The 69th Venice Film Festival has opened this weekend in Italy, and we’ve spent the afternoon dreaming of gondolas, pasta and the films we’d be seeing if we were there.
Of all the world premieres at Venice, the one we’re most excited about is Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. This look at the formation of a religious cult in the 1950s, based unofficially on Scientology, stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix and even the trailer gave us goosebumps.
Other hotly-anticipated world premieres include the new film from Japanese crime master Takeshi Kitano, who writes, directs and stars in Outrage Beyond, as well as the second part in Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy, Paradise: Faith.
The first two days of the Festival have already seen a number of exciting, well-received premieres, including the new Terrence Malick film To the Wonder starring Ben Affleck and Javier Bardem, Sarah Polley’s moving family documentary Stories We Tell, Harmony Korine’s wild teenage romp Spring Breakers and the searing 9/11 drama The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
If you can’t make it to the canals of Venice this year, World Movies is giving you the chance to experience some of the festival’s best films. The week includes Silver Lion winners Women Without Men (2009) and The Last Circus (2010), alongside Golden Lion nominee The Solitude of Prime Numbers (2010). There’s also Todd Solondz’s darkly hilarious film Life During Wartime, and the Palestinian story of Miral, both of which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Tune in every night this week at 8.30pm for WM: Venice.