Thursday, 7 September 2017

Venezia74: Have a holiday on Day 9

I only saw two films today at the Venice Film Festival, a welcome relief after seeing four most days over the past week. In between, I crossed over from Lido to Venice once again for a day of sightseeing, museums and food. Then back to Lido for our jury deliberations in a deluge of rain. Here are today's films...

Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno
dir Abdellatif Kechiche; with Shain Boumedine, Salim Kechiouche 17/Fr ***.
Another very long, strikingly naturalistic film by Abdellatif Kechiche, this loosely plotted drama is packed with beautiful young people who spend the summer either on the beach or at the disco. The Arabic word "Mektoub" roughly translates as "it is destiny", so clearly the filmmaker has bigger things on his mind. But the remarkably engaging scenes are weakened by camerawork that echoes the most misogynist characters, relentlessly gazing on women's bodies.

Racer and the Jailbird [Le Fidèle]
dir Michael R Roskam; with Matthias Schoenaerts, Adele Exarchopoulos 17/Bel ***.
Filmmaker Michael Roskam reteams once again with Matthias Schoenaerts for this personal drama set against the criminal scene in Belgium. More of an epic romance than a thriller, the film has plenty of emotional moments that draw the audience into the central romance. Although it's all perhaps a bit too dark for its own good, as the film runs out of hope before we're ready to give up on these people.

Tomorrow: Charlotte Rampling in Hannah, John Woo's Manhunt and the French drama Custody. There;'s also the awards presention for the parallel section prizes.

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