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Daniele Luchetti’s Italian marital drama The Ties (Lacci), starring Alba Rohrwacher, Luigi Lo Cascio and Laura Morante, will open this year’s Venice International Film Festival, the festival announced Friday.
The Ties, an adaptation of the novel by Domenico Starnone, will be the first Italian film to open Venice in 11 years. It will screen out of competition.
The 1980s-set drama traces a marriage in collapse. Aldo and Vanda have been married 30 years but their relationship is tested when Aldo falls in love with the young Lidia.
“It’s been eleven years since the Venice International Film Festival was opened by an Italian film,” said Venice Festival director Alberto Barbera. “This happy opportunity was offered by the wonderful film directed by Daniele Luchetti … the film is also a sign of the promising phase in Italian cinema today, continuing the positive trend seen in recent years, which the quality of the films invited to Venice this year will surely confirm.”
Venice, which runs Sept. 2-12, will be the first big film festival to hold a physical event in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe. Italy was hard-hit by the pandemic but has begun to emerge from the crisis and has reopened cinemas and allowed international travel to resume.
“Recently, we have all feared that cinema might become extinct,” Luchetti said. “Yet during the quarantine it gave us comfort, like a light gleaming in a cavern. Today we have understood something else: that films, television series, novels, are indispensable in our lives. Long live festivals, then, which allow us to come together to celebrate the true meaning of our work. If anyone thought it served no purpose, they now know it is important to everyone. With Lacci I am honored to open the dances of the first great festival in unexpected times.”
Luchetti is an established name on the European arthouse scene. His 2007 coming-of-age tale My Brother is an Only Child premiered in Un Certain Regard in Cannes. 2010 follow up Our Life screened in Cannes competition and won the best actor honor for star Elio Germano.
Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett will head up the international jury at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Venice will unveil its competition line up next week.
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