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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Venice Roars On

Patrice Chereau’s Gabrielle based on The Return by Joseph Conrad is the story about an upper class woman, Gabrielle (Isabelle Hubert), who writes a letter to her husband that she is leaving him for another man. She later returns home to her husband Jean (Pascal Greggory)the same day. The decision to project letters and plot developments onscreen as mega texts is one of the problems of Chereau’s film. The other is the cinematography by Eric Gautier who tries to enhance the story with more virtues than it deserves. This is a theater piece, with fine performances by Hubert and Greggory.

Miike Takeshi’s out of competition film The Great Yokai War (Yokai daisenso screened), is a spectacular science fiction story using Japanese mythology about goblins, or yokai. Story is about ten year old Tadashi (Kamiki Ryunosuke) chosen to be the “Kirin Rider”. The Great Yokai War may however not appeal to adult audiences and clearly seems like a film for children. It is a phantasmogoric epic, with many special effects and assortments of Yokai goblins with a cast of hundreds. Their war is about a world that is not environmentally sustainable.

Werner Herzog delivers an extraordinary science fiction ‘documentary’ - about the future of the world in The Wide Blue Yonder (Horizons section) A group of astronauts circle the earth for hundreds of year after it dies. They live in an ocean wonder world and later return to an earth in pristine condition.
Also from the Horizons section, Michael Glawogger wonders if the ‘working class’ has died out – in a brilliant expose of workers in Nigeria, China, Ukraine, Germany and Ukraine --Workingman’s Death .

Out of competition entrant Steven Soderbergh came to Venice with Bubble, a film about a love triangle. Soderbergh claims he wants to get as far away from Hollywood film to make a film in the USA.

Other sections of the festival include: "Venice Days" and the "International Critic’s Week".

Crazy , a Venice Day entry by Jean Marc Valleé (Canada) is about a heteronormative family with a gay son, a story spanning three decades from the 60’s to 90’s accompanied by lots of music (Patsy Cline (film title), David Bowie, Jefferson Airplane). Clever art direction and an imaginative script.

In Mater Natura, by Massimmo Andrei, an International Critic’s Week entry is a story about transvestites and MTF transgenders. They eventually set up an 'agrifuturism' colony outside Naples, and offer Trans-Vesuvian counseling. Parallel with the Venice festival is the Gay Lido Film Festival (September 5-8 (Giornate di Cinema Omosessuale) with four films.

Vaporetto boats to St Giorgio were provided for screenings of ten restored Chinese films from the festival's retrospective sections: "Secrets of Asian Cinema" with films from Japan and China. There is also the "Secrets of Italian Cinema" section which features Pier Pasolino’s Salò and Fellini’s Il Casanova.

From Cannes to the Venice market section came Zaire, Rider of the Atlas, by Bourlem Guerdjou (Germany/France) -- the story of a young Moroccan girl who is determined to ride the race her mother won and was disqualified from 12 years before. With exceptional photography, the film won the audience award at Locarno.


Moira Sullivan

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