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The Student News Site of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

Kol BT

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The Venice Film Festival in Retrospective

In the age of industry-wide strikes, the evening of culture known as the Venice Film Festival seems impossible to host, let alone have moments to surprise, captivate and keep the audience on its toes. This year’s festival remained consistent with its lineup consisting of angry protestors, notable guest speakers, and a platform for innovative, independent film discoveries.. For its 80th anniversary, however, there were a couple of surprises in store:  

For example, The Favorite (2018) director Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest independent feature, Poor Things won a first-place prize of the Golden Lion and received a whopping 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film raced against contenders such as Joel Coen’s widely anticipated Drive Away Dolls and big-budget biopics like Ferrari, yet surprisingly won. Based on the 1992 science fiction novel of the same name, the story follows Bella, a young woman brought to life by an unorthodox scientist and sent on a whirlwind adventure across the world. Could it capture the heart of the American Oscars against smash hits such as Oppenheimer, Barbie, and Killers of The Flower Moon

Greeted with crowds of protesters, controversial film directors and Venice Film Festival regulars, Woody Allen and Roman Polanski make the scene. Both released foreign-language films this year, persistent against the constant controversy surrounding them. 90-year-old Polanski’s latest feature film, The Palace has nothing majestic about it. A satire that feels like a broken AI’s version of Triangle of Sadness, follows a mixed group of Europe’s elites, spending New Year’s Eve of the year 2000 at a lavish hotel. Reviews for this film had been surprisingly negative, considering its powerhouse director, who despite his reputation, had released hit after hit in the arthouse world, even winning Best Director at the French César Awards for An Officer and A Spy in 2020.  Despite the backlash, The Palace had received a five-minute standing ovation, likely for Polanski’s illustrious career, directing films such as The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby. But due to the charges against him in the United States for statutory rape, many were appalled by this – the only award in store for The Palace is a Razzie!


Woody Allen’s first French-language film, Coup De Chance received fascinatingly positive reviews, some calling it his best film in years. Allen, previously accused of child abuse and alienated from the American film community, had just released a good movie and that raises controversy.Why? Because of our strange moral codes of separating art from the artist. Where does one draw the line when enjoying the work of an artist who is a monster? 


In conclusion, this year’s Venice Film Festival has proven that cinema is all but dead, its world is still chaotic, surprising, yet all the same as 80 years ago.  


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About the Contributor
Gefen Miller
Gefen Miller, Reporter
Gefen Miller is a freshman at Beth Tfiloh. She is a writer for Kol BT, although she wishes she could just write for fun all day. She likes to read and watch movies, her current favorites being Whiplash (2014) or Rain Man (1988). Her biggest goal this year is to finally memorize her phone number. 

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