The 77th Venice Film Festival rolled through the Italian island last week with more masks, less people and no blockbusters. Tilda Swinton and Ann Hui took home lifetime achievement awards, the press thought Cate Blanchett repeating outfits was newsworthy and the people’s desire for communal cultural experiences triumphed over the smell of disinfectant. We’ve joined forces with Eyelet to present a highlight reel of films from past Venetian festivals, before the space between us became toxic. Settle down in the track pants you’ve likely worn more than once during this pandemic, and enjoy!

Court

1 h 56 min | Drama | 2014

Director: Chaitanya Tamhane

A sewerage worker’s dead body is found inside a manhole in Mumbai. An ageing folk singer is tried in court on charges of abetment of suicide. He is accused of performing an inflammatory song which might have incited the worker to commit the act. As the trial unfolds, the personal lives of the lawyers and the judge involved in the case are observed outside the court.

Pearl

1 h 22 min | Drama, Sport | 2018

Director: Elsa Amiel

72 hours from the final of an international female bodybuilding championship. Lea Pearl is set to compete for the prestigious title of Miss Heaven. But her past catches up with her, when her ex-lover Ben shows up with the 6-year-old son she hardly knows.

Still Life

1 h 52 min | Family, Drama | 2006

Director: Zhangke Jia

A town in Fengjie county is gradually being demolished and flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam. A man and woman visit the town to locate their estranged spouses, and become witness to the societal changes.

The Queen

1 h 43 min | Biography, Drama, History | 2006

Director: Stephen Frears

The Queen is an intimate behind the scenes glimpse at the interaction between HM Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair during their struggle, following the death of Diana, to reach a compromise between what was a private tragedy for the Royal family and the public’s demand for an overt display of mourning.

Theeb

1 h 40 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller | 2014

Director: Naji Abu Nowar

In 1916, Theeb lives with his Bedouin tribe in a remote part of the Ottoman Empire. When his older brother has to escort a British officer across the desert, Theeb tags along for the adventure.

The House by the Sea

1 h 47 min | Drama | 2017

Director: Robert Guédiguian

By a little bay near Marseille lies a picturesque villa owned by an old man. His three children have gathered by his side for his last days. It’s time for them to weigh up what they have inherited of their father’s ideals and the community spirit he created in this magical place. The arrival, at a nearby cove, of a group of boat people will throw these moments of reflection into turmoil.

M

1 h 40 min | Drama | 2017

Director: Sara Forestier

Lila and Mo meet at a bus stop. Lila has a paralyzing speech impediment. Mo is chatty and exuberant. Lila is preparing for her exams. Mo illegally races cars for a living. Opposites attract, and they fall in love. But Mo carries a secret burden.

A Woman’s Life

1 h 59 min | Drama | 2017

Director: Stéphane Brizé

Normandy, 1819. Jeanne is a young woman full of childish dreams and innocence when she returns home after finishing her schooling in a convent. She marries a local Viscount, Julien de Lamare, who soon reveals himself to be a miserly and unfaithful man. Little by little Jeanne’s illusions are stripped away.

Metamorphoses

1 h 42 min | Drama, Fantasy | 2014

Director: Christophe Honoré

When Europa skips class and meets a magnetic young man named Jupiter, she embarks on a journey of which she knows little as to what lies ahead. Travelling aboard Jupiter’s eight-wheel truck, they arrive in a mythical land inhabited by powerful gods who can transform humans into plants or animals in the blink of an eye. Europa watches, listens, and plays in their immortal home, becoming acquainted with Jupiter’s friends, Bacchus and Orpheus. As the confrontation between seductive, yet vengeful gods and innocent mortals unfolds, Europa grasps a greater sense of life and love in this revelatory modern-day retelling of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.”

Moebius

1 h 29 min | Drama, Thriller | 2013

Director: Ki-duk Kim

A housewife (Lee Eun-Woo) becomes enraged with jealousy over her husband’s (Cho Jae-Hyun) affair. Meanwhile, their son (Seo Young-Joo) sits in the periphery, observing their violent confrontations. One evening, the housewife takes a kitchen knife into their bedroom to exact revenge on the father. The father though is able to repel her attack and throws her out of the bedroom. The mother then goes into the son’s room.

Hacksaw Ridge

2 h 19 min | Biography, Drama, History, War | 2016

Director: Mel Gibson

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

4:44 Last Day on Earth

1 h 22 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | 2011

Director: Abel Ferrara

A look at how a painter and a successful actor spend their last day together before the world comes to an end.

The Road

1 h 51 min | Drama | 2009

Director: John Hillcoat

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there.

A Single Man

1 h 39 min | Drama, Romance | 2009

Director: Tom Ford

The life of George Falconer, a British college professor, is reeling with the recent and sudden loss of his longtime partner. This traumatic event makes George challenge his own will to live as he seeks the console of his close girl friend Charley, who is struggling with her own questions about life.

About The Author

Amanda Barbour is an award-winning film critic, editorial assistant at Senses of Cinema and artistic director of FEM&IST Films. Her work has been published by Koha Ditore, Zippy Frames and Screen Education, among others. She was a Q21 Artist-in-Residence at the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, then worked with Senator Lidia Thorpe on the campaign trail, who is now the first-ever Indigenous Senator for Victoria.

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