Following on from the unveiling of its Critics week sidebar earlier this week, the Venice Film Festival has revealed the remainder of its lineup for this year’s festival, which sees fifty five films in its official selection, with a range of up-and-comers and established heavyweights.
The official competition features a large amount of crossover with the Toronto International Film Festival (also announced this week), with Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes, Saverio Costanzo’s Hungry Hearts, Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn, Andrew Niccol’s Good Kill, and David Oelhoffen’s Loin Des Hommes. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman will open the film, which stars Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor mounting a Broadway play in an attempt to save his career. The festival has chosen Ann Hui’s The Golden Era as its closing-night film, a biopic of controversial and radical Chinese female writer Xiao Hong.
4:3 favourite and director of 2012’s Act of Killing Joshua Oppenheimer1 will premiere his latest film, The Look of Silence in competition, which follows the story of a family that survives the genocide in Indonesia and has to confront the men killed their brothers.
Lars von Trier is returning with the complete second half of his sex addict drama, Nymphomaniac: Vol. II, which is the third and final chapter in his “Depression Trilogy”, in the Out of Competition section of the festival. Von Trier premiered the first volume of Nymphomaniac at Berlin at the start of the year. Peter Bogdanovich will be screening his latest film in seven years, She’s Funny That Way, previously known as Squirrel to the Nuts, also out of competition, alongside James Franco’s The Sound and The Fury, starring Franco himself, Seth Rogen, Jon Hamm and Tim Blake Nelson. Barry Levinson’s The Humbling, starring Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig, and Lisa Cholodenko’s mini-series Olive Ketteridge, starring Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, will also screen out of competition, with Anthony Stacchi and Annable Graham’s animated film, The Boxtrolls.
The competition panel will be headed by French film composer Alexandra Desplat, and includes Chinese actress/director Joan Chen, German director Philip Groning, Austrian director Jessica Hausner, Indian Writer Jhumpa Lahiri, British costume designer Sandy Powell, British actor Tim Roth, Palestinian director Elia Suleiman, and Italian director and author Carlo Verdone.
The jury for the first film prize comprises recent Cannes Grand Prix winner Alice Rohrwacher, Argentine director Lisandro Alonso, Canadian direction Ron Mann, Chinese producer Vivian Qu, and Romanian director and writer Razvan Radulescu.
This year’s festival is, somewhat typically to Venice, very male dominated, despite the closing-night film following a female subject and several female jury members, with only two female directors competing in the Official Competition (Alix Delaport, with Le Dernier Coup de Marteau, and Rakhshān Bani E’Temad, with Tales). Representation is a little better amongst the Out of Competition films, with five films out of eighteen featuring female directors, one of those being the multi-directed Words With Gods, the first part of the anthology series Heartbeat of the World, which includes director Mira Nair as the only woman out of nine directors including Australian Warwick Thornton. The Horizons section of the festival, generally the site of new and upcoming filmmakers and similar to Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, also only features two female directors: Salome Alexi, with Line of Credit, and Ami Canaan Mann, with Your Right Mind.
Horizons also features a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline from Michael Almereyda,, starring Milla Jovovich, Ed Harris, Fifty Shades of Grey‘s Dakota Johnson and Ethan Hawke. The section will be opened by Mohsen Makmalbaf’s The President. The Horizon jury is headed by Ann Hui, with Israeli actress Moran Atias, Swedish actress and director Pernilla August, American director and writer David Chase (The Sopranos), Chad director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Italian director Roberto Minervini and Turkish film critic Alin Tasciyan.
The Critic’s Week sidebar, which runs separately but concurrently to the main festival, features films from China, Vietnam, Iran, Palestine, France, Italy, Germany, and Serbia, with nine films in total being judged by festival-goers, rather than a jury. With eight world premieres, the sidebar will open with Nima Javidi’s Melbourne, which stars A Separation‘s Payman Maadi. Critic’s Week will close with The Market (Arance e Martello), from Italian television personality Diego Bianchi, known as “Zoro”, which is a described as a “Berlusconi-era” satirical dramedy.