Here is some early art for several of the movies coming up at the Venice Film Fest. (I arrive there August 31 by train after spending two days in Rome; I leave September 8 for the Toronto Film Festival.) I'll write up early coverage of opener Darren Aronofsky's ballet drama Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel as a tough ballet master (modeled after Georges Balanchine), who I interviewed Monday. That film will likely show in Telluride as well as Toronto.
Julian Schnabel's Miral, starring Freida Pinto as a Jerusalem orphan, is also going to Toronto. Here's the French poster. Sofia Coppola's Somewhere will show in Venice only, before possibly turning up at the NYFF after Coppola returns to Paris to be with her new baby. Julie Taymor's The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand and Alfred Molina, will close Venice and plays as a centerpiece gala at the New York Film Festival, in Taymor's home town. Even though David Fincher enjoys Telluride, it was Paramount that pushed to have him take The Curious Case of Benjamin Button there; the New York Film Fest will want to open Sony's The Social Network exclusively.
Also in Venice will be two films from the Affleck brothers, Ben's drama The Town, in which he co-stars with Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall, and Casey's Joaquin Phoenix doc I'm Still Here. Robert Rodriguez's bloody actioner Machete will unspool at a midnight screening. And I am also looking forwward to Brazilian director Andrucha Waddington's Lope and Francois Ozon's Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu.
Part of the reason why Robert Lantos's $30-million Canadian film Barney's Version, based on the 1997 Mordecai Richler novel, is world premiering at Venice is that the film shot in Rome. Here's an early trailer of the movie, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Paul Giamatti as a father and his thrice-married son. Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike play the wives.