Catharine island hopping in Venice

Posted on August 30, 2012 by Catharine Des Forges

Categories: Festival Reports

Manage to make contact with the CICAE team and the island campus looks even more beautiful in daylight.  I might have to consider studying for another degree…the morning is given over to a discussion of networks much in vogue in the UK at the moment and here, often spearheaded by festivals which is quite interesting to me.  Then it’s my turn and I’m here ostensibly to talk about our guide to starting a local cinema.  It seems to be well received although I don’t get asked many questions.  Although it is lunchtime…maybe that’s got something to do with it…

69th Venice International Film Festival
69th Venice International Film Festival

After lunch I’m off the Lido to see if there’s anything I can see.  It’s a very leisurely programme.  There seems to be about 4 films on, most of which have already started.  There’s Heaven’s Gate but it seems to still be 3.5 hours long. In my defence I’m only here til tomorrow.  So I go off to explore the Lido – which I have to stay is very nice…I think I might have to add Venice to the ICO’s festival itinerary….

Heaven's Gate
Heaven’s Gate at the 69th Venice International Film Festival

I go see my first film which involves about 10 mins of queuing – what a pleasure, I am now officially enamoured of Venice Film Festival.  This is Betrayal (Izmena) by Kirill Serebrennikov, a very cool drama shot almost like a Jessica Hausner film but with a Hitchcockian sensibility.  Unfortunately it doesn’t live up to either of these references…a man goes for a medical check-up and the woman GP tells him that his wife is having an affair with her husband.  He’s never met her before, goes home shell-shocked and starts to suspect his wife.  The story unfolds, initially a seemingly malicious act of mischief on the part of the GP who is beautifully played, but subsequently with more substance to it.  The characters are never named and the location is deliberately undefined – there’s a sense of mystery, and dreaming, of not being sure what is real and what is false.

Betrayal
Betrayal (Izmena) by Kirill Serebrennikov

After the screening, I go and get ready for dinner and then onto the Venice market party.  On the beach and with the most amazing food which makes me sad to have already eaten…

And so to bed, travelling back on the waterbus, over the water – I don’t think I would ever get tired of this journey.

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