Monday, September 20, 2021

La Biennale di Venezia - The 78th Venice International Film Festival - Don't Miss - E Stata La Mano Di Dio - Land of Dreams

photo credit - official still - Netflix - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
#Venezia 78 - Competition
 E  Stata La Mano Di Dio - The Hand of God
Paolo Sorrentino
Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize 

The story of a young man’s heartbreak and liberation in Naples, Italy. It’s the 1980s and 17-year old Fabietto Schisa might be an awkward Italian teen struggling to find his place, but he finds joy in an amazing family who love life, relish mischief and take deep pleasure in meddling in one another’s complicated relationships. Then comes a pair of events that alter everything. One is the triumphant arrival in Naples of a god-like athletic legend: high-flying soccer idol Maradona, who has Fabietto, and the whole scrappy city, feeling a pride that once seemed impossible. The other is an inconceivable accident that will drop the bottom out of Fabietto’s world—setting his future in motion. Seemingly saved by Maradona, touched by chance or the hand of God, Fabietto wrestles with the nature of fate, the confusion of loss, and the intoxicating freedom of being alive. In his most movingly personal film, Sorrentino takes audiences on a sensory journey bursting with the contrasts of tragedy and comedy, love and desire, absurdity and beauty, as Fabietto finds the only way out of total catastrophe through his own imagination.


"The Hand of God is a coming-of-age story that aims, stylistically, to avoid the traps of conventional autobiography: hyperbole, victimhood, pity, compassion, and the indulgence of pain, through a simple, sparse, and essential staging and with neutral, sober music and photography. Cinematography’s apparatus will take a step back so as to let the life of those years speak, in the way I remember them—in the way I experienced them, felt them. Simply put, this is a film about sensibility. And hovering above everything, so close and yet so far, is Maradona, that ghostly idol, five foot five, who seemed to sustain the lives of everyone in Naples, or at least mine."
Paolo Sorrentino
Director's Statement 
Sarah Gadon and Paolo Sorrentino  
Receiving - Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize 
Main Cast
Filippo Scotti, Toni Servillo, Teresa Saponangelo, Marlon Joubert, Luisa Ranieri, Renato Carpentieri, Massimiliano Gallo, Betti Pedrazzi, Biagio Manna, Ciro Capano, Enzo Decaro, Sofya Gershevich, Lino Musella
Filippo Scotti 
Winner -  Marcello Mastroianni Award - Best Young Actor 
Paolo Sorrentino
Winner - Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize

Toni Servillo
Official Still - Ghasem Ebrahimian - Bon Voyage - Palodeon Pictures - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
Orizzonti Extra
Land of Dreams
Shirin Neshat - Shoja Azari 
Simin is an Iranian woman on a journey to discover what it means to be a free American. She works for the Census Bureau which, in an effort to control its citizens, has begun a program to record their dreams. Unaware of this devious plot, Simin is torn between her compassion for those whose dreams she is recording and a truth she must find within. Haunted by the fact that her father was executed by the Islamic regime in Iran, Simin has developed a coping mechanism through a world of fantasy and playacting. She captures her interviewees’ dreams, secretly impersonates them in Farsi and publishes them on social media where she finds a growing Iranian audience.  Soon Simin meets Mark; a drifter, a free soul, and a poet who declares his love for her at first sight; and Alan, a cynical cowboy turned detective, full of machismo and the American spirit of adventure. As Simin enters the triad, she finds the two men’s competition and conflicts amusing and silently enjoys the ride.  Playful and poignant, Land of Dreams acknowledges in a surreal and satirical way, the greatness of the American experiment while offering a warning beacon for what could come.
William Mosely, Sheila Vand and Matt Dillon 
photograph Rodolfo Martinez - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
"Land of Dreams developed out of a collaboration with Jean-Claude Carriere, a journey that began back in 2018 in Paris until his death in January 2021.
The film was inspired by our personal journeys as two Iranian immigrants living in America since the 1970s, and Jean-Claude’s grasp of the American culture as a French citizen. The narrative is therefore, an expression of our sensibilities and point of views as three foreigners about a country that we all love and yet dare to criticise.
Stylistically the film has become a convergence of a deeply personal, visual and conceptual language with Jean-Claude Carrière’s legendary signature as a scriptwriter with his sense of wit, humour and humanity."
Shirin Neshat 
co-director with Shoja Azari 
Director's Statement 
Official Still - Ghasem Ebrahimian - Bon Voyage - Palodeon Pictures - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
 Main Cast
Sheila Vand, Matt Dillon, William Moseley, Isabella Rossellini, Christopher McDonald, Anna Gunn, Joaquin de Almeida, Robin Bartlett, Gaius Charles, Nicole Ansari-Cox, Mohammad B. Ghaffari
Official Still - Ghasem Ebrahimian - Bon Voyage - Palodeon Pictures - courtesy La Biennale di Venezia
Land of Dreams
Shahkroh Galame and Sheila Vand
Lido di Venezia
Lungomare Guglielmo Marconi






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