Organizers of the 70th Venice Film Festival, which opens on Aug. 28 and runs through Sept. 7, recently announced the festival’s 54 official film selections. Among more familiar directors’ names—such as Alfonso Cuarón, Terry Gilliam, Hayao Miyazaki, Stephen Frears and James Franco—is School of Film/Video alumnus Andrea Pallaoro (MFA 08).
Pallaoro’s first feature film, Medeas, has been included in the Orizzonti section that showcases new trends in world cinema. The film is a contemplative portrait of a family living in a rural landscape, struggling against harsh conditions. As the stresses mount, each member must confront his or her yearnings and anxieties. As in his earlier works, Pallaoro explores themes of intimacy and alienation.
From director’s statement:
Medeas is an observational character study of a family and its environment; one which rejects pre-existing structural formulas to find its own freedom and clarity from the manipulations and limitations of conventional storytelling. Striving for a rigorous minimalist cinema in which the narrative is a result of the observation of its characters and not a contrived imposition on them, the underlying approach to creating Medeas is largely motivated by aesthetic, sensorial, and emotional impulses. This film seeks to understand the mechanisms behind human desperation by exploring its triggers and consequences. The narrative arc is partly derived from real events taken from newspapers and court trials, which have been fictionalized through in-depth research on human psychology combined with personal narratives, memories and intrinsic images.
Pallaoro’s CalArts thesis film Wunderkammer—about an elderly woman and her son living together in a house that shelters a “spectacular menagerie of birds”—screened last year at the 22nd Rio De Janeiro International Short Film Festival (Curta Cinema 2012).
Medeas screens on Sept. 2 and 3 at the Venice Film Festival.