Venice Film Festival 2018 round-up: Suspiria cast attend red-carpet premiere; Jacques Audiard condemns sexism
Here's a roundup of everything that made news on days four and five at Venice Film Festival.
After the premiere of First Man and Suspiria, the 75th Venice Film Festival saw plenty more Oscar-contenders debuting at the famed Lido. While the festival's gender parity continues to draw criticism from festival attendees and esteemed directors, it didn't stop the stars from showing off the latest fashion trends ahead of movie premieres.
Here's a roundup of everything that made news on days four and five.
Suspiria premieres at Venice
Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria, a blood-soaked remake of horror legend Dario Argento's 1977 chiller, is set in a creepy all-female dance school in Cold War Berlin hard by the wall.
Jacques Audiard condemns sexism at Venice
French director Jacques Audiard went gunning for sexism in the film industry on Sunday after his extraordinary new Western, The Sisters Brothers, received a standing ovation at the Venice film festival.
The maker of A Prophet — whose first American movie stars Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal — is the early favourite to pick up the Golden Lion for best film. But as he basked in the applause of critics, Audiard blasted the festival's organisers with both barrels for choosing only one film by a woman to vie for the top prize.
"I was surprised when I read that the line-up was 20 men against one woman," Audiard told reporters. "I wrote to the other directors but there wasn't much a reaction," he added.
The acclaimed auteur attacked the "opaque" way films were picked for big prizes, adding that "in the 25 years my films have been competing, I have never seen a woman at the head of a festival." His comments come after Venice — now the key launchpad for the Oscars race — was accused of "toxic masculinity" for all but cold-shouldering women directors for a second year in succession.
Strong female stories
Despite the dearth of female directors, Venice has hummed with films with female-led stories and strong female characters. As well as The Quietude and the adaptation of the first of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels, My Brilliant Friend, singer Lady Gaga has shone in A Star is Born, while British star Maxime Peake is the heart around which Mike Leigh's historical epic Peterloo hangs.
Ferrante supervised screen version of My Brilliant Friend
The mysterious Italian writer Elena Ferrante pulled the strings behind the first screen version of her Neapolitan novels, the producers said on Sunday, as it was premiered at the Venice film festival.
Ferrante closely vetted and approved the eight-part Italian television adaptation of the first book, My Brilliant Friend, they said. The first episodes will shown in the United States on HBO in November, with 24 further episodes planned for the rest of the saga.
The four novels following two friends Elena and Lila from their dirt-poor childhoods in postwar Naples have become an international publishing sensation, with millions of copies sold.
Screenwriter Francesco Piccolo said Ferrante — who has tried to keep her real identity secret — was "very close to the project from the beginning", even choosing director Saverio Costanzo.
David Cronenberg's new TV series
Hollywood director David Cronenberg has predicted that cinema-going will die out — and says he "does not care" in the least. The maker of The Fly, Crash and Naked Lunch told a talk at the Venice film festival Saturday that "television screens are getting bigger and bigger and therefore the difference between theatre and domestic viewing has become really flimsy."
But the Canadian auteur said cinema itself would survive streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon and that it was "just evolving". He also revealed that he is working on a new television series himself, but said that he "can't talk about it yet".
Cronenberg said the visual language directors were using now was also moving away stylistically from the big screen.
(With inputs from agencies)
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The 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival takes place from May 17 to 28; masks and covid testing are not mandatory.