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Venice Highlights by Alex Deleon


        Alex Deleon


 Annette Bening jury president was regal at the closing ceremony

In a sense everybody sees a different festival depending on choices made and the fallout of the daily agenda.
My festival started out slowly but picked up steam tooward the end.  Arriving late I missed many the films I wanted to see and didn't see any of the einners, but I did catch a few good ones.
The highlight of my personal festival week was  George Clooney's Suburbicon with Matt Damin and Julianne Moore who received a career award?
Ozu's restired masterpiece "Ochazuke no Aji" (The flavor of Green Tea over Rice) was a classic Japanese pleasure worth revisting.
The War Room (Reconstruction of the war noom in Dr. Strangelove) and "The Prince and the Dybbuk" a dazzlimg documentary on the strange life of little known Polish director Michal Waszynski  who made the prewar Yiddish classic "The Dybbuk" was a most  rewarding double bill. Frederick Wiseman's doc on the New York Public Library had certain intellectial rewards, and, finally, Errol Morris' two part Netflix documentary WORMWOOD on the execution and coverup of a prominent dissident scientist was not only an eye opener but a master class in creative abstract documentary filmmaking. Frank Olson was a scientist working on fiendish American experiments with LSD during the Cold War in 1953 and had great misgivings over his participation in these grotesque experiments. Viewed as a dangerous dissident who might expose top militaty secrets he was defenestrated (thrown out of a high hotel window) with the death being passed off as a suicide, His son spent half a century trying to unearth the truth, which he did,  but not to final satisfaction. Chilling and spellbinding. 
At the closing ceremony British actress Charlotte Rampling who received the best actress award spoke of her early work in Italian cinema and won warm applause. 
The awards this year were universally popular with no complaints.
The Golden Lion grand prix for best film went to the "The shape of water", a front runner all week long, by heavyweight (300 pounds) Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, not to be confused with Hollywood actor Benicio del Tofi, please.
French Director Xavier Legrand broke down in tears upon receiving a lion for best diector of  the film "Jusqu'à la Garde".
An unusual first in festival awards went to Australisn Aboriginal director Warwick Thornton for his Aussie western "Sweet Country". Other major winners include Samuel Maoz’s Israeli drama, Foxtrot, which was awarded  the Grand Jury Prize; 
  French director Xavier Legrand sheds tears of joy at awards ceremony


Comments (1)

Comment about Oscar Isaac

Commentary on Venice from Bretagne, Paul Lipari, free-lance film commentator, writes from France:

<<I saw Oscar Isaac a while back in a television miniseries (with a lame generic title I can never remember) in which he played the (true-life) youngest ever mayor of Yonkers: who does nothing but butt heads against the lily-white racists of the city, and eventually ends up killing himself after he is voted out of office.  Superb performance.

And it is good to hear that Gorgeous George continues to choose challenging and original material to film.  So does Ben Affleck.  Matt Damon knows how to pick his friends.


yep. It looks to me like Mr. Isaac, a Latino from Guatemala, may be the new top gun in Hollywood actor circles and there is no doubt that Damon knows how to pick friends. Also smart enough to know you can't keep playing heroic young dudes forever without looking dumb.. A lot of things came together in "Suburbicon" that were  apparently lost on and sniffed over in the trade paper reviews. With talent like Julianne Moore and Matt Damon willing to shoot from the hip and not stick to easy comfort zones I sense a new surge of creative energy coming out of Hollywood. About Time after  years of solid repetitive formula dumb down. 

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About Mostra Internazionale d Arte Cinematografica Venice

Oldest festival in the world, MOSTRA is Non-specialised competitive event for features and shorts. Two competing sections and three Prizes: the Golden Lion, the Lion of the Year and the Lion of the Future to best director`s debut film.



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