There are quite a few wonderful MENA titles featured in this year’s Venice Film Festival lineup. In fact, the opening day of the festival also signified the world premiere of Lebanese filmmaker Wissam Charaf’s modern neorealism title. Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous – which was the opening movie of the Giornate degli Autori sidebar. But more on that in future articles.
For now, it’s all about the red carpets, Noah Baumbach’s opening film and the jury press conference.
During the first press conference of the morning, welcoming journalists to the Lido and introducing the juries of this year’s edition, the president of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, highlighted the new venue, a “historic room”. for our daily catch-ups and how it was the “first press conference held here.” He told the media how delighted he was to have American film star Julianne Moore leading the Competition’s jury, but also reminded participants that “as President of La Biennale, he represents much more as cinema, in all the different disciplines” such as art, architecture, dance, music and theatre. Cicutto also highlighted the newest member of the cinema section, “The College Cinema Biennale is now 10 years old and a great success, with films shown here and then released around the world.”
Then it was the turn of Alberto Barbera, artistic director of the Venice International Film Festival. “I will be brief as always,” Barbera launched and introduced all the members of the jury, in all the different sections – minus Michelangelo Frammartino, who leads the “Luigi De Laurentiis Venice Prize for a first film, which would arrive a day late for his film Il Buco (The hole) which premiered in Venice last year is being distributed to German cinemas and it was due to be present for the premiere events there.
On the Competition jury, Iranian actress Leila Hatami will be alongside Moore, as will Franco-Lebanese filmmaker Audrey Diwan, while Algerian director Sofia Djama will sit on the Orizzonti jury headed by Spanish director Isabel Coixet.
For as long as she can remember, Julianne Moore has “been mesmerized by the big screen” and she’s admitted to favoring curation, which is what makes festivals so great. “Curation matters so much, which is why a festival like Venice is so important,” Moore said, due to its ability to “bring together amazing work.” She then talked about her first experience with curation. “She was a Juno, Alaskan movie programmer at the local theater,” Moore confessed, where she watched a mix of “Disney movies, like the Aristocats“, mixed with something as diverse as Minnie and Moskowitz by John Cassavetes. “What is this world over there? the actress then remembers questioning herself. And that was the power she calls “tremendous curation.”
Coixet admitted that “more than a great director, I am a very good audience”, and said his instructions as head of the jury to his fellow jury members were simple. “Some people talk after a film, and others like to keep quiet — I’ve been to festivals where people want to kill each other and there are more important things to kill each other for in the world, so let’s not kill each other.” the Spanish filmmaker in a film? “A crush. as the French say, something that makes me fall in love.”
When Moore was asked about the future of filmmaking and the ever-changing landscape, she replied, “I feel like the discussion about the future of filmmaking is often more business-oriented. For me, what we continue to do creatively is more important. There will always be different delivery systems, the world is always changing, but the art doesn’t change. It’s a constant. And that’s what it’s all about. Venice When asked what rules she had for her fellow jurors, she joked “everyone has to dress the same, that’s my rule”.
Barbera was of course asked about the ticketing system, which for accredited industry and press attendees has been a nightmare we wake up to every morning. “If there was a crystal ball to look into the future, we could answer that question,” he replied. He blamed the problem on everyone joining at once, which of course is true, but unavoidable. He added, however, that “the places are there and can be reserved”, even a few hours after the system opens every other day. And in fact, there were still plenty of seats available for our opening film screening earlier today.
The opening night movie White noise by American author Noah Baumbach, is a satirical commentary on our modern existence, where aimless words and discussing everything and everyone in detail have replaced feelings. We don’t, because we talk about it on social media, and we don’t experience anything deeply because we discuss our feelings instead. “If it’s all around you, you won’t hear it” is written on the film posters around the Lido, and amen to that we say.
Adam Driver delivers one of those performances we’ve come to expect from a most unexpected, perhaps the most exciting actor of our time, and Greta Gerwig is simply spellbinding as the woman whose hair is beyond her – but also everyone around her.
And Julianne Moore wore Valentino on the opening night red carpet, as you see her in all her glory (in the header above).
That’s it for day one, you’re all caught up.