Venice programs Polanski, Cronenberg, Madonna and more

By Sean O’Connell Major names are emerging from the press offices of the Venice Film Festival as programmers begin to announce titles. The full slate will be revealed during a press conference on Thursday, July 28, but a few juicy titles have leaked in advance to generate serious buzz.

George Clooney’s political drama “The Ides of March” already has been tapped to open the fest, which runs Aug. 31 to Sept. 10. The rest of the fest, Variety reports, will fill out with the latest films by Roman Polanski (“Carnage”), David Cronenberg (“A Dangerous Method”), Steven Soderbergh (“Contagion”), Todd Solondz (“Dark Horse”), Madonna (“W.E.”) and many more.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

As the Toronto Film Fest begins its announcements today, several Venice premieres are also likely to head to Canada, possibly with a pitstop at Telluride along the way.

The Venice fest also plans to make room for William Friedkin’s “Killer Joe,” which stars Matthew McConaughey as a cop who is also a hitman; Abel Ferrara’s apocalyptic “Last Day on Earth;” Tomas Alfredson’s anticipayed adaptation of John Le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy;” Steve McQueen’s “Shame;” Philippe Garrel’s “A Burning Hot Summer;” Chantal Akerman’s Cambodia-shot “La folie Almayer,” which is an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s “Almayer’s Folly;” Cristina Comencini’s “Quando la notte;” Emanuele Crialese’s “Terraferma;” Jonathan Demme’s Hurricane Katrina documentary “I’m Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad and the Beautiful;” James Franco’s “Sal;” and Alexander Sokurov’s “Faust,” the fourth and final installment in his “Men of Power” series.

As awards season trackers begin mapping out the fall season, we expect to see several of the same titles on the Toronto International Film Festival’s slate, which is expected to be announced later today.

As for Venice, this year’s fest runs Aug. 31 to Sept. 10, and we’ll bring you plenty of coverage once the event gets underway.

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