The Latest from Venice

On Film / The Daily — Jul 23, 2019
Toni Servillo in Igort’s 5 Is the Perfect Number (2019)

On Thursday, the Venice Film Festival will present the full lineup for its seventy-sixth edition, and in the meantime, the festival’s been dangling appetizers. Following last week’s announcement that Hirokazu Kore-eda’s The Truth, starring Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, will launch the program on August 28, Venice has now given us an out-of-competition closer slated to premiere on September 7. There’s no denying that Giuseppe Capotondi’s The Burnt Orange Heresy, described by the festival as an “elegant and erotic neo-noir thriller,” features an intriguing cast. Claes Bang, who broke out internationally as the self-deluded curator in Ruben Östlund’s The Square (2017), plays an art critic who, along with his lover (Elizabeth Debicki, last seen in Steve McQueen’s Widows), is approached by a collector (Mick Jagger) with a deceptively simple request: Steal a masterpiece from the renowned and reclusive artist played by Donald Sutherland.

Earlier today, the sidebar known to most as Venice Days unveiled the lineup for its sixteenth edition. The Giornate degli Autori, modeled on the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, is evidently trying to shake off its handy English-language moniker, but Variety, Screen, and Deadline are still referring to it as Venice Days. At any rate, the official selection of twelve films, eleven of them competing, from twelve different countries includes six debuts and four features directed by women. Among these is The Long Walk, a ghost story from Laotian director Mattie Do. And in Lingua Franca, director Isabel Sandoval plays an undocumented Filipina immigrant in Brooklyn, where her new lover threatens to turn her in when he learns of her transgender identity.

The Giornate will open with Dominik Moll’s Only the Animals, in which the disappearance of a woman in snow storm sets off five disparate narratives. Comics artist Igort directs Toni Servillo (The Great Beauty) and Valeria Golino (Honey) in 5 Is the Perfect Number, the story of a hit man out for revenge after the Camorra has killed his son. Jayro Bustamante, who won a Silver Bear in Berlin for Ixcanul (2015), will present The Weeping Woman, another tale of revenge, this one set against the backdrop of the decades-long Guatemalan Civil War. And Dag Johan Haugerud’s Beware of Children, produced by Yngve Saether, who worked with Joachim Trier on Oslo, August 31st (2011), centers on the aftermath of the accidental death of the thirteen-year-old son of a right-wing politician.


Among the films premiering out of competition are a new short from Lynne Ramsay, a portrait of fashion photographer Brigitte Lacombe, and the closing night feature, Time of the Untamed, directed by Bartabas and presenting the equestrian shows he stages at the Theater Zingaro in France. The Giornate will also present the international premiere of Burning Cane, which won best narrative feature, a cinematography award for nineteen-year-old director Phillip Youmans, and best actor for Wendell Pierce at Tribeca earlier this year.

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