5 Films to look out for at Venice Film Festival 2012
With the Venice Film Festival 2012 lineup having been recently announced, Film3Sixty counts down 5 films in the programme that are worth keeping an eye on.
The Master (PT Anderson)
Paul Thomas Anderon’s latest film has been slowly building hype following the recent release of two posters and several trailers. Is it about Scientology? Only time will tell. However, the return to acting of Joaquin Phoenix, along with a starring role for frequent PT Anderson-collaborator Philip Seymour Hoffman, is enough to get the juices of any cinema-fan flowing. Amy Adams also features, and there’s already been much Oscar-buzz surrounding the three leads.
To The Wonder (Terence Malick)
Word of a new Terrence Malick film always causes a stir amongst cinephiles worldwide. After The Tree Of Life last year, the media-shy director had made five films in a career spanning 38-years. However, as he reaches his fifth decade of filmmaking, he appears to be trying to proliferate his output. He now has four films in the works, and the first of which, To The Wonder, is debuting at Venice. The film is a romantic drama about a man whose marriage falls apart – Ben Affleck plays the lead, with Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Michael Sheen all amongst the cast. Emmanuel Lubezki is on cinematography duties again, having been lauded for his ethereal, unique work on The Tree Of Life.
Passion (Brian De Palma)
Having been on hiatus for five years following a few relative non-successes (by his own high standards) the director of Scarface, Mission Impossible and The Untouchables is back with this thriller about a young businesswoman who plots to murder her boss. Rachel McAdams (her second film on this list) is in the lead role as Christine, with Noomi Rapace and Paul Anderson also starring. Could this mark De Palma’s return to form?
The Company You Keep (Robert Redford)
The founder of the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford, is premiering his new film at Venice this year. Having had a very successful career as both an actor and director – including directing himself in both The Horse Whisperer and Lions For Lambs – he has once again placed himself on both sides of the camera for this thriller about a former activist who goes on the run after a journalist discovers his identity. The cast, which is full of recognisable names, includes Shia LaBeouf, Sam Elliot, Brendan Gleeson, Terence Howard, Brit Marling, Stanley Tucci and Nick Nolte.
Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino)
Unlike the rest of the films on this list, Michael Cimino’s famously titanic (in both senses of the word) revisionist Western is not a new release, rather it is playing in the Venice Classics section of the festival, which showcases restored versions of famous films. Considered to be one of the most dramatically expensive failures of cinema ever released, Heaven’s Gate is a must see for cinephiles, purely from the standpoint of understanding such a remarkable project. Even the trailer denotes its stigma, opening with the words “it has been called the most controversial motion picture of all time.”
The Venice Film Festival takes place 29 August – 8 September.