Charles Bramesco


The Venice Film Festival unveils a jam-packed lineup for 2022

The Lido will be perfectly happy to host the buzzy Netflix films banned from Cannes.

While cinephiles the globe over sweat their way through a miserable planetary heat wave, the thought of fall’s arrival is on everyone’s mind, both for reasons of declining temperatures and the annual gearing-up of the festival season. This morning, the directors of the Venice Film Festival made it all feel just within reach with their announcement of the full programming slate for 2022’s proceedings — the most robust, star-studded lineup since the pandemic put a damper on festivals in general.

Some of the big ones, we’d come to expect from rumors over the past few weeks, most of which concerned late-in-the-year offerings from Netflix. Cannes’ vocally stated opposition to the streaming barbarians at the gates means that Venice is free to snatch up such major-league titles as Andrew Dominik‘s Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu‘s journalism comedy Bardo or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, Noah Baumbach‘s Don DeLillo adaptation White Noise, and Romain Gavras‘ political powder keg Athena. The principle motivating Cannes’ Netflix ban is clear, but in practice, it’s become impossible to deny that they’re handicapping themselves and leaving some prime pickings to their biggest competitor.

Between scuttlebutt and the telling rollout of trailers, a handful of others confirmed this morning were already smart-money bets: Todd Field‘s music-world drama Tár, Luca Guadagnino‘s cannibal romance Bones and All, Darren Aronofsky‘s psychological portrait The Whale, and Martin McDonagh‘s wind-swept character piece The Banshees of Inisherin. But the stuffed Competition selection also includes a handful of true surprises, including Frederick Wiseman‘s first fiction film in decades, Florian Zeller‘s follow-up to The Father (titled, logically, The Son), the latest portrait of conflicted womanhood from Joanna Hogg, a new feature from the recently imprisoned Jafar Panahi, and a mystery documentary from Laura Poitras — word is it chronicles activist Nan Goldin’s one-woman war against the Sackler family of pharma barons and museum donors.

And that’s just the Competition; the Venice programmers have lined up an additional wave of A-listers for their Out of Competition section, which comprises features, shorts, and series alike. That last category will host new work from Lars Von Trier, as he resumes his hospital-set series The Kingdom with a new installment titled “Riget Exodus,” and Nicolas Winding Refn, whose neo-noir Copenhagen Cowboy will arrive on Netflix later this year. As for features, we’ve got a new something from Lav Diaz — the run time for the famously unhurried filmmaker has yet to be revealed, but it’s hopefully no shorter than four hours — as well as Walter Hill and Paul Schrader. Olivia Wilde will pull back the curtain on her enigmatic Don’t Worry Darling, while the late (and now somewhat less-esteemed, upon the revelation of sexual assault accusations against him) Kim Ki-duk will also make his final appearance in the programme.

With this year’s staggering collection of big names, Venice seems to have pulled away from the Euro-prestige pack, in light of a paltrier Cannes than most years and Berlin’s tacit resolution to explore obscurer corners of the worldwide arthouse. The soon-to-be-announced Toronto and Telluride have their work cut out for them, measuring up to this bundle of premieres, but there’s still lots left unclaimed. My big question mark: where’s Damien Chazelle‘s purportedly obscene Old Hollywood vice-fest Babylon?

Published 26 Jul 2022

Tags: Venice Film Festival

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