Showing posts from September, 2018

'The Favourite' wins Grand Special Jury Prize at Venice debut

By Moira Sullivan Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has won multiple prizes at A – list film festivals including best film at Un Certain Regard at Cannes for Dogtooth in 2009, the Jury Prize at Cannes for The Lobster and Best screenplay for the Killing of a Sacred Deer at Cannes in 2017 – his films plays on language and absurd imaginative encounters. His latest film T he Favourite which won the Grand Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival where it debuted August 30 and is perhaps his most intelligible film  using the conventional form of the historical drama. The title of the film has to do with a specific role of a favored person to the royal court of the time, which includes various levels of intimacy including same sex love or otherwise. The film is about two female lovers to the mid 16th and 17th century regent Queen Anne of England and Ireland (played by Olivia Colman -who took home the Volpi cup at Venice) – and the last of the

Excellent historical chronicle of the Camorra at Venice

By Moira Sullivan Camorran boss Raffaele Cutolo "Camorra" by Francesco Patierno, a documentary in the Venice "Orizzonti" section is an outstanding film unique in its way of illustrating the development if organized crime in the region of Compania and capital city Naples. Using historic newsreel footage and photojournalism, the film’s editor Maria Fantastica Valmori shows how life was from the 1970's to 1990's in this area. The document is a continuous essay, that is relentless in its investigation- a chronicle of violence and poverty of a secret criminal society, the Camorra who are behind multiple homicides through the years. Director Francesco Patierno visited the archives of Rai Teche and Valmori for footage of this time. Many stills also come from the photojournalist Riccordo Carbone from the daily newspaper "Il Mattino”. Once notices there are few women or young girls from the past that are on the films - they are seldom interview

Brady Corbet's Vox Lux at Venice Film Festival

By Moira Sullivan Natalie Portman and Raffey Cassidy Brady Corbet has made another spectacular and engaging film after his triumph at the Venice Film Festival three years ago with The Childhood of a Leader, which won best debut film and best director awards. What I like about his work is that his films are open to assembly by the spectator and are an invitation to explore history in new ways. The upbringing of a young boy in The Childhood of a Leader was divided into three acts with a child’s temper tantrums and horrible parents, and a finale of a future era where he is the leader of a fascist government Vox Lux which debuted at Venice September 4 is also divided into acts - the form that Corbet presently has chosen for his films. In this film the young girl Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) is involved in a horrible school shooting, writes a song to express her feelings about It , and becomes a world famous pop singer (Natalie Portman). Brady’s focus and platform in Childho

Argento's 'Suspiria' still remains the definitive horror classic over Gaudagnino's remake at Venice.

Jessica Harper as Susie Bannion in Argento's version 1977. By Moira Sullivan Suspiria is a remake by Italian director Luca Guadagnino . The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival  September 1. It is a cult horror film originally directed and co-written by Dario Argento and his wife Dario Nicolodi in 1977. Argento’s famous trilogy is about three dark mothers - Suspiria, Inferno and The Mother of Tears – an idea he got from the autobiography of Thomas De Quincey, in Confessions of an English Opium-Eater written in 1821. The mother of Suspiria is Mater Suspiriorum, the Mother of Sighs -- Helena Markos, who supposedly faked her own death but continued to rule underground. Tilda Swinton as Madame Blanc Guadagnino’s admiration for Argento, the most important Italian horror director in cinema history is clear. The original Suspiria starred Jessica Harper as lead character Susie Bannion and in this film her role is played by Dakota Johnson. Harper has a bit part in th

Orizzonti Award For Best Film at Venice to Kraben Rahu (Manta Ray)

By Moira Sullivan Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s debut feature Kraben Rahu (Manta Ray) from Thailand took home the Orizzonti Award For Best Film (Thailand, France, China) at the Venice Film Festival that ended Sept 9. It clearly merits its award for its beautiful story and cinematography. Phuttiphong Aroonpheng said at Venice that his film was a metaphor for people who disappeared, whose identity can be shared by many and whose fate is in danger. The title of the film Manta Ray named for the magnificent coastal fish symbolizes the two main characters – a Thai fisherman and a stranger who he rescues from the sea. The Manta Ray is a filter feeder from the same family as bluefins sharks and tuna but is not a predator. It is on the endangered species list and is hunted by fishermen , and vulnerable to entanglements in fishing lines and nets where they often drown. The fisherman out on his boat is a threat to the Manta Ray in fact and the stranger who arrives to shore is near dead from