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Venice 2013: Our 5 Favorite Films Of The Festival, Plus Our Complete Coverage

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 9, 2013 12:55 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It's farewell for another year to mosquitos, vaporettos and incomprehensibly rude Italian film critics who insist on checking their email mid-screening, because the 70th Venice Film Festival wrapped up on Saturday. For a festival that had seen quite a few twists and turns, it felt appropriate that it ended with Bernardo Bertolucci pulling a few surprises, shunning the more lauded films in the line-up to bestow the Golden Lion on "Sacro GRA," the first Italian film to win the top prize in fifteen years and the first documentary to ever manage the feat.

Exclusive: Watch Andrew Wonder & Paul Schrader's 'Future of Movies' Short For the 70th Venice Film Festival

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • September 9, 2013 10:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
 Paul Schrader's 'Future of Movies' short
Instant gratification, video on demand, a la carte consumption, post-theatrical cinema. What’s on the horizon for the future of movies? Well, according to director/writer Paul Schrader (“The Canyons”) and filmmaker/cinematographer Andrew Wonder (@andrewwonder) cinema is in turmoil. “Only today, it’s in a crisis of form, not content,” Schrader says in the short film he and Wonder directed called “Paul Schrader, Future of Cinema.”

Venice Review: Amos Gitai's Shot-In-One-Take 'Ana Arabia'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 9, 2013 7:43 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If there was one stylistic trend at Venice this year, it was bravura, lengthy shots. The festival kicked off with the twenty-minute opening shot of "Gravity," and the rest of the festival sometimes felt like some kind of who-can-hold-a-shot the longest competition, with Steven Knight's "Locke" and Tsai Ming-Liang's "Stray Dogs" also getting in on the real-time act. But if this competition had a winner, it was undoubtedly Amos Gitai, with his latest film "Ana Arabia."

Venice Review: Golden Lion Winner 'Sacro GRA'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 8, 2013 3:09 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It's a good thing that "Sacro GRA" won the Golden Lion, the Venice Film Festival, yesterday (making it the first documentary to win the top prize in the 70-year history of the festival). Because, quite frankly, it's just about the only reason you'd come to read this review. Its director, Gianfranco Rosi, isn't a major name outside Italy, and its subject matter -- the lives of those who live or work on or near the GRA, the enormous ring-road that circles Rome -- was also more targeted to the home crowd. It's great that a documentary has broken through and won the Lion, but we're a little baffled that a film as unremarkable as this one was the one to do.

Venice Review: Frederick Wiseman's Epic College-Set Documentary 'At Berkeley'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 6, 2013 12:31 PM
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  • 4 Comments
At Berkeley
Over the years, veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman has covered what sometimes feels like almost kind of institution and every aspect of life in America (and occasionally, life abroad too). "Titicut Follies," "Juvenile Court," "Zoo," "Racetrack," "Central Park," "Public Housing," "Boxing Gym," a pair of movies focusing on teen education, and many, many more, he's covered the gamut. Now, aged 83, Wiseman, like Rodney Dangerfield before him, is going Back To School...

Venice Review: Tsai Ming-Liang's 'Stray Dogs'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 6, 2013 11:58 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Tsai Ming-Liang's 'Stray Dogs'
In a festival that's seen a number of endurance tests—Philip Groning's three-hour, 59-chapter "The Police Officer's Wife," the abstracted imagery of "Under The Skin," the brief but unrelentingly terrible duration of "Parkland," no film seemed to inspire more walk outs than "Stray Dogs." The return of acclaimed Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang after a 4-year absence (and longer since he made a film at home: 2009's "Play" mostly featured French actors), it's not that it’s particularly lengthy, or particularly provocative in its content.

Venice Review: Japanese Remake Of Clint Eastwood's 'Unforgiven' Starring Ken Watanabe

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 5, 2013 7:23 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Lord knows that, over the years, Hollywood has plundered its fair share of Japanese cinema. From the appropriation of "Godzilla," "Seven Samurai" turning into "The Magnificent Seven," to the long run of J-horror re-dos, to—only last week—the announcement of a DreamWorks version of Cannes film "Like Father Like Son," there aren't many major and successful Japanese movies that haven't been at least developed as a remake. So it only seems fair that the favor should be returned at some point, and what could be a better way of doing so than by remaking one of the greatest films by Clint Eastwood, whose own star was launched when "Yojimbo" was remade as "A Fistful Of Dollars."

Venice Review: Errol Morris’ Donald Rumsfeld Documentary ‘The Unknown Known’

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 5, 2013 9:43 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The Unknown Known, Errol Morris
As we inch towards another potential war in the Middle East, the last couple are still being pored over by filmmakers. We’re still likely some time away from the definitive takes on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we have seen a few solid films telling those stories in the last decade or so albeit tending to focus on the men on the ground, rather than the architects of the conflict. The men who planned and executed the wars might have been out of office for some time, but they’re not showing any particular willingness to talk things over. Well, except one. Sort of.

Venice Review: Patrice Leconte’s ‘A Promise’ Starring Rebecca Hall, Richard Madden & Alan Rickman

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 5, 2013 9:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
He’s fallen out of favor a bit in the last few years, but there was a time when Patrice Leconte was one of the most popular foreign filmmakers in the U.S. While he was never a favorite with the hipper critics, over the 1990s and early 2000s, films like “Ridicule,” “ The Girl On The Bridge,” “The Man On The Train” and “Intimate Strangers” became staples on the festival circuit, won BAFTAs and Cesars, and became sizeable arthouse hits Stateside.

Venice Review: Kim-Ki Duk's Taboo-Shattering Black Comedy 'Moebius'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 4, 2013 12:45 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Moebius
Internationally at least, Kim Ki-Duk's "Pieta" was hardly the popular choice to win the Golden Lion at last year's Venice Film Festival. The Korean provocateur is a long-time favorite at Venice, and the film was predictably well-received by local audiences and critic, but U.S. and U.K. critics, ourselves included were less impressed, finding it rather drab, prosaic and straightforward.

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