Festival: Venice Film Festival: crowds of fans, Harry Styles and Oscar rumours

When the streets on the island of Lido di Venezia are blocked by crowds, young fans run screaming behind darkened cars and stars like Harry Styles, Cate Blanchett, Penélope Cruz or Timothée Chalamet turn the handle, you can be sure: The Venice Film Festival is back.

Festival: Venice Film Festival: crowds of fans, Harry Styles and Oscar rumours

When the streets on the island of Lido di Venezia are blocked by crowds, young fans run screaming behind darkened cars and stars like Harry Styles, Cate Blanchett, Penélope Cruz or Timothée Chalamet turn the handle, you can be sure: The Venice Film Festival is back.

Until the award ceremony on September 10, films that traditionally later have good chances at the Oscars will be presented in the lagoon city. A first candidate for this has already been seen. A central theme stands out in the previous films. And Edgar Selge made a name for himself in a role as a young woman.

Who could win an Oscar

A good dozen of the 23 competition entries have been shown so far. Including "The Whale" by Darren Aronofsky (who already received a Golden Lion for "The Wrestler" in 2009). After disappearing from the big screen for a long time, the US-Canadian actor Brendan Fraser ("The Mummy") celebrates his cinema comeback.

Fraser caused a stir at the premiere in his starring role as Charlie, an extremely overweight man who wants to reconnect with his daughter. According to media reports, his eyes filled with tears during the closing applause and standing ovation on Sunday night. The whole film takes place within the few meters that Charlie can still move with difficulty. Most of the time he sits on the couch, his breath rattling and beads of sweat beading his forehead. An impressive performance that gave rise to Oscar suspicions.

Who causes a stir on the red carpet

Above all, the appearances of two young world stars made countless fans secure a place at the barriers to the red carpet in the morning. At first, actor Timothée Chalamet (26) caused a stir – after the premiere of his new film "Bones and All" dozens of fans could be seen running screaming after his darkened car.

Finally, on Monday, pop star Harry Styles came. The 28-year-old stars in Olivia Wilde's thriller Don't Worry Darling, which was set to premiere tonight. "After my mother died, you are my only reason to live," read a fan poster on the edge of the red carpet. When asked about this later in the afternoon, Styles said he knew it was thanks to his fans that he was able to be himself and feel comfortable expressing himself.

What the Germans are doing in Venice

The only German film running in Venice (in a sideline) is "Aus meine Haut". Alex Schaad was able to win Edgar Selge, among others, for his debut film. The story is about a group of people who go to an island to swap bodies for a while. Selge plays a young woman who is trapped in her father's body for certain reasons - the bizarre climax of this drama of confusion, which is also cast with Jonas Dassler, Mala Emde and Dimitrij Schaad.

Selge told the dpa about his role: "There is a sentence by Marcel Proust that says: Having a body is in itself the greatest threat to the mind. I put this sentence as a motto for my work. And it doesn't matter there It doesn't matter if I slip into a woman's body or if I look at or use my own body. It's just a fundamental tension that was involved and I really enjoyed that."

Family as a central topic: What is striking in the films

Films could be made endlessly about the things that go on within each family. That's what actress Penélope Cruz said in Venice. Although she spoke about her role in the competition film "L'immensità" - but coincidentally she also described a central theme of many contributions at this year's film festival. It is the internal and external conflicts of mothers, wives, daughters and fathers staged on screen that are portrayed in competition films such as "Bardo", "Bones and All", "Monica", "L'immensità" or "Les enfants des autres". to keep in mind.

Politics at the film festival

The real world also plays a role at the festival. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's video message during the opening was not the only time the war against Ukraine was an issue. The Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa, for example, presented his film "The Kiev Trial" about the Minsk war crimes trial in 1946 against German prisoners of war, two other Ukrainian films are in the program. Referring to Russia's war against Ukraine, Loznitsa said in Venice: "History repeats itself if we don't learn from it."

The competition also features films by two Iranian directors. These include "No Bears" by imprisoned director Jafar Panahi, which premieres on Friday. The Biennale director for cinema, Alberto Barbera, read a message from Panahi in Venice, which Panahi is said to have written in prison. "For us filmmakers, life means making things," it said. Filmmakers are viewed as criminals by parts of the Iranian government. Some were banned from working, others were forced into exile. "And yet the hope of creating again is what drives us to keep going."

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