The 77th Venice Film Festival honors two women and great movie artists. The career Golden Lion goes to Tilda Swinton and director Ann Hui.
The Venice Biennale is ready to announce the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival (running September 2-12 at the Venice Lido). At this difficult time, this special edition seems to be all about celebrating women. Cate Blanchett is chairing the International Jury of the Competition, whereas Anna Foglietta will be patroness of the opening and closing nights. At this 77th edition, the career Golden Lion will go to Tilda Swinton and Ann Hui. Living in the Scottish Highlands and a mother of two twins, Swinton is currently working on new projects by Pedro Almodóvar and George Miller; she has recently been to the Venice Lido with Suspiria by Luca Guadagnino (2018), where she plays three roles. Hui is one of the major contemporary movie directors, and is considered as one of the pillars of the so-called Hong Kong New Wave – the cinema movement that revolutionized cinema in Hong Kong between the late ‘70s and the ‘80s, and turned the cosmopolitan city in one of the liveliest creative hubs of the decade.
Alberto Barbera on Tilda Swinton
Tilda Swinton is unanimously recognized as one of the most original and intense interpreters from the end of the last century,” says artistic director Alberto Barbera. “Her uniqueness lies in her demanding, eccentric personality, her uncommon versatility, her ability to go from the most radical cinema to the great Hollywood productions without ever forsaking her insatiable need to bring unique characters to life. All her performances boldly defy conventions, artistic and social alike, and result of her need to constantly challenge herself while never settling for the goals she has reached, of her desire to explore the secret implications of human behaviors and emotions, which Swinton does not simply convey, but personifies in the most surprising, alienating way. She has worked with some of the major contemporary directors, but she is particularly loyal to some, to whom she has been a real muse, rather than just a favorite actress,” Barbera goes on. “An example of this is her work with English director Derek Jarman – she played in all his movies from 1985 to his death in 1994 – and with Luca Guadagnino – she was in four of his movies, and shared his project of an unconventional cinema. This is how Tilda Swinton has established herself as the interpreter par excellence of contemporary cinema, as she does not settle for simplicity or the lure of trends, but aspires to the undareable.
The Golden Lion to director Ann Hui
Ann Hui is one of the most appreciated, prolific and versatile movie directors of Asia. Her career spans over four decades and touches on all cinema genres,” Barbera says about the Asian director. “She has directed very different genres of movies – from melodramas to ghost stories, from semi-autobiographical movies to adaptations of important literary pieces, not to mention family dramas, martial art movies and thrillers. She was also one of the first directors in the Hong Kong scene to blend documentary material and fiction. Although she has always taken commercial aspects into account and has managed to meet great public success, Ann Hui’s cinema has never lost her own peculiar perspective. In her movies, she has always shown her deep interest in human and social matters. With intellectual sensitivity and sophistication, she has told individual stories that intertwine with crucial social questions like the refugees, the outcast, and the elderly. Her pioneering language and peculiar visual imprint have not just managed to grasp the most specific aspects of Hong Kong as a city and its consciousness, but they have also translated these into a universal perspective