Russian Faust wins Venice Film Festival

Russian film “Faust” has won the 68th Venice International Golden Lion award, beating heavy weights such as Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” Polanski’s “Carnage,” McQueen’s “Shame,” and Clooney’s “The Ides of March.”
The accolade was presented to Faust’s director Alexander Sokurov by the Chairman of the jury, Black Swan director Darren Aranofsky, at the closing ceremonies Saturday.
Faust, which will be screened this week in Toronto International Film Festival, is a loose adaptation of the German legend Goethe’s Faust. It’s the first of the Sokurov’s cinematic tetralogy on nature of power to be about a fictional character. His others were about Hitler, Lenin and Emperor Hirohito.
British films triumphed in two categories: Michael Fassbender won the Copp Volpi award for best actor for playing an emotionally dysfunctional executive addicted to sex in Steve McQueen’s “Shame” and Robbie Ryan took home the best cinematography award for shooting Andrea Arnold’s “Wuthering Heights.”
German-born, Irish actor Michael Fassbender, who also stars in Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method”, in which he plays Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung, was the center of attention during the festival for his compelling performance in Shame, in which he exposes himself physically and emotionally. Shame was his second collaboration with artist Steve McQueen after playing an Irish prisoner in the director’s debut film “Hunger.”
The Copp Volpi award for best actress went to Hong Kong’s Deanie Yip, for playing in Ann Hui’s “Tao Jie” and the Silver Lion award for best directing was granted to her compatriot Sahngjun Cai for his film “Ren Shan Ren Hai.”
The special jury prize was awarded to Italian film “Terrferma,” by director Emanule Criaslese. The film tells the story of a Sicilian fisherman, who gets into trouble after rescuing several African immigrants, whose boat has been capsized in the Mediterranean.

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