Bernardo Bertolucci will award Marco Bellocchio the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 68th Venice International Film Festival (31 August – 10 September 2011), directed by Marco Müller and organized by the Venice Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta.
The award ceremony, which will host the exceptional meeting of the two aforementioned Masters of Italian cinema, will take place on Friday 9 September 2011, at 5 p.m. in the newly restored Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema (Venice Lido).
“I am honoured and moved by the fact Bernardo Bertolucci will award me the Lion” –Marco Bellocchio stated. “Even though we have followed different paths, there have always been mutual interest and esteem between us. And affection. Two prestigious lifetime achievement awards in the same year (the Lifetime Achievement Golden Palm to Bernardo, and the Golden Lion to me) are not only important artistic acknowledgements, but also stand as an image for new human and artistic ventures which I hope will last a long time”.
It will therefore be an award ceremony full of surprises, which will open with the screening of homage film Marco Bellocchio, Venezia 2011 (12’), realized especially for this occasion by filmmaker Pietro Marcello (Il passaggio della linea, La bocca del lupo), retracing the work of this great Italian director.
An extraordinary “autobiography through films” (from the audition material for the admission to CSC to his first short film Abbasso il zio used as a main thread), the short film by Pietro Marcello manages to retrace in only 12 minutes the creative itinerary of the Piacentine director, portrayed in his endless research for a transcription of reality, as we interpret it in our dreams. A visual and symphonic poem (featuring guest stars such as Ennio Morricone, Nicola Piovani, Carlo Crivelli), Marco Bellocchio, Venezia 2011 is structured as a continuous round through past and present (the sequences Marcello shot in July in Bobbio: Bellocchio in his permanent workshop, working on relentless projects) – the exceptional portrait of an exceptional director.
The “revisited” version of Nel nome del padre (1971) (re-edited and remixed) by Marco Bellocchio (80’) will follow. For the first time, not a restored film but a brand new original work, realized by the director with elements taken from the film itself. A unique Director’s Cut which is shorter than its first version: 80’ is the length of this “redux” version of Nel nome del padre, instead of the original 105’ of the 1971’s release.
Bernardo Bertolucci was awarded the Golden Lion of the 75th Edition in 2007, an exceptional award created to celebrate, through his persona, the last 75 years of the history of cinema which the Film Festival embodies.
Bertolucci made his debut as a director in Venice with La commare secca (1962); the previous year he had participated at the Festival as the assistant director on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Accattone (1961). Subsequently, other important works by Bernardo Bertolucci have been screened as worldwide previews at the Lido: Partner (1968), Strategia del ragno (The Spider’s Stratagem, 1970), La luna (Luna, 1979) and The Dreamers (2003). In 1983 Bertolucci was president of the International Jury for the 40th Venice International Film Festival, which awarded Jean-Luc Godard’s Prénom Carmen the Golden Lion.
Marco Bellocchio first participated at the Venice International Film Festival with his second film La Cina è vicina (China is Near, 1967), winning the Special Jury Prize. He ran with Matti da slegare (Fit to be Untied) in the “Proposte di Nuovi Film” section in 1975, with the medium-length film Vacanze in Valtrebbia (Vacation in Val Tribbia) in the “Officina Veneziana” category in 1980, and with Gli occhi, la bocca (The Eyes, the Mouth) in Competition in 1982. He participated twice in the 1990s with the short film Il sogno della farfalla (1992) and the medium-length film La religione e la storia (1998). In 1997 Bellocchio served as president of the “Corto Cortissimo” section jury, and in 1999 was a member of the Competition jury chaired by Emir Kusturica. Over the past decade, his medium-length film dedicated to Verdi entitled Addio del passato (2002) competed in the New Territories category, Buongiorno, notte (Good Morning, Night, 2003) won a special prize in Competition, and his Sorelle Mai (2010) was screened out of competition.