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71st Venice Film Fest: Oppenheimer, Akin, Bahrani, Andersson & Ferrara Compete for Golden Lion

Whiles the likes of Terrence Malick, Todd Haynes, Alexander Sokurov, Giorgos Lanthimos and J.C. Chandor no where to be found in the fall fest season map (with concerns to Malick — Telluride and TIFF might still have those surprises up their sleeves) the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival is still a lean and mean (American-French-Italian heavy) comp with the now “confirmed” presence of Fatih Akin (the cross continent The Cut – see pic above), Ramin Bahrani (Michael Shannon starrer 99 Homes), Abel Ferrara (a Thin Blue Line truth revealer Pasolini), David Gordon Green (Pacino comeback vehicle Manglehorn), Roy Andersson (the long awaited A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence) and Joshua Oppenheimer (public Indonesian isolation accompaniment film The Look Of Silence). The U.S. presence is equally as heavy in the Out of Comp section with the likes of Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante, Barry Levinson, Lisa Cholodenko and James Franco making a stop, while the most noticeable inclusion has to be the latest from Lars Von Trier, Ulrich Seidl (In The Basement) and Manoel de Oliveira (The Old Man of Belem). Here are the Comp & Out of Comp titles: 


Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance – Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu (U.S.)
The Cut – 
Fatih Akin (Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Canada, Poland, Turkey)
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence – Roy Andersson (Sweden, Germany, Norway, France)
99 Homes – Ramin Bahrani (U.S.)
Tales – Rakhshan Bani E’temad (Iran)
La rancon de la gloire – Xavier Beauvois (France)
Hungry Hearts – Saverio Costanzo (Italy)
Le dernier coup de marteau Alix Delaporte (France)
Pasolini – Abel Ferrara
Manglehorn David Gordon Green (U.S.)
Three Hearts – Benoit Jacquot (France)
The Postman’s White Nights – Andrei Konchalovsky (Russia)
Il Giovane Favoloso – Mario Martone (Italy)
Sivas – Kaan Mujdeci (Turkey)
Anime Nere – Francesco Munzi (Italy, France)
Good Kill – Andrew Niccol (U.S.)
Loin des Hommes – David Oelhoffen (France)
The Look of Silence – Joshua Oppenheimer (Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Norway, U.K.)
Nobi – Shinya Tsukamoto (Japan)
Red Amnesia – Wang Xiaoshuai (China)

Words with Gods – Guillermo Arriaga, Emir Kusturica, Amos Gitai. Mira Nair, Warwick Thornton, Hector Babenco, Bahman Ghobadi, Hideo Nakata, Alex de la Iglesia (Mexico. U.S.)
She’s Funny That Way – Peter Bogdanovich (U.S.)
Dearest – Peter Ho-sun Chan (Hong Kong, China)
Olive Kitteridge – Lisa Cholodenko (U.S.)
Burying the Ex – Joe Dante (U.S.)
Perez – Edoardo De Angelis (Italy)
La zuppa del demonio – Davide Ferrario (Italy)
The Sound And The Fury – dir: James Franco (U.S.)
Tsili – Amos Gitai (Israel, Russia, Italy, France)
La trattativa – Sabina Guzzanti (Italy)
Make Up – Im Kwontaek (South Korea)
The Humbling – Barry Levinson (U.S.)
The Old Man of Belem – Manoel de Oliveira (Portugal, France)
Italy in a Day – Gabriele Salvatores (Italy, U.K.)
In the Basement – Ulrich Seidl (Austria)
The Boxtrolls – Anthony Stacchi, Annable Graham (U.K)
Nymphomaniac Volume II (long version) Director’s Cut – Lars Von Trier (Denmark, Germany, France, Belgium)
The Golden Era – Ann Hui (China, Hong Kong) CLOSER


Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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