A starred September

A starred September

An extraordinary parade of stars is foreseen in town these days: it is the Venetian September. Cinema, art, culture and traditions are interwoven in a series of events that will act as a magnet for those who have chosen this month to experience what has always been considered as the most intense and exciting period of the Venetian season.

It is rightfully ushered in by the Venice Film Festival, which has discovered its stage these days in the renewed scenario of the sea-promenade at the Lido. It is undoubtedly the iconic event of the moment. After its pre-opening with the silent masterpiece by Lubitsch and its opening “premiere” (Downsizing), a great evening dedicated to two top stars in American cinema is expected on Friday 1 September: Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, awarded this year in Venice with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Golden Lion. Along with them, the glamour of actors like George Clooney and Julianne Moore, Jennifer Lawrence, Sienna Miller and Matt Damon and the prestige of great actresses of the recent past, such as Judy Dench, Helen Mirren and Charlotte Rampling will glide in turn on the traditional red carpet. In addition to its traditional sections, the 74th edition of the Festival, presented by Alberto Barbera, will feature the unveiling of the Virtual Reality showcase, 22 films produced exclusively for web circuits, which will involve the suggestive Old Lazzaretto island as a venue, just a few marine (lagoon) arm-lengths away from the island of the Lido, and therefore from the Festival hub.

Amongst the novelties of this edition, audiences will (at last) find a new Piazza all in white stone, alongside the Casino and an unusual and minimalist Cinema Palace which will return to its architectural origins, for the joy of purists. The Garden Cinema, a novelty and a success at the past edition, will remain as a meeting and chilling-out area at the Festival, which will end on Saturday 9 with the Golden Lions awards.

The inevitable visit to the Lido, to its Film Festival and its lovely beach cannot be unaccompanied by another one (naturally if one has the time) to the other important Venice Biennale event, the International Art Exhibition. Not far from St. Mark’s, located amongst the historic pavilions at the Gardens of Castello and the suggestive venues at the nearby Arsenal (as well as in several locations throughout the city), it has represented contemporary values in the world of art for over a century.

For its 57th edition (until November 26th) it is presenting a large central exhibition featuring works by 120 artists from 51 countries; 85 National Participations and a dozen of events and collateral projects.

The already vast artistic panorama by the Biennale is flanked by the one presented by great institutions, with highly relevant exhibitions. They include the ones on David Hockney at Ca’Pesaro, on Damian Hirst at Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana, on Mark Tobey at the Guggenheim Collection, on Philip Guston at the Galleries of the Accademia (until September 3), on Giotto at the Scuola della Misericordia.

We have briefly talked about Cinema and Art. But there is still much more…

On Sunday 3 September, it will be the turn of one of the most beautiful shows on water, the Historical Regatta, staged on the Grand Canal; on Saturday 9, of the gala evening for one of the top Italian awards, the Campiello Literary Prize at La Fenice Theatre; on Sunday 10 of the inauguration of The Venice Glass Week, a special exhibition dedicated to Murano glass. Finally, for Music this time, we are announcing the beginning of two important festivals dedicated to the Venetian composer Baldassare Galuppi and the Czech maestro Antoine Reicha.