Venice unveils 2010 competition lineup

7:30 AM PST 07/29/2010 by Eric J. Lyman, AP

Director lineup is youngest ever in the history of the festival

ROME -- Sofia Coppola's comedic drama "Somewhere" and "Road to Nowhere," a romantic thriller from veteran director Monte Hellman, were among the highlights of the main competition lineup for the 67th Venice Film Festival, which was released Thursday.

Other in-competition films include Vincent Gallo's "Promises Written in Water"; "Meek's Cutoff," a western from Kelly Reichardt; and Athina Rachel Tsangari's drama "Attenberg."

Artistic director Marco Mueller said that -- notwithstanding the presence of the 78-year-old Hellman -- the competition lineup was the youngest ever in the storied history of the festival, with the average age among the directors of the 22 in-competition films just 47.

"I think this is evidence of a new and dynamic kind of cinema that is being produced," Mueller told a standing-room-only crowd of reporters and industry players at Rome's Excelsior Hotel Thursday.

All told, the festival will include 79 world premieres, including the entire in-competition lineup for the fourth time in five years.

The out-of-competition lineup had its share of highlights as well, with brothers Ben and Casey Affleck both appearing with directorial efforts -- Ben with "The Town," a crime thriller, and Casey with "I'm Still Here," a documentary about actor Joaquim Phoenix, who is Casey Affleck's brother in law. It will be the directorial debut for the younger Affleck.

Venerable Italian directors Marco Bellocchio and Michele Placido return to the Lido with "Sorrelle Mai" and "Vallanzasca – Gli angeli del male," respectively, and Dennis Hopper's "The Last Movie," the actor's 1971 directorial follow-up to "Easy Rider," will screen as an unofficial homage to the actor, who died in May at the age of 74.

Two films that were rumored to screen on the Lido but were not in the announcement were Anton Corbijn's thriller "The American," which stars Venice regular George Clooney in the main role, and Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life."

Mueller said that because "The American," which was filmed in Italy, is scheduled to open in the U.S. Sept. 1, the same day the festival opens, it would have to screen as the festival's opening night film. But organizers instead selected Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" for that honor. No explanation was given for the exclusion of Malick's 1950s-era coming of age story, but there was speculation that the film could still screen as the festival's traditional "surprise" in-competition film, which is usually unveiled during the festival.

As usual, Italian films were the best represented in the overall lineup, with 41 full length features. But U.S. productions were second, with 19, followed by France with 11 and Japan and China with 7 each. A total of 34 countries are represented with at least one official screening, including the Dominican Republic, which will see a film screen on the Venice Lido for the first time ever in "Jean Gentil," a film about neighboring Haiti that will screen in the Orizzonti sidebar.

67TH ANNUAL VENICE FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

IN COMPETITION

"Black Swan," Darren Aronofsky, U.S. (Opening Film)
"La Pecora Nera," Ascanio Celestini, Italy
"Somewhere," Sofia Coppola, U.S.
"Happy Few," Antony Cordier, France
"The Solitude of Prime Numbers," Saverio Costanzo, Italy, Germany, France
"Silent Souls," Aleksei Fedorchenko, Russia
"Promises Written in Water," Vincent Gallo, U.S.
"Road To Nowhere," Monte Hellman, U.S.
"Balada Triste de Trompeta," Alex de la Iglesia, Spain, France
"Venus Noir," Abdellatif Kechiche, France
"Post Mortem," Pablo Larrain, Chile, Mexico, Germany
"Barney's Version," Richard J. Lewis, Canada, Italy
"We Believed," Mario Martone, Italy, France
"La Passione," Carlo Mazzacurati, Italy
"13 Assassins," Takashi Miike, Japan, U.K.
"Potiche," Francois Ozon, France
"Meek's Cutoff," Kelly Reichardt, U.S.
"Miral," Julian Schnabel, U.S., France, Italy, Israel
"Norwegian Wood," Tran Anh Hung, Japan
"Attenberg," Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece
"Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame," Tsui Hark, China
"Three," Tom Tykwer, Germany

OUT OF COMPETITION


Opening Night Tribute to Bruce Lee
"The Return of Chen Zhen," Andrew Lau (China, Hong Kong)
Opening Night Midnight Movie
"Machete," Robert Rodriguez (U.S.)
"The Tempest," Julie Taymor (U.S.)
Homage to Vittorio Gassman
"Vittorio racconta -- Una vita da Mattatore," Giancarlo Scarchilli (Italy)
"The Town," Ben Affleck (U.S.)
"I'm Still Here: the Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix," Casey Affleck (U.S.)
"Sorelle Mai," Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
"Niente Paura -- Come siamo come eravamo e le canzoni di Luciano Ligabue," Piergiorgio Gay (Italy)
"Dante Ferretti -- Production Designer," Gianfranco Giagni (Italy)
"Notizie degli Scavi," Emidio Greco (Italy)
"The Last Movie" (1971), Dennis Hopper
"Gorbaciof," Stefano Incerti (Italy)
"That Girl in Yellow Boots," Anurag Kashyap (India)
"Showtime," Stanley Kwan (China)
"Sei Venezia," Carlo Mazzacurati (Italy)
"Zebraman" (2004), Takashi Miike (Japan)
"Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City," Takashi Miike (Japan)
"The Child's Eye 3D," Oxide Pang and Danny Pang (China, Hong Kong)
"Vallanzasca – Gli angeli del male," Michele Placido (Italy)
"All Inclusive 3D," Nadia Ranocchi and David Zamagni (Italy, Austria)
"Raavan" (Tamil version), Mani Ratnam (India)
"1960," Gabriele Salvatores (Italy)
"La prima volta a Venezia," Antonello Sarno (Italy)
"A Letter to Elia," Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones (U.S.)
"Shock Labyrinth 3D," Takashi Shimizu (Japan)
"L'ultimo Gattopardo: Ritratto di Goffredo Lombardo," Giuseppe Tornatore (Italy)
"Passione," John Turturro (Italy)
"Lope," Andrucha Waddington (Spain, Brazil)
"Space Guy," Zhang Yuan (China)
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