The Exorcist and Days of Heaven lead ‘Venice Classics’ lineup at VFF

ITALY: The 80th Venice Film Festival’s (VFF) Venice Classics section will showcase the recently restored versions of iconic films, including William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, and Francis Ford Coppola’s One From the Heart.

Alberto Barbera, the festival’s director, curated this lineup in collaboration with Federico Gironi, and the announcement was made on Friday.

The festival will also screen Disney’s Allan Dwan directorial Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, starring Shirley Temple to commemorate the Hollywood studios’ 100th anniversaries.

Meanwhile, Barbera and Gironi mentioned that some films, such as One From the Heart and Arturo Ripstein’s Deep Crimson, have not only been restored but also been revised by the filmmakers themselves, presenting genuine ‘Director’s Cuts’.

Another noteworthy inclusion is Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterpiece Andrei Rublev, which will be presented in the original version, never before seen due to prior censorship.

The Venice Classics section further pays tribute to significant contributions to cinema history, showcasing films like Agnès Varda’s The Creatures, Joseph Losey’s King and Country, and Sergei Parajanov’s Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.

The latter film, in particular, was praised for its visionary and surrealistic portrayal of the Caucasian peoples’ popular traditions, despite being criticized by the Soviet authorities.

The VFF will also honor late directors Ruggero Deodato and Carlos Saura by screening their films, Jungle Holocaust and The Hunt, respectively.

Additionally, Italian actor Anna Magnani, who passed away 50 years ago, will be celebrated with a screening of the newly restored 4K version of Luchino Visconti’s Bellissima.

To mark the 120th birth anniversary of Japenese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu’s, a rare film, Chichi Ariki (There Was a Father), will be presented, rediscovered with some previously censored clips, offering a closer look at the original release.

The classic section also explores historical taboos through films such as Bugis Street, a vibrant portrayal of Singapore’s red light district, and Amir Naderi’s Harmonica, set in a sunny coastal Iran, featuring children as protagonists.

The VFF classic section will also introduce lesser-known works, including Bosnian director Bahrudin Čengić’s Life of a Shock Force Worker and Japanese director Shinji Sōmai’s Moving, considered an underestimated director with a collection of remarkable films.

The tribute to actor Gina Lollobrigida will commence with screenings of Mario Soldati’s The Wayward Wife and Orson Welles’ documentary Portrait of Gina. Additionally, Venice Classics will present a selection of documentaries about cinema and its creators, with further details to be revealed on July 25.

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