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Venice Film Festival 2023: the “feminist” opening of Liliana Cavani

It is the velvet voice of a very brilliant Malika Ayanewho sings The sky in a room by Gino Paoli, to light up the opening ceremony of Venezia 80 in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema. Then, the godmother Caterina Murino, dressed in redwelcomes «talented women and men who give an undelegable contribution to algorithms». As if to say, I stand with Hollywood actors and screenwriters who are striking against artificial intelligence.

To send birthday greetings to the Exhibition, the images of the red carpets that have made the history of the eventincluding the kiss between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in the 1999 edition, complete with a quote from Orson Welles and of William Friedkinswho disappeared a month ago.

Malika Ayane

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It’s already time to deliver the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Liliana Cavani. The President of the Biennale Roberto Cicutto calls on stage Charlotte Ramplingaustere and beautiful, like the words she prepared for the occasion: «Liliana and I were defined by Night porter from 1974, with which you showed what is monstrous. He turned the camera towards the beast, to understand it, to recognize her when she returns”. The actress continues: “Since the early 1960s, Liliana has forced us to deal with the beautiful, the ugly and the unresolved”.
The standing ovation for the nonagenarian director it is inevitable. Dressed in white, next to her muse in total black, it’s like seeing the yin and yang in the Palazzo del Cinema.

Liliana Cavani immediately thanks Charlotte Rampling «for the profound, intelligent and somehow dark and lucid text. Fantastic”. Then indulges in memories: «That of Night porter it was an experience for me, for you and for Dirk (bogardeed.). Some scenes weren’t in the script and were born within that space where the three of us were and we delved into the story, its meaning as we did it».

To return to the present: «The award surprised mebecause she thought she was one of those seamstresses who work for a loyal circle of customers. I started making documentaries for Rai on the most devastating conflict, the Second World War. I spent a couple of years looking at slow motion pictures. I who studied Ancient Literature and knew about another war, that of the Peloponnese, which seemed like a joke in comparison. You can’t imagine what I saw: with the editor we went to the bar to cheer us up. This is just to say that History is key».

Cite your references, Ingrid Bergman and Vittorio De Sicawho taught her the beauty of communicating one’s thoughts, especially when it happens that one has to face the limits imposed by fate, and who they made cinema on a par with literature, if not better at times.
The strongest message of the speech by Liliana Cavani is at the end, together with emotion: «I am the first woman to receive this award, I find that is not entirely fair. There are screenwriters and directors who work as well as men: we give them the opportunity to be seen. The Festival should consider them and I hope that today is a start with a sequel». It’s standing ovation again.

Closing the opening ceremony, after the presentation of the juries, is the president of the international one: director Damien ChazelleThat quotes Federico Fellini – «Long live cinema!» – and helped by Caterina Murino he pronounces the ritual formula in Italian: «We declare officially open the 80th edition of the Venice Biennale Film Festival».

Daniel Chazelle and Caterina Murino

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Source: Vanity Fair

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