A sure sign that fall is coming: the Venice and Toronto film festivals (August 31–September 10 and September 8–18, respectively) have begun to announce their lineups. As usual, the schedules of these two important world-cinema showcases share some titles, destined to be among the most talked-about movies of the year. And judging by those selections already released to the press, the 2011 editions of the festivals will be rich with filmmakers whose work has been in the Criterion Collection.
In what for some cinephiles will doubtlessly be one of the most exciting announcements, cult auteur Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress—his first film since 1998’s The Last Days of Disco—is the closing night choice for Venice. Other films to score slots at this legendary festival including Chantal Akerman’s La folie Almayer, Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights, David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Jonathan Demme’s I’m Carolyn Parker, Steve McQueen’s Shame, Roman Polanski’s Carnage, Todd Solondz’s Dark Horse, and Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. As for Toronto, in addition to the Cronenberg, McQueen, and Solondz films, Lasse Hallström’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (which already made a splash at Cannes in May) have all been listed in the first round of unveiled titles. Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg of what looks to be exciting programming all around.