Shame – Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale – Alps – Almayer's Folly – Faust – Wuthering Heights – Himizu

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Jurors: Darren Aronofsky (president), Eija-Liisa Ahtila, David Byrne, Todd Haynes, Mario Martone, Alba Rohrwacher, André Téchiné

Golden Lion:Faust, Russia, dir. Aleksandr Sokurov
Special Jury Prize:Terraferma, Italy, dir. Emanuele Crialese
Best Director:People Mountain People Sea, China, dir. Cai Shangjun
Best Actress:A Simple Life, Deanie Yip
Best Actor:Shame, Michael Fassbender
Marcello Mastroianni Award:Himizu, Shôta Sometani & Fumi Nikaidô
Best Screenplay:Alps, Giorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou
Technical Contribution:Wuthering Heights, Robbie Ryan (cinematography)
FIPRESCI Prize:Shame, UK, dir. Steve McQueen
SIGNIS Award:Faust, Russia, dir. Aleksandr Sokurov
Venice Horizons Award:Kotoko, Japan, dir. Shin'ya Tsukamoto
Future Film Festival Digital Award:Faust, Russia, dir. Aleksandr Sokurov

Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
My Golden Lion:
Faust (Russia, dir. Aleksandr Sokurov) - Intoxicating, even if, like a lot of intoxicants, it puts you to sleep a little. Painterly, imaginative, and sells the myth.

A Dangerous Method (UK/Germany/Canada/Switzerland, dir. David Cronenberg) - Uneven play an albatross, but exquisitely tense images, smart acting lift it. My fav Cronenberg since eXistenZ?

A Simple Life (Hong Kong, dir. Ann Hui) - No groundbreaker stylistically but acutely and tenderly observed. Yip as affecting as you've heard but not precious.

Shame (UK, dir. Steve McQueen) - Vacillates between moody insight and straw-grasping. Best scene, the date, stuck in patchiest section, the middle. Mercurial.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (UK, dir. Tomas Alfredson) - Atmosphere and ideological prisonhouse richly evoked. Momentum, insight, characterizations more erratic.

Killer Joe (USA, dir. William Friedkin) - Script, direction, gutsy actors bring off tricky effects without quite certifying their value. Harsh lensing.

Wuthering Heights (UK, dir. Andrea Arnold) - Dour, statically self-regarding naturalism misses Brontë's pagan turmoil and eerie necrophilia until strong end.

Alps (Greece, dir. Giorgos Lanthimos) - Lanthimos still thinks family and identity are haywire experiments and rigid tyrannies. But this film is wobblier, and ugly.

Carnage (USA/France, dir. Roman Polanski) - Spry with angles. Rustles some laughs. Winslet my favorite. None of this makes the play less hollow than it's always been.

The Ides of March (USA, dir. George Clooney) - Connects strongly with audience, flails at delivering more. Somewhere between Obama and Edwards in movie form.

A Burning Hot Summer (France, dir. Philippe Garrel) - Hard to know what devotees admire here. A standard-issue Eurodrama of male ambivalence and homosocial longing.

Sidebar Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
Damsels in Distress (USA, dir. Whit Stillman) - Fond but merciless spoof of girls, boys, and foibles of (very) late adolescence. Dada behavior, buttery light.

Mildred Pierce (USA, dir. Todd Haynes) - More meticulous than engrossing, until long-deferred confrontations that gratify in a somewhat splashier register.

Contagion (USA, dir. Steven Soderbergh) - Coolly charts interwoven ripple effects of virus and of individual moral choices. Smart, but something tepid at its core.

Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
People Mountain People Sea, China, dir. Cai Shangjun
Himizu, Japan, dir. Shion Somo
Terraferma, Italy, dir. Emmanuele Crialese
Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, Japan, dir. Wei Te-Sheng
Dark Horse, USA, dir. Todd Solondz
Chicken with Plums, France/Iran, dir. Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud
4:44 Last Day on Earth, USA, dir. Abel Ferrara
Texas Killing Fields, USA, dir. Ami Canaan Mann
The Exchange, Israel, dir. Eran Kolirin
Life Without Principle, China, dir. Johnnie To

Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically
Almayer's Folly, Belgium/France, dir. Chantal Akerman
Cafe de Flore, Canada/France, dir. Jean-Marc Vallée
Century of Birthing, Philippines, dir. Lav Diaz
Crazy Horse, USA/France, dir. Frederick Wiseman
The Moth Diaries, Canada/Ireland, dir. Mary Harron
Photographic Memory, USA, dir. Ross McElwee
Sal, USA, dir. James Franco
Tormented, Japan, dir. Takashi Shimizu
Two Years at Sea, USA, dir. Ben Rivers
W.E., USA/UK, dir. Madonna
Whores' Glory, Austria/Germany, dir. Michael Glawogger
Wild Salomé, USA, dir. Al Pacino

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