71st Venice International Film Festival

 The world’s oldest film fest’s lineup includes movies from Lars Von Trier and James Franco and films starring Al Pacino, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke, Bill Murray and Jennifer Aniston.

Venice Biennale president Paolo Baratta and film festival director Alberto Barbera greeted guests at Rome’s regal St. Regis Grand Hotel Thursday morning to announce the films for the 71st edition of the world’s oldest film fest.

Among the competition films will be Fatih Akin‘s The Cut, Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Look of Silence and Roy Andersson‘s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.

Meanwhile, David Gordon Green’s Manglehorn has Al Pacino set as a lonely locksmith in a small-time Texan town. And Willem Dafoe stars in and as Pasolini in Abel Ferrara’s new look into the life of one of Italy’s most controversial directors and writers, Pier Paolo Pasolini. The film explores the artist’s last day of life in Rome before his tragic death.

In German-Turkish director Akin’s final chapter of his trilogy of love, death and the devil to Venice, French actor Tahar Rahim stars as the silent lead in The Cut, which was originally seen as a contender for the Cannes competition. Akin last took home the special jury prize at Venice with much lighter fare, Soul Kitchen, in 2009.

In its out-of-competition program, Venice will screen the director’s cut of Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac Volume II, James Franco‘s The Sound and the Fury, Peter Bogdanovich‘s She’s Funny That Way, Barry Levinson‘s The Humbling and Lisa Cholodenko‘s Olive Kitteridge.

The Venice event has strived to connect the dots between cinema as an art, as entertainment and as an industry. And each year, it attracts a range of international celebrities on the Italian city’s Lido who fly in to promote their latest works.

Among the stars to be featured in films in Venice this year are Dafoe, who beyond Pasolini also appears in Nymphomaniac Volume II, Franco and Pacino, who is pulling double-duty in Gordon Green’s movie and Barry Levinson‘s out-of-competition film The Humbling. Films in the lineup also feature Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm (who appear with Franco in his film), Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge), Ethan Hawke (in Andrew Niccol‘s competition entry Good Kill and an out-of-competition entry), Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson (She’s Funny That Way) and Viggo Mortensen (in David Olehoffen‘s Loin Des Hommes in the competition)

The festival’s Horizons section will have a diverse lineup that also has star power, including Michael Almereyda’s Cymbeline with Milla Jovovich, Ed Harris, Dakota Johnson, Penn Badgley, John Leguizamo, Bill Pullman and Hawke. It is a modern take on the classic Shakespeare play based on legends surrounding an early Celtic British king.

Also among the films fighting for the Golden Lion top prize and adding star power is Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s festival opener Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. The film is a black comedy starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up superhero actor who stages a Broadway play in order to be taken seriously as an artist. The film also stars Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis and Naomi Watts. The movie opens in the U.S. in October.

Hong Kong director Ann Hui will close the festival with an out-of-competition screening of The Golden Era. The biopic is about the life of Xiao Hong, who wrote about Japanese imperialism in China. Hui will also head the Horizons jury in Venice.

Last year, Venice played a major role in awards season where three of its films – Gravity, Philomena and The Wind Rises – garnered a slew of nominations, including for 15 Oscars, with Gravity taking home seven Oscars.

Barbera said Thursday that 55 films will premiere in Venice overall. He said he saw 1,500 films this year. “You have to trust me: the films are of very high quality,” he said about the lineup.

The Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 27-Sept. 6.

Here is the full lineup for the Venice competition, out-of-competition and Horizons sections.
COMPETITION

Fatih Akin The Cut
Roy Andersson A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
Ramin Bahrani 99 Homes
Rakhshan Bani-Etemad Ghessha (Tales)
Xavier Beauvois La rancon de la gloire
Saverio Costanzo Hungry Hearts
Alix Delaporte Le dernier coup de marteau
Abel Ferrara Pasolini
David Gordon Green Manglehorn
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
Benoit Jacquot 3 Coeurs (Three Hearts)
Andrei Konchalovsky The Postman’s White Nights
Mario Martone Il Giovane Favoloso
Kaan Mujdeci Sivas
Francesco Munzi Anime Nere
Andrew Niccol Good Kill
David Oelhoffen Loin des hommes
Joshua Oppenheimer The Look of Silence
Shinya Tsukamoto Nobi (Fires on the Plain)
Wang Xiaoshuai Red Amnesia

OUT OF COMPETITION

Emir Kusturica and others Words With Gods (other directors: Guillermo Arriaga, Amos Gitai, Mira Nair, Warwick Thornton, Hector Babenco, Bahman Ghobai, Hideo Nakata, Alex de la Iglesia)
Peter Bogdanovich She’s Funny That Way
Peter Ho-sun Chan Dearest
Lisa Cholodenko Olive Kitteridge
Joe Dante Burying The Ex
Edoardo De Angelis Perez
Davide Ferrario La Zuppa Del Demonio
James Franco The Sound And The Fury
Amos Gitai Tsili
Sabina Guzzanti La Trattativa
Ann Hui The Golden Era
Im Kwontaek Make-Up
Barry Levinson The Humbling
Manoel de Oliveira The Old Man of Belem
Gabriele Salvatores Italy In A Day
Ulrich Seidl In The Basement
Anthony Stacchi, Annable Graham The Boxtrolls
Lars Von Trier Nymphomaniac Volume II (long version) Director’s Cut
HORIZONS
Naji Abu Nowar Theeb
Salome Alexi Line of Credit
Michele Alhaique Senza Nessuna Pieta
Michael Almereyda Cymbeline
Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern Near Death Experience
Renato De Maria La Vita Oscena
Quentin Dupieux Realite
Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala I Spy/I Spy
Hong Sangsoo Hill of Freedom
Duane Hopkins Bypass
Mohsen Makhmalbaf The President
Ami Canaan Mann Your Right Mind
Franco Maresco Belluscone Una Storia Siciliana
Elchin Musaoglu Nabat
Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie Heaven Knows What
Ognjen Sviliviv These Are the Rules
Chaitanya Tamhane Court