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Venice Film Festival Unveils Lineup

Madonna
Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Madonna’s 'W.E.," Polanski's "Carnage," William Friedkin’s "Killer Joe" among the titles.

ROME — The Venice Film Festival announced the lineup for its 68th edition Thursday, unveiling a star-studded competition slate heavy in English-language fare from David Cronenberg, Steve McQueen and Roman Polanski plus out-of-competition world premieres from directors Madonna, Steven Soderbergh and Al Pacino.

This year’s edition also will inaugurate the highly touted Palazzo del Cinema venue, which has been under construction for the previous three editions.

The 21 announced competition films will include 11 English-language productions, including Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method; Shame, the sophomore directorial effort from McQueen; Carnage, from Polanski; Andrea Arnold’s adaptation of the classic Wuthering Heights; Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; 4:44 Last Day on Earth, from Abel Ferrara; horror master William Friedkin’s Killer Joe; and Dark Horse from indie specialist Todd Solondz.

Regarding the high quantity of the six U.S.-made films in this year’s competition lineup, artistic director Marco Mueller cautioned against assuming they were blockbusters. “These are kinds of non-mainstream films that need the Venice Film Festival,” he said. 

Other notable in-competition films are Terraferma, from Italy’s Emauele Crialese; Venice regular Aleksander Sokurov’s Faust; Alps, from Greek director Torgos Lanthimos; and Quando La Notte, from veteran Italian director Cristina Comencini.

One more competition film will be unveiled during the festival.

Already announced is the festival opener and world premiere of director George Clooney’s The Ides of March. Damsels in Distress, Whit Stillman’s first movie since 1998, will close the festival.

The out-of competition lineup also includes its stars, headlined by Madonna’s W.E., a story based on the marriage of British king Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Mueller called the film “surprising and not at all banal”); Contagion, the thriller from Soderbergh, and Pacino’s documentary Wilde Salome

The festival runs Aug. 31-Sept. 10.

Venice 2011 Competition

The Ides Of March, George Clooney (US) [opening film]

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Tomas Alfredson (UK, Germany)

Wuthering Heights, Andrea Arnold (UK)

Texas Killing Fields, Ami Canaan Maan (US) (second work)

Quando La Notte, Cristina Comencini (Italy)

Terraferma, Emanuele Crialese (Italy/France)

A Dangerous Method, David Cronenberg (Germany/Canada)

4:44 Last Day On Earth, Abel Ferrara (US)

Killer Joe, William Friedkin (US)

Un Ete Brulant, Philippe Garrel (France/Italy/Switzerland) 

A Simple Life (Taojie), Ann Hui (China/Hong Kong)

The Exchange (Hahithalfut), Eran Kolirin (Israel) (second work)

Alps (Alpeis),Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece)

Shame, Steve McQueen (UK) (second work)

L’ultimo Terrestre, Gian Alfonso Pacinotti (GIPI) (Italy) (first work)

Carnage, Roman Polanski (France/Germany/Spain/Poland)

Chicken With Plums, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud (France/Belgium/Germany)

Faust, Aleksander Sokurov (Russia)

Dark Horse,Todd Solondz (US)

Himizu, Sion Sono (Japan)

Seediq Bale, Wei Te-Sheng (Taiwan) (second work)
Surprise film

OUT OF COMPETITION

Vivan las Antipodas!(documentary), Victor Kossakovsky (Germany/Argentina/Holland/Chile/Russia) [opening film] 

Damsels In Distress, Whit Stillman (US) [closing film] 

La Folie Almayer, Chantal Akerman (Belgium/France)

The Sorcerer And The White Snake (Baish Echuanshuo), Tony Ching Siu-Tung (China/Hong Kong)

Giochi D’estate, Rolando Colla (Switzerland/Italy) 

La Desintegration, Philippe Fauchon (Belgium) 

The Moth Diaries, Mary Harron (Canada/Ireland)

Alois Nebel, Tomas Lunak (first work) (Czech Republic/Germany)

W.E., Madonna (UK) (second work)

Eva, Kike Maillo (UK) (first work)

Scossa, Francesco Maselli, Carlo Lizzani, Ugo Gregoretti, Nino Russo (Italy)

La Cle Des Champs,Claude Nuridsany, Marie Perennou (France) 

Il Villaggio Di Cartone, Ermanno Olmi (Italy)

Wilde Salome, Al Pacino (US) 

Tormented, Takashi Shimizu (Japan)

Contagion, Steven Soderbergh (US)

Marco Bellocchio,Venezia 2011, Pietro Marcello (Italy) (documentary, short) 

La Meditazione Di Hayez, Mario Martone (Italy) (short)

Tahrir 2011,Tamer Ezzat, Ahmad Abdalla, Ayten Amin, Amr Salama (Egypt) (documentary)

The End, Collectif Abounaddara (Syria) 

Vanguard, Colleftif Abounaddara (Syria)

Evolution (Megaplex)(3D), Marco Brambilla (US) (experimental film)

Out of Competition Events

Questa Storia Qua, Alessandro Paris, Sibylle Righetti (Italy) (documentary)

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, Lisa Immordino Vreeland (US) (documentary)

Golden Career Lion - Nel Nome Del Padre, Marcho Bellocchio (Italy)