Venice Film Festival Invites Controversy, Books New Films by Woody Allen and Roman Polanski

Films by Bradley Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay and David Fincher will screen in the festival’s main competition

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Two movies whose directors are likely to draw protests, Woody Allen’s French-language “Coup de Chance” and Roman Polanski’s “The Palace,” will make their world premieres at the 2023 Venice International Film Festival, Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera and La Biennale di Venezia president Roberto Cicutto announced at a Tuesday morning press conference.

Both films will screen out of competition, though they’ll likely draw an inordinate amount of attention at a festival that has assembled a robust lineup of major filmmakers even as it struggles with the effects of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.

Films booked for the Venice main competition include Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein biopic “Maestro”; Yorgos Lanthimos’ sci-fi drama “Poor Things”; Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla Presley film “Priscilla”; Michael Mann’s auto-racing film “Ferrari”; Ava DuVernay’s “Origin,” with Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Niecy Nash-Betts and Vera Farmiga; and David Fincher’s “The Killer,” with Michael Fassbender.

Also screening in Venice include “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial,” an adaptation of the Herman Wouk novel and play starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Clarke and directed by William Friedkin, who will also be in Venice for a screening of a 50th anniversary remaster of his 1973 horror classic “The Exorcist.”

Other directors with films at the festival include Richard Linklater (“Hit Man”), Harmony Korine (“Aggro Dr1ft”), Frederick Wiseman (“Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros”), Pablo Larrain (“El Conde”), Luc Besson (“DogMan”) and Wes Anderson (“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”).

Some of the directors, though, may have to walk the Venice red carpet without their stars. If the SAG-AFTRA strike continues into September, SAG rules will ban actors from promotional activities including film festivals. Venice already lost its originally scheduled opening-night film, Luca Guadagnino’s “Challengers,” when MGM moved its release date to 2024 and cancelled a Venice premiere that would likely have taken place without stars Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist.

At the press conference, Barbera spoke of the strike and said, “the impact is quite modest.” “Challengers,” he said, was the only movie to pull out because of the strike, with all the American movies that were invited agreeing to attend. “A few stars will not be with us,” he added, though he promised that actors from independent productions would attend.

Barbera also said that about 30% of the Venice lineup is directed by women, a significant step up from previous years.

The lineup:

“Commandante,” Edoardo De Angelis
“The Promised Land,” Nikolaj Arcel
“Dogman,” Luc Besson
“La Bete,” Bertrand Bonello
“Hors-Saison,” Stephane Brize
“Enea,” Pietro Castellitto
“Maestro,” Bradley Cooper
“Priscilla,” Sofia Coppola
“Finalmente L’Alba,” Saverio Costanzo
“Lubo,” Giorgio Diritti
“Origin,” Ava DuVernay
“The Killer,” David Fincher
“Memory,” Michel Franco
“Io Capitano,” Matteo Garrone
“Evil Does Not Exist,” Ryusuke Hamaguchi
“The Green Border,” Agnieszka Holland
“Die Theorie von Allem,” Timm Kroger
“El Conde,” Pablo Larrain
“Ferrari,” Michael Mann
“Poor Things,” Yorgos Lanthimos
“Adagio,” Stefano Sollima
“Woman Of,” Malgorzala Szumowska, Michal Englert
“Holly,” Fien Troch

“Snow Leopard,” Pema Tseden
“The Palace,” Roman Polanski
“Hit Man,” Richard Linklater
“Aggro Dr1ft,” Harmony Korine
“Making Of,” Cedric Kahn
“The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” William Friedkin
“Daaaaaali!,” Quentin Dupieux
“Welcome to Paradise,” Leonardo Di Costanzo
“Vivants,” Alix Delaporte
“L’Ordine del Tempo,” Liliana Cavani
“The Penitent,” Luca Barbareschi
“The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” Wes Anderson
“Coup de Chance,” Woody Allen
“La Sociedad de la Nieve,” J.A. Bayona

“Amor,” Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri
“Frente a Guernica (Version Integrale),” Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi
“Hollywoodgate,” Ibrahim Nash’at
“Ryuichi Sakamoto / Opus,” Neo Sora
“Enzo Jannacci Vengo Anch’io,” Giorgio Verdelli
“Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros,” Frederick Wiseman

“D’Argent et de Sang” (Episodes 1-12), Xavier Giannoli, Frederic Planchon
“I Know Your Soul” (episodes 1-2), Jasmila Zbanic, Damir Ibrahimovic

“A Cielo Abierto,” Mariana Arriaga, Santiago Arriaga
“El Paraiso,” Enrico Maria Artale
“Behind the Mountains,” Mohamed Ben Attia
“The Red Suitcase,” Fidel Devkota
“Tatami,” Guy Nattiv, Zam Amir Ebrahimi
“Paradise Is Burning,” Mika Gustafson
“The Featherweight,” Robert Kolodny
“Invelle,” Simone Massi
“Hesitation Wound,” Selman Nacar
“Heartless,” Nara Normande, Tiao
“Una Sterminata Domenica,” Alain Parroni
“City of Wind,” Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
“Explanation for Everything,” Gabor Reisz
“Gasoline Rainbow,” Bill Ross, Turner Ross
“En Attendant la Nuit,” Celine Rouzet
“Housekeeping for Beginners,” Goran Stolevski
“Shadow of Fire,” Shinya Tsukamoto
“Dormitory,” Nehir Tuna

“Bota Jone,” Luana Bajrami
“Forever Forever,” Anna Buryachkova
“The Rescue,” Daniela Goggi
“In the Land of Saints and Sinners,” Robert Lorenz
“Day of the Fight,” Jack Huston
“Felicita,” Micaela Ramazzotti
“Pet Shop Boys,” Olmo Schnabel
“Stolen,” Karan Tejpal
“L’Homme d’Argile,” Anais Tellenne

“La Parte Del Leone: Una Storia Della Mostra,” Baptiste Etchegaray, Giuseppe Bucchi

“Bill Douglas – My Best Friend,” Jack Archer
“Le Film Pro Nazi D’Hitchcock,” Daphne Baiwir
“Thank You Very Much,” Alex Braverman
“Landrian,” Ernesto Daranas Serrano
“Un’Altra Italia Era Possible, Il Cinema Giuseppe de Santis,” Steve Dalla Casa
“Michel Gondry, Do It Yourself,” Francois Nemeta
“Ken Jacobs – From Orchard Street to the Museum of Modern Art,” Fred Riedel
“Dario Argento Panico,” Simone Scafidi
“Frank Capra: Mr. America,” Matthew Wells