Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1' Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Oscar Buzz: Who Could Be Set For Nods In The Supporting Actress Race? Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Juliette Binoche Says Her Performance In 'Godzilla' Made Quentin Tarantino Cry Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer Listen To Chvrches "Get Away" From The Rescored Version Of Nicolas Winding Refn's 'Drive' Plus Check Out The Trailer The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances The Essentials: The 10 Best Michael Keaton Performances George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" George Lucas Says Studios "Don't Have Any Imagination And Don't Have Any Talent" Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 7 ‘Friendless Child’ Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Watch: Baz Luhrmann's Chanel No. 5 Short Film "The One That I Want" Starring Gisele Bündchen Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Gone Girls And Gone Boys: 11 Films That Dissect Marriage Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Aleksandr Sokurov's 'Faust' Wins Golden Lion At Venice Film Festival

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 10, 2011 at 6:20AM

Michael Fassbender Takes Best Actor, Chinese Surprise Film 'People Mountain People Sea' Wins DirectorWe might have abandoned the Lido a few days ago, but somehow festival organizers felt able to go on with the final awards ceremony without us this evening. With a jury led by Darren Aronofsky that also included David Byrne, Todd Haynes, Mario Martone, André Téchiné, Ejia-Liisa Ahtila and Alba Rorwacher, it was anyone's game, although for much of the week, talk had pegged Steve McQueen's "Shame" and Yorgos Lanthimos' "Alps" as potential front-runners for the big prize, the Golden Lion. However, the winner turned out to be something of a surprise, albeit one that buzz was tipped off to in the run-up to the awards.
9

Michael Fassbender Takes Best Actor, Chinese Surprise Film 'People Mountain People Sea' Wins Director



We might have abandoned the Lido a few days ago, but somehow festival organizers felt able to go on with the final awards ceremony without us this evening. With a jury led by Darren Aronofsky that also included David Byrne, Todd Haynes, Mario Martone, André Téchiné, Ejia-Liisa Ahtila and Alba Rorwacher, it was anyone's game, although for much of the week, talk had pegged Steve McQueen's "Shame" and Yorgos Lanthimos' "Alps" as potential front-runners for the big prize, the Golden Lion. However, the winner turned out to be something of a surprise, albeit one that buzz was tipped off to in the run-up to the awards.

Aleksandr Sokurov's "Faust," a retelling of Goethe's tragedy, and the final part of a four-part series about men of power, following pictures focusing on Hitler ("Moloch"), Lenin ("Taurus") and Emperor Hirohito ("The Sun"), was awarded the Golden Lion by Aronofsky a few minute ago. We had to miss the film ourselves, but word was wildly divergent, with European critics raving, but British and American ones left distinctly cooler by the project. It follows in the footsteps of last year's controversial winner "Somewhere," along with recent victors like Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" and "Lust, Caution," Aronofsky's "The Wrestler," Israeli war flick "Lebanon" and Chinese film "Still Life."

Indeed, despite an English-language-heavy competition line-up, international films won the bulk of the awards. Surprise film "People Mountain People Sea," which we found rather dreary, won the Silver Lion for director Cai Shangjun, while two other Asian entries took top acting prizes; Yeanie Tip, in her first role in years, won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress for "A Simple Life," while Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido shared Best Young Actor for Sion Sono's tough-watch post-tsunami drama "Himizu."

Michael Fassbender deservedly took the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor for his role in "Shame," one award that we can firmly get behind, and the start of what looks to be one of the most uphill-battle awards campaigns in recent memory, what with Fox Searchlight guaranteeing a push for the Irish/German star for the Oscars this year. Two of our favorites of the festival, Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights" (read our review here) and Yorgos Lanthimos' "Alps" (and review here), also took prizes, the former for Robbie Ryan's exceptional cinematography, the latter for Lanthimos' screenplay.

Finally, Italian immigration drama "Terrafirma" won the Special Jury Prize, something of a surprise, although the film seems to have been well liked (it was another one we missed, unfortunately). There are a ton of other awards from various other organizations -- see them all over at In Contention -- but the biggest were "Là-Bas," which won the critic's week section; Shinya Tsukamoto's "Kotoko," which won top prize in the Orrizonti sidebar; and "Shame," which took the FIPRESCI award. As ever, the choices of a small jury aren't really worth getting in a fuss about, but it will hopefully help some of the smaller films like "Terrafirma" and "Himizu" gain wider worldwide audiences.

Our mostly complete Venice coverage is here. For every film reviewed at the Lido, check our Venice tag.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Foreign Films, Shame, Wuthering Heights, Michael Fassbender, Alps, Himizu, People Mountain People Sea, Venice


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates