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The Playlist

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

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 10, 2011 6:20 AM
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  • 9 Comments
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.

Venice '11 Review: Surprise Film 'People Mountain People Sea' Is A Hard, Unsatisfying Journey

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 7, 2011 4:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The surprise film at a festival always has a tricky time living up to the sky-high expectations. Everyone brings in their own hopes and dreams, however unrealistic they may be, and the finished product has to be pretty special not to underwhelm -- witness the near-riotous reaction at the London Film Festival a couple of years ago when the surprise turned out to be not "Where The Wild Things Are," as widely-rumored, but instead Michael Moore's "Sicko." The reaction is slightly different at Venice, thanks to a reputation that the selectors hold back the most miserable, grueling film for the secret slot, so much so that most audience members are delighted if the film turns out to be anything other than footage of a close family member being slowly murdered.

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