The 62nd International Venice Film Festival has once again attracted some of the top films and their star actors to the event. The fact that the festival continues to screen numerous premiers of top-rate movies from all over the globe makes it one of the most popular and important film festivals in the world, enticing such stars as George Clooney and Monica Bellucci to make appearances. Directing giants like Steven Soderbergh, with his new film “Bubble,” Ang Lee with “Brokeback Mountain,” and Manoel de Oliveira with “Espelho Magico,” also appeared to present their latest masterpieces with the hopes of taking home the Leone d’Oro (Golden Lion Award).
The festival is a long-time tradition that started decades ago, in 1932, under dictator Benito Mussolini, whose inspiration to use the new media for regime propaganda would eventually fuel an Italian film industry that dominated the movie world for years.
This year’s festival has been dedicated to Chinese filmmaking. It has turned out to be a somewhat sombre and understated affair, under the scrutiny of tight security. A large group of protesters also appeared at the inauguration in an attempt to bring international attention to a government project that, seeking to protect the city of Venice from high tides, will, in turn, harm the plant and animal life of surrounding lagoons.