The Hollywood Reporter announced today that the 63rd Venice International Film Festival will open with the world premiere of writer-director Douglas McGrath‘s "Infamous" â€” i.e. that other Truman Capote biopic, the one with the shitty timing. Though at the Independent, David Thomson goes to bat for the film (before the Venice announcement was made, even):
In "Capote," the achievement of the film – and it delivers – is to show that Capote was a shit, a devious glory-seeker and a fine writer who got his own way all the time. That film says he was ruined by his success, but you don’t feel it, because Hoffman‘s Capote is too tough and too self-centred to be brought down by his own moral failure.
In Infamous you feel the tragedy. Yes, Truman goes to Kansas with Harper Lee (this time it’s Sandra Bullock, and she’s superb). He slowly wins the confidence of law and order there. He becomes a famous dinner guest in Holcomb. He meets the killers – Dick Hickock and Perry Smith. And as he starts to write the book, he falls in love with Perry Smith. That was hinted at as a possibility in Capote, though its Truman is hardly capable of love. The ultimate triumph of "Infamous" is that he is weak enough to need, and that’s what ruins him.
One of the common observations floating back from what was generally considered an unexceptional Cannes was that Venice would be strong this year. Catherine Deneuve, as reported earlier this month by AFP and others, will be the jury president, and titles are already being kicked around, most notably David Lynch‘s "Inland Empire," which didn’t make it to Cannes, but which will, according to Variety (also earlier in the month â€” er, we’ve been busy, or something), be screening out of competition at Venice, along with Kenneth Branagh‘s "The Magic Flute." Likely others include Woody Allen‘s "Scoop," Brian De Palma‘s "The Black Dahlia," Oliver Stone‘s "World Trade Center" and Alfonso Cuaron‘s "Children of Men."
Elsewhere, X at Twitch notes that Im Sang-Soo‘s "The Old Garden" and Hong Sang-Soo‘s "Woman on the Beach" are both being eyed by the festival (and possibly, possibly Park Chan-wook‘s "I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK"?), while Benjamin Morgan at AFP reports that Feng Xiaogang, who served as a judge at the Shanghai International Film Festival, is trying to position himself as the new Zhang Yimou or Chen Kaige (god forbid) with "The Banquet," a period piece that’s apparently based on "Hamlet" and that stars Zhang Ziyi. As is the new approach for these films, "The Banquet"’s backers are trotting the trailer around to the big festivals fishing for distributors â€” it screened at Cannes and will apparently also make a showing at Venice and Toronto. Wolf at Twitch uncovers two versions of that trailer online.
For all those who want their David Lynch now and can’t possibly wait until the end of August, Anthony Kaufman points out this enigmatic YouTube video labeled "David Lynch experimenting with Digital Video," and tagged "Inland Empire." Given Lynch’s recent and odd web experiments (ringtones?) we could just as easily believe it’s real as we could that it’s the product of someone making a jokey faux Lynchian video with all the standard elements. See, that’s auteur theory for you, right there.
No, we don’t know what we’re talking about. Hey, over at indieWIRE, Brian Brooks has the first slate of selections announced by the Toronto International Film Festival â€” no premieres yet, just big names from earlier festivals, particularly Cannes.
+ Venice fest plans "Infamous" curtain-raiser (HR)
+ Film Studies: You thought it was too soon for another Capote? Think again… (Independent)
+ Catherine Deneuve to preside over Venice Film Festival jury (AFP)
+ Pix venturing to Venice (Variety)
+ Im Sang-Soo and Hong Sang-Soo Going to Venice? (Twitch)
+ ‘The Banquet’ aims to please, says emerging Chinese filmmaker (AFP)
+ The Banquet Overseas Trailer (Twitch)
+ David Lynch’s DV Experiment, Daily Weather Bulletins and "Inland Empire" (Anthony Kaufman’s Blog)
+ Toronto International Film Festival Reveals 26 Titles for 31st Edition (indieWIRE)