La Zendaya, “Leader” soft applause – Diversity

In an alternate universe, Zendaya would have broken the Internet with her red carpet outfits and cheered her performance in Luca Guadagnino’s “Challengers,” a film that was supposed to open the 80th annual Venice Film Festival.

But the SAG-AFTRA strike made it impossible for the tennis drama, which MGM had pushed to a 2024 release date, to make it to Lido.

Instead, Venice began with the World War II drama “Comandante” by the young Italian writer Edoardo De Angelis. The film, set mostly on a submarine, received a 90-second standing ovation when actor Pierfrancesco Favino – who plays naval officer Salvatore Todaro – bowed.

Indeed, the lack of star power was keenly felt on the opening night of the Venice festival. The crowds lining up outside the Sala Grande Theater were modest in size, with the biggest cheers going to Damien Chazelle, who heads the Venice jury. Jane Campion, another member of the judging panel, waded through the crowds to sign autographs and take selfies.

But it was a big difference from years past when an appearance by Lady Gaga or Timothée Chalamet shut down any traffic near the stage.

Hollywood labor issues played a starring role in Venice. During the first press conference of the day, Chazelle and fellow juror Martin McDonagh expressed their support for the ongoing writers and actors strikes in Hollywood, wearing a “Writers Guild on Strike” T-shirt and pin.

Venice president Alberto Barbera reiterated that despite the promotional complications caused by the strike, there will be a bit of American star power at the Lido Stadium, with Adam Driver expected to be on hand to promote ‘Ferrari’, while Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi will come for Sofia Coppola movie. Priscilla, Caleb Landry Jones for Luc Besson’s “Dogman”, and Jessica Chastain will travel to star in Mexican director Michel Franco’s “Memory”, which will be shown at the end of the festival.

The highlight of the opening ceremony, hosted by Italian actress Caterina Moreno – best known internationally for playing Solange in the James Bond film “Casino Royale” – occurred when Charlotte Rampling handed over the Golden Lion of Lifetime Achievement to revered Italian author Liliana Cavani. Rampling was the unforgettable heroine of Cavani’s groundbreaking 1974 film “The Night Porter,” in which she played a concentration camp survivor who discovers that her former torturer and lover, played by Dirk Bogarde, is working as a hotel porter in postwar Vienna. .

“In a sense, you could say that Liliana Cavani and I were identified with the ‘Night Porter,’” Rampling said.

In a beautifully delivered, impassioned speech, Rampling went on to say that for “Night Porter,” Cavani “had in mind the words of a woman, a survivor of Auschwitz, who can never forgive her captors for making her escape from her dark side.” Speaking about Cavani’s extensive body of work – which also includes “Francesco”, in which Mickey Rourke plays St. Francis of Assisi, and Patricia Highsmith’s “Ripley’s Game”, starring John Malkovich – Rampling asserted that “since the early 1960s… In the past, Cavani forced us to confront the beautiful, the ugly, and the unresolved.

Cavani, who received a standing ovation, took the opportunity to point out that she is the first woman in more than 80 editions of the Venice Film Festival to receive the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award. “It’s not totally fair,” she said. She added, “There are female screenwriters and female directors who work like men.”

“If you think about it, we need to be seen. I think the festival should take this into consideration. They should take into account the fact that women can make cinema. There is an imbalance and I hope this is the beginning (of change).”

Liliana Cavani with the Golden Lion of Lifetime Achievement and Charlotte Rampling at the 80th Venice International Film Festival
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Cavani, 90, is also in Venice to film her latest film, The Order of Time, a meditation on time based on a book by Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli, which is screening out of competition.

The other big star of Venice’s opening day was the Italian star Pierfrancesco Favino, who in “Comandante” plays the heroic naval commander Salvatore Todaro, who on October 15, 1940, as commander of the submarine Cappellini, sank a Belgian merchant ship called the Caballo. It carried aircraft parts and operated under British rule. He then surfaced, disobeying his command’s orders, and proceeded to rescue Caballo’s 26 crew members, acting in accordance with what he called the “law of the sea” according to which “no one is left at sea.”

De Angelis, who recently directed the series “The Lying Life of Adults,” based on Elena Ferrante’s film “The Lying Life of Adults,” said he was inspired to direct “Comandante” after hearing Todaro’s martyrdom by an Italian admiral as a role model for how a military guard should act. Italian coast in rescuing migrants from the sea. North Africa as they attempt to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe.

“The spark that led me to tell this story was the power of people who rush to help the vulnerable,” he said. “That’s the real reason I wanted to make this movie.”

Venice runs until September 9th.

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