American Films Take a Backseat at Venice Film Festival

The Venice Film Festival’s program was announced this morning and will include a few American films including Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler (starring Mickey Rourke), Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married (about an ex-model returning home after ten years in rehab), Kathryn Bigelow’s Hurt Locker and Joel and Ethan Coen’s Burn After Reading. That’s a relatively light line-up from Hollywood at the fest’s 65th year, with more Italian and Japanese animation movies taking the spotlight. Reuters notes that last year, U.S. and British films dominated the lineup, with nearly half of the films in the main competition. This year, there are only five. The Burning Plain, a drama starring Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger and directed by Guillermo Arriaga, is also in the competition. So is Vegas: Based on a True Story from Amir Naderi. The Coen Brothers’ movie is screening out of competition.

“One of the effects of the strike is that so many releases of movies that would have been right for Venice have been pushed by the studios to December, or even later,” Festival director Marco Mueller said at a packed presser in Rome’s Excelsior Hotel on the Via Veneto, according to Variety.

A full list of Venice films are listed below, courtesy of Variety.

65TH ANNUAL VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
OPENING FILM
“Burn After Reading,” Joel and Ethan Cohen, (U.K., U.S.) out-of-competition.

COMPETITION
“The Wrestler,” Darren Aronofsky (U.S., France)
“The Burning Plain,” Guillermo Arriaga (U.S.)
“Il Papa di Giovanna,” Pupi Avati (Italy)
“Birdwatchers,” Marco Bechis (Italy)
“The Hurt Locker,” Kathryn Bigelow (U.S.)
“L’Autre,” Patrick Mario Bernard, Pierre Trividic (France)
“Hurt Locker,” Kathryn Bigelow (U.S.)
“Il Seme della discordia,” Pappi Corsicato (Italy)
“Rachel Getting Married,” Jonathan Demme (U.S.)
“Teza,” Haile Gerima (Ethiopia, Germany, France)
“Paper Soldier,” Aleksey German Jr. (Russia)
“Sut,” Semih Kaplanoglu (Turkey, France, Germany)
“Achilles and the Tortoise,” Takeshi Kitano (Japan)
“Ponyo on Cliff by the Sea,” Hayao Miyazaki (Japan)
“Vegas: Based on a True Story,” Amir Naderi (U.S.)
“The Sky Crawlers,” Oshii Mamoru (Japan)
“Perfect Day,” Ferzan Ozpetek (Italy)
“Jerichow,” Christian Petzold (Germany)
“Inju, the Beast in the Shadows,” Barbet Schroeder (France)
“Nuit de Chien,” Werner Schroeter (France, Germany, Portugal)
“Inland,” Tariq Teguia (Algeria, France)
“Plastic City,” Yu Lik-wai (Brazil, China, Hong Kong/China, Japan)

OUT OF COMPETITION
“Puccini e la fanciulla,” Paolo Benvenuti (Italy)
“Yuppi Du,” Adriano Celentano (Italy)
“35 Rhums,” Claire Denis (France, Spain)
“Cry Me a River” (short), Jia Zhangke (China, Spain, France)
“Shirin,” Abbas Kiarostami (Iran)
“Tutto e musica” (1963), Domenico Modugno (Italy)
“Vicino al Colosseo…c’e Monti” (short), Mario Monicelli (Italy)
“Do Visivel ao Invisivel” (short), Manoel de Oliveira (Brazil, Portugal)
“Les Plages d’Agnes” (documentary), Agnes Varda (France)
“Vinyan,” Fabrice Du Welz (France, U.K., Belgium)
“Encarnacao do demonio,” Jose Mojica Marins (Brazil)
“Volare” (1959), Piero Tellini (Italy)

OUT OF COMPETITION — SPECIAL EVENTS
“Bajo el Signo de las Sombras” (documentary) (1984), Ferran Alberich (Spain)
“Vida en Sombras” (1947), Lorenzo Llbobet Gracia (Spain)
“Ketto Takadanobaba” (1937), Masahiro Makino, Hiroshi Inagaki (Japan)
“La Rabbia” (1963) (documentary), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Italy)

IN COLLABORATION WITH UDINE FAR EAST FEST
“Monster X Strikes Back: Attack the G8 Summit!,” Minoru Kawasaki (Japan)
“Queens of Langkasuka,” Nonzee Nimibutr (Thailand)

HORIZONS
“Goodbye Solo,” Ramin Bahrani (U.S.)
“A Erva do Rato,” Julio Bressane, Rosa Dias (Brazil)
“Parc,” Arnaud des Pallieres (France)
“Melancholia,” Lav Diaz (Philippines)
“Un Lac,” Philippe Grandrieux (France)
“Wild Field,” Mikhail Kalatozishvili (Russia)
“Il Primo giorno d’inverno,” Mirko Locatelli (Italy)
“Voy a explotar,” Gerardo Naranjo (Mexico)
“Jay,” Francis Xavier Pasion (Philippines)
“Pa-ra-da,” Marco Pontecorvo (Italy, France, Romania)
“Zero Bridge,” Tariq Tapa (India, U.S.)
“Pusique nous sommes nes” (documentary), Jean-Pierre Duret, Andrea Santana (France, Brazil)
“Women” (documentary), Huang Wenhai, China, Switzerland
“In Paraguay” (documentary), Ross McElwee (U.S.)
“Z32” (documentary), Avi Mograbi (Israel, France)
“Below Sea Level” (documentary), Gianfranco Rosi (Italy, U.S.)
“Los Herederos” (documentary), Eugenio Polgovsky (Mexico)
“L’Exil et le royaume” (documentary), Andrei Schtakleff, Jonathan Le Fourn (France)

HORIZONS EVENTS
“Verso Est” (documentary), Laura Angiulli (Italy, Bosnia)
“ThyssenKrupp Blues” (documentary), Pietro Balla, Monica Repetto (Italy)
“La Fabbrica dei Tedeschi” (documentary), Mimmo Calopresti (Italy)
“Soltanto un nome nei titoli di testa” (documentary), Daniele Di Biasio (Italy)
“Antonioni su Antonioni” (documentary), Carlo di Carlo (Italy)
“Venezia ’68” (documentary), Antonello Sarno (Italy)
“Valentino: The Last Emperor” (documentary), Matt Tyrnauer (Italy)
CLOSING FILM
“Orfeo 9” (1973), Tito Schipa Jr. (Italy), out-of-competition

American Films Take a Backseat at Venice Film Festival