Venice Film Festival 2011: Dispatch One
A few weeks ago in Locarno, an acquaintance (I believe it was Filipino director Raya Martin) fittingly described this yearâ€™s Venice Film Festival line-up as â€œa monumental name-dropping.â€
And boy, was he right. Here are a few names that dropped during the first four days of the festival (pardon, the â€œinternational exhibition of film art,â€ according to the literal translation from the Italian title): Polanski, Cronenberg, Garrel, Soderbergh, Solondz, Pacino, Haynes, McQueen . . . and Madonna.
Faced with such abundance, one has to make difficult choices. I resolved to commit to Orizzonti (Horizons), an experimental section thatâ€™s historically had surprises in store. This decision was made simpler by the organizationâ€™s strict, hierarchical entry system: after a few failed attempts to get into the major screenings, I figured it was time to venture into the unknown.
To start things off, I picked Amir Naderiâ€™s Cut. Almost a manifesto for the sectionâ€™s avant-garde spirit, the film is quite a strange creature. Though its story was originally written in Persian by the Iranian director, who has lived in the U.S. for the last 20 years, Cut was produced and set in Japan.