From 28 August to 6 September, I was present at the 70th Venice International Film Festival. I had a great time, it didn’t rain much, I ate a bit too much pizza, and I murdered lots of mosquitoes with one of these. I also saw lots of films and wrote about them. Since a few of you have asked me for recommendations on what I saw, I thought I’d bring together all of my coverage in one place. Enjoy:
I wanted to draw your attention to the upcoming Scalarama film season/festival, which will take place in September. The guys behind it have written a detailed manifesto about its aims, and they need to raise some funds (via Kickstarter) to make it a reality. Here’s just a snippet:
More than a festival, Scalarama is an inclusive film season, a movement for movie lovers and a celebration of cinema in all its forms.
We invite you to join a community of enthusiasts from across the UK; a range of film organisations, programmers, curators, collectives, academics, journalists and film fans – all will come together for one month to share their belief that watching a film as part of an audience is something important, valuable and worth championing. Scalarama is not just about film, it’s about the experience, and the people and the passion behind the projector.
Scalarama is open to all, whether you submit an event as part of our Open Programme, select to show one of the specially chosen titles from our Core Programme or take part in national Home Cinema Day on Sunday 29th September (see below for more details). Now in our third edition and with hundreds of events expected to take place across the country, we are on the verge of making a real impact on how people think and talk about cinema. With your support, we can make this year’s season the widest and most inclusive film event yet.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? For the full skinny (including video), and details on how to donate, visit the Scalarama Kickstarter page.
All being well, Permanent Plastic Helmet hopes to present an event at this year’s festival.
Big thanks to YouTuber Mrgavyadha for uploading the full version of King of New York director Abel Ferrara’s unusual, stylised and disturbing rape-revenge thriller Ms. 45 (1981), in which a mute, reticent seamstress, after having been raped twice in one day, goes on a gun-crazy rampage.
Clearly modelled on the likes of I Spit on Your Grave and Death Wish, Ferrara imbues his rather tawdry source material with a distinctly sleazy New York sensibility (the clothes! the streets! the music in the first scene!) – a vein that he would go on to mine in later films – and an almost incongruously stylish sheen which belies its low budget, and adds to the oppressive mood. The closing party sequence, filmed in slow-motion, is exquisitely unsettling and almost unbearably tense.
Ms. 45 is played by the stunning Zoe Lund, who went on to co-write and star in Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant, before dying of cocaine-assisted heart failure in Paris in 1999.
‘Enjoy’ is perhaps not the right word, but this is absolutely worth a watch.