Mention Venice to most North Americans, sweltering in the July heat, and romantic images of canals, gondolas and love under the stars may pop into mind. Most Italians probably think: "Eek! July! Overweight American tourists wearing tight white shorts and black socks with sneakers! Run for the hills!" But mention Venice in July to Cinematical writers, and we think: "Oh, good! The Venice Film Festival lineup will be released." That day has finally come; Variety has the details and the program looks stellar.

World Premieres include the latest from American directors Woody Allen (Cassandra's Dream), Wes Anderson (The Darjeeling Limited), Brian DePalma (Redacted), Paul Haggis (In the Valley of Elah), Todd Haynes (I'm Not There) and Ang Lee (Lust, Caution). We've covered all these hotly-anticipated titles, and personally I can't wait to hear how they turned out. European directors Kenneth Branagh, Claude Chabrol, Alex Cox, Manoel de Oliveira, Peter Greenaway, Ken Loach and Eric Rohmer will also be represented, as well as Asian helmers Takashi Miike, Takeshi Kitano, Lee Kang Shen, Im Kwon-Taek and Shinji Aoyama. Stars such as George Clooney (Michael Clayton) and Brad Pitt (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) are expected on the red carpet.

As previously announced, Joe Wright's Atonement, starring Keira Knightley, will open the festival and Alexi Tan's Blood Brothers,produced by John Woo and Terence Chang, will close things out. In between, Tim Burton will be honored and John August's The Nineswill be featured in the Critics' Week program. The festival runs from August 29 to September 8; Cinematical will be on hand to report on all the highlights.
categories Cinematical