This year's Venice Film Festival seemed to carry a special soundtrack, like a mixtape of our collective thoughts and hopes and wishes. For a future where we are finally able to learn from our past and stop thinking that our opinions count individually. For a world where we will discover, finally, a middle ground in shades of grey, instead of living everything in either black or white.
Here is my Venezia 75 Mixtape.
'A Tramway in Jerusalem' by Amos Gitai
This is a filmmaker who knows his other arts. From Gustave Flaubert's 'Voyage en Palestine' to Yiddish and Moroccan music, Gitai's 'A Tramway in Jerusalem' is filled with iconic artistic moments.
At the center of it, though, is this man in the video below. A Palestinian rapper who simply blows us away with his refrain "Palestine isn't a land, Palestine lives within us." It's an ode to a land that has as many people claiming it as the number of those who live there. Probably because it's the most beautiful place on earth with the most infuriatingly awful government -- at once.
And the perfect example of the poetry of Amos Gitai, who constantly reinvents the concept of cinema for us, his audience.
As an aside, I haven't been able to identify the man featured in the video, who simply is called the "Palestinian rapper" in all reviews of the film. If you have his name, by all means, add to the comments below!
'Roma' by Alfonso Cuarón
There isn't a true soundtrack for Cuarón's touching ode to his childhood years and the woman who raised him. Rather, the radio and glimpses of the outside world offer songs that are instantly recognizable to those of us who were born around the same time and lived in Latin countries. Italy, Mexico, honestly, they seem inseparable, except for the people themselves.
So, when I heard this song weave out of a radio during family time in 'Roma' I realized how close the soundtrack of the filmmaker's life had been to mine, while growing up.
If cinema influences us, music definitely unites us and binds us into a circle of our fellow humans who listen to the same tune. Cuarón's film reconfirmed that for me.
And I rediscovered one of the tunes of my childhood.
'What You Gonna Do When the World's On Fire?' by Roberto Minervini
There could be several songs to mention here, including a version of the Spiritual the film's title is based on, sung by the great Lead Belly.
But the true soundtrack of Minervini's mind-blowingly real and sad portrait of an America slipping from our hands as human beings belongs to Chief Kevin and the Mardi Gras Indians.
While there are too many beautiful and haunting songs to mention, the only one I could find on video was this one. 'Somebody Gotta Sew'. Its message? Keep going, the fight for true equality has only just begun.
Read up my interview with Roberto Minervini for more info.
'A Star is Born' by Bradley Cooper
The longer I spend in the company of the memory of this film, the more I like it. At first, I found some of the writing corny and the acting somewhat accompaniment until the next song came along.
But the genius of Cooper was to bring this olden tale, almost as old as cinema itself, to the present day and turn the queen of pop icons Lady Gaga into an actress. Wow. Listening to the excerpts of their songs from the film, I can't wait to watch it again and buy 'Shallow' on iTunes.
'A Star is Born' may turn into the soundtrack of my fall. Along with this next one.
'Vox Lux' by Brady Corbet
There is a whole Spotify list available and finding the soundtrack for this film was easier than with most others on my mixtape.
I bonded with Natalie Portman's character who, after the initial tragedy in her life, hides her own strange and dark secret. One you'll have to watch to the end of the film and through a few songs performed by Portman herself. Just when you begin to ask why the filmmaker didn't cut that sequence down, pow! The secret under theme of the film is revealed, by the voice of Willem Dafoe.
For now, I couldn't find any of the songs SIA worked on with Portman for the film, so you'll have to do with 'The Greatest' which does channel the spirit of the film. And watch watch watch 'Vox Lux' -- if you're a woman, it will blow you away. Take you to the depths of emotion and leave you gasping for air.
'C'est ça l'amour' by Claire Burger
Burger's latest film is a wonderful work of art. An ode to love and what parenthood is supposed to mean -- complete and utter selflessness. In fact, it's so good, the filmmaker won the top jury prize in the Venice Days sidebar.
I loved rediscovering this beautiful song by Paolo Conte in 'C'est ça l'amour', called 'Sparring Partner' which at one point plays in Burger's touching film.
For more on the film, read my interview with the filmmaker herself.