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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Film Fair at Venice

Several films in Venice are turning heads on days 4 and 5. Agnes und seine Brüder(Agnes and His Brothers) by Oskar Roehler (Germany) is a kitchy tale of three brothers who grew up with an alcoholic pedophile. The grown children make messes of their relationships--or lack of them. Hans-Jorg (Herbert Knaupt)is a sex addicted librarian and Werner(Moritz Bleibtreu) - a rageaholic politician that ignores his wife and kids. The most tender of the three - Agnes (Martin Weiss) as had a sex change and is dying of AIDS. Starring Katja Riemann as Werner's wife -- winner of last year's best actress award for Margaretha von Trotta's Rosenstrasse.Roehler imparts credibility to his characters in this sophisticated black comedy with skilllful art direction .

Spike Lee chose Venice for the world premiere of She Hate Me - a film about a sperm donor that fathers 19 children accused of insider trading. Lee said at the press conference that every American man's dream is to sleep with two women, but not to father the children of lesbians. In what would appear yet another film to deal with the disruption of civil liberties already introduced at this festival with Jonathan Demme's The Manchurian Candidate , Lee compares Jack Armstrong to Frank Wills who was the police officer that first discovered the Watergate breakin and later died in poverty. Monica Bellucci is cast as the 18th lesbian who enlists Jack as her sperm donor with John Turturro as her father, the head of a New York mafia family. Curiously, although Belluci speaks English with an accent her father does not. The inclusion of Bellucci and Turturro fits with the stereotypical Italian family presented in American film and television and includes Turturro immitating Marlon Brando in The Godfather.

Alejandro Amenábar's Mar adentro (The Sea Within) also destined for Toronto stars Javier Bardem as Ramón Sampedro, a man paralyzed from a diving accident that has lived as a quadriplegic for 28 years. His sole wish is to die and the courts, family and friends try to persuade him from his decision. He finds a lawyer, played by Belén Rueda, dying from a degenerative disease to bring his case to court. While one may disagree with the intellectual reasons provided by Ramón Sampedro, it is clear from the film that the desire to die is a private one that should be honored by society and family. The film is one of the strong contenders for the Golden Lion according to the Italian audiences at Venice this week.


Moira Sullivan

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Chatelin Bruno
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