Venice starts again on Tuesday. Wednesday is the first official day but there will be some pre-festival screenings on Tuesday so I'll like as not be down for those. A glance at the program is promising, much more than recent years perhaps. But then again some of the best films of the last few festivals have been unexpected: The Wrestler probably the most. This year, we don't have that many big names. Polanski is the biggest. Freidkin caught the same disease Coppola has of being great only in a decade with the letter s-e-v-e-n-t-i-e-s in the name. Madonna, Al Pacino, James Franco and Clooney all add their star power, but only Clooney has proven himself as undeniably a director to watch. There are a lot of youngish film makers who promise great things. Let the Right One In director, Tomas Alfredson returns with his eagerly awaited LeCarre adaptation. Likewise, arriving with a literary adaptation is Andrea Arnold with her version of Wuthering Heights.
Soderburgh and Cronenburg are also present with new films, both of which bode well. And Michael Fassbender stars in the latter's and will also be starring in Steve McQueen's Shame. There's a Johnnie To film and a Jet Li martial arts epic.
So fingers crossed and I'll keep you updated.
John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.