Last year’s Venice Film Festival headliner, Birdman, went on to win 4 Oscars. The 2013 opener, Gravity, won 7. So director Baltasar Kormákur must be feeling pretty good right now as his new offering, Everest starring Jake Gyllenhaal, has been confirmed as the opening title for this year’s 72nd Venice Film Festival. And with films starring Johnny Depp, Kristen Stewart, Anthony Hopkins, Tilda Swinton and new Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, also on the line-up, Venezia72 is shaping up nicely. But it’s not all about Hollywood blockbusters, so what can we expect and who else might be walking the Venetian red carpet this year?
Opening on Wednesday 2nd September the Venice Film Festival, or Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia to give it its full title, takes over the city’s Lido island for 11 days of drama, documentaries and debate. Founded in 1932 the film festival is the oldest in the world and this year looks to have set the entertainment bar high yet again.
21 films will be competing for the treasured Leone D’Oro (Golden Lion) for best film – Venice’s equivalent to the Palme D’Or from Cannes, a British BAFTA or American Golden Globe award. A further 16 will be showing outside the competition along with 18 in the Orizzonti side competition, 16 short films and 20 restored feature films. That’s a heck of a lot of films to get through in 11 days!
The good news is that whatever your film taste, there is pretty much something for everyone!
Films in competition
The 21 films include –
The Danish Girl, from The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper, which stars Ben Whishaw, otherwise known as Q in James Bond’s Skyfall, and Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first known men to receive sexual identity reassignment to become a transgender woman in the 1920s.
Check out the newly released trailer
Italian director Marco Bellocchio’s vampire inspired Sangue del mio sangue (Blood of my blood).
Equals, a futuristic sci-fi romance set in a time when emotions have been radicated, starring Kristen Stewart, Guy Pearce and Nicholas Hoult.
Idris Elba as an African warlord commandant of child-soldiers in Beasts of No Nation.
Argentine director Pablo Trapero’s crime drama El Clan (The Clan); the true-story of the Argentine Pucio family, a criminal clan who kidnapped and killed people in the 1980s.
Charlie Kaufman’s crowd-funded stop animation film Anomalisa about male mid-life crisis, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Thewlis.
Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and relative newcomer Dakota Johnson in an uneasy love triangle between a couple and a younger woman during the couple’s vacation.
Juliette Binoche in L’Attesa (The Wait), a film set in an ancient villa in the Sicilian countryside and revolving around the clash between two women, a mother and son’s girlfriend.
Musical documentary, Heart of a Dog, by the experimental performance artist, and composer Laurie Anderson.
Rabin, The Last Day, Amos Gitai’s depiction of the 1995 assassination of Israeli leader Yitzakh Rabin.
South African director Oliver Hermanus’ crime drama The Endless River that follows events surrounding a newly reunited couple after his four-year jail sentence. Will their plans for a new life together be realised?
Canada’s Atom Egoyan’s Remember, a Nazi-hunting thriller starring old-timers Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau as the darkest chapter of the 20th century collides with contemporary revenge.
A German, French and Dutch co-production of Russia’s Aleksandr Sokurov’s Francofonia following the story of the salvation of masterpieces from the Louvre during the German occupation.
And if you think the competition films look great, take a look at those out of competition!
Films out of competition
There are no second class offerings here as listings include –
The opening film Everest, the true story of climbers trapped at the summit by a snowstorm, starring big-hitters Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley and Emily Watson.
Scott Cooper’s Black Mass stars Johnny Depp as you’ve never seen him before playing real-life, balding Boston bad-ass gangster Whitey Bulger alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon and Dakota Johnson, again!
Last year’s Birdman opener Michael Keaton also returns in Spotlight playing the editor of the Boston Globe team investigating clerical sexual abuse with Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci and Liev Schreiber.
And living legend Sir Anthony Hopkins stars in Go with me as an ex-logger who comes to the aid of a woman, newly returned to her hometown, facing harassment from a former cop played by Ray Liotta.
Oh and don’t forget a little 16 minute short called The Audition, created to promote 2 new casinos. Many will probably overlook it. But considering that it’s directed by living-legend Martin Scorsese and brings together godfather Robert de Niro, Brad Pitt and lothario Leonardo DiCaprio – a threesome who have never worked together, until now – it is bound to be worth a look!
Screenings take place in a number of dedicated cinemas in and around the historic beachfront Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido’s Lungomare Marconi. And don’t forget, many of these will be world premieres so watch out for the red carpet glamour!!
So if you fancy checking out the newest films in town to see if you agree with the Leone D’Oro, Golden Lion, jury led by Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron and including Italian director Francesco Munzi, or just need an air-conditioned break from the Venetian sunshine, get ready! With 55 films from 45 different countries there is bound to be something of interest. I for one already have a long wish list and will be armed and ready with my credit card when tickets go on sale in a few days! What would be your top choice from the line-up? Leave me a comment and let me know and in the meantime, switch your cellphone to silent, sit back and settle down for some world-class film entertainment at the 72nd Venice Film Festival!
The full line-up for the festival is here
Tickets go on sale from 3pm on 11th August via http://www.boxol.it/biennalecinema for some selected screenings. The screenings available in this pre-sale will be selected among those in Palazzo del Cinema (Sala Grande), Palabiennale and Sala Darsena theatres. Subscriptions are also available on www.boxol.it/biennalecinema
Screening Theatres on the Lido
Palazzo del Cinema : Sala Grande (1,036 seats) and Sala Pasinetti (98 seats)
Sala Darsena (1,409 seats)
PalaBiennale (1,768 seats)
Palazzo del Casinò : Sala Perla (450 seats) and Sala Perla 2 (252 seats), Sala Volpi (151 seats), Sala Casinò (149 seats)
For further information contact the festival directly via –
Tel. +39 041 5218 711
Fax +39 041 5218 854
How to get there
By air : from Marco Polo airport take a private water taxi (price on booking) or the Alilaguna red ferry line (stops at Lido S.Maria Elisabetta). From there take a taxi, the V bus from the stop across the road – it goes directly to the film festival and takes about 10 minutes – or walk which takes around 20-25 minutes!
By train, bus or boat : after arriving at the Venezia S.Lucia railway station or Piazzale Roma bus station, take vaporetto boat for the Lido – ACTV public transport routes 1 / 5.1 / 5.2 / 6. Get off at Lido/S. Maria Elisabetta. From there take a taxi, the V bus from the stop across the road – it goes directly to the film festival and takes about 10 minutes – or walk which takes around 20-25 minutes!
Note : you could also take private water taxi to the Elcelsior Hotel dock but prices will be high I think!
By car : leave the autostrada motorway at the Venice exit, follow indications for Venezia-Lido, board the ACTV car ferry to the Lido, then drive to the festival village on Lungomare Marconi.
Note : cars are not allowed into the village without a permit so you will have to park outside.
The post Venezia72 – Line-up announced for the 2015 Venice Film Festival first appeared on DreamDiscoverItalia