The Venice Film Festival has unveiled the full lineup for 2017. Sadly, it is a poor showing for East Asian cinema with only four films in total included in this year’s programme (bar the possibility of a few late additions announced as the festival gets closer) and only Japan and China represented.
The biggest hitter in terms of the festival as a whole is Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage Coda. The third in Kitano’s Outrage saga, Coda follows Otomo (played by Kitano himself) as he returns to Japan following gang trouble in South Korea. Outrage Coda will screen as the closing night gala.
The only other Japanese film included in the programme this year is the latest from festival favourite Hirokazu Koreeda – The Third Murder. A departure from Koreeda’s usual focus on drama, The Third Murder is a crime thriller in which Masaharu Fukuyama (Like Father, Like Son) plays top lawyer Shigemori working on the defence of a murder/robbery suspect (Koji Yakusho) who previously served time for murder 30 years before. The defendant admits his crime and wants to plead guilty even if he will almost certainly get the death penalty but the more Shigemori looks into the case the more doubts he accrues.
Moving on to China, Ai Weiwei’s documentary Human Flow charts the global scale of the ongoing refugee crisis. Playing in competition.
Finally Vivian Qu’s Angels Wear White is the story of two teenage girls assaulted in a hotel room by a middle aged man, and the receptionist who says nothing in fear of losing her job. Sadly, Vivian Qu is also the only female director with a film playing in competition.
The Venice Film Festival runs from 30th August to 9th September.