At the Venice Film Festival, women are the focus of many films

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At the Venice Film Festival, women are the focus of many films

There’s a moment that happens every time I’m lucky enough to attend the Venice International Film Festival, right before it all starts, when the overloaded screening schedule still seems totally doable, and the deadline is distant and abstract, almost as beautiful, like a distant flock of birds. Freewheeling down the Lido (Barrier Island in the Venetian Lagoon where the festival takes place) on a newly rented bike, the weather reliably gorgeous, the air warm and the tiniest bit savoury with centuries of sea-salty history, I think I’m more Predictably, downright happier than any other day of the year.

Regular attendees know Venice to be a little scheming, to keep its magic a little secret if the universe discovers that a clerical error has occurred and is taken away from us. Because even in a normal year – and who knows if we’ll ever have one of those again? — this festival is a rare privilege that surely nobody really entitled. And in times of pandemic, whatever the inconveniences of COVID restrictions, a significantly increased, excessive carabinery Presence and a messy, restrictive online reservation system, it’s a little less than miraculous that we were here again, amidst all this beauty and lagoon-brightening lights, which we had to completely ignore for the 10 days we spent in the dark.

But then this year, the 78th of the festival, was full of dark life from the beginning. Pedro Almodovar’s opener, “Parallel Mothers,” came on like a comet bursting through the screen in flames of no melodrama, so bold it practically wiped the mask off my face—don’t be afraid though, do That was exactly what happened, which was one of the starters. Would have been on me in a moment. Wearing a mask was one of the toughest police protocols; Even mid-row criminals were immediately publicly shamed by targeting them with a red laser pointer, which must have felt like being in the sights of a sniper.

“Parallel Mothers” starred Penelope Cruz in a performance that deserved the Best Actress award, which she won here. She plays a woman who bonds with her young, fearful roommate (Milena Smit) in a maternity ward, and then discovers that they are more inextricably linked than she imagined. It’s messy and exaggerated, soap-driven, and ultimately brilliant in its many twists and turns. Even though I’m one of the lucky few who have more or less consistently attended festivals across Europe since Cannes, I saw at the sight of Almodovar’s vast, eclectic, heart-sleeving something that was missing elsewhere – a Cinematic experiences that are brash and hot, which have more dimensions of power than the laws of physics allow to be conveyed by a flat image. Pride in Cruz’s brilliant, funny, earthy performance—notes that only Almodovar has ever been found in an actress often typecast as a kitten—and in the director’s own eccentric, unmistakable style, I Leveraged through “parallel moms” thinking: this, this, This.

Which was good, because Almodovar’s film introduced the theme of frightening motherhood which soon became a recurring feature. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s brilliant, Best Screenplay-winning directorial debut, “The Lost Daughter,” based on a novel by Elena Ferrante, stars an irreplaceable Olivia Colman as Leda, a middle-aged mother of older children who are Cruz. Likes the character. “Parallel Mothers,” looks at the connection between her and the life of a younger woman (Dakota Johnson). Gyllenhaal’s horrifyingly completed debut, with Jesse Buckley playing Leda in an earlier deadline, actually gives us two complex performances of the same character, and although the actresses are physically similar to each other. No, there is something deeply motivating in the continuum of gesture and body language that Coleman and Buckley achieve. And you don’t have to be a mother — or even a woman — to relate to Leda’s contradictions, and to find unsettled identities in a sly tale of painful — monstrously selfish from some angles — decisions that last forever. Guilt generates but it can never be completely sorry.

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Speaking of which, “Spencer,” Pablo Lahren’s divisive, overly stylized takes three days into the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, just before the official split from Prince Charles, gave us another unforgettable portrait of conflicted womanhood, and Delivered another unforgettable inspired piece. Casting in Kristen Stewart. Stewart’s own thorny relationship with celebrities gives this highly erratic biopic a fascinating metatextual layer, which he did with Jackie Kennedy in “Jackie,” Laraine splits the conventions of the genre into a million pieces that oppress opulent chandeliers. Shine like Sandringham House – the location of the movie, here’s an uncharacteristically uninteresting location as the Overlook Hotel.

Audrey Dewan’s “Happening”—the low-profile competition entry unexpectedly and gratifyingly chosen as the Golden Lion winner by Bong Joon Ho’s jury—is a harrowing yet delicate portrayal of a young French woman (an excellent Anamaria Vartolomei) Story that deals with the taboo of an unwanted. Pregnancy in 1963. Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” which brought her the Silver Lion for Best Director, is apparently the story of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Phil, a charismatic rancher and an anti-sexual bully. But also, on a troubled mother, here’s a restrained, unassuming Kirsten Dunst, and her oddly co-dependent relationship with her doting son (Cody Smit-McPhee). Even in the contest’s most clearly genre-influenced entry, Anna Lily Amirpour’s fun, graphic-novel-esque “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon”, Kate Hudson wildly revels in her role as a grifting stripper. And successfully plays, who is also an admittedly “bad mother” to her self-sufficient but lonely young son (a sweet Evan Whitton).

Of course, there were films that centralized men’s experiences: most notably, for those who see Venice as a proving ground for Academy Award contenders, Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God,” A film you don’t care much for to recognize as such a gorgeous, lovingly made, autobiographical nostalgia journey that will undoubtedly become an international hit. More, if certainly less accessible to my taste, Valentin Vasyanovic’s terrifying “Reflection” was a daunting—especially in its trigger-warning-worthy torture scenes—the tableau-based tale of a Ukrainian father who fights against the enemy. was coming back from a shattered stint in captivity; Filipino filmmaker Eric Matti’s vast, uneven but horrific corruption and journalistic procedural “On the Job: The Missing 8”; and a compelling, suppressed offering from Venezuelan Golden Lion winner Lorenzo Vigas, “The Box,” which details a fiery teen’s sudden entry into violent adulthood when he finds himself at odds with the ruthless stranger he’s taken as his own. Father agrees.

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Yet, as evidenced by an awards lineup featuring three female directors (Dewan, Campion, and Gyllenhaal) receiving major back-camera awards, when there were only five in the competition’s 21 titles in total, it is quite surprising that this was a major back-camera award. Women and women’s stories of how heavy Venice felt. And, maybe because of the essential compromises of this year’s festival format, which has made last-minute exploration based on a stroll in a screening, you’ve just heard of the Aperol spirit, which is a thing of the past, To connect such subjects had to be pronounced clearly.

Unable to enjoy the more spontaneous, discussion-based cinematic pleasures offered in earlier times, unable to enjoy the more spontaneous, buzz-based cinematic pleasures offered in earlier times, by carefully distanced ourselves from our assigned seats due to advance booking mandates, watching stranded characters – often women – whose stories are put to action. Less told through the complex psychology that played on their faces in close-up, Venice in 2021, it sometimes felt like we were islands, seeing islands, on an island. But if we weren’t quite as close together as before on this little strip of beach, and if we were to get used to it not happening again in the near future, we’d at least be connected by islands all the same. each other in the light of the projector beam. After all, Venice is an archipelago.

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