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Venice Film Festival Line-Up

Posted by: Matthew Turner 31/07/2009 @ 12:28
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 249
Films seen this week: Shorts, Rumba, Dance Flick, G-Force, Creation, The Firm

Venice Film Festival line-up announced
This week saw the announcement of the 66th Venice Film Festival line-up. Highlights in competition include new films by Michael Moore (Capitalism: A Love Story), Todd Solondz (Life During Wartime), Jaco van Dormael (Mr Nobody) and Fatih Akin (Soul Kitchen).

Out of competition is even more exciting, with premieres for Steven Soderbergh's The Informant (see trailer on previous blog), Joe Dante's The Hole (which I saw a trailer for at Edinburgh and it looks great), Alex Cox's long-awaited Repo Man sequel Repo Chick (I met Cox in 1998 and he was talking about it then) and REC sequel REC 2. However, the big news is surely that both Werner Herzog and Abel Ferrara will have films at the festival, particularly as one of them is Herzog's so-bad-it's-good-looking “re-imagining” of Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant and the pair have already been sniping at each other in the press over it. Fight! Fight! Fight!

Films I'm Looking Forward To: A Serious Man
The Coen Brothers are probably my favourite contemporary filmmakers, so I was delighted to see that there seems to have been even less of a gap between their films than usual. (Did they shoot this at the same time as Burn After Reading? There ARE two of them.) Their new film is called A Serious Man and the trailer is a beautifully edited piece of work in itself. Set in 1967 (the Sixties are SO in right now), it stars Michael Stuhlbarg as physics professor Larry Gopnik, whose wife (Sari Lennick) announces that she's leaving him for one of his colleagues (Fred Melamed). Meanwhile, he has various problems with his brother, son and daughter and an anonymous letter-writer is trying to sabotage his career. It's intriguing that the Coens don't seem to have cast any big-name stars (or even any of their regular character
actors) this time round and it'll be interesting to see how it does at the box office as a result. Favourite bit from the trailer: Stuhlbarg's delivery of the line “He doesn't LOOK busy!” The film opens here on 20th November, which means it's a very good bet for the London Film Festival.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Three new entries this week, thanks, in part to the criminally early disappearance of Kisses, which you should all be kicking yourselves for missing as it's one of the best films of the year. The newbies include: Coco Chanel biopic Coco Before Chanel, starring Audrey Tautou; multi-character LA-set immigration drama Crossing Over; and secret agent guinea pig movie G-Force (not to be confused with the upcoming Battle of the Planets movie). As for second runs, both Drag Me To Hell and Star Trek are down to one London cinema apiece this week, so catch them while you still can.

1. Moon
2. Frozen River
3. Drag Me To Hell
4. Star Trek
5. Public Enemies
6. The Hangover
7. Antichrist
8. Coco Before Chanel
9. Crossing Over
10. G-Force

DVD of the Week: Bolt (out now, RRP £19.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Bolt, an animated adventure about a Hollywood pooch (John Travolta) trying to get back to his owner (Miley Cyrus), with the catch that the canine superstar has been duped, Truman Show-style, into believing that he's got superpowers. Believing his superpowers to be on the fritz, he enlists the reluctant help of abandoned housecat Mittens (Susie Essman) and his own starstruck superfan, Rhino the hamster (Mark Walton), to help him cross the country and rescue Penny. With likeable characters, a witty script and some terrific gags, this is a hugely enjoyable, beautifully animated adventure that will appeal to adults and kids alike. Extras include a couple of deleted scenes, three Making Of featurettes, a couple of a music videos and a bonus short about Rhino (Super Rhino). Recommended.

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