The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, July 19, 2019

Cuaron's Mexican 'masterpiece' wins Venice film festival
Director Alfonso Cuaron reacts after he received the Golden Lion award for Best Film for the movie "Roma" during the awards ceremony of the 75th Venice Film Festival on September 8, 2018 at Venice Lido. Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP.

by Fiachra Gibbons

VENICE (AFP).- Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron won the Golden Lion top prize at the Venice film festival Saturday for "Roma", which critics called not merely a movie but "a vision".

With its highly emotional story centred on an indigenous maid working for a middle-class family in Mexico City in 1971, it has been hailed as Cuaron's most personal film -- and also his best.

Cuaron told reporters that in an incredible coincidence "today is the birthday of Libo, the woman the movie is based on. What a present!"

The film industry bible Variety said "Roma" is likely to go down as a "masterpiece".

"It is no mere movie -- it's a vision... where every image and every emotion is perfectly set in place," said critic Owen Gleiberman.

Cuaron "dunks us, moment by moment, image by luminously composed image, into a panorama of the hurly-burly of Mexico City."

The Italian press declared it "sublime" while for The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw it was a "complete triumph".

Venice has become the launchpad for the Oscars race with Hollywood heavyweights jostling for attention in a line-up director Alberto Barbera called "the best in 30 years".

Vintage year
Cuaron, 56, reconstructed his childhood home for the Netflix-backed film, borrowing furniture back from relatives to recreate how it was when he was 10.

But the heart of the film is the "luminous" performance of first-time actor Yalitza Aparicio, who plays Cleo, a young live-in maid of Mixteco heritage who looked after the director as a boy.

"Cleo is based on my babysitter when I was young. We were a family together," Cuaron told AFP.

"But when you grow up with someone you love you don't discuss their identity. So for this film I was forced to see myself as this woman, a member of the lower classes, from the indigenous population. This is a point of view I had never had before."

The second prize Silver Lion went to France's Jacques Audiard for his hugely enjoyable Western "The Sisters Brothers" starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly.

Another Wild West tale, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" by the Coen brothers, won best script.

Having missed out on an Oscar last year, Willem Dafoe took best actor for his acclaimed portrait of the painter Vincent Van Gogh in "At Eternity's Gate".

Powerful women
Britain's Olivia Colman took best actress for playing the needy and weak-minded Queen Anne in "The Favourite", a viciously funny and apparently accurate historical drama about two powerful women competing for her favour.

Colman, 44, who is playing Britain's present monarch in the television series "The Crown", said she "loved every second" of playing her 18th-century predecessor, "even if none of us knows what it is like to be a queen".

The film's Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos of "The Lobster" fame won the Grand Jury Prize.

It was one of several movies with strong female stories vying for the Golden Lion -- with all three of its leading actresses tipped as Oscar contenders.

Even so the organisers were lambasted for choosing only one female director among the 21 competing for the top prize for the second year in a row.

Australian director Jennifer Kent did however win the special jury prize for "The Nightingale", her stirring story of revenge and friendship involving an Irish convict woman and an Aboriginal tracker in colonial Tasmania.

Aboriginal victory
Baykali Ganambarr, making his movie debut playing the tracker, won the best newcomer award. He praised Kent for the unflinching ways she portrayed the genocide of his people, and said he saw his prize as a victory for them.

An Aboriginal from East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, he made an impassioned plea for Australia to face up to the crimes of its past.

"Ours is the oldest living culture on the planet. This story is one of many in our history. The brutality depicted in it is only just scratching the surface. History in Australia has been whitewashed.

"But it is only through confronting and addressing it that we can get over the hurt," Ganambarr added.

The film, which is shot in English, Irish Gaelic and the Tasmanian Aboriginal Palawa Kani language, portrays the extreme violence and racism of the island in the 1820s when it was known as Van Diemen's Land.

Kent called for more women to make the leap into directing. "We need you," she declared.

"The feminine force is the most powerful and most healing on the planet."
Venice was far from short of female talent this year.

Pop superstar Lady Gaga made a highly praised big screen debut playing a ballsy young waitress who dreams of being a singer in "A Star is Born".

And the three main characters in the winning film "Roma" were also women.

Cuaron made his name at Venice in 2001 with his sensual Spanish coming-of-age movie, "Y Tu Mama Tambien", before going onto to Oscar glory with "Gravity", which also premiered at the festival.

A similar path is predicted for "Roma".

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

September 9, 2018

National Gallery of Art opens major exhibition of Corot's paintings of women

The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum exhibits John Lennon's childhood stamp album

Exhibition invites visitors to interact with nine office chairs that seem to have lives of their own

Cuaron's Mexican 'masterpiece' wins Venice film festival

Strauss & Co to visit London with Irma Stern 'fresh-to-the-market' after 24 years with perfect provenance

Perrotin Paris opens a solo exhibition by Japanese artist MADSAKI

Collection of adventurer Steve Fossett and Peggy Fossett to be offered at auction

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. opens a solo exhibition of new paintings by Luiz Zerbini

Sotheby's Hong Kong announces highlights from its Fine Chinese Paintings Autumn Sale

Metro Pictures presents new large-scale sculptures and photographic works printed on fabric by B. Wurtz

Kunstsammlung NRW opens exhibition of new and recent work by Lutz Bacher

Newly commissioned audio collages and works on paper on view at the Glass House

Julie Heffernan's first New York presentation in five years opens at P·P·O·W

A private collection of important design will highlight Doyle's September 17 auction

Exhibition at the Wellin Museum of Art debuts new works by Jeffrey Gibson

The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden mourn the loss of Henry H. Arnhold

Distinguished architect MJ Long OBE RIBA dies

Nancy Toomey Fine Art opens exhibition of works by Daniele Puppi

Exhibition featuring works by 12 Los Angeles-based painters and sculptors on view at DENK gallery

New book: The Untamed Eye by Stephanie Pfriender Stylander

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis breaks attendance records for 2017-18

Battersea Arts Centre's Grand Hall officially reopens

Santa Barbara Museum of Art opens a site-specific installation by April Street

Takashi Kunitani's second solo exhibition with Ulterior Gallery opens in New York

How to market your artwork in the 21st century

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful