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Venice Film Fest Critics’ Week light on U.S. fare

By G. Clay Whittaker A stacked lineup is set to impress at the Venice Film Festival, and more is likely to come later this week. But for now the 26th Critics’ Week list is looking strong, if absent representation from the U.S. and Asia.

New works from David Cronenberg, Steven Soderbergh, Roman Polanski, Todd Solondz, Jonathan Demme, Alexander Sokurov, Mary Harron, William Friedkin, George Clooney and Madonna will all show at the festival, but for the Critics’ Week the lineup is largely Eurocentric.

The 26th Critics’ Week features a largely European set of films. Italy’s two home teamers include Francesco Lagi and his comedy “(Mission of Peace)” and a mob thriller by Guido Lombardi. Swedish director Simon Kaijser da Silva has a picture in the competition, as do Cyril Mennegun and French-Ukranian Michale Boganim. Mexico and Argentina have films in play thanks to Kyzza Terrazas and Hernan Belon, respectively. Canadian Guy Edoin’s family drama “Marecages” is also on the list, as is a film from German director Jessica Krummacher.

Those films will be judged not by a panel but by fest-goers’ votes cast by ballot, so it’s an entirely different experience from the Clooney, Soderbergh, Polanski and Madonna crowd. But all of the Critics’ Week flicks still compete for the Golden Lion of the Future award ($100,000).

It’s unlikely that all the films on this list will make it to Toronto from Venice, but we can expect some to head there in the lead up to the Oscars. And it’s hard to speculate which, if any, will walk away with an Academy Award. But that’s still a ways off.

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