The Cannes Film Festival has barely had time to put away the red carpet, and already eyes are looking to August and the Venice Film Festival. And perhaps in an effort to beat speculators to the punch, the fest's new artistic director Alberto Barbera is looking to make his first year memorable, and recently revealed to THR the titles that cinephiles can expect to pop up on the Lido. And it's a pretty envious batch of movies.
Among the "likely candidates" to premiere at the fest according to Barbera are Terrence Malick's long-awaited (aren't they all) and newly titled romantic drama "To The Wonder"; Paul Thomas Anderson's highly-anticipated "The Master," which recently had its first footage unspooled at the Cannes festival, and Brian De Palma's sexual potboiler "Passion" starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. Now, of course, this all depends on a variety of factors. Firstly, who knows if the mercurial Malick will have his movie finished, continue to tinker, or simply decide he doesn't want to bother with a big festival bow. Of all the titles, "The Master" seems most likely given that Harvey Weinstein had moved his previously tipped Venice pic "Lawless" to Cannes along with "Killing Them Softly," and will presumably want a big awards season movie to show off. As for "Passion," we'd wager it will depend on if De Palma can finish it in time; the film only started shooting a few months ago.
But no matter what gets selected, it will be among an exclusive bunch. Barbera has decided to scale back on the amount of films playing the fest, with less than 50 expected to be selected for the three categories: In Competition, Horizons, and Out Of Competition. This is being done to give a bigger shine to the movies that are selected to play Venice, and it seems to be not unlike the Cannes Film Festival, which adopts a similar format (In Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out Of Competition).
So what else might appear? Your guess is as good as ours, but if we were to roll the dice on a few prospects: Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond The Pines"; Ramin Bahrani's "At Any Price"; Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina"; Olivier Assayas' "Something In The Air"; Cate Shortland's "Lore"...anyway, all stuff that's in the realm of possibility.
So we'll see what Barbera can pull together in the next couple of months, but if he can snag both Malick and Anderson, that alone will be one helluva coup.