Venice Film Festival still set to go ahead

The 2020 edition of the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned in September, the region’s governor has insisted. Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, confirmed on Sunday that the world’s longest-running festival, which is scheduled to run between 2-1…

The 2020 edition of the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned in September, the region’s governor has insisted.

Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, confirmed on Sunday that the world’s longest-running festival, which is scheduled to run between 2-12 September, will proceed, according to Variety.

Zaia’s confirmation comes days after Venice Biennale officials, which oversee the film festival as well as other events, pushed back its Biennale of Architecture to 2021, but kept the film festival’s dates, despite the two usually overlapping.

The governor explained on Sunday that the Biennale of Architecture was postponed due to problems with constructing the necessary pavilions and went on to insist that the film festival is happening, although there will likely be fewer movies showcased this year.

Earlier this month, a letter signed by Venice’s artistic director Alberto Barbera was sent to a wide range of film industry personnel to find out their concerns and suggestions for the 2020 edition and whether they’d be willing to attend the event.

“We know that it would be simply impossible to plan a festival without knowing if you all are willing to use the Festival to give a new start and a strong sign for keeping cinema alive, even in these difficult times,” wrote Barbera, editors at Variety reported.

The full line-up of films showing at the festival is typically unveiled in July. In January, Cate Blanchett was named the jury president, but it is unclear if this will remain the case.

The Cannes Film Festival, which would have had its closing night over the weekend, was cancelled this year and officials revealed they hoped to screen some of their planned premieres at Venice and other festivals.

Italy, which was one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis, has been slowly coming out of lockdown in recent weeks and is currently set to reopen its borders for European Union (EU) tourists on 3 June.

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Venice Film Festival going forward as planned

Organisers of the Venice Film Festival are determined to proceed with the 2020 edition in September, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.Major film, music, television, and sports events have all been either cancelled or postponed this year to help…

Organisers of the Venice Film Festival are determined to proceed with the 2020 edition in September, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.

Major film, music, television, and sports events have all been either cancelled or postponed this year to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, with the Cannes Film Festival, which usually takes place in May, now postponed until an unspecified date.

But despite Italy being one of the countries hit hardest by the pandemic, Roberto Cicutto, president of the festival’s parent group, the Venice Biennale, told Italian news agency ANSA on Monday that the 77th edition of the Venetian festival would not be postponed or cancelled.

Cicutto also insisted that there were no plans to team up with the Cannes Film Festival on a joint event, after Cannes director Thierry Fremaux suggested the possibility of a one-off collaboration.

“With Cannes everything is possible,” Cicutto said. “But I find it disconcerting that Thierry Fremaux keeps saying he is continuing to examine the situation and does not say what he wants to do. We are going forward with our programme… there is no dialogue.”

The Venice chief said he believed Italian government officials would permit them to open “six or seven circumscribed movie theatres” for screenings during the festival, and acknowledged that international attendance at the event would be less than previous years. He added that the festival was “fine-tuning” its digital technology to help journalists who are unable to make the trip.

Italy has been in lockdown since early March, with all cinemas and non-essential businesses closed to curb the spread of Covid-19, which has infected more than 181,000 in the country, resulting in an estimated 24,000 deaths.

The crisis has already led to the postponement of Venice’s theatre and dance festivals.

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Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson to share top honour at Santa Barbara Film Festival

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson will be honoured with a top acting honour at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).The pair stars as a couple going through a gruelling and heartbreaking divorce in Noah Baumbach’s family drama Ma…

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson will be honoured with a top acting honour at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF).

The pair stars as a couple going through a gruelling and heartbreaking divorce in Noah Baumbach’s family drama Marriage Story, which has garnered rave reviews from critics since it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August.

Now, Driver and Johansson are being honoured with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award, which was created to recognise “select individuals who have distinguished themselves with exceptional performances in film this past year,” and will be presented with their joint prize in a ceremony on 17 January.

SBIFF executive director Roger Durling heaped praise on Driver and Johansson in a statement announcing the award on Monday and recognised their ability to switch between their huge Star Wars and Avengers movies to smaller budget films.

“Scarlett and Adam have had such admirable arcs to their careers, making smart choices between independent films and big Hollywood franchises,” he shared. “They both are such lyrical performers, imbuing their acting with keen sensitivity and intellect. Together in Baumbach’s Marriage Story, they regaled us with their best work to date.”

Previous Outstanding Performer of the Year Award recipients include Rami Malek – who then went on to win an Oscar for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody – Steve Carell, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, and the late Heath Ledger.

Marriage Story will be released in select cinemas and on Netflix from 6 December.

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Todd Phillips was intimidated by Joker star Joaquin Phoenix

Todd Phillips has heaped praise on his Joker leading man Joaquin Phoenix, insisting it was intimidating to work with “one of the greats” at first. The Hangover director had long been a fan of the actor before casting him as Batman’s nemesis in the new …

Todd Phillips has heaped praise on his Joker leading man Joaquin Phoenix, insisting it was intimidating to work with “one of the greats” at first.

The Hangover director had long been a fan of the actor before casting him as Batman’s nemesis in the new origins movie, which recently picked up the Golden Lion award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival in Italy, and he admits he was a joy to work with.

“To me, Joaquin is just one of the greats,” Phillips told WENN. “That was my first time working with Joaquin and it was intimidating at first because I hold him in a special place. But I quickly got over that and we got along really well.

“It was a very intense collaboration. Joaquin’s previous work always stuck with me, but what I really like about him is his style and his unpredictability, which we felt would very much fit into this character. While other people are doing math, Joaquin is playing jazz. He’s just one of the greatest, he’s fearless; his work is brave and vulnerable, and I thought if we could get him, we could really do something special.”

And Phillips was impressed with his leading man’s commitment to the character. Phoenix lost 52 pounds (23.5 kilograms) for the role and often survived on little more than an apple a day.

“I wanted the character to look hungry and unhealthy, like a malnourished wolf,” he explained.

The filmmaker has also shot down rumours of a sequel to Joker, and revealed he pitched the movie to Warner Bros. executives as a standalone film.

“We have no plans for a sequel,” Phillips explained to reporters at IGN. “The movie’s not set up to (have) a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.”

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Olivia Colman conquered red carpet anxiety with Stella McCartney cape

Olivia Colman conquered her severe anxiety about red carpet events by wearing a Stella McCartney cape.In her cover interview with U.S. Vogue magazine, the Oscar-winning actress opened up about how she suffered from debilitating nerves before going on s…

Olivia Colman conquered her severe anxiety about red carpet events by wearing a Stella McCartney cape.

In her cover interview with U.S. Vogue magazine, the Oscar-winning actress opened up about how she suffered from debilitating nerves before going on stage or appearing at award ceremonies and film premieres.

“I get genuinely terrified: panic attack, dry mouth. The fear manifested itself as adrenaline before, but now it’s just fear,” the 45-year-old said. “A lot of people take on a pretend persona, but I’m crippled by it. I feel embarrassed.”

However, it was while Colman was at the Venice Film Festival promoting The Favourite last year that she was able to confidently walk the red carpet while wearing an all-black tailored jumpsuit by Stella McCartney which featured a sweeping floor-length cape.

“I felt, I can do this, I can do this. I’d always used clothes as a sort of mask. I discovered that they can make you feel strong and powerful,” she explained.

Despite her success, the British actress told the fashion bible that she struggled to feel comfortable with her body when she was younger.

“I look up pictures of myself as a teenager, and I think I was gorgeous. But I didn’t feel that. All those little comments through those precious years can have long-lasting negative effects. You see images of a perfect person and say, ‘I can never be that,'” Colman shared.

Now, she’s beginning to look at herself in a different light after welcoming three children with husband Ed Sinclair.

“Over the years, pounds have gone on, and my body has changed; I’ve had children. If someone doesn’t like me because of the size of my bum, they can f**k off. Because I’m quite a nice person to be with, actually,” she fired.

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Joker wins top honour at Venice Film Festival

Todd Phillips’ movie Joker won the Golden Lion Award for best movie at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, the film focuses on the origin story of the DC Comics villain and was a hit with critics…

Todd Phillips’ movie Joker won the Golden Lion Award for best movie at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.

Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, the film focuses on the origin story of the DC Comics villain and was a hit with critics when it debuted at the 76th annual festival late last month.

Taking to the stage to accept the prestigious honour on Saturday, Phillips thanked studio executives at Warner Bros. and his leading man for bringing the story to life.

“I want to thank Warner Bros. and DC for stepping out of their comfort zone and taking such a bold swing on me and this movie,” the filmmaker said as he stood with Phoenix by his side.

“There is no movie without Joaquin Phoenix. Joaquin is the fiercest and brightest and most open-minded lion I know. Thank you for trusting me with your insane talent.”

Joker, which received an eight-minute standing ovation at its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, is now a big contender for the Academy Awards, which will take place in February next year.

Other big winners included filmmaker Roy Andersson, who picked up the Silver Lion for Best Director for About Endlessness, Ariane Ascaride, who was given the Volpi Cup for Best Actress for her performance in Gloria Mundi, and Luca Marinelli, who received the Volpi Cup for Best Actor for Martin Eden.

And in a controversial move, director Roman Polanski’s latest film, An Officer and a Spy, landed the Grand Jury Prize.

The film is based on Robert Harris’ novel about the French political scandal that occurred in 1985, and stars Oscar-winning actor Jean Dujardin and Louis Garrel.

Polanski, who was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse in the U.S. in 1978, did not attend the ceremony.

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Ad Astra and Joker to compete at Venice Film Festival

Ad Astra and Joker are among the titles competing for the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. The sci-fi movie, starring Brad Pitt as an astronaut on a mission to save the solar system from imminent destruction, was originally…

Ad Astra and Joker are among the titles competing for the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.

The sci-fi movie, starring Brad Pitt as an astronaut on a mission to save the solar system from imminent destruction, was originally scheduled to hit cinemas in May, but Disney bosses pulled it from the schedule, and it was eventually given a September release.

However, it was announced on Thursday that it will first receive its premiere at the film event in Italy, where it has been selected for the official competition, alongside Todd Phillips’s Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s legendary nemesis.

Other notable competition films include Noah Baumbach’s upcoming Netflix divorce drama, Marriage Story, featuring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, and Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, his take on the Panama Papers scandal, with Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas.

Controversial director Roman Polanski will also compete at the festival with his new movie An Officer and a Spy.

Benedict Andrews’s political thriller Seberg, starring Kristen Stewart as actress Jean Seberg, who was targeted by the FBI in retaliation for her support of the Black Panther Party, will premiere out of competition, alongside Netflix drama The King, featuring Timothee Chalamet, Robert Pattinson, and Lily-Rose Depp.

As previously announced, the 76th edition of the festival will open with The Truth by Hirokazu Kore-eda, another competition film, and close with The Burnt Orange Heresy, with Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger, and Donald Sutherland.

Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel will preside over the jury and decide which film should win the Golden Lion. Mary Poppins actress Julie Andrews and Spanish director Pedro Almodovar will receive honorary Golden Lions for lifetime achievement.

The festival runs from 28 August to 7 September.

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Venice Film Festival boss defends including Roman Polanski movie in competition

Venice Film Festival boss Alberto Barbera has defended his decision to include a film by controversial director Roman Polanski in this year’s competition. Artistic director Barbera revealed a 21-strong competition selection on Thursday, prompting an up…

Venice Film Festival boss Alberto Barbera has defended his decision to include a film by controversial director Roman Polanski in this year’s competition.

Artistic director Barbera revealed a 21-strong competition selection on Thursday, prompting an uproar on social media from those who expressed their outrage at The Pianist director’s new movie, An Officer and a Spy, being included.

Polanski has been a controversial figure in the film industry since the late ’70s, when he was arrested and charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl at a Hollywood party. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor and he has been a fugitive of the U.S. ever since.

In an interview with Variety, Barbera defended his decision and called on people to separate the 85-year-old’s work and his personal life.

“This is a great movie. We’re talking the same level as The Pianist… And I have no doubt it will be recognised as such,” he said. “The only thing you can do is distinguish between the man and the artist. Polanski is a great artist, one of the last great European auteurs. I didn’t hesitate for a second in taking it….

“It’s ridiculous. If you can’t make a distinction between the culpability of a person and that person’s value as an artist, you aren’t going to get anywhere… Polanski’s problems with L.A. County and his conscience are his personal problems, aside from the fact that I think that, after 40 years of tribulations, he’s paid for what he did. But as a festival director, what counts is that he made a great movie.”

The competition line-up also caused controversy as it only features two female directors – Haifaa Al-Mansour and Shannon Murphy.

In response, Barbera stressed that there is more representation of female filmmakers across all strands of the festival, and added, “What I’m never going to do is take a movie directed by a woman just to raise the proportion.”

Other competition titles include Brad Pitt’s sci-fi movie Ad Astra, Steven Soderbergh’s financial thriller The Laundromat, and Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as Batman’s nemesis in Joker.

The festival runs from 28 August to 7 September.

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Emma Stone cried over a bunny on The Favourite set

Emma Stone started crying for “about an hour” over a scene involving a bunny in her new movie The Favourite.The actress stars in Yorgos Lanthimos’ 18th century period drama, in which she plays one of two women competing for the affections of Queen Anne…

Emma Stone started crying for “about an hour” over a scene involving a bunny in her new movie The Favourite.

The actress stars in Yorgos Lanthimos’ 18th century period drama, in which she plays one of two women competing for the affections of Queen Anne of Great Britain, played by Olivia Colman. Having debuted at the Venice Film Festival in August (18), the film went on to receive positive reviews from critics, with Olivia even winning the prestigious Volpi Cup for Best Actress. However, on the red carpet of The Favourite’s U.S. premiere, Emma admitted that she experienced an upsetting moment during the filming period.

“Well, just in the end – I don’t want to give anything away – but I have to be a little bit aggressive in the end with a bunny,” the 29-year-old recalled in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I cried my eyes out for about an hour.”

The scene in question features Emma’s character, Abigail, growing fed up with one of Queen Anne’s many furry pets, and though the animal lover insisted that the rabbit was “totally fine,” the thought of any creature in distress was too much for her to bear.

“They (the crew) sort of talked me through it and how it would be a gentle and okay thing but, no its very, very upsetting,” she explained. “Any idea of ever harming an animal in any way is crushing to me.”

Though the bunny was unharmed, the same can’t be said for the La La Land star, whose character gets into several aggressive confrontations with Sarah, a role played by Rachel Weisz. As a result, both movie stars were required to take a few hits, but Emma insisted that the physical element comes with the territory.

“I think dishing is easier than taking it, but at the same time, it’s all a part of the job,” the Oscar winner joked.

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Giorgio Armani names five new beauty ambassadors

Sara Sampaio and Barbara Palvin are among five beauties tapped to be Giorgio Armani beauty ambassadors.The two models are joined by their fellow fashion stars Madisin Rian and Greta Ferro, as well as actress Elaine Zhong. Photographer David Sims shot n…

Sara Sampaio and Barbara Palvin are among five beauties tapped to be Giorgio Armani beauty ambassadors.

The two models are joined by their fellow fashion stars Madisin Rian and Greta Ferro, as well as actress Elaine Zhong. Photographer David Sims shot new campaign images featuring the fivesome, which will begin to drop later in September (18).

Cate Blanchett, the long-time face of Armani perfume Si, was named as the first global beauty ambassador for the Italian company earlier this year.

Barbara and Sara have also previously posed for Armani perfume ads, as the faces of Acqua di Gioia and Si Passione, respectively. And Madisin fronted imagery for the brand’s Neo Nude cosmetics range, while Greta starred in a short film produced during the first edition of the Armani/Laboratorio, a free training course in the field of cinema.

The five new ambassadors have all been fulfilling their Armani duties at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, which counts the fashion house as its official beauty sponsor.

“So happy to be here in Venice for the Mostra film festival with @Armanibeauty and glad to let you know that I am now a new face for makeup and skincare beyond my role for Acqua Di Gioia #armanibeautystars,” Hungarian model Barbara wrote on Instagram.

And Portuguese star Sara told her 6.7 million followers she was honoured to continue her partnership with Armani.

“If you haven’t guessed already, I’m honored and super excited to announced Im a new face of @armanibeauty make up in addition to being the face of Si passione . I’m so excited for all the great adventures ahead! #ArmaniBeautyStars #ArmaniBeauty #BiennaleCinema2018 #Venezia75,” she wrote.

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