66th Venice International Film Festival
Director Marco Müller
Born in Taiwan, Ang Lee moved to the United States in 1978. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from the University of Illinois, he went on to New York University to complete a Master of Fine Arts Degree in film production. His first feature films were a trilogy, Father Knows Best (1992/1994). Thanks to these films Ang Lee made his name on the international scene, winning numerous awards and nominations at the main international festivals. In 1995, Lee directed Sense and Sensibility; the film received an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay, two Golden Globes as well as the Golden Bear at the 1996 Berlin Festival. In 1997 Ang Lee realized The Ice Storm and the epical period drama Ride with the Devil. In 2000, Lee directed the highly acclaimed Wo hu cang long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), which won best picture at the Toronto Film Festival and four Academy Awards. He also received a Golden Globe and a Directors Guild Award for best director. In 2005, Lee directed Brokeback Mountain, winning the Golden Lion in Venice, the Directors Guild Award, a Golden Globe and three Academy Awards including that for best director. Se, jie (Lust, Caution, 2007), an espionage thriller set in Shanghai, was awarded the Golden Lion in Venice, and seven Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. This year Ang Lee presented Taking Woodstock at Cannes, about the famous concert in 1969.
Sergey Vladimirovic Bodrov was born in Habarovsk in 1948. He graduated from the Pansovietic Institute of Cinematography (the renowned VGIK) and began a career as a journalist and writer. His first screenplay of Balamut by Vladimir Rogovoj dates from 1978. He debuted in 1984 with Sladkij sok vnutri travy shot in Kazakhstan and became one of the leading figures in perestroika-era Soviet cinema. The following year he directed Neprofessionaly, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Turin Festival. In 1989 SER (Svoboda Eto Raj) received numerous prizes at Montreal, Berlin and Sorrento. In 1996 he made Kavkazskij plennik, winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes and nominated for an Academy Award as best foreign film. He moved to Los Angeles in the 1990s and worked as a screenwriter on Est-Ouest by Régis Wargnier and Somebody to Love by Alexandre Rockwell. In 2001 he directed The Quickie and the following year had a film in competition at Venice, Medvezij pozeluj (Bear’s Kiss); his son Sergey Bodrov jr played a part in the film, for the last time as he died while it was being made. Sergey Bodrov divides his working time both as a producer and co-script-writer between the USA and Kazakhstan. Bodrov’s latest film, Mongol (2007), about the legendary Genghis Khan, has been very successful with the international public and was nominated for an Academy Award as best foreign film.
Sandrine Bonnaire was born in Gannat, France, and made her debut in movies as an adolescent in La boum 2. Accompanying her sister Lydia for a screen test, she met director Maurice Pialat, who chose her for the leading role in Meurtrières, a project that was later abandoned. But Pialat did not forget her and chose her for À nos amours (To Our Loves, 1983). For her interpretation she won a César as Best Young Actress, and she became a star in her country. In 1985 Bonnaire was in the cast of another film by Pialat, Police, with Gérard Depardieu and Sophie Marceau, presented in Venice. The same year she won her second César, as Best Actress for Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond, 1985) by Agnès Varda. She has also had roles in films by Claude Sautet, Raymond Depardon, Francesca Archibugi, Régis Wargnier, Michel Béna and Jacques Rivette. On the set of the film by Luis Puenzo La peste (The Plague, 1992) she met William Hurt, who would become her partner. In 1995 she won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress in Venice, ex æquo with Isabelle Huppert for La cérémonie (A Judgement in Stone, 1995) by Claude Chabrol. In 1998 she returned to Venice as the star of Voleur de vie (Stolen Life, 1998) by Yves Angelo. Elle s’appelle Sabine, her first feature film as a director presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at the Cannes Festival in 2007 won the International Critics Award (FIPRESCI).
Liliana Cavani graduated in Classical Studies at the University of Bologna and in 1960 enrolled in the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. Winner of a competition for Rai national television, she made a series of documentaries on World War II. In 1965 her work Primo piano: Philippe Petain, processo a Vichy won the Leone di San Marco Award for the best television documentary at the Venice Film Festival. The following year, she made her debut with her first feature film: Francesco d’Assisi applauded at the Venice Film Festival. The following film Galileo (1968), in competition in Venice, dealt with the problematic relationship between intellectuals and power, while the intense I cannibali (1969), also presented in Venice, offered a reflection on the crimes perpetrated by authorities. The films she made in the 1970s all dealt with difficult themes such as isolation, mysticism, and Nazism. In 1974 she directed her masterpiece Il portiere di notte (The Night Porter). Then came La pelle (1981) with Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale and Burt Lancaster, acclaimed by the critics at the Cannes Festival, Interno berlinese (The Berlin Affair) (1985) and Francesco (1989) with Mickey Rourke. She has also directed many lyric operas for the most important Italian opera houses before returning to directing with Ripley’s Game (2002), presented Out of Competition in Venice. Her encounter with Claudia Mori led to two films for Rai Fiction: De Gasperi (2005) and Einstein (2008).
Joe Dante born in Morristown in 1948, studied at the Philadelphia College of Art. In 1968 he made his first feature film, an experimental film lasting 420’ which he made by splicing together pieces of Bmovies: The Movie Orgy. In 1974 he joined Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. His consecration came with Piranha (1977) and the acclaimed thriller The Howling (1981), which attracted the attention of Steven Spielberg, who invited him to film an episode of The Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). In 1984 he achieved international fame with Gremlins, an unusual horror fairy tale in an irreverent and non-conformist vein. In 1985 he directed Explorers and simultaneously worked in television with Amazing Stories. In 1997 he filmed Innerspace produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin, winning the Academy Award for best special effects. Following The ‘Burbs (1989) with Tom Hanks, the director returned to comedy with Matinee (1993), which won great critical acclaim, equal to the irreverent The Second Civil War (1997), presented in Venice. In 1998 the Locarno Film Festival awarded him the Leopard of Honor and the following year dedicated him a retrospective of his works. He also delved into animation, based on the Warner Bros. cartoon characters, Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). In 2005 and 2006 he was the protagonist of the Turin Film Festival, presenting two episodes from the series Masters of Horror (Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution).
Born in 1972, Anurag Kashyap always had a passion for cinema. From building cardboard cinema halls, to making his own comic strip, to writing plays and performing; the bug was planted early on. Then it just grew to mammoth proportions later and still growing. Spotted early by industry stalwarts, he made a mark early with the gritty, raw gangster flick Satya directed by Ram Gopal Verma. Satya went on to be a cult classic, and Anurag Kashyap a writer to reckon with. His directorial debut was an edgy, physiological drama Last Train to Mahakali, a TV series episode. Rave reviews for the TV film and with a few acclaimed films written, Anurag Kashyap unleashed himself with another violent physiological angst ridden rock band film Paanch. This was followed by the much acclaimed Black Friday, a film on the blasts that rocked Mumbai in 1993. A film that prompted Danny Boyle to hire the crew of the film for his own Slumdog Millionaire and have Anurag Kashyap himself to scout for locations in Mumbai. His next was a definite shift from the gritty and the real, a surreal, driven by dream logic No Smoking and the animation film The Return of Hanuman.
Born in 1960 in Correggio (Reggio Emilia), Luciano Ligabue is one of the most popular artists on the Italian music scene. A singer and a song writer, he has published 14 albums (including unpublished, live, soundtracks and collections), each of which became an instant success with songs that entered the hearts of more than one generation. He is a protagonist on the live scene, giving performances throughout Italy, including the historic event at the Campovolo in Reggio Emilia in 2005. So far he has worked in the cinema twice. In 1998 he directed the film Radiofreccia based on the tales of his book Fuori e dentro il borgo. The film was presented Out of Competition at the Venice Film Festival and was met with great enthusiasm by both the public and the critics, going on to receive numerous prestigious awards (three David di Donatello, two Silver Ribbons and three Ciak d’Oro). In 2001 he returned to direction and made his second film, Da zero a dieci, presented at the Cannes Festival in 2002 during the International Critics’ Week. He has published tales, a novel and a collection of poetry, which also met with considerable success.