Meek's Cutoff – The Last Circus – Black Venus – Black Swan – Silent Souls – Somewhere – 13 Assassins

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Jurors: Quentin Tarantino (president), Guillermo Arriaga, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Arnaud Desplechin, Danny Elfman, Luca Guadagnino, Gabriele Salvatores

Golden Lion:Somewhere, USA, dir. Sofia Coppola
Special Jury Prize:Essential Killing, Poland, dir. Jerzy Skolimowski
Best Director:The Last Circus, Spain, dir. Álex de la Iglesia
Best Actress:Attenberg, Ariane Labed
Best Actor:Essential Killing, Vincent Gallo
Marcello Mastroianni Award:Black Swan, Mila Kunis
Best Screenplay:The Last Circus, Álex de la Iglesia
Technical Contribution:Silent Souls, Mikhail Krichman (cinematography)
FIPRESCI Prize:Silent Souls, Russia, dir. Aleksei Fedorchenko
SIGNIS Award:Meek's Cutoff, USA, dir. Kelly Reichardt
Venice Horizons Award:Verano de Goliat, Mexico/Canada, dir. Nicolás Pereda
Future Film Festival Digital Award:13 Assassins, Japan, dir. Takashi Miike

Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
My Golden Lion
Black Venus (France/Algeria, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche) - A justifiably punishing sit. Meticulous recreation that refuses to absolve its audience of complicity with voyeurism.

Silent Souls (Russia, dir. Aleksei Fedorchenko) - Tender, enigmatic, contentedly odd elegy for a wife, a friend, a father, and a culture; like Auden meeting Kaurismäki

Post Mortem (Chile, dir. Pablo Larraín) - Steady, muted accretion of Chilean political horror, intriguingly if unevenly joined to Lanthimos-style deadpan macabre

Meek's Cutoff (USA, dir. Kelly Reichardt) - Academy framing a treat, as are visual and sonic textures. But dramatic opportunities get missed. Perfs a bit off?

Attenberg (Greece, dir. Athina Rachel Tsangari) - Dogtooth's brittle lensing and weird behavior, making ambitious but uneven grabs at your heartstrings. Coolly intriguing.

Black Swan (USA, dir. Darren Aronofsky) - Frazzling dread, superbly lensed, good for shabby shocks—and yet a thin pillowcase of cliché, stuffed with cheap tricks (full review)

3 (Germany, dir. Tom Tykwer) - Comic, sexy, proudly noodly urban fable about married couple shtupping same man. Tykwer fondly regards humans as loose electrons.

The Last Circus (Spain, dir. Álex de la Iglesia) - Pitiless slaughterhouse-allegory in which rival maniacs break the back of easily-seduced Spain. Bold but puerile.

Somewhere (USA, dir. Sofia Coppola) - Coppola's films have always been airy, but the absolute dramatic laxity of this one is startling. Evanescent, unstirring.

Four Lovers (aka Happy Few) (France, dir. Antony Cordier) - Neither consistent with context nor willingly abstract. Story of four-way liaison seems to float above its own movie.

Sidebar Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
The Town (USA, dir. Ben Affleck) - Swift, muscular, absorbing pulp. Some overworked dialogue and extra speeches, but such confident direction. Humor a plus.

Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
Essential Killing, Poland, dir. Jerzy Skolimowski
13 Assassins, Japan, dir. Takashi Miike
The Ditch, China, dir. Wang Bing
Norwegian Wood, Japan, dir. Tran Anh Hung
We Believed, Italy, dir. Mario Martone
Promises Written in Water, USA, dir. Vincent Gallo
Potiche, France, dir. François Ozon
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, China, dir. Tsui Hark
Road to Nowhere, USA, dir. Monte Hellman
The Solitude of Prime Numbers, Italy, dir. Saverio Costanzo
Miral, USA/France/Italy/Israel, dir. Julian Schnabel
Barney's Version, Canada, dir. Richard J. Lewis

Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically
1960, Italy, dir. Gabriele Salvatores
Beyond, Sweden, dir. Pernilla August
I'm Still Here, USA, dir. Casey Affleck
Machete, USA, dir. Robert Rodriguez
El Sicario, Room 164, Italy, dir. Gianfranco Rosi
The Tempest, USA, dir. Julie Taymor

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