September 11, 2011

Venice in Andheri

This year’s festival at Venice concludes today. Nobody invited me, and I can’t afford to attend on my own. So, I had my own little Venice Film Festival on my laptop. Watched three Golden Lion winners back-to-back (Golden Lion is the highest honour at Venice, the award for the Best Film) – ‘Goodbye, Children’ (1987), ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2005), and ‘Lust, Caution’ (2007). Loved them all.

Including this year’s winner ‘Faust’, we have had fifty-five films to bag this honour in the history of the festival. I have watched fourteen out of them, and the list includes some of my very favourite films made by some of my very favourite makers. Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon’ (1951), Ray’s ‘Aparajito’ (1957), Tarkovsky’s ‘Ivan’s Childhood’, Antonioni’s ‘Red Desert’ (1964), Bunuel’s ‘Belle de jour’ (1967), and Kieslowski’s ‘Three Colours: Blue’ (1993) feature in the list, as does Mira Nair’s ‘Monsoon Wedding’ (2001) and Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler’ (2008).

‘Ugetsu Monogatari’, ‘On the Waterfront’, ‘Sansho the Bailiff’, ‘La Strada’ and ‘Raise the Red Lantern’ are some movies that have won the Silver Lion for the Second Best Movie, as has ‘GoodFellas’ for Best Direction. This year it is Cai Shangjun for ‘People Mountain People Sea’ to have won this award.

At the festival, the highest acting honour is called the Volpi Cup. This year’s winners are Michael Fassbender for ‘Shame’ and Deanie Ip for ‘A Simple Life’. James Stewart, Toshiro Mifune, Juliette Binoche, Sean Penn, and Cate Blanchett are some of my favourites to have won that earlier. Sam Jaffe as the caper mastermind in the classic noir ‘The Asphalt Jungle’, and Laura Betti in the unforgettable ‘Teorema’ also won the prize in their respective years. These two movies were also a part of my own celebration of the festival. I’m waiting for the day when I’ll physically attend it at the Lido. Till then, I don’t mind doing it in my bed.

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