Venerable film fest still has old-time glamour
Once upon a time, the world was full of prestigious film festivals, each of which wielded a similar degree of influence. Berlin, Venice and even Karlovy Vary all managed to make and break major careers. In recent decades those Premier League fests have, however, lost some of their shine. Toronto now owns the autumn and Cannes has captured spring.
For all that, the Venice Film Festival, the oldest major film event in the world, still clutches a unique class of musty glamour about itself. Last week the organisers announced the line up for the 65th festival, which begins on August 27th, and, thanks to the Hollywood writers strike, Englishlanguage releases were notable for their scarcity.
Still, visitors to the Lido will get a chance to gawp at such intriguing beasts as Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, starring none other than Mickey Rourke, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker.
More exciting still, the festival will unspool the directorial debut of Guillermo Arriaga, writer of Amores Perros and 21 Grams. The Burning Plain, which stars Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger, sounds as if it will once again highlight Arriaga’s talent for unconventional narrative structures.
“There are very intense love stories here that take place in different places and times,” he said recently. “And characters trying to find the healing powers of love, forgiveness and redemption.” Sounds like a hoot.