Venice film festival to kick off with black comedy "Birdman"

ROME Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:00pm IST

A statue of a lion, the symbol of the 69th Venice Film Festival, is silhouetted in Venice August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/Files

A statue of a lion, the symbol of the 69th Venice Film Festival, is silhouetted in Venice August 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile/Files

Related Topics

ROME (Reuters) - Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu opens this year's Venice film festival with the premiere of "Birdman", a black comedy that heads a 55-strong selection leaning heavily towards war and recession, festival director Alberto Barbera said on Thursday.

As well as "Birdman", starring Michael Keaton as a fading action hero, 19 other films are in the main competition, including "Manglehorn", starring Al Pacino, "Good Kill" with Ethan Hawke as a disillusioned miltary drone pilot and Fatih Akin's "The Cut" with Tahar Rahim, star of Jacques Audiard's 2009 thriller "A Prophet".

Oscar winner Barry Levinson also directs Pacino in "The Humbling", showing outside the main competition.

Abel Ferrara's biopic "Pasolini", with Willem Dafoe playing the Italian writer and director who was murdered in 1975 and Iranian director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad's "Tales" will also be vying for the coveted Golden Lion award.

"There are lots of films that make reference to war. Sadly we are living in a moment in which the spectre of war is rising dramatically again," Barbera told reporters as the lineup was unveiled in Rome.

The world's oldest film festival opens on Aug 27 and runs to Sept 6 with jury president Alexandre Desplat heading a judging panel that includes British actor Tim Roth, Palestinian director Elia Suleiman and Italian actor Carlo Verdone.

Out of competition, mischievous Danish director Lars Von Trier presents "Nymphomaniac Vol II", the long version director's cut of the controversial first "volume" shown in Berlin earlier this year.

American actor-director James Franco shows "The Sound and the Fury", an adaptation of William Faulkner's 1929 stream of consciousness novel with Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm, while the veteran Peter Bogdanovich offers "She's Funny That Way", a comedy with a cast including Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Death of a Designer

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Complaint Against Clarkson

Complaint Against Clarkson

Argentina complains to BBC over "Top Gear" presenter Clarkson.  Full Article 

Archaeological Find

Archaeological Find

New Jerusalem find may shed light on Jewish revolt against Romans.  Full Article 

Fukushima Film

Fukushima Film

Fukushima film shows reality sinking in for 'nuclear refugees'.  Full Article 

A Moo Point

A Moo Point

Massage and mooo-d music soothe Vietnam beef cake beauty contestants.  Full Article 

Charli XCX

Charli XCX

At 22, success has taken time for Britain's "Charli" Aitchison.  Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Brad Pitt's 'Fury' all the rage at U.S., Canada box office.  Full Article | Video 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage