The Mostra opens in Venice with Volodymyr Zelensky as a surprise guest

The 79e Venice Film Festival, the oldest film festival, opened on Wednesday evening August 31 with Catherine Deneuve as guest of honor and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a surprise guest.

Inside the Palais du Cinéma, enthroned on the Lido facing the sea, the 78-year-old French star received an honorary Golden Lion for his entire career. Obviously moved in her long blood red dress, the one who had won the prize for best actress in 1998 at the same place launched a “grace” to the public, after the reading of a fiery tribute by French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin.

Catherine Deneuve receives a Lion of Honor at the 79th edition of the Venice Film Festival, August 31, 2022.

Earlier in the day, questioned by Agence France-Presse on the meaning of this award, the actress who still continues filming, had confided: “We are not looking back. It’s not a refusal, it’s that we don’t have time. »

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A Netflix movie opening

Ukraine then burst onto the palace stage through a video message from Volodymyr Zelensky, who called on the film world not to ” do not forget “ a war that “has not lasted 120 minutes but for 189 days”. At the end of his speech, the haunting list of first names of all the children and adolescents (up to 18 years old) killed in the conflict, along with their date and place of birth, paraded against a black background.

After the speeches and tributes, the cinema resumed its rights with the official screening of the opening film, White Noise by New Yorker Noah Baumbach, adapted from a novel by writer Don DeLillo. The 52-year-old filmmaker, author of Frances Ha, The Meyerowitz Stories Where Marriage Storyfinds there his favorite interpreters, his companion Greta Gerwig and Adam Driver. “It’s a film about life and death. We have to accept that they go hand in hand”he explained.

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The selection of this film at the opening is a new mark of recognition for the online video giant Netflix, which produced it, and which this year is lining up no less than four films and a series on the lagoon.

In total, 23 feature films (including only eight by female directors) are in competition for the Golden Lion, awarded on September 10.

Julianne Moore president of the jury

Twenty years after winning the interpretation prize there for far from paradiseJulianne Moore was chosen to preside over the jury, which notably includes in its ranks Audrey Diwan, the French director who won the Golden Lion last year.

Among the highlights of the festival, the announced arrival of a cohort of Hollywood stars. As of Thursday, Cate Blanchett should climb the stairs to “Tár” of Todd Field, before yielding the spotlight the following day to Timothée Chalamet. The Franco-American, already present last year for duneis back for Bones and All by Luca Guadagnino.

Penelope Cruz is present with two films, a year after her Venetian coronation at Almodovar, and festival-goers hope to see the landing of British pop phenomenon Harry Styles, starring in the film by his partner Olivia Wilde (Don’t Worry Darling).

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One of the most anticipated stars is probably the Cuban actress Ana de Armas, noticed in James Bond girl last year and who embodies Marilyn Monroe sixty years after her death. This biopic, signed Andrew Dominik, promises to cause a sensation, with a feminist reinterpretation of the life of this cinema icon, based on the story of the same title, Blonde hairby novelist Joyce Carol Oates.

The highly anticipated new Iñarritu

Also eagerly awaited by moviegoers, the new opuses by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu (the Revenant), by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), by Joanna Hogg, with the magnetic Tilda Swinton on the bill, or Jafar Panahi, imprisoned in Iran, and veterans Walter Hill and Paul Schrader.

French authors are not to be outdone, from Rebecca Zlotowski to Romain Gavras, via the actor who went on to direct Roschdy Zem. Not to mention the playwright Florian Zeller who, after the success of The Father with Anthony Hopkins, presents The Sonanother adaptation of one of his plays, starring Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern.

The World with AFP

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