Venice (dpa) – Just a few weeks ago, the Cannes Film Festival celebrated the revival of the film industry. Due to the pandemic, it had been postponed from the traditional May date to July, which puts it unusually close to the Venice Film Festival, which kicked off in September.

Could it be that Cannes has already received the best films and that Venice has to put up with rather insignificant works and names? That was the question that had been in the room ever since. Today, before the opening of the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Wednesday September 1, one thing is clear: Cannes was just the beginning, Venice can boast of even more stars and even more Hollywood productions. .

Ridley Scott shows “The Last Duel”

While there were obviously few American films to see in Cannes in the south of France, it now appears Hollywood has been waiting for the festival in the Italian lagoon city – and is showing several major studio productions there. Ridley Scott’s action show “The Last Duel” starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck is celebrating its premiere, as is Jamie Lee Curtis in the horror sequel “Halloween Kills”. The highly anticipated new edition of the sci-fi epic ‘Dune’ will also be screened in Venice, with an unusually high number of stars for Denis Villeneuve with Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling and Javier Bardem brought the camera.

Hollywood’s interest in the Venice Film Festival is linked to the fact that several Oscar winners in recent years – including “Nomadland”, “Joker” and “Shape of Water” – were presented for the first time in Venice. It begins, however, on Wednesday evening with a European work: in “Madres paralelas” by Spanish Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar, Penélope Cruz plays one of the two women who fell unexpectedly pregnant and who met in a hospital shortly. before giving birth.

Film about Lady Di with Kristen Stewart

20 other entries will then also compete for the Golden Lion for Best Film in the following days. One of them is “Spencer”, a drama about Princess Diana, filmed extensively in Germany, starring Kristen Stewart. Paul Schrader, who wrote the scripts for “Taxi Driver” and “Wie ein Wilder Stier”, shows “The Card Counter” with Oscar Isaac and Willem Dafoe. Paolo Sorrentino (“La Grande Bellezza – La Grande Beauté”) looks back on his youth in Naples with “È stata la mano di Dio”, while “Competencia oficial” with Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas is a satire of cinema.

Some women – 5 of the 21 contributions are from a director – could stoke the competition. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, for example, made her directorial debut with “The Lost Daughter” based on a novel by Elena Ferrante, for which she hired Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson. One heavyweight woman, however, is already Jane Campion. The New Zealander, who celebrated worldwide success with “Das Piano” almost 30 years ago, is back after a long hiatus from the cinema. In their “The Power of the Dog”, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons play alongside Kirsten Dunst, a pair of brothers whose lives are suddenly turned upside down.

He had the impression “as if the pandemic had served to stimulate creativity and raise the bar of quality,” warned the director of the Barbera festival. He was unable to include many films in the program due to lack of space. With this selection, will he once again be able to prove his keen sense of internationally successful works? This will be shown during the festival – and along with the awards the jury will present to South Korean Oscar winner Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”) at the end of the film festival on September 11.