Venice 2022: 90 years in reality, 79 years on paper

It is not a word game. Anyone who looks at the poster of the current edition of the Venice Exposition without thinking much has reason to be confused: the famous lion rests its tail on a beautiful 79, while two steps away, a lioness stylized as carried by a woman. The number of weapons is 90.

The contradiction was dictated by history. Not so long ago, the world’s oldest festival celebrated its 90th anniversary in 1932. It popped up in the world in troubled times, was suspended during the war, and resumed in 1946, but experienced major turmoil again in the eighth decade, when it was held on the hops The years 1973, 1977 and 1978 were absent from the agenda.

So it happens that the old lady, as the Mostra del arte cinematografica is called with such tenderness, has turned 90, but is obliged to go around the world with a certificate of barely 80 issues. The 79th edition will open in a month, with a program announced by director Alberto Barbera a few hours ago. Let’s say from the beginning: This year also there is a Romanian director in the official selection, the Orizonte division. It’s about Mihai Mincan, known as the author of feature-length documentaries (Bondoc) and short films (Palmele, with great Coca Bloos, Love Bus, Drumul Taberei episode).

Frame from the opening movie, white noise

Now he won the interest of the chosen one with a feature film, a psychological thriller on a social background, as far as I understand, Spre Nord, produced by Romania, France, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic. Above all, let’s be glad the gun is already starting to see us. As for the competition – registered in the catalog as Phenicia 79 – to which everyone’s eyes always turn, as expected, the headlines that have been talked about in specialized newspapers are in the place of honor.

In fact, one was announced yesterday, the one who graced the August 31 opening, Noah Baumbach’s White Noise, based on Don DeLillo’s novel, starring Adam Driver. The American director returns to Lido three years after the premiere with Wedding Story. White Noise is one of the three films to watch on Netflix, the streaming platform on which the festival is known for its friendly and mutually beneficial relationship.

Mihai Minkan, selected in the Orizonte Division

The next title, which I have the impression that a big card is being played, is the creation of Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths. “There was a lot of talk about it – director Barbera mentioned in the presentation – and rightly so. In this three-hour film, which was produced entirely in his native Mexico, Innaritu invested all the obsessions in his life.”

Netflix’s third is Blonde, a short title for endless legend, Marilyn Monroe. New Zealand director Andrew Dominic had the guts to get close – is he number one? For a fragile subject, this time with ambition, as they say, to take a look inside life. A brave actress too, Ana de Armas will be the new MM to delight those waiting to walk the red carpet.

current edition poster

In fact, this year’s selection appears to have been a massive mix of films with stars and films that carry the most intense current: The Son by Florian Zeller, with Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Anthony Hopkins, The Whale by David Aronofsky, with Brendon Fraser and Samantha Morton , all alongside the imprisoned Iranian director Jaafar Panahi’s No Bears, and the Ukrainian documentaries Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, by Evgheni Afinevsky, described as an instant film, shot at the start of the war. Sergey Loznitsa will also be present, with the Kyiv Trial.

The host also offers surprise some films that have been passed on Italian, but made in English, in America, the most anticipated of which, I suspect, are Bones and All, by Luca Guadagnino, a regular in Venice. This is where he shot young Thimothée Chalamet, on Call Me by Your Name, in 2017. Last year he returned to glory with Dune. The gun is lucky. I vouch for several Academy Awards for those that premiered in The Lake.

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