The most important premieres of the Venice Festival

13-09-2017, 18:04
Before you are the films with which the 74th Venice Festival went down in history - from favorites of the jury to invaluable masterpieces, from potential film distribution hits to intimate experiments of virtual reality.

1. “FORM OF WATER” / The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro
Romantic tale, breaking the usual canon. Officially - the best film of the competition; He was awarded the main prize "Golden Lion of St. Mark." In this story, a great love in all possible manifestations - from friendly affection to full physical intimacy - catches up with an anthropomorphic amphibious monster (Doug Jones) and a dumb nekrasavitsu with a kind heart and a mischievous look (Sally Hawkins).

The action takes place in the middle of the twentieth century, in the midst of the Cold War - with all the consequences: an arms race, desperate espionage, hard labor in secret military laboratories, which contains a monster captured in Amazonia, and the heroine works as a cleaner.The important role belongs to Michael Shannon - he plays an infernal sadistic guard who personifies all earthly evil and intolerance to creatures unlike ordinary, "normal" people.
Most recently, on the eve of the next MIFF, we remembered del Toro as one of the few major directors opened by the Moscow festival. Now, after winning the second world film show after Cannes, the main Hollywood friend of the monsters is rightfully recognized as the real author, not just the director of the commercially successful Hollywood blockbusters with the participation of charming monsters.
The prospect of a release in the Russian rental: 100%. The company 20th Century Fox plans to release on January 18, to the beginning of the Oscar fever. There is no doubt that the American Film Academy will not remain indifferent to the “Form of Water”.
2. "THREE BILLBORDS ON THE BORDER OF ABBING, MISSURI" / Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Winner of the undisputed prize for the script, McDonagh is one of the greatest playwrights of our days (his plays are readily staged in Russia; among the most significant performances is The Pillow Man by Kirill Serebrennikov at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater); while the majority of Hollywood hacks frankly boiled around, he comes up with cool stories - with real flesh and blood."Three Billboard", where there is a place and the tragedy, and farce, and thriller - the story of one strange revenge. Mildred Hayes (Francis McDormand; no association with the movie “Fargo”) —the mother of the girl whom an unknown scum raped and burned alive — rents three billboards on the border of her deaf town to put the question on them - how to inactive justice, and to the sky permitting such atrocities. Residents of Ebbing who sympathized with Mildred Mothers, take hostile actions against Mildred the rebels. Moreover, not only the police, the cancer patient Sheriff Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) and the object of ridicule, Officer Dickson (Sam Rockwell), but also ordinary people revolt against the woman. Mildred is one against all. For the sake of such an ephemeral thing as justice.

The plot is breathtaking, the characters are colorful (McDonagh, like no one else, knows how to fall in love with his characters, without embellishing them), but it’s still unfair to celebrate only the director’s dramatic achievements: “Three Billboards” are just the movies that you want to watch, but retell. One of the most powerful, wise and paradoxical works of the year.
The prospect of a release in the Russian rental: 100%.The same Fox appointed the release date on February 1, 2018, again at the height of the Oscar season. It will be for whom to root in the distribution of gold statuettes.
3. “MEKTUB, MY LOVE. SONG FIRST »/ Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno by Abdelatif Keshish

A film bypassed by an award-winning jury, but instantly acquiring an almost cult status. 1994, the south of France, boys and girls (local, mostly - people from Tunisia, like the director Keshish himself, and vacationers - mainly young tourists) spend their holidays in a series of beach get-togethers and parties. Dancing, the sun, eroticism, spread in the air, and pleasure in every frame (and every frame too). The protagonist - a young man Amin, who drove into a small homeland from Paris, an aspiring screenwriter, photographer and director, watches a merry love carousel on which his peers ride, but does not sleep with anyone else, speaking to numerous friends and friends.

However, everything can change in “Song of the Second,” which has already been filmed: in contrast to the film “Adele's Life. Chapter One, "left without a continuation, the story Keshish intends to tell to the end. In the meantime, the incompleteness of this cinematic poem about the joys of the flesh gives the project additional charm.The Arabic word in the title means destiny - although the film itself looks spontaneous and unpredictable.
The prospect of a release in the Russian rental: 70%. So far there is no distributor for Mektuba; a certain hindrance can serve as his footage - atmospheric, with a vague plot, the film lasts more than three hours. However, the picture is so seductive and vital that, we believe, someone will decide to buy it. Moreover, “Life Adel” in Russia is more or less known and loved.
4. “EX LIBRIS: NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY” / Ex Libris: New York Public Library by Frederick Wiseman

A 87-year-old American classic documentary - 197 minutes about how and how the New York Public Library lives. The name does not confuse anyone, Wiseman sees and fixes, without obvious author's comments. It seems that it must be hellishly boring: a library? Phew But the screen does not come off: NPL (abbreviation of the New York Public Library) is not silent pages in reading rooms and archives (although there are some main topics in the film), it is a huge, complexly arranged, multi-headed organism. Its branches are scattered throughout the city, and the movie about New York, which Ex Libris turns into, cannot be boring by definition.But first of all, this film is about civic activism, about the work of the brain, about living social activities, the engine of which turns out to be the NPL - with its lectures, discussions, concerts and performances. America, something so similar to Russia (even old women who flock to free library activities, surprisingly resembles Moscow), remains a model for imitation: we still only dream of such social non-indifference.
The prospect of a release in the Russian rental: 5%. Doc is not a frequent visitor even in select cinemas; most likely to catch Wiseman’s film at some festival of the Documentary Film Center.
5. “FIRST REFORMING CHURCH” / Paul Schroeder’s First Reformed

Ethan Hawke appears in the role of heavily drinking holy father Toller. After the death of his son in Afghanistan, Toller, himself a former military chaplain, is experiencing a crisis of faith. Amanda Seyfried plays a simple American girl Maria - her young husband, whom Koller tried to reconcile with everyday problems, committed suicide. Not a very ordinary duet - as unusual and this thick existential drama, to the final mutates into a nervous thriller.

The director of The First Reformed, Paul Schroeder, once the permanent screenwriter of Martin Scorsese (and The Taxi Driver, And The Raging Bull, And The Last Temptation Of Christ) Is His Job, repeatedly in his directorial works addressed to religious topics prequel "Exorcist") and restless heroes on the narrow line between despair and hope. The new film - one of the most confident of his work over many years (the loudest Schroeder film, filmed in the new millennium, remains delightfully and outrageously kitsch "Canyons"), with confident access to the territory of Bergman and Tarkovsky - without prejudice to the sharp, 100% Hollywood story .
The prospect of a release in the Russian rental: 50%. If independent distributors do not suffer from the new bill, which provides for a collection of 100 thousand euros for the rental certificate of a foreign film, “First Reformed” has chances for a limited rental. With all the visual asceticism, this Schroeder makes sense to look on the big screen.
6. “THE DEVIL AND FATHER AMART” / William Friedkin’s The Devil and Father Amarth

Remembering the "Exorcist Devil", it's time to turn to a new documentary film of the father of this franchise (in Venice, he participated in the out-of-competition program).The “exorcist”, the revolutionary horror of 1971, influenced many, but most of all, as it turned out, on the director William Friedkin himself: he still has not left the power of his own work. When I was shooting, I didn’t know about the procedure of exorcising the devil, neither dream nor spirit, but now I got carried away in earnest. The result is the documentary “The Devil and Father Amarth”, shot out of curiosity, which brought Fridkin to an amateurish investigation of the real procedures of exorcism.

The central episode is a huge one-shot shot of an exorcism session on a small hand-held camera (everything that the padre allowed): it is above the village (but fully educated, an architect by profession) Christina, a smiling Italian old man, whose years of intercourse with devils have not discouraged joking. Friedkin cannot do without the subsequent exposure and shows the recording to familiar neurosurgeons. This, by the way, is a separate show - the Israeli doctor himself is like a little imp: it is not known what he did to himself, but his battered face is painted with plasters stuck at random with sticking cotton.Doctors, by the way, are not in a hurry to make noise about quackery, and Amarth’s American colleague even says with some envy: it’s not so easy to enter into conversation with the devil, it’s fraught!
The prospect of a release in the Russian rental: 20%. With all the indifference of our distributors to the dock, this exotic project has spectacular potential. In Venice, for example, all the shows were sold out.
7. “KANDELARIA” / Candelaria Johnny Hendrix Inestroza

The Cuban hit parallel to the Venetian Days of Authors program. Candelaria and Victor Hugo are an elderly couple leading a half-solemn existence in Havana: in 1994, after the disappearance of the USSR, the island of liberty was left without customary support, which affected the plight of its citizens. Old people are undernourished, but not discouraged. In any case, try not to be discouraged. Once Candelaria, in the evenings, sings for the soul in a cafe, and during the day working as a maid in a hotel, finds a video camera accidentally caught in dirty laundry. Victor Hugo secretly removes his naked wife and records the rare marital sex. When the camera falls into the hands of the local barges, the old business offers it: porn for sale.Without much thought, the spouses agree.

Damn warm tragicomedy with a slightly provocative plot, in which all provocation is removed by the naturalness of the heroes and performers - thanks to such people, Cuba has the right to wear the proud title of the island of freedom.
The prospect of entering the Russian downhill: 20%. Once we had a German film Andreas Drezen “In the Ninth Heaven,” frankly showing the sex life of the elderly. But Dresen was sullen, and the Cuban Inestroza, on the contrary, is very positive.
8. “WILD BOYS” / Bertrand Mandicot’s Les garçons sauvages

Five teenagers from good families are distinguished by very bad behavior - and they are forcibly sent for re-education to a ship led by a brutal Dutch captain: there is no guarantee that all boys will be alive. The voyage brings the heroes to a mysterious island, where the old captain's friend, or sorceress, or Seerina, the seer (cult actress Elina Lowenson), fills; the flora here is similar to the genitals and offers the heroes a variety of sexual contacts; exposure to strange island juices leads to miraculous bodily metamorphoses ...

“Wild Boys,” a participant in the Venetian Week of Critics debuts program, is a sophisticated surrealistic madness reminiscent of both Kenneth Enger and F.J. Ossanga, an eccentric game with gender ambivalence: all the boys, distinguished by their unusual androgynous beauty, are played by gorgeous actresses, from the very beginners to the new star of the French cinema Vimaly Pons.
The prospect of a release in the Russian rental: zero, our distributors have such samples of copyright willfulness are not honored. It is a pity, because the film is stylized as an old, filmed movie and combines b / w and color easily; eye sincerely rejoices.
9. "DESTROYED" / The Deserted; Jia Zai Lanre Si Tsai Minlian

Is VR technology a new word in cinema or a dead-end attraction in terms of art? In Venice, they are sure that a new word, and therefore took the whole island of Lazaretto (and a separate jury headed by John Landis) for a huge program of VR projects. The first great director who dared to shoot a full-length film in a virtual reality format was Tsai Minlian, a Taiwanese man - and it seems that this format was designed specifically for his contemplative world, where there are lonely people among the ruins,confused and sometimes frantically copulating heroes, water flows from the sky, from taps and almost everywhere, and sadness and desire become synonymous. “Abandoned” is Cai's proprietary film, which now can be literally immersed in the head and examined every crack in the wall and pore on the skin; for fans - a fantastic gift.
The prospect of entering the Russian rental can not be assessed, because the rental of VR-projects as such does not yet exist anywhere. In Venice, “The Abandoned” was part of the section that was shown in the VR Theater space: several dozen people gather, as in a regular movie theater, for a session, only instead of a common screen for everyone each has its own individual VR device. And the chair rotates 360 degrees.
10. "SEPARATE SILENTS" / Separate Silences; Hver Sin Stilhed of David Vedel

One of the areas of VR-technology - what can not be called just a film; unique experience; A special combination of cinema, interactive computer games and theater. In the Venetian program several VR installations were assembled; The prize was La Camera insabbiata, made by American singer and artist Laurie Anderson in collaboration with Taiwanese media artist Juan Xing-Chen - dizzy (literally!) The ability to fly through a maze of magic rooms.But we are finishing our top project with a young Dane David Vedel. "Separate silence" is designed for two spectators; Everyone is in a hospital bed, because the heroes of the project, in the shoes of which it is proposed to be us, are brother and sister, who are in a coma after a car accident. The beam of a gigantic ghostly beacon projects their memories directly onto the sky (and this is a magnificent image from a traditional, cinematic perspective); sometimes a horrible black man from the other world invades the fantasy of the heroes - and we smell the smell of burning, just as we smell the smells of beer and coffee that the characters drink. Moreover, the extras involved in the installation touch us at the moment the nurses touch the heroes, do a heart massage and injections (do not be afraid, there is no injection, the skin is touched by the blunt end of the dropper). Viewers communicate with each other - the outcome (who will survive and who will not) depends on this communication.
The prospect of rental is absent - due to the fact that this experience is feasible only in the festival framework.

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