Tomorrow the Venice International Film Festival will yet again open its doors to all kinds of viewers, directors, actors, industry, press and other people. Though that doesn't really explain why this ToM will be rather small in length, that is where my annual presence there comes in, which also includes some coverage for ScreenAnarchy and hence currently has me busy preparing for it. Also bringing us to the subject of this ToM, this time giving you five random reasons to visit Venice's Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica!
If you don't live near Toronto...
... you just visit Venice. Many ScreenAnarchy readers probably might have noticed before that our coverage of the Toronto film fest is more than extensive. Lots of other film festivals pass by, but nothing comes close to our number of TIFF reports. With quite some ScreenAnarchy staff, including founder Todd Brown, either living in Toronto or just somewhere in North-America makes that a one-plus-one. However, what to do when you live on the other side of the ocean? That's where Venice comes in, always taking place about one week in advance of Toronto and always sharing an interesting resemblance in their line-up. Luckily, their line-ups aren't entirely the same, they're just similar on some points...
A Festival With A History
Berlin had its 61st edition, Cannes brought part 63 and Toronto is to organize its film festivities for a 35th time this year. However, la Biennale di Venezia holds the record, with edition 67th it officially is world's oldest film festival.
It would make more sense to mention the Udine Far East Festival here, but this year's line-up includes some interesting Asian titles. Sono Shion's Cold Fish, Miike Takashi's 13 Assassins, Anh Hung Tran's Norwegian Wood, Tsui Hark's Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame, Andrew Lau's Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zen and John Woo's Reign of Assassins, just to name a few. All in all, for those into Asian cinema a nice set of titles to look forward to.
"The Lido is a very beautiful place! I'm glad that I can walk there again," is what master animation director Miyazaki Hayao noted two years ago when his Ponyo screened in competition. Now I consider this genius sometimes a bit old fashioned, but in this case one simply has to agree. Venice itself (of course) is unique and the festival's setting, near the beach and the Excelsior and often with good weather, is simply lovely as well. That's something a great but often rainy fest like Rotterdam could use.
This year by the way might be the last time for Venice visitors to visit the Sala Grande. The Palazzo del Cinema, the festival's main facility from 1937, is to be replaced with a new Palazzo representing the new requirements of a modern, international film festival. And that one is going to huge... and golden... just like their lions... Personally I am not sure yet what to think of the design, but impressive it will be.
And More Films Worth Watching
David Hudson and Boyd van Hoeij over at MUBI already brought some worthwhile Venice previews. Next to paying attention to obvious titles like Aronofsky's Black Swan and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, they also zoom in on (for me) less obvious titles possibly worth while. If you haven't already, be sure to check out what they have to say and find yourself some more reasons for a (last minute) Venice film fest visit.
The 67th edition of Venice International Film Festival takes place from September 1-11 2010 on the Venice Lido. For the complete line-up visit the fest's official website.