“The Minimal Impact of the Strike on the Exhibition”. The curtain opens

VENICE. In the incessant rain, among the difficulties with booking through the ticket system Vivatiket – and this is already a dispute. The first morning screening of L’ordine del tempo by Liliana Cavani at the Palabiennale was half empty, despite the website reporting that all seats were full. Fortunately, the fear of a strike by American writers and actors was overcome. opens the Venice Film Festival, the first completely free from Covid restrictions.

Comments of the President of the Biennale Robert Cicutto, joking about the age of the Exhibition, which has had several interruptions, mainly due to the war, but has not stopped during the pandemic: “Despite the fact that we are 90 years old,” he says, “there are only 80 exhibitions here, and we liked to write about it in huge. My first edition was all about Covid, we did it in person before there was even a shadow of a vaccine, we took risks and it was accepted by journalists, the public, the jury and everyone who even today is doing their part to make it happen important event. and friendly at the same time. However, it wasn’t Covid that taught us research or focus on new technologies (like online booking of shows) and new languages, it’s already been done with the VR competition section and continues to be done with college activities. which are not limited to cinema, but are also provided for music, dance, theatre, and now visual arts and architecture. This is not about discovering talent, as the participants are already trained artists, but about bringing them to the international level, obviously with more attention to renewal and modernity.”

Naturally, the jury is represented by the director of the exhibition, Alberto Barbera, with the appointment of the respective presidents: Andrea Pallaoro for Venetian Classics, Alice Diop for Opera Prima, Jonas Carpignano for horizons and Damien Chazelle for the competition.

“There are a lot of films,” Barbera continues, “but not more than usual. The jury is made up of young people, as is the selection, of course, it includes some masters, such as Liliana Cavani, but most of them are beginners or almost, because like the audience. This is a sign that cinema has changed and, conversely, is not dying. This is more important than ever, even if we are going through a fragile and delicate moment for an industry in which players are playing on opposite fronts, which should not be the case.”

Chazelle and other members of the jury proudly display a T-shirt in support of the Hollywood strike: “It’s the hundred-first day of the writers’ strike,” the director recalls, “and the forty-eighth day of the actors’ strike. Every piece of art has value beyond its content, it’s not just material that needs to be sent in for development. This value needs to be recognized and rewarded, and it is a central idea of ​​art that is too often ignored.”

He is extremely humble and insightful about his role: “I don’t deserve it, I’m sure of it, but I’m lucky to have been invited here by Barber, who may have chosen me somewhat ‘stupidly.’ Both in the jury and in the competition there are directors that I adore, of which I am a fan, you have to be careful not to get carried away by their charm, I will do my best. Everyone prepares in their own way, for me personally, the only possible way to prepare is to try to concentrate on everything that I see. This is my third time in Venice, but this is the first time that, without having a film to support me, I can enjoy it all while celebrating cinema to the fullest. This place is a dream. This is the oldest festival in the world and for me also the best, I will never forget my first time here, everything is so fabulous and surreal. The very fact that you have to board a boat to get to the show makes everything special. If I had to come up with a film that reflects my relationship with the city, it would be Death in Venice, even if it is very dark. However, it conveys a dimension of dream that is typical both for this city and for cinema.”

Also for Diop, last year’s winner with Saint Omer two Lions, Silver and Future – this is a return. “It’s nice to be here again,” she says, “this award has had a huge impact on my life, it allowed me, especially as a black woman, to be welcomed with open arms by the world of international cinema. This gives me great responsibility, but also gratitude, and I feel great joy from meeting my fellow jurors.”

The last question becomes an opportunity to take stock of the presence of actors in connection with the strike: “We know for sure,” says Barbera, “that there will be some actors associated with platform films. It won’t come Emma Stone There will be no cast for Lanthimos’ film Murderer Fincher will be missed Bradley Cooper — who said he was very sorry — and the cast of his film, and not even the actors of Wes Anderson’s mid-length film. Instead, there will be actors from independent films that have already been sold for rental: it will come Adam Driver For ferrari Manna, Penélope Cruz will be absent, but due to personal commitments, Jessica Chastain will attend instead. Memory Michel Franco, we will have the cast of Priscilla Sofia Coppola, Caleb Landry Jones for the Besson film and Léa Seydoux for the Bonello film, who, despite being a SAG member, will be able to attend thanks to an agreement between the union and the production company. The effects of the strike are being felt, but not as strongly as feared at the time of the announcement, when for a moment it looked like the festival might lose its American dimension. We lost, as you know, only one wonderful film, which, unfortunately, was the intended discovery. Applicants Guadagnino. However, with the exception of Cooper, all directors will take to the red carpet to support their films.”

Andrea Guglielmino

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