Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" wins Venice top prize!


US director Sofia Coppola on Saturday won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival for "Somewhere", a father-daughter drama set in Hollywood.

"From that first enchanted screening it grew and grew in our hearts, in our minds, in our affections," said jury president Quentin Tarantino as he announced the top prize, adding that the decision had been unanimous.

The Silver Lion went to Alex de la Iglesia of Spain for his dark comedy "A Sad Trumpet Ballad", a love triangle in a zany circus setting which the director said was an attempt to "exorcise" the enduring pain of the Spanish Civil War.

Jerzy Skolimowski's "Essential Killing" about an American Taliban who is captured in Afghanistan, "rendered" to Poland, then escapes into an endurance test in snowy mountains, won the special jury prize as well as a best actor award for Vincent Gallo.

Tarantino also announced a "Special Lion" for cult director Monte Hellman, who was in Venice with "Road to Nowhere", a complex romantic noir thriller.

"This director is both a great cinematic artist and a minimalist poet," Tarantino said. "His work was an inspiration to this jury and it is our honour to honour him."

The veteran US director was the executive director of the 1992 crime flick "Reservoir Dogs", Tarantino's debut film.

"Somewhere", which reflects the peculiar desolation of the Hollywood lifestyle, is about A-list actor Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) and his daughter Cleo (12-year-old Elle Fanning), adrift in the lonely world of Hollywood movie-making.

Coppola, 39, wearing a strapless green and black dress, said on accepting the award: "This means so much for our film."

Among the people she thanked was her father Francis Ford Coppola, whom she thanked "for teaching me".

Coppola, who won an Oscar for "Lost in Translation", said ahead of the screening here at the world's oldest film festival that she had won her dad's seal of approval for "Somewhere".

The multiple Oscar winner "thought it could only be made by me, and we should all make the movies that only we can make", she said.

Iglesia, 44, said ahead of the screening of "A Sad Trumpet Ballad" that it was "an exorcism of anguish through humour, irony, comedy mixed with the noir genre so everything can have a proper burial".

The Spanish director, whose 1995 horror comedy "The Day of the Beast" won cult status in his homeland, added: "This is a love story, a crazy, ruthless, wild kind of love. The anxiety and the search for revenge lead to the destruction of the object of love."

An award for best photography went to Mikhail Krichman in the film "Silent Souls" by Russia's Aleksei Fedorchenko, the tender story of a member of Russia's vanished Merya minority who drives thousands of miles to bury his wife in a sacred lake according to ancient pagan rituals.

The visual and lyrical feast for the senses paints a compelling portrait of a people long ago assimilated into Russia's Slavic mainstream who nevertheless retain their myths and traditions.

Ariane Labed of France won a best actress award for her role in the experimental film "Attenberg" by Athina Rachel Tsangari of Greece. - AFP

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