HURT LOCKER wins Catholic Jury Prize at 65th Venice Film Festival


The SIGNIS Jury has awarded its Grand Prize  to Kathryn Bigelow’s anti-war film THE HURT LOCKER. According to the jury’s statement, the motivation for this choice is the filmmaker’s uncompromising approach to the Iraq war and its consequences seen through the experience of the bomb diffusion specialists for whom war is an addiction rather than a cause. “The film challenges the audience’s view of war in general and the current war in particular because it demonstrates the struggle between violence to the body and psychological alienation.”


The SIGNIS jury also gave one commendation to VEGAS: BASED ON A TRUE STORY, a small budget film that is an allegory about futile obsession and greed of a marginalized family on the periphery of Las Vegas and another commendation to TEZA, a film that highlights the conflict between ideology and the personal life of an Ethiopian intellectual.


This year is the 60th anniversary of the Catholic jury at the Venice Film Festival coordinated by SIGNIS, the world Catholic association for communication based in Brussels. The members of the international jury are Rose Pacatte, president of the jury (United States, researcher and film critic), Sergio Joel Ascencio Casillas (Mexico, researcher and film critic), Raffaella Giancristofaro (Italy, journalist and film critic), Peter Malone (Australia, journalist and film critic), Charles Martig (Switzerland, journalist and film critic), , Federico Pontiggia (Italy, journalist and film critic), Freddy Sartor, Belgium, journalist and film critic).

WRESTLER and the last day at the festival!

Last Day at the Venice Film Festival


Well, almost the last day. It is Friday afternoon. There was to have been a screening last night … The Seed of Disconent … an Italian sex comedy, but the print didn,t arrive on time for the 7pm screening, so I missed it as there was no way I was going to a 10.30pm screening. The other members of the jury who did go told me the film didn-t meet our criteria anyway. Then this morning we saw THE WRESTLER.


Then our jury met at the Excellsior Hotel in the room provided by a Catholic film group from Rome, and we discerned which film would receive our prize.


The award ceremony is tomorrow afternoon in the Press Conference Room here at the Casino. Then the jury was given some tickets for the awards ceremony and the dinner after. I am not a night person as many of you know so I didn-t volunteer. Alas, as the president of the jury it seems good for me to go, though we are small fish in a very large ocean over here. Will report on this once I get back to LA.


The days here have been warm and last night there was a thunder storm, but other than that, heavenly. Blue sky and sun. OK, some humidity and annoying beatialini … bugs. Cigarette smoke like you wouldn,t believe, and if there was a visual motif that ran through all the films at the festival, it was cigarette smoking. I took some photos of the cigarette displays in one of the shops. You wouldn,t believe the warnings they have on the packs over here. But do the warnings work… are you kidding … the punctuation on this keyboard has been re/programmed so please correct as you go along.




THE WRESTLER  … Stars Mickey Rourke as Randy the Ram, a professional wrestler on his last legs. He cannot pay his rent at the trailer park where he lives in New Jersey … Rahway I think, there is no wife in the picture, but a friendly stripper, and he is alienated from his daughter. He still wrestles on the weekends but works in the back of a supermarket wekedays. He also takes steroids and sells traffics in pills on the side. But he-s got a good heart and he still has his fans…. some anyway. Then he has a heart attack and is told he has to stop wrestling. It is not so easy…. I thought Rourke did an excellent job in this role. It is a very sad film, however, and filled with loneliness.




Mickey Rourke in THE WRESTLER


And this, my friends, is my last film of the festival! Thanks for reading along….


Blessings. I will post photos or a link to Shutterfly as soon as I can.