by Alex DeLeon.


“Everest” by Icelandic director Baltazar Komákur will be the curtain raiser on the Lido at the 72nd Venice film festival on September 2nd. All star cast features Jake Gyllenhall, Keira Knightey, Emily Watson, Josh Brolin and Australian actor Jason Clarke. The subject: A disaster drama about climbers from two different expeditions fighting for survival during a fierce snowstorm on Mount Everest. The story is based on the real events of the 1966 Mount Everest disaster which led to the deaths of several climbers.

A main competition film raising high expectations is “The Danish Girl”, co-directed by 46 year old Englishman Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, 2010) and Swedish veteran Lasse Hallström, 69 (My Life as a Dog) — British actor Eddie Remayne’s follow-up to his 2014 Best Actor Oscar as crippled British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” is sure to be a hot ticket on the Lido.

This time around Eddie portrays a man who became a woman in the first sex change operation of the twentieth century. Redmayne (33) plays a boy who literally becomes a girl! ~~ to wit, a well known Danish artist, male, who undergoes genital restructuring surgery in the early 1900s to become a woman — preceding the American transsexual celebrity of Christine Jorgenson by half a century. Given the sexual confusion now rampant in the so-called “advanced” Western Democracies this one is destined to become a gay cult classic if nothing else …

Other titles raising great expectations include:
Israeli veteran maverick director Amos Gitai’s latest offering;
Rabin, the Last Day”, (Rabin, le dernier jour) an Isaeli French co-production. The assassination in 1995 of the controversial Israeli prime minister by a JEWISH extremist shocked the nation and had tremendous repercussions throughout the region. Gitai’s film deals with the last day of Rabin’s life and is sure to be a shocker itself. Gitai was also in competition here last year so it looks like Venice is getting to be a habit.

“Remember” Atom Egoyan (Canada, Germany).
A new film from Canadian-Armenian Atom Egoyan is always an event and the current entry takes up a most peculiar subject: a 90 year old Jewish Holocaust survivor out to get revenge on a former Nazi Camp guard who murdered his family some seventy years ago and is living in the States under an assumed name.

The aged avenger is played by British vet Christopher Plummer, age 85, with assistance from a number of other prominent elder filmsters: Swiss actor Bruno Ganz (74), German veteran Jürgen Prochnow (74 -the submarine captain of “Das Boot” 1981)– and iconic american character actor Martin Landau, (87! – Academy award for best supporting actor as Bela Lugosi in “Ed Wood” 1994)

The cast alone makes this an eagerly awaited attraction. Plummer also had a central role as a prying customs inspector in Egoyan’s genocide masterpiece, “Ararat”, 2002.

Release blurb: “The darkest chapter of the 20th century collides with a contemporary mission of revenge”.
Venice bound … Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl — Versatile British actor Eddie Remayne’s followup to last years Best Actor Oscar as wheelchair bound British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, is sure to be hot ticket on the Lido. This time around Eddie portrays a man who surgically becomes a woman in the first sex change operation of the twentieth century.

Other films in Competition at Venice.

Blood of My Blood, Marco Bellocchio (Italy). Looking for Grace, Sue Brooks (Australia). Equals, Drake Doremus (US). Beasts of No Nation, Idris Elba (US)
Per amor vostro, Giuseppe M. Gaudino (Italy, France)
Marguerite, Xavier Giannoli (France, Czech Republic, Belgium)
A Bigger Splash, Luca Guadagnino (Italy, France)
The Endless River, Oliver Hermanus (South Africa, France)
Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson (US)
L’attesa, Piero Messina (Italy). 11 minutes, Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland). Francofonia, Aleksander Sokurov (France, Germany, Netherlands)

Noted French director, Bertrand Tavernier (“La vie et rien d’autre”) will receive a well earned Golden Lion for Career Achievement.

Feature by Alex DeLeon.

Alex DeLeon

Alex DeLeon


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