Next month, a whole lot of visitors will descend on Venice. Movie people, models, wannabes, has-beens, never-weres, probably a few athletes. If Venice is truly unlucky, reality TV creatures will go all gondola. And of course, the media will be there, in droves. These mostly agreeable people gather for the annual Venice Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 8th to the 18th.
I am especially interested in this year’s event. Fascinating films will be shown, in and out of competition, including Roman Polanski’s 'Carnage,' Andrea Arnold’s 'Wuthering Heights,' 'Wilde Salome' (directed by Al Pacino) and Abel Ferrara’s '4.44 The Last Day on Earth.'
But, the movie whose reception I am most anxious to hear about is 'W.E.,' directed by Madonna. This film weaves two corresponding tales - one about the kingdom-shaking romance of Duke and Duchess of Windsor; the other about a young modern woman, fascinated with the tale of Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII. Nothing Madonna has ever done professionally - no album, no concert, no acting job - has consumed La Ciccone as has 'W.E.' She’s poured everything she’s got into the movie. To say it has been an exquisite labor of love would be vastly understating her effort, commitment and talents.
Aside from possibly a few of her four children and perhaps a gentleman to hold her hand, Madonna will surely be accompanied in Venice by Harvey Weinstein, whose company will release the movie, later this year. After 'W.E.' shows in Venice, it moves on to Toronto.
Some people might assume Madonna will be a little wistful in Venice, recalling the voluptuous girl, writhing along the fabled canals, in 1984’s classic video, 'Like a Virgin.'
But they’d be assuming incorrectly. Madonna never looks back. She is totally in the now and in the future. She probably doesn’t even remember the 1980’s anymore - that was another life; she was another person. And so were the rest of us. Remember the shock waves caused by a pop song with the word 'virgin' in the title?
Thanks to Alex