Venice Film Festival 2018 line-up announced: First Man, Suspiria and The Sisters Brothers lead the selection
Today the Venice Film Festival announced their 2018 edition line-up at a press conference in Rome. The festival – the world’s oldest and most revered – will open on 29th August with the screening of First Man by Damien Chazelle, starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy.
Director Alberto Barbera said the selection is the result of viewing over 3,500 films in “a few weeks”.
This year’s common thread is that movies belong to very specific genres (the Italian expression film di genere), and they are mostly arthouse works. Several directors who usually showed their features in Cannes will be showing in Venice.
First Man will open the festival, one of the most-awaited films of the year which follows the story of Neil Armstrong from 1972, when he enters Nasa, until he lands on the moon in July 1969.
The Mountain by Rick Alverson with Tye Sheridan, Jeff Goldblum, Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant and Udo Kier.
Doubles Vies by Olivier Assayas with Guillaume Canet, Juliette Binoche Vincent Macaigne and Nora Hamzawi. This is a comedy story of two couples who interact romantically and professionally, and a reflection on the changes of the intellectuals after the digital revolution.
Suspiria by Luca Guadagnino with Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth and Chloë Grace Moretz, is one of the most awaited films not only of Venice but of the year.
The Sisters Brothers by Jacques Audiard starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed. This is a western shot in Europe with an American cast and an American technical team behind it. The movie is very authentic: the costumes, the use of objects, the sceneries. You’d think you were in Colorado but the whole feature was shot Spain and Romania. The director respects the American style while giving the piece his own unique twist.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is the new Netflix-produced film by Ethan and Joel Cohen. It is compiled of six episodes and stars Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Liam Neeson and Tom Waits. The movie starts with a light tone and features many cinematic tributes throughout. It’s a piece not only focusing on western and the death of western style, but also on America today.
Vox Lux by Brady Corbet with Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Raffey Cassidy, Stacy Martin and Jennifer Ehle. This film tells the story of a young girl who is the victim of a dramatic accident and then becomes a famous pop star. It’s also a tale of the resulting compromises in family dynamics.
Roma by Alfonso Cuaron with Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf and Daniela Demesa. This is a very autobiographical work on the director’s family when he was young, shot in black and white and bought by Netflix. For this incredibly personal piece, Cuaron rebuilt his original home with the same material and furniture.
22 July by Paul Greengrass with Anders Danielsen Lie and Jonas Strand Gravli is a drama on the Norwegian massacre by Anders Breivik.
Werk Ohne Autor (Opera Senza Autore) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck with Tom Schilling, Paula Beer and Sebastian Koch, is a three-and-a-half-hour reflection on the switch between Nazism and communism and the role of art.
The Nightingale by Jennifer Kent with Aisling Franciosi and Sam Claflin. The Australian director tells a story set in 1825 Australia, which was inhabited by prisoners from Britain and Ireland. This is the tale of a woman and her vengeance against an officer for what he did to her family.
The Favourite of Yorgos Lanthimos with Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn. This is a story of a rivalry to be Queen Anne’s favourite at a time of war between England and France, 1702-1707.
Peterloo by Mike Leigh with Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Pearce Quigley, David Moorst. This is over two and a half hours on the massacre of Peterloo, an episode removed from English history. In Manchester, 1819, the cavalry charged into a peaceful crowd of over 50,000, resulting in many deaths.
Capri-revolution by Mario Martone with Marianna Fontana, Reinout Scholten van Aschat, Antonio Folletto, Gianluca di Gennaro and Eduardo Scarpetta. A young female shepherd finds a group of intellectuals in Capri, a little community of proto-hippies. This experimental model of social cohesion. was swept away by the first world war.
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? by Roberto Minervin. A three-part documentary with Judy Hill, Dorothy Hill and Michael Nelson on the racism in American society.
Napszallta (Sunset) by Oscar-winner Laszlo Nemes with Juli Jakab and Vlad Ivanov. Set before the beginning of the first world war, this is a very ambitious project – nearly three hours long – and requires participation from the viewers.
Frères Ennemis by David Oelhoffen with Matthias Schoenaerts, Reda Kateb, Adel Bencherif, Sofiane Zermani. This is the story of three friends of the banlieue: one becomes a policeman, the other two become drug dealers.
Nuestro Tiempo by Carlos Reygadas is a three-hour film with Carlos Reygadas, Natalia Lopez, Elazar Reygadas. With naturalistic elements, Nuestro Tiempo is filmed in the fazenda of Reygadas. All the people are authentic but the story is not autobiographical; it’s the building of a sexually open couple: it begins realistically and then it strays into aesthetic drifts.
At Eternity’s Gate by Julian Schnabel with Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Niels Arestrup. This film is about Vincent van Gogh and his years in the south of France. It’s an attempt to tell what happens within the mind of the painter and how his creativity and madness spark.
Acusada by Gonzalo Tobal starring Leonardo Sbaraglia, Mariana Exposito, Ines Estevez. Based on real events, it’s a very tense work which brings to mind the Amanda Knox trial.
Zan (Killing) by Shinya Tsukamoto is a samurai film with costumes, but it is not traditional. This is the story of a samurai who learns he can’t kill.
Out of Competition
After Frank Marshall’s 40-year attempt to release a complete cut of Orson Welles’s The Other Sides of the Wind, Netflix have finally financed the project. Starring John Huston, Oja Kodar and Peter Bogdanovich, the film was originally shot by Welles between 1970 and 1976. Marshall found 100 hours of filmed content – in 35mm, 16mm, 8mm formats – leaving him with a huge and very expensive task. It proved a difficult path to obtain all the original film material, but he was aided by Welles’ initial cut. The movie has been approved by all the initial team who have survived. The auteur himself asked fellow director Peter Bogdanovich to finish the film in case something happened, and although it was supposed to be shown at Cannes this year, it never made it to the festival.
L’Amica Geniale by Saverio Costanzo, a series produced by HBO and Rai/Wild Side and adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novels.
Una Storia Senza Nome by Roberto Ando with Micaela Ramazzotti.
Les Estivants by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Valeria Golino, Riccardo Scamarcio. This film is not only biographical but highly imaginative.
Bradley Cooper will present his directorial debut A Star Is Born, the fourth remake of the 1937 classic, which he co-wrote with Eric Roth. The film stars Cooper as a seasoned country singer who falls in love with a young and talented musician, played by pop icon Lady Gaga in her debut feature.
Mi Obra Maestra by Gaston Duprat, a satirical comedy on the subject of contemporary art.
A Tramway in Jerusalem by Amos Gitai. This drama-comedy was shot inside a tram going around Jerusalem, and Mathieu Amalric brings people together to show that coexistence is possible.
Un Peuple et Son Roi by Pierre Schoeller with Gaspard Ulliel, Adele Haenel and Luis Garrel.
La Quietud by Pablo Trapero with Martina Gusman, Berenice Bejo, Graciela Borges and Edgar Ramirez. This film is a kind of sequel to El Clan, which won Best Director in Venice, and it’s set between the end of the regime and the arrival of democracy in Argentina. This latest project is more ambitious because it’s not a crime film like its predecessor, and covers broader terrain.
Ying (Shadow) by Zhang Yimou. The Chinese director won two Gold Lions in the past with Raise the Red Lantern and Not One Less.
S Craig Zahler returns with Dragged Across Concrete, featuring Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn. A two-hour crime story, the movie is not as violent as Brawl in Cell Block 99, but still promises to be fairly brutal.
The 180-minute first cut of Terrence Malik’s experimental epic drama – and Palme d’Or winner – Tree of Life will also be shown in what might be the only public screening: a blu-ray version will be published right after by Criterion.
Out of Competition – non fiction
They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead by Morgan Neville is the Netflix documentary on Orson Welles’s The Other Sides of the Wind.
Il Diario di Angela by Yervant Gianikian is a tribute to the life of the Angela Ricci Lucchi, including documentary and film material by the late director herself.
A Letter to a Friend in Gaza by Amos Gitai is one of 10 documentaries Out of Competition.
Aquarela by Victor Kossakovsky has no words: it’s a work on water and ice with no men, only nature and its force – in different times and countries.
El Pepe, Una Vida Suprema by Emir Kusturica is a documentary on the Mujica story.
Process by Sergei Loznitsa is a Ukranian documentary on the Russian material on the Stalin trials in 1931 Moscow. It focuses on one of the first trials of the regime against the communist governments unjustly accused of betrayal. Some of this content was going to be used for a propaganda film that Stalin wanted, and indeed, this film is centred on lies in politics.
Carmine Street Guitars by Ron Mann, a documentary on a luthier who creates guitars with trees cut in New York.
Isis, Tomorrow. The Lost Souls of Mosul by Francesca Mannocchi and Alessio Romenzi is a documentary shot in Mosul, Syria.
American Dharma by Errol Morris is a documentary on Steve Bannon, Trump’s former advisor who now wants to work in Europe to connect all the populist parties. It’s a dialogue between Morris and Bannon. Not only does he film the dialogue, but he also does… something that can’t be said.
Introduzione all’Oscuro by Gaston Solnicki is a documentary shot in Vienna after the death of Hans Hurch, the director of the Viennale – the movie is a tribute to him.
1938 Diversi by Giorgio Treves.
Ni De Lian (Your Face) by Tsai Ming-Liang.
Monrovia, Indiana by Frederick Wiseman.
The opening film of section Orizzonti is Alessio Cremonini’s Sulla Mia Pelle, an Italian feature which tells the dark story of Stefano Cucchi and his death at the hands of police officers, starring Alessandro Borghi. 8 of 19 films on show this year are debut features.
One of the highlights is set to be Thai film Manta Ray, the tale of a man who washes ashore and slowly switches places with a local fisherman.
Soni, an Indian film, focuses on an aggressive young policewoman and her navigation of the male chauvinist culture and gender discrimination.
Ozen by Baigazin promises a great visual and narrative talent to be discovered.
Brechner’s La Noche de 12 Años tells a tale of the Uruguayan president’s 12 years in Mujica prison – there will also be a documentary on the same subject matter.
Deslembro by Flavia Castro, produced by Walter Salles, is the biographical story of a young woman.
Anons (The Announcement) by Coskun is an ironic, grotesque, intelligent work: it’s the story of a coup in Turkey.
Un Giorno all’Improvviso by Ciro d’Emilio.
Charlie Says by Mary Harron starring Matt Smith, Suki Waterhouse and Hannah Murray. This is a film on the women of American criminal Charles Manson.
Amanda is a French debut feature by Mikhael Hers starring Stacy Martin, Vincent Lacoste – discussing the plot would mean spoilering.
The Day I Lost My Shadow by Soudade Kaadan: the story of two sisters and the female condition.
L’Enkas by Sarah Marx is a French film on the rehabilitation of a young man who was in a juvenile detention centre.
Tchelovek Kotorij Udivil Vseh (The Man Who Surprised Everyone) by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov tells the story of an ex-military man who fought in Afghanistan and who is discovered to be gay.
Garin Nugroho’s Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku (Memories of My Body). This is the Indian director’s film on the Malaysian government which is enforcing a very strict Islamic regime, inspired by a gay choreographer’s story and the struggles of making some traditional shows considered to be against the Islamic culture.
Mostafa Sayyari’s As I Lay Dying tells the story of family tensions.
La Profezia dell’Armadillo by Emanuele Scaringi is an adaption of a comic story.
Erom (Stripped) by Yaron Shani. This Israeli film is the first of a trilogy: the director is editing the second one and the third is already filmed.
Jinpa by Tibetan director Pema Tseden.
Tel Aviv on Fire, a comedy from Palestinian director Sameh Zoabu who works in Israel.
The Jury, Lifetime Achievement Awards, missing films and site works
On top of the line-up, a few announcements have been made. This year’s jury’s president will be Mexican director Guillermo del Toro. The recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards are going to be Canadian director David Cronenberg and British actress Vanessa Redgrave, a giant of both stage and screen.
The historic Casino building will be renovated by the local government, the works beginning after the end of the festival. On top of this, another historic building will be revamped: the Hotel des Bains. Half of the ground floor will be used by the festival for an exhibition curated by the director Alberto Barbera. The hotel, recently abandoned, served as a location for classics such as Death in Venice and The English Patient, which was filmed in the famous luxury hotel. President of the Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta stated that the ballroom Sala Visconti, the most iconic room of the building, is still in good state.
Barbera also mentioned one film they couldn’t include into the line-up. Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum – starring an oscar-worthy Matthew McConaughey – didn’t make the cut because it still doesn’t have a distribution deal and it will probably not screen before April 2019.
The editorial unit
The 75th Venice International Film Festival takes place from 29th August until 8th September 2018.