80th. Venice Film Festival

Festival Reviews

El Conde

El Conde

In El conde, Pablo Larraín’s darkly comic horror-satire reveals that turning a real-life monster into the protagonist of his own monster movie is an effective way to process historical tragedy.

God is a Woman

God is a Woman

God is a Woman, nearly fifty years after a film documenting Panama’s Kuna community was lost, Swiss-Panamanian director Andrés Peyrot tracks it down and screens it before an emotionally engaged crowd in this fascinating though flawed documentary.

Hollywoodgate

Hollywoodgate

A sobering observational documentary shot at an air force base in Afghanistan, where director Ibrahim Nash’at embedded himself in order to bear witness to the Taliban mindset.

Comandante

Comandante

The true story of an Italian submarine commander in World War II who sank enemy ships yet saved defenseless men is told with old-fashioned gusto and retro sentimentality in ‘Comandante’, with star Pierfrancesco Favino injecting life into the film.

3 Questions for Roberto Cicutto

3 Questions for Roberto Cicutto

THE FILM VERDICT:  You have often underlined the uniqueness of the Biennale di Venezia, which encompasses art, architecture, dance, music and theater as well as cinema. You stress that it “has never been just a showcase for talents and films, it has also been a mirror...

Origin

Origin

Ava DuVernay’s “Origin” is a highly ambitious attempt to fictionalize Isabel Wilkerson’s theory on the centrality of caste rather than race in determining discriminatory hierarchies, playing to the director’s strengths in terms of depicting personal relationships but also her weaknesses in several overly didactic sequences that treat characters and audiences like ignoramuses.

Dormitory

Dormitory

Turkish rookie director Nehir Tuna has made a beautifully played and shot if somewhat opaquely told coming-of-age story set in a rarely-seen world.

Following the Sound

Following the Sound

Kyoshi Sugita’s “Following the Sound” ticks all the boxes for nipponophiles seeking some extremely austere storytelling and swathes of slow-moving, soothing imagery set in a small, serene town in Japan.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Rural herders, urbanite journalists and a young monk consider the fate of a captured, livestock-ravaging wild animal in “Snow Leopard”, an affective, nuanced and multilayered film bowing out of competition at Venice four months after the death of its Tibetan director Pema Tseden.

For Night Will Come

For Night Will Come

A French family moves to a new place in a rural village in For Night Will Come (En attendant la nuit). What the villagers aren’t initially aware of is that the tenebrous and toothy teenage son of the family, Philémon, is somewhat unusual in nature. It’s not hard to...

Enea

Enea

A withering take-down of Rome’s vapid middle class, Pietro Castellitto’s (‘The Predators’) exuberant second feature ‘Enea’ is an amusing, fast-paced game that winks at gangster movies and bows in Venice competition.

Awards Corner

VENICE 2023

  • No awards yet.