The President of the Venice Biennale, Davide Croff, and the Director of the 62nd Venice International Film Festival, Marco Muller, announced the line-up of the festival that runs August 31 to September 10. The program is divided into 4 main sections: Venice 62 - In Competition, Out of Competition, Horizons (new trends in cinema), and Corto Cortissimo (short films not longer than 30 minutes).
The world premiere of "Qi Jian" (Seven Swords), a new and highly anticipated film by Tsui Hark,will be the opening event of the Film Festival. "Casanova" will be the featured film for the gala evening on Saturday, September 3rd. It will be the world premiere of Casanova by Swedish director Lasse Hallström, starring Heath Ledger (as Casanova), Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, and Lena Olin.
The panel of judges will be headed by Italy's Oscar-winning set designer Dante Ferretti. The other judges are Chinese author Ah Cheng, French film director Claire Denis, German director Edgar Reitz, Icelandic musician and actress Emiliana Torrini, whose father is Italian, and American independent producer Christine Vachon.
If you can't get to Venice for the festival, look for Erica Jong's novel, "Serenissima." Orignally published in 1987, it was re-released as "Shylock's Daughter" in 2003 (W.W. Norton, paperback). As the jacket copy says, "When the beautiful Jessica Pruitt arrives in Venice to star in a film based on The Merchant of Venice, she is preoccupied: she has recently lost custody of her daughter, and as an older actress she is increasingly aware of the difficulty of landing leading roles. One day, as she wanders through an old Jewish ghetto, Jessica is magically transported to sixteenth-century Venice where she finds herself the heroine of 'Will' Shakespeare's play. Immediately attracted to the younger playwright, Jessica enters into an intensely passionate love affair that defies time and place." It's a funny little book, with lots of great Venice/Film Festival settings.
The films listed below are "In Competition" and eligible for the Golden Lion award. The list shows the director, the film, the country(ies) where it was filmed, and the actors.
Pupi Avati, "La seconda notte di nozze," Italy, Antonio Albanese, Katia Ricciarelli, Neri Marcorè
João Bothelho, "O Fatalista," Portugal/France, Rogério Samora, André Gomes, Rita Blanco
Laurent Cantet, "Vers le sud," France/Canada, Charlotte Rampling, Karen Young, Louise Portal
Patrice Chereau, "Gabrielle," France/Italy, Isabelle Huppert, Pascal Greggory, Thierry Hancisse
George Clooney, "Goodnight and Good Luck," USA, David Strathairn, George Clooney, Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr, Patricia Clarkson
Cristina Comencini, "La bestia nel cuore," Italy, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Stefania Rocca, Angela Finocchiaro
Roberto Faneza, "I giorni dell’abbandono," Italy, Margherita Buy, Luca Zingaretti, Goran Bregovic
Abel Ferrara, "Mary." Italy/USA, Juliette Binoche, Matthew Modine, Forest Whitaker
Philippe Garrel, "Les Amants réguliers." France/Italy, Louis Garrel, Clothilde Hesme, Julien Lucas
Aleksey German, Jr. "Garpastum," Russia, Chulpan Khamatova, Evgeny Pronin, Danila Kozlovsky
Terry Gilliam, "The Brothers Grimm." UK, Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Jonathan Pryce, Monica Bellucci
Stanley Kwan, "Changhen ge," China/Hong Kong, Sammi Cheng, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Jun Hu
Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain," Canada, Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway
John Madden, "Proof," UK/USA, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Hopkins
Fernando Meirelles, "The Constant Gardener," UK/Kenya/Germany, Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Hubert Koundé, Sidede Onyulo
Manoel de Oliveira, "Espelho magico," Portugal, Michel Piccoli, Marisa Paredes, Leonor Silveira, Ricardo Trepa
Park Chan-wook, "Chin-jeol-han Geum-ja-ssi" (Sympathy for Lady Vengeance), Korea, Lee Young-ae, Choi Min-sik, Kwon Yea-young, Kim Si-hu, Nam Il-woo
John Turturro, "Romance and Cigarettes," USA, James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken
Krzysztof Zznussi, "Persona non grata," Poland/Russia/Italy, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Nikita Mikhalkov, Jerzy Stuhr, Remo Girone