The 70th Venice Film Festival (28th August – 7th September 2013)
Matt Micucci reports from the opening night of the Venice Film Festival
Have been looking forward to this moment for months after I found out I was picked to represent the Irish Film Institute at the Venice Film Festival in the Venice Days section as part of the 28 Times Cinema programme organised by Europa Cinemas and the European Union. I arrive at Lido, where the festival takes place. I am instantly taken aback by the effervescence. I know that this is the day of the big opening and people are starting to gather for the arrival of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, presenting their film Gravity by Alfonso Cuarón.
I meet the other 27 representatives from each country of the European Union and am almost too late for the opening film of Venice Days by the always edgy and controversial Bruce la Bruce, Gerontophilia.
Being familiar with previous works by the filmmaker and his particular brand of guerrilla filmmaking and pornography, I wasn’t surprised when I found out that his new film dealt with a particular fetishism – the sexual preference for the elderly. I was surprised, however, to find the film quite tender and sweet. It is the story of an 18-year-old boy and an 81-year-old man. Despite it being quite sexually provocative in nature, it never feels tasteless and la Bruce’s choice to momentarily ditch his visual explicit ways certainly pay off.
What I am not pleasantly surprised by, however, is that my apartment is about a half hour walking distance away from the Lido. After a very late dinner and one celebratory drink at one of the restaurants, I end up falling asleep at around three in the morning.