As I learned at this year’s Qumra, held by the Doha Film Institute, the grand dame of French New Wave cinema Agnès Varda was all about finding the stories, the viewpoints that no one else would bother with. The Festival de Cannes, in its poster just unveiled for the 72nd edition of the festival, pays homage to La Varda but also to her indomitable spirit by showing the filmmaker on her first cinematic venture perched high up on a platform, atop the shoulders of a crew technician. She’s is looking to capture that image, that viewpoint which no one else would have even thought about. She is Varda, in all her perfectly humble and adventurous attitude. The same Varda who asked me, to my utter disbelief, if I’d liked her “little film” a few years ago in Cannes.Read More
So you may have read by now that the Venice Film Festival is being singled out for not having enough women filmmakers in their Competition line-up. One publication even went so far to criticize Italian culture as a whole, and they used two non-Italian reporters to write the story of course -- one the token male journalist. Because a single, lone, able woman journalist would not have been able to do the job?
Ever hear that saying "don't talk bad about my mama?"
Anyway, while everyone is up in arms for yet another slight at womanhood, I say, get over it! I'm a woman, I'm Italian and I feel very well represented in Venice -- thank you very much. In fact, I have never seen so many beautiful women's stories, so much truth for our gender and so much care in telling those stories as I see in the various line-ups and sidebars this year at La Biennale del Cinema. But of course, you'd have to look beyond the media-selling headlines, watch deeper, dig in the sidebars too and know in your heart that great cinema was never about gender, rather about quality and vision. Just like it ain't about politics, even when the subject is political.Read More