The line-up for the 73rd Venice International Film Festival is out with a strong American presence as Ford, Malick, Gibson, Cianfrance and Fuqua head the show. Duarte Garrido reports.
So much for the magical cinecitta of the 1930s - This year the Venice lido will suffer a hostile takeover from big Hollywood studios - The world's oldest film festival announcing that it will open with rom-com slash musical La La Land - One hit wonder Damien Chazelle is back for more and has Ryan Gosling AND Emma Stone to stroll along. Among the 20 films competing are names such as Tom Ford, taking a break from the fashion world - Denis Villeneuve taking a break from shooting the next Blade Runner - And Derek Cianfrance... with his much hyped adaptation of The Light Between Oceans - Bringing Oscar winner Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender to a remote lighthouse to find and raise a baby that isn't theirs... And expect to see a lot of Natalie Portman - Back from behind the lens with her directorial debut - Portman will walk the lido for not one but two films - Playing Jackie Kennedy in Pablo Larrain's Jackie - And a supernatural psychic in Rebecca Zlotowski's Planetarium. Hollywood enough for you? Well according to the festival director, it's a very balanced mix. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VENICE FILM FESTIVAL ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ALBERTO BARBERA SAYING: "Yes, I'm satisfied, of course. I'm very satisfied. It wasn't easy to put together a list of good films, in some cases excellent films. I think we have some unexpected movies in Venice this year and there is a balance. There is a really sort of a balance that we tried to get from the big Hollywood films and the auteur films on the other side." The festival opens on August 31st with an homage to the late Michael Cimino and the iconic Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami - Presiding over the Jury will be Bond's recently retired director Sam Mendes - And even Mel Gibson is popping by with a film of his own Hacksaw Ridge, not competing for the golden lion. A very American Venice could only close with... a Western - Antoine Fuqua's remake of The Magnificent Seven sure to lift spirits... or get horribly booed on September 10th.