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Black Swan to open Venice Film Festival

Helmed by Darren Aronofsky, who won the Golden Lion for The Wrestler in 2008, Black Swan will be part of the 12-day Festival’s celebrated Competition. For the director, this will be his third Venetian visit, reports Gautaman Bhaskaran.

hollywood Updated: Jul 23, 2010 15:44 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran

The Venice Film Festival will open with a highly anticipated work, Black Swan. Helmed by Darren Aronofsky, who won the Golden Lion for The Wrestler in 2008, Black Swan will be part of the 12-day Festival’s celebrated Competition. For the director, this will be his third Venetian visit, having premiered The Fountain in the 2006 Competition.

A psychological thriller set in the world of ballet, Black Swan stars Natalie Portman, a beautiful dancer caught, though, in an ugly web of intrigue and deceit spun by a new rival, played by Mila Kunis. Paced thrillingly, the movie takes the young ballerina through a role on the stage that seems frighteningly perfect for her.

Also starring Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder, the film will be one of the highlights of the Festival that runs from September 1 on the picturesque island of Lido, overlooking the San Marco Bay in Venice.

Black Swan is written by Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin, produced by Protozoa Pictures and Phoenix Pictures and presented by Fox Searchlight Pictures in association with Cross Creek Pictures.

Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Aronofsky - a key figure in contemporary cinema who has always experimented with new forms and montage - said that "the cast and crew of Black Swan are both excited and humbled by the Festival's invitation. It is an honour to walk the great red carpet on the Lido, and we are excited to premier our movie to the wonderful audiences in Venice".

As for other titles at Venice, only hopefuls are now known, and we have to wait for the official announcement that will come a few weeks later. Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life and Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere are among a raft of strong names that can sail into Lido.

Malick’s work was not ready for the Cannes Film Festival, and so it is quite possible that it will screen at Venice.

Other titles tipped for the Lido include Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter, Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, Anton Corbijn’s The American, Julian Schnabel’s Miral Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole, Bruce Robinson’s The Rum Diary, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest.

Italy’s Vallanzasca, Germany-Hungary-France’s Womb, Scandinavia’s In a Better World and Home for Christmas and the U.K.’s The Last Word, Jane Eyre, Made in Degenham, Neds and Brighton Rock are the likely entries.

Asian gems may well be Takashi Miike’s Thirteen Assassins, Sion Sono’s Cold Fish, Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw The Devil, Tran Anh Hung’s Norwegian Wood, Su Chao-pin’s Reign of Assassins, Chen Kaige’s Zhao’s Orphan and Wayne Wang’s Snow Flower And The Secret Fan.

Mani Ratnam’s Raavan in Hindi is the only entry from India that has been announced till now.

Last year, three Indian works, Anurag Kashyap’s Gulaal and Dev D and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6 played at Venice, though in sidebars.

The question now is, will an Indian movie be chosen to compete at Venice?

(Gautaman Bhaskaran has been covering the Venice Film Festival for a decade.)