Venice Film Festival loaded with American movies

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Terry Gilliam, James Franco, and Errol Morris are among the filmmakers who will premiere their new movies in competition at the 70th Venice Film Festival in late August, it was announced today. Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem (pictured above), which stars Christolph Waltz as a computer hacker close to cracking the code that explains humanity, is his first film since The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in 2009. Franco directs himself in Child of God, an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel, and The Unknown Known, Morris’ study of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield, is the first documentary to ever compete in the main category at Venice.

Overall, there is a strong contingent of American filmmakers showcasing their movies, including David Gordon Green’s Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and Mud‘s Tye Sheridan, and Peter Landesman’s Parkland, the story of the colliding lives at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital in the days around the Kennedy assassination in 1963. Seven of the 20 films in competition are American or co-American productions. “The richness of American cinema at the moment is really extraordinary,” said Alberto Barbera, artistic director of the Venice Film Festival, “both from the indies and from Hollywood.”

Also in the main competition are Stephen Frears’ Philomena, starring Judi Dench, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, with Scarlett Johansson, and Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves, with Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard. Click here for the entire list.

As previously announced, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, will have its world premiere and open the festival. Other high-profile films showing out of competition include Paul Schrader’s Lindsay Lohan movie, The Canyons; Alex Gibney’s documentary about disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong; and Steven Knight’s real-time thriller, Locke, starring Tom Hardy.

The festival will close with Thierry Ragobert’s Amazonia, a 3-D documentary about a domesticated monkey that is released into the wild. “We open with a 3-D film [Gravity] and close with one, since this seems to be the direction things are going,” Barbera said.

The 70th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 28-Sept. 7.

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