Venice Film Festival

La Biennale di Venezia has announced all 7 slates at once.  Here’s the delicious list. (Thanks to Paddy Mulholland at ScreenOnScreen)
Venezia 72
  • 11 Minutes (Jerzy Skolimowski)
  • Anomalisa (Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman)
  • l’Attesa (Piero Messina)
  • Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga)
  • Behemoth (Zhao Liang)
  • A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)
  • El Clan (Pablo Trapero)
  • The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper)
  • Desde Alla (Lorenzo Vigas)
  • The Endless River (Oliver Hermanus)
  • Equals (Drake Doremus)
  • Francofonia (Aleksandr Sokurov)
  • Frenzy (Emin Alper)
  • Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson)
  • l’Hermine (Christian Vincent)
  • Looking for Grace (Sue Brooks)
  • Marguerite (Xavier Giannoli)
  • Per Amor Vostro (Giuseppe M. Gaudino)
  • Rabin, The Last Day (Amos Gitai)
  • Remember (Atom Egoyan)
  • Sangue del Mio Sangue (Marco Bellocchio)
Out of Competition
  • Afternoon (Tsai Ming Liang)
  • Black Mass (Scott Cooper)
  • La Calle de la Amargura (Arturo Ripstein)
  • de Palma (Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow)
  • l’Esercito Piu Piccolo del Mondo (Gianfranco Pannone)
  • The Event (Sergei Loznitsa)
  • Everest (Baltasar Kormakur)
  • Gli Uomini di Questa Citta Io Non Li Conosco (Franco Maresco)
  • Go with Me (Daniel Alfredson)
  • Human (Yann Arthus-Bertrand)
  • In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman)
  • Janis (Amy Berg)
  • Life and Nothing But (Bertrand Tavernier)
  • Mr. Six (Hu Guan)
  • Non Essere Cattivo (Claudio Caligari)
  • Spotlight (Thomas McCarthy)
  • Winter on Fire (Evgeny Afineevsky)
Out of Competition Short Films
  • The Audition (Martin Scorsese)
  • Boi Neon (Gabriel Mascaro)
  • The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet)
  • A Copy of My Mind (Joko Anwar)
  • Free in Deed (Jake Mahaffy)
  • Interrogation (Vetri Maaran)
  • Interruption (Yorgos Zois)
  • Italian Gangster (Renato de Maria)
  • Madame Courage (Merzak Allouache)
  • Man Down (Dito Montiel)
  • Mate-Me Por Favor (Anita Rocha da Silveira)
  • Un Monstruo de Mil Cabezas (Rodrigo Pla)
  • Mountain (Yaelle Kayam)
  • Pecore in Erba (Alberto Caviglia)
  • Taj Mahal (Nicolas Saada)
  • Tempete (Samuel Collardey)
  • A War (Tobias Lindholm)
  • Wednesday, May 9th (Vahid Jalilvand)
  • Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? (Hadar Morag)
Orizzonti – Short Films
  • 55 Pastillas (Sebastian Muro)
  • Backyards (Ivan Salatic)
  • Belladonna (Dubravka Turic)
  • Champ des Possibles (Cristin Picchi)
  • En Defensa Propia (Mariana Arriaga)
  • E.T.E.R.N.I.T. (Giovanni Aloi)
  • It Seems to Hang On (Kevin Jerome Everson)
  • Monkey (Shen Jie)
  • New Eyes (Hiwot Admasu Getaneh)
  • Oh Gallow Lay (Julian Wayser)
  • Seide (Elnura Osmonalieva)
  • Tarantula (Marja Calafange and Aly Muritiba)
  • Violence en Reunion (Karim Boukercha)
  • The Young Man Who Came from the Chee River (Wichanon Somumjarn)
Orizzonti – Short Films (Out of Competition)
  • Zero (David Victori)
International Critics’ Week
  • The Black Hen (Min Bahadur Bham)
  • The Journey (Adriano Valerio)
  • Light Years (Esther May Campbell)
  • Motherland (Senem Tuzen)
  • Mountain (Joao Salaviza)
  • The Return (Green Zeng)
  • Tanna (Martin Butler and Bentley Dean)
International Critics’ Week (Out of Competition)
  • Bagnoli Jungle (Antonio Capuano)
  • The Family (Liu Shu Min)
  • Orphans (Peter Mullan)
Venice Days – Official Selection
  • Arianna (Carlo Lavagna)
  • As I Open My Eyes (Leyla Bouzid)
  • The Daughter (Simon Stone)
  • Early Winter (Michael Rowe)
  • First Light (Vincenzo Marra)
  • Island City (Ruchika Oberoi)
  • Klezmer (Piotr Chrzan)
  • Long Live the Bride (Ascanio Celestini)
  • The Memory of Water (Matias Bize)
  • Retribution (Dani de la Torre)
  • Underground Fragrance (Song Peng Fei)
Venice Days – Special Events
  • Argentina (Carlos Saura)
  • Harry’s Bar (Carlotta Cerquetti)
  • Innocence of Memories – Orhan Pamuk’s Museum and Istanbul (Grant Gee)
  • Ma (Celia Rowlson Hall)
  • Milano 2015 (Roberto Bolle, Cristiana Capotondi, Giorgio Diritti, Elio, Silvio Soldini and Walter Veltroni)
  • Viva Ingrid! (Alessandro Rossellini)
Venice Days – Special Projects
  • Bangland (Lorenzo Berghella)
  • Il Paese Dove gli Alberi Volano – Eugenio Barba e i Giorni dell’Odin (Davide Barletti and Jacopo Quadri)
  • I Sogni del Lago Salato (Andrea Segre)
Venice Days – Lux Prize
  • Mediterranea (Jonas Carpignano)
  • Mustang (Deniz Gamze Erguven)
  • Urok (Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov)
Venice Days – Miu Miu Women’s Tales
  • De Djess (Alice Rohrwacher)
  • Les 3 Boutons (Agnes Varda)
Venice Classics
  • Aleksander Nevsky (Sergei M. Eisenstein)
  • Amarcord (Federico Fellini)
  • Bitter Reunion (Claude Chabrol)
  • The Boys from Feng Kuei (Hou Hsiao Hsien)
  • Hardly a Criminal (Hugo Fregonese)
  • Heaven Can Wait (Ernst Lubitsch)
  • Hope (Yilmaz Guney)
  • Leon Morin, Priest (Jean-Pierre Melville)
  • A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger)
  • I Mostri (Dino Risi)
  • The Power and the Glory (William K. Howard)
  • Ray of Sunshine (Pal Fejos)
  • Red Beard (Kurosawa Akira)
  • Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  • She Wolf (Alberto Lattuada)
  • The Thirsty One (Guru Dutt)
  • The Trial of Vivienne Ware (William K. Howard)
  • To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett)
  • Venise
  • We Want the Colonels (Mario Monicelli)
  • White Paws (Jean Gremillon)
Venice Classics – Documentaries
  • The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Maddin (Yves Montmayeur)
  • Alfredo Bini, The Unexpected Guest (Simone Isola)
  • Dietro gli Occhiali Bianchi (Valerio Ruiz)
  • A Flickering Truth (Pietra Brettkelly)
  • For the Love of a Man (Rinku Kalsy)
  • Helmut Berger, Actor (Andreas Horvath)
  • Jacques Tourneur Le Medium (Filmer l’Invisible) (Alain Mazars)
  • Mifune: The Last Samurai (Steven Okazaki)
Biennale College – Cinema
  • Baby Bump (Kuba Czekaj)
  • Blanka (Hasei Kohki)
  • The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer)

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 2.00.24 PM

The Venice Film Festival launched last year’s Best Picture winner into the Oscar race, and very nearly launched the previous year’s winner, Gravity. It comes on just moments before Telluride and the one-two punch of it hitting big and receiving raves in Venice, coupled with an enthusiastic, hyped up response in Telluride usually drives the momentum through to the end of the year. Of course, no one really thought Birdman could or would win last year, not until the Producers Guild picked it and the rest is Oscar his-story. By putting Everest in there they’re going for a big move, like Gravity I would guess, rather than a smaller move like Birdman. Gravity was big on visual effects – dizzying even — and high on emotions. Anyone who knows the TRUE story of what happened on Everest in 1996 knows that this will also be high on emotions.

Everest is the story of the disastrous journey to the top of Everest when a big storm came in. Jon Krakauer’s book Into the Thin Air is required reading of the event, if you have not yet read it. It is the story of rich people throwing money at the sherpas to get them to the top of the mountain. It is a story of why getting back down off the mountain is far more dangerous than going up. It’s about oxygen tanks, the need for them and the lack of them. It is about teamwork and looking out for your fellow climber and it’s about those who break the codes, clog up the lines and leave lots of dead bodies in their wake. It was a cautionary tale in 1997 when the Krakauer book was released. The earthquake in Nepal this year now holds the record for single day deaths on Everest and can’t be laid at the feet of human error, as the 1996 tragedy could.

I’m very much looking forward to Everest but all must go in not expecting a happy ending. Still, I’m sure it will be thrilling to watch.

Pic is directed by Baltasar Kormákur.

Here is a featurette:


Director Alfonso Cuarón will chair the jury at this year’s jury of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival which takes place this September. Cuarón will head the international competition jury which awards the Golden Lion for Best Film and other official prizes.

Cuarón is not stranger to the Venice Film Festival, Gravity was the opening film in 2013, Y Tu Mamà También won Best Screenplay in 2001, and the 2006 film, Children of Men” won the Best Cinematography the Osella Award.


Variety listed the Venice films upcoming. A Lisa Cholodenko film called Olive Kittredge, playing out of competition, caught my eye immediately. It is not a feature, of course – do they make features like this anymore? But it does sound pretty great – an HBO mini series with Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins, together again after playing Hard Bodies boss and employee in Burn After Reading. Not many US films in main competition, though Birdman is really the big get.


“The Cut,” Fatih Akin (Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Canada, Poland, Turkey)
“A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence,” Roy Andersson (Sweden, Germany, Norway, France)
“99 Homes,” Ramin Bahrani (U.S.)
“Tales,” Rakhshan Bani E’temad (Iran)
“La rancon de la gloire,” Xavier Beauvois (France)
“Hungry Hearts,” Saverio Costanzo (Italy)
“Le fernier coup de marteau,” Alix Delaporte (France)
“Manglehorn,” David Gordon Green (U.S.)
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu (U.S.) OPENER
“Three Hearts,” Benoit Jacquot (France)
“The Postman’s White Nights,” Andrei Konchalovsky (Russia)
“Il Giovane Favoloso,” Mario Martone (Italy)
“Sivas,” Kaan Mujdeci (Turkey)
“Anime Nere,” Francesco Munzi (Italy, France)
“Good Kill,” Andrew Niccol (U.S.)
“Loin des Hommes,” David Oelhoffen (France)
“The Look of Silence,” Joshua Oppenheimer (Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Norway, U.K.)
“Nobi,” Shinya Tsukamoto (Japan)
“Red Amnesia,” Wang Xiaoshuai (China)

“Words with Gods,” Guillermo Arriaga, Emir Kusturica, Amos Gitai. Mira Nair, Warwick Thornton, Hector Babenco, Bahman Ghobadi, Hideo Nakata, Alex de la Iglesia (Mexico. U.S.)
“She’s Funny That Way,” Peter Bogdanovich (U.S.)
“Dearest,” Peter Ho-sun Chan (Hong Kong, China)
“Olive Kitteridge,” Lisa Cholodenko (U.S.)
“Burying the Ex,” Joe Dante (U.S.)
”Perez,” Edoardo De Angelis (Italy)
“La zuppa del demonio,” Davide Ferrario (Italy)
“Tsili,” Amos Gitai (Israel, Russia, Italy, France)
“La trattativa,” Sabina Guzzanti (Italy)
“The Golden Era,” Ann Hui (China, Hong Kong) CLOSER
“Make Up,” Im Kwontaek (South Korea)
“The Humbling,” Barry Levinson (U.S.)
“The Old Man of Belem,” Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal, France)
“Italy in a Day,” Gabriele Salvatores (Italy, U.K.)
“In the Basement,” Ulrich Seidl (Austria)
“The Boxtrolls,” Anthony Stacchi, Annable Graham (U.K)
“Nyphomanic Volume II (long version) Director’s Cut,” Lars Von Trier (Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium)

“Theeb,” Naji Abu Nowar (Jordan, U.A.E. Qatar, U.K.)
“Line of Credit,” Salome Alexi (Georgia, Germany, France)
“Cymbeline,” Michael Almereyda (U.S.)
“Senza Nessuna Pieta,” Michele Alhaique (Italy)
“Near Death Experience,” Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern (France)
“Le Vita Oscena,” Renato De Maria (Italy)
“Realite,” Quentin Dupieux (France, Belgium)
“I Spy/I Spy,” Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala (Austria)
“Hill of Freedom,” Hong Sangsoo (South Korea)
“Bypass,” Duane Hopkins (U.K.)
“The President,” Moshen Makhmalbaf (Georgia, France, U.K. Germany)
“Your Right Mind,” Ami Canaan Mann (U.S.)
“Belluscone, una storia siciliana,” Franco Maresco (Italy)
“Nabat,” Elchin Musaoglu (Azerbaijan)
“Heaven Knows What,” Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie (U.S., France)
“These Are the Rules,” Ognjen Svilicic,” (Croatia, France, Serbia, Macedonia)
“Court,” Chaitanya Tamhane (India)



Thanks to Guy Lodge the awards announcements are trickling in. So far:

Golden Lion: Sacro GRA, Gianfranco Rosi
Grand Jury Prize: Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang
Silver Lion, for Best Director: Miss Violence, Alexandros Avranas
Best Actor: Themis Payou, Miss Violence
Screenplay: Philomena
Best Actress: Elena Cotta in A Street in Palermo
Special Jury Prize: The Police Officer’s Wife
Luigi de Laurentiis Lion of the Future: White Shadow
FIPRESCI prize: Tom à la ferme, Xavier Dolan

check out the trailer for Sacro GRA after the cut.

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From ScreenDaily via our good buddy Paddy Mulholland at ScreenOnScreen

The line-up of the 70th Venice International Film Festival (28th August > 7th September) has been announced. The official selection includes: Venezia 70, Out of Competition, Orizzonti, and Venice Classics. The autonomous and parallel sections include the International Critics’ Week, and the Giornate degli Autori – Venice Days.

The world premiere of Gravity will screen in 3D on August 28th in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido, following the opening ceremony.  In celebration of the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival, the Biennale di Venezia has created the special project, Venezia 70 – Future Reloaded. 70 movie directors from all over the world have been invited to make a short film lasting between 60 and 90 seconds.


  • Ana Arabia, Amos Gitai (Isr-Fra)
  • Child of God, James Franco (US)
  • Joe, David Gordon Green (US)
  • Kaze Tachinu, Hayao Miyazaki (Jpn)
  • L’intrepido, Gianni Amelio (Italy)
  • La Jalousie, Philippe Garrel (Fra)
  • Miss Violence, Alexandros Avranas (Greece)
  • Night Moves, Kelly Reichardt (US)
  • Parkland, Peter Landesman (US)
  • Philomena, Stephen Frears (UK)
  • The Police Officer’s Wife, Philip Groning (Ger)
  • The Rooftops, Merzak Allouache (Alg-Fra)
  • Sacro Gra, Gianfranco Rosi (It)
  • Stray Dogs, Ming-liang Tsai (Chi-Fra)
  • Tom a la Ferme, Xavier Dolan (Can-Fra)
  • Tracks, John Curran (UK-Aus)
  • Under the Skin, Jonathan Glazer
  • The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld, Errol Morris (US)
  • Via Castellana Bandiera, Emma Dante (It-Switz-Fra)
  • The Zero Theorem, Terry Gilliam (UK-US)

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If there is one thing we know about Italians – they love them some George Clooney. They’re not getting Monuments Men but they are getting Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity.  The pic will open the fest in the crowded pre-Oscar season, August 28, 2013.

Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton and The Ides of March hit the Lido.  Clooney lives in Italy and spends so much time there they seem to have claimed him as one of their own.

The Venice – Oscar connection is there, even if it isn’t as direct a line as Telluride and Toronto.  The Hurt Locker and The Wrestler made their mark in Venice, as did Black Swan. It can also sometimes derail an otherwise promising film as it did with Sofia Coppola’s unfairly maligned Somewhere after it won the top prize, beating Black Swan. If you’ve been following along with us so far you might imagine a similar scenario had the Bling Ring beat Blue is the Warmest Color in Cannes.  Thus, it seemed to have set up Somewhere to fail.

UPDATE: The Master has now been added to the TIFF lineup as well.

Whether Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master would go to Venice or not seemed to be in dispute over the past few days but now it looks like The Master and Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder will take a bow at la Biennale between August 29 and September 8.  It really is a smart move for both because the Venice lineup was looking very very weak in terms of finding “Oscar movies.”  The Master, and maybe To the Wonder (but you just never know) will likely dazzle the crowd there and make a big publicity over here. Since no one has seen The Master, at least no one who will talk about it, all eyes will now be on Venice where one of the year’s most anticipated films will be seen.

Writes Anne Thompson:

Harvey Weinstein is playing games. The marketing maestro didn’t want Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” announced with the rest of the pack for The Venice Film Festival, which unveiled its competition line-up last week.  Now “The Master,” which opens a month earlier than originally planned on September 14, along with Terrence Malick’s fervently-anticipated “To The Wonder,” will suck up the publicity oxygen in the run-up to and during the La Biennale.

It remains to be seen which fests the film will wind up playing: Venice yes, but what about Telluride, Toronto and Fantastic Fest?  This fall Harvey Weinstein has plenty of high-profile projects to juggle as well, from David O. Russell’s “The Silver Linings Playbook” to December 25 opener “Django Unchained,” written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

I’m still hoping The Master will go to Telluride.  But yes, Venice is a very very smart move.


via CinEuropa (Thanks Joao!)

Venice 2011  Competition

The Ides Of March – George Clooney (US) [opening film]
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Tomas Alfredson (UK, Germany)
Wuthering Heights – Andrea Arnold (UK)
Texas Killing Fields – Ami Canaan Maan (US)
Quando La Notte – Cristina Comencini (Italy)
Terraferma – Emanuele Crialese (Italy/France)
A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg (Germany/Canada)
4:44 Last Day On Earth – Abel Ferrara (US)
Killer Joe – William Friedkin (US)
Un Ete Brulant – Philippe Garrel (France/Italy/Switzerland)
A Simple Life (Taojie) – Ann Hui (China/Hong Kong)
The Exchange (Hahithalfut) – Eran Kolirin (Israel)
Alps (Alpeis) -Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)
Shame – Steve McQueen (UK)
L’ultimo Terrestre – Gian Alfonso Pacinotti (Italy)
Carnage – Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Spain/Poland)
Chicken With Plums – Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud (France/Belgium/Germany)
Faust – Aleksander Sokurov (Russia)
Dark Horse – Todd Solondz (US)
Himizu – Sion Sono (Japan)
Seediq Bale – Wei Te-Sheng (Taiwan)

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Winner of the Venice Fest Silver Lion and the prize for best screenplay by Álex de la Iglesia. Thanks to Jesus Alonso for finding this clip from Balada Triste de Trompeta.

Somewhere Venice

Venice Palmares

  • Golden Lion: Somewhere, Sofia Coppola
  • Silver Lion: Balada triste de trompeta, √Ålex de la Iglesia,
  • Special Prize: Essential Killing, Jerzy Skolimowsi.
  • Coppa Volpi (Best Actor): Vincent Gallo, Essential Killing
  • Coppa Volpi (Best Actress): Ariane Labed, Attenberg
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award (Best Young Actor & Actress): Mila Kunis, Black Swan
  • Osella (Best Screenplay): A Sad Trumpet Ballad, √Ålex de la Iglesia
  • Osella (Best Cinematography): Mikhail Krichman, Silent Souls
  • Special Lion for Overall Work: Monte Hellman
  • European Cinema Award: The Clink of Ice
  • Leoncino d’Oro (Golden Lion Cub): Barney’s Vision
  • Queer Lion (best gay film): In the Future

(Thanks to David, Jeremie & Joao for the breaking news.)

sad trumpet ballad lg

Winner today of two top prizes at the Venice Film Festival — The Silver Lion for √Ålex de la Iglesia, and the Osella award for his screenplay — here’s the Gilliam-esque poster for Balada triste de trompeta, A Sad Trumpet Ballad. Full-sized after the cut.

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somewhere sm2

Don’t want to seem to be obsessing but as these reviews trickle the reactions are all over the map, so here’s another perspective from Variety:

Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” is a quiet heartbreaker. Trading “Lost in Translation’s” Tokyo hotel for Beverly Hills’ Chateau Marmont, the ever-perceptive writer-director further hones her gifts for ruefully funny observation and understated melancholy with this low-key portrait of a burned-out screen actor. Steeped in morning-after regret and centered around a strong performance by Stephen Dorff, the result is sure to frustrate those who require their plots thick and their emotions underlined, but Focus Features should be able to court a small, discerning audience willing to get on the film’s delicate wavelength.

“Lost in Translation” reps a distillation of Coppola’s techniques rather than a progression, and her critics may well fault her for staying in her comfort zone, for retreating ever further into a bubble of solipsism and high privilege — a charge that would be more persuasive if the movies themselves weren’t so consistently disarming. Film by film, she’s building a fresh, distinctive body of work marked by an abiding fascination with the inner lives of celebrities — a desire to expose the ennui and alienation lurking behind so many tabloid personas and hold them up for pointed comic and dramatic inspection, something she does here with practiced ease…

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black swan sm1

Black Swan had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last night, and many critics are leaping around in grand jetés of praise:

Todd McCarthy, Indiewire:

As a sensory experience for the eyes and ears, “Black Swan” provides bountiful stimulation. Aronofsky and cinematographer Matthew Libatique choreograph the camera in beautiful counterpoint to Portman’s dance moves, especially in rehearsals, and the muted color scheme on rather grainy stock look like a more refined version of what the director did on “The Wrestler.” Tchaikovsky’s ever-present music supplies plenty of its own drama and the dance world details seem plausible enough.

Mike Goodridge, Screen International:

Already back on track after Venice Golden Lion winner The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky soars to new heights with Black Swan, an enthralling drama set in the competitive world of ballet. Alternately disturbing and exhilarating, this dark study of a mentally fragile performer derailed by her obsession with perfection is one of the most exciting films to come out of the Hollywood system this year. Indeed it‚Äôs the perfect film to open the autumn season with its gala at Venice tonight, a bold display of cinematic fireworks that will leave audiences breathless…

Black Swan will be warmly received in Venice, Toronto and beyond and it should pirouette all the way to the Oscars next Feb. If the film is ultimately too unsettling to snag main prizes, it has at least one nomination in the bag for lead actress Natalie Portman who gives one of ‚Äúthose‚Äù performances, transforming herself after ten months of training into an accomplished ballerina, almost uncomfortable to watch as she consumes her difficult role…

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Tsui Hark, who produced John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow and directed Once Upon a Time in China is back in audacious epic form with Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, premiering at the Venice Film Festival next month.

In Tsui Hark’s latest lavish epic wuxia/mystery choreographed by Sammo Hung, starring Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Tony Leung Kar Fai, Li Bing Bing, etc, Di Renjie, who is in exile, is summoned back to the court to investigate a series of mysterious murders that threatens the coronation of Empress Wu Zetian.

Trailer 2 after the cut is even more gloriously berserk and a full minute longer, but doesn’t have English subtitles. Honestly though: “To solve this murder case, we need to seek help in the Phantom Mart.” What else do you need to know?

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Following up on Sasha’s mention earlier today about the Venice premiere of Black Swan, via USA Today we have the first photos from Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller set in the world of New York City ballet.

The dark tale with psychological twists stars Natalie Portman as Nina, a technically brilliant ballerina whose life takes some strange turns after being picked as the lead in a New York City production of Swan Lake. Pressures mount as her overbearing mother (Barbara Hershey) pushes her to succeed and her manipulative dance master (Vincent Cassel) commands her to be more seductive and loose in her performance.

Complicating matters is the arrival of Lily (Mila Kunis), a sultry dancer who exhibits all the innate ease and sexuality that Nina lacks. Nina begins to fixate on the newcomer as the two forge an unusual relationship.

Also starring Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder, Black Swan may be one of the more sparkly gems in Fox Searchlight’s tiara this awards season. The last time an Aronofsky film opened on the Lido, in 2008, he took home the Golden Lion for The Wrestler in 2008. If nothing else, with Matthew Libatique behind the camera, it’s sure to look marvelous. More photos after the cut.

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