Amongst the glittering line-up for this year’s Venice Film Festival are new films by Terrence Malick and Brian De Palma. As is the status quo for Malick his next feature To the Wonder is being kept under strict control and information on the project is few and far between. What we do know is that it’s a romantic drama starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams as a Mid-West couple re kindling their love after Affleck’s marriage to a European. The most likely outcome is Malick will pull the film from the line-up because he needs another 3 years to edit the thing and it will get its premiere at Cannes in 2020. Remember The Tree of Life? The same thing will happen. De Palma’s first film since 2007 is Passion, an erotic thriller with Noomi Rapace and Elizabeth Banks. The first trailer has just been released online and it looks quite interesting: Banks and Rapace playing a dangerous cat and mouse game as two corporate employees.
There’s a strong international feel to the line-up at Venice with films from Japan, Russia and France. Indian director Mira Nair will open proceedings with The Reluctant Fundamentalist. No two guesses as to what that film is about: terrorism. Political films are cat-nip to these kinds of festivals. Co-starring Kiether Sutherland and Kate Hudson, a young Pakistani wall street trader gets caught up in the conflict of his home country following the events of 9/11. Other prominent filmmakers getting premieres are Harmony Korine with Spring Breakers starring James Franco and Olivier Assasyas’s Apres Mai (Something in Air).It’s a strong line-up for a festival that has struggled in the last few years to keep up its A-List status, largely caused by its close proximity to Toronto. But come next week the crumbling renaissance city will become a beacon of international cinema.