Friday, 29 August 2014

HOT AIR COOL NIGHTS:VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

The reason why I love the Venice Film Festival above all other festivals, is that it is seriously glamorous, it still has a 1950's - 1970's appeal, when Fellini and Visconti were still in their prime. High art and cinematic splendour make this place special. With over twenty films in competition the stakes are high, there are also many films not in competition too. I was lucky enough to be invited by the elegant and clever Marina Cicogna, loving the red carpet as I do, I thought I would enjoy the whirlwind, and armed with my favourite evening dress from Lamania, it was a must.
This year the panel of judges are interesting too. There is a French feel to the Festival. with sponsorship from Renault and French composer, Alexandre Desplat, heading the jury with his charm. Of course last year Masarati made a splash here, so with Renault there is a different more real and business like feel to the Film Festival.
Venice is a place you meet wonderful people in lifts and gondolas. It is magical. Today I was fortunate to talk to a new talent in film making called Alice Rohrwacher who you may know made Heavenly Bodies. She is President of the Jury finding the best next new comer. I have a lot to be thankful for my friendship with The Italian People and for the support they gave my film, The gun the cake and the butterfly, last year. The Ischia Film International Festival and the NYCIFF, headed by Pascal Vicedomini and Roberto Rizzo.
I am staying at the Excelsior which is much more convenient for the films than the Cipriani, but less convenient if you wish to party and see Venice. I have not heard bells of a church or a sound of a motorboat once.
Here with Natalia Sousa, hairdresser to the stars who works at Snowden Hill's new salon Duck and Dry, I am made to look good evan in bed.
MARINA CICOGNA

There is a darker side to to Venice, it  is also a place where you have to watch your pockets, my computer was  annoyingly stolen out of trolley in the airport. One minute it was there and the next it was on an escalator to heaven knows where. The thief will have fun, hope he does not steal my next script.

Birdman opened the festival and was directed by Alejandro Gonsalez, who previously directed the award winning film Babel opened the First Night. The film was incredible, the drumming score, kept me alive along with the very realistic fights between Michael Keaton and Edward Norton. Michael's aggressive portrayal playing the part with his alter ego and the roughness between living his life as a superhero and failure, left the audience gasping. He was Birdman after all. With the wide eye stares of Emma Stone, he flys, literally.

AMANDA ELIASCH
I also watched a wonderful comedy about Charlie Chaplin's body stolen from Vevey in Switzerland. The price of fame directed by Xavier Beauvois, was fully supported by the Chaplins. The film was a light comedy accompanied by the thrills of a Michel Le Grand score, a lovely story about a pair of petty gangsters who need money desperately to support a family, and a wife who is sick with chronic arthritis and needs a hugely expensive operation to combat it. The petty thieves from Eastern Europe hold the body hostage, in a field while they make massive mistakes trying to get money. It is too long, but it is funny and at moments compelling.
NATALIA SOUZA wearing Emilia Wickstead and AMANDA ELIASCH wearing Victoria Beckham

Then I also had the luck to see a Chinese film  directed by Peter Ho San Chan called Dearest, about the kidnapping and abduction of children in China, which I truly thought would make a terrific television series and which ended just when I wanted to know what happened. Annoying as it was, it had so many stories going into it, and I just wanted to know if the children were safe.


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