lion award as will Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s thriller Rembember, starring Dean Norris and Christopher Plummer. Other members are the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who won as best director for “The Assassin” at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival; the French writer Emmanuel Carrère; the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, whose “Winter Sleep” won the 2014 Palme d’Or at Cannes; the Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, whose “Ida” won the 2014 Oscar for best foreign language film; the American actress and director Elizabeth Banks (“Pitch Perfect”); the German actress Diane Kruger and the British director and screenwriter Lynne Ramsay.

Standout docus include Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s “De Palma,” marking the first time the somewhat-reclusive Brian De Palma has talked in-depth about his life and career; the Janis Joplin portrait “Janis,” by Amy Berg, who was Oscar-nominated for “Deliver Us From Evil”; Evgeny Afineevsky’s Ukraine conflict-themed “Winter on Fire”; and Frederick Wiseman’s “In Jackson Heights.” In the competition, Russian master Sokurov will bow his hotly awaited “Francophonia” (aka “Louvre Under German Occupation”) billed as exploring “the question of relations between art and war.” The film was shot in the Louvre and produced by Pierre Olivier Bardet and former Locarno fest topper Olivier Pere, current chief of Arte France Cinema. Another hotly anticipated fall release in an out-of-competition spot, Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight is about the true story of how the Boston Globe revealed a massive cover-up of the child molestation scandal within the local Catholic archdiocese. Messina served as Paolo Sorrentino’s a.d. on “This Must Be the Place” and “The Great Beauty.” In a year when Asian entries in Venice are thin, after a strong presence in Cannes, the Lido closer is Guan Hu’s blockbuster comedy “Mr. Six,” starring Chinese hit-making director and sometime actor Feng Xiaogang as a former hooligan who must take back his son from young wannabe gangsters.

Barbera noted that it was “very unusual” for Chinese distributors to show a picture so far ahead of its release, underscoring Venice’s growing allure as a launchpad for mainstream Asian fare. Venice’s cutting-edge Horizons section, which Barbera called “the other competition,” mixes esoteric entries with known names such as American actor Brady Corbet’s “The Childhood of a Leader,” toplining Robert Pattinson; Dito Montiel’s post-apocalyptic war thriller “Man Down,” starring Shia LaBeouf as former U.S. Marine Gabriel Drummer; French film journo Nicolas Saada’s “Taj Mahal,” a thriller set against the backdrop 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack starring Stacy Martin; and Algerian auteur Merzak Allouache’s “Madame Courage,” about a North African immigrant in Paris, who is addicted to a psychotropic drug, after which the film is named.

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