Primo Giorno - 68th Venice International Film Festival

With a forgettable not entertaining and truly protocol opening ceremony La Mostra 2011 opened with too much Clooney for my taste and not even a single movie clip from any of the movies in or out of competition. But have to admit that enjoyed the first part of Vittoria Puccini speech and nothing else in particular.

Anyway today was the premiere of George Clooney’s The Ides of March so there was a press conference, a photo call and a red carpet walk with him dominating and stealing the limelight for the day. Nevertheless was able to watch on TV and photos from Evan Rachel Wood, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei who star in Clooney’s film.

Before the screening of the Festival and Competition opening film there was a four minute short film called Lido ’28 by Anonymous produced in 1928 that was able to watch as they showed it as part of the opening ceremony on TV. Short made me recall Visconti’s Morte a Venezia (Deatch in Venice) but short shows the real beach and 20’s beauties doing all sort of odd things, including riding horses in the sea.

After the Competition opening film, the Out of Competition opening film follows: ¡VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS! by Victor Kossakovsky, a documentary that is in Spanish, Russian, Setswana, and English; is a Germany, Argentina, Netherlands, and Chile production plus tells about the few land-to-land antipodal places in mother Earth… which makes doc very interesting for me.

Early this afternoon the Giornate degli Autori opened with a special event: the screening of Crazy Horse by Frederick Wiseman an absolute Must-Be-Seen for me since I learned about it a few months back; followed by Di La Dal Vetro (Beyond the Glass) a short by Andrea Di Bari plus Love and Bruises by Lou Ye a French production staring a mesmerizing actor Tahar Rahim (remember A Prophet?) with an interesting story that will made me watch it.

Later in the afternoon the Retrospective section opened with three 1967 Italian medium-length films Hemitage by Carmelo Bene, Il Canto d’Amore di Alfred Prufrock by Nico D’Alessandria, and Bis by Paolo Brunatto; last a longer film with 55 minutes from 1967-68 by Paolo Brunatto Vieni Dolce Morte (Dell ‘Ego) that is a silent film.

As the first day fades away I hope to see tomorrow a lot less of Clooney and a lot more of the Jury President Darren Aronofsky, in the meantime here are some photos from today’s events.

Ci vediamo a Domani!!

The Main Competition Jury

The Ides of March cast and crew

Nice Rachel and George photo.

Watch Biennale 2011 trailers @MOC

Highlights from the First Day

Midnight in Paris

The 2011 Cannes opening movie is a pleasant surprise as looks and feels like the great movies by Woody Allen especially because Allen is in the film. Well, actually he is not in the screen at all! Let me explain. I don’t particularly care about Owen Wilson and I do dislike most of his performances but I believe that his best role up-to-date is in this movie and he’s playing Woody Allen! Oh yes, I could see (a younger) Woody all over Owen’s performance and maybe now I finally gasped what I miss in Allen’s movies, I miss him, the (younger) actor.

A beautiful love-letter to Paris with breath-taking day/night/rainy views of the gorgeous city (yes, I do LOVE Paris) film tells the impossible dream of many “intellectuals” that wish to alternate, converse and rub elbows with la crème de la crème of the many artists that lived in 20’s Paris, but Gil (Owens) is a “normal” American tourist struggling with writing a novel after being a very successful Hollywood screenplay writer and indeed he could be the opposite to a intellectual prototype. There is a lot of irony in story and dialogues, which absolutely makes it very appealing to me and yes is an enjoyable glimpse into the Parisian lives of the likes of Hemingway, Buñuel, Picasso, Matisse, Dalí, Gertrude Stein, Cole Porter, Fitzgerald, and many others. The only predictable moment for me was going to Maxim where I knew Toulouse-Lautrec was going to appear, but I forgive you Mr. Allen, as most of it was really unexpected.

Best performance in movie belongs to Marion Cotillard that truly steals all scenes she’s in; but I also enjoyed the brief appearance by Léa Seydoux and to be honest, did not recognized Carla Bruni (lol!) and wonder –like someone else also wonders- if her sister Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi played the character instead of her surely character would have been more noticeable and interesting.

It’s a fun to watch film, well, a Woody Allen type of fun to watch film and definitively enjoyed my entertaining moment and I do recommend film to those that like Allen’s oldies and somehow wish to see (the younger version of) him in the screen.


Watch trailer @MOC

Jane Eyre

You read the book. You have seen one or more movie adaptations. You know the story. So how a new adaptation can absolutely take your breath away as well as stimulate all your senses and emotions at the right moments?

Cary Jôji Fukunaga first voyage into a period drama -after his spectacular Sin Nombre- is an amazing visual experience that since the very beginning up to the end marvels your eyes with outstanding visual compositions, amazing framing, great camera takes, and moving sequential –one after another- photographs that you wish to stop the film to admire them more. It’s not a perfect visual experience as Fukunaga chose in some key moments to relegate the visual to the back only to allow drama to build up front with outstanding performances by a perfect cast, which detonates your emotions to the fullest. And the ride continues until the very last scene with breathtaking visuals, emotions explosions and even tension building. Incredible, especially because I really know the story but this movie made me live and feel the story as if was new to me.

Have to give credit to a fresh screenplay by Moira Buffini that in my opinion highlighted the drama by more in-depth developing lead and secondary story characters which allowed Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre), Michael Fassbender (Rochester), Judi Dench (Mrs. Fairfax), Jamie Bell (St John Rivers), and Sally Hawkins (Mrs. Reed) to shine on the screen. But no doubt that is Fukunaga masterful storytelling which allowed all the pieces to come together to make this movie an excellent cinematic experience.

This is not a fast paced movie but neither is slow; somehow made wish it was slower paced to admire more time the many classical framing photos that populate the film. Definitively will watch again to enjoy more the visuals hoping that I won’t be taken again by the emotions, but guess that won’t be an easy task as this is an almost perfect combination of everything I love in a movie. Bravo Master Fukunaga and I’ll be most anxiously waiting for your next film that I do imagine will masterly explore new -for you- cinema territories.

I do praise this movie as truly deserves it but I know that for many will be just another adaptation or if you’re not familiar with story, like another period drama; still if you love very visual movies maybe you will experience as much as I did this great film.

Big Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @MOC

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