Venice Film Festival 2021: 10 things we will not forget


G.randi names, epic stories and mythological tales: the program at the Lido, however, is not only a list of screenings and previews, but also an uninterrupted red carpet, a series of windows and a range of parallel events. The dense agenda ranges from Miu Miu’s talks to women to the “VIP pampering headquarters” (Hollywood Celebrity Lounge at the Tennis Club on the Lido and the suite overlooking the Lagoon of the Sina Centurion Palace) up to the beauty corners of Armani Beauty and Cotril at the Hotel Excelsior. Beyond the depth of the titles in competition – and outside – this year the festival stood out for a series of bizarre situations concentrated in 11 days.

1. Roberto Benigni’s speech at the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement ceremony

It was since the time of Life is Beautiful that the public has been waiting for a performance like the one given to the Oscars. But so far it seemed that that aspect of Roberto Benigni was now appeased. But no, the acceptance speech of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement is destined to make history for romance, passion and idealism. “Lion? I deserved a kitten. I cannot dedicate the Lion to her (his wife, Nicoletta Braschi, ed.): It is hers; we did it all together for 40 years. We take it home and we share it like this: I take my tail to show you my gratitude, the wings are yours instead for the talent, the mystery, the charm, the femininity. You give off light. It was love at first sight, indeed at eternal sight ».

2. No selfies and autographs with Benedict Cumberbatch

One of the most attentive and hypochondriac actors hosted at the 2021 Show: Benedict Cumberbatch was held well over a meter away from everyone. When fans called him out loud outside the Palazzo del Casino looking for photos or autographs, he decided to go to meet them and explain why he didn’t even feel like picking up someone else’s pen.

SILVER LION Best Director Jane Campion Award for THE POWER OF THE DOG

3. Jamie Lee Curtis takes the reporters to the pool

Perhaps the only diva in Hollywood history who sets up early morning interviews and arrives half an hour early, throwing everyone into a panic. Jamie Lee Curtis, who presented Halloween Kills at the Show on the day of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, then decided to make another of his own. Instead of spending the day in the four walls of a suite of the Hotel Excelsior talking to the press, he preferred to get some fresh air. No sooner said than done: cables, cables, monitors, cameras and every possible type of equipment has been moved in front of the pool, the place that the actress has indicated last minute as the most appropriate to frame her words.

4. Paolo Sorrentino and the interviews on the lawn to smoke a cigar

Also allergic to pre-established conventions, Paolo Sorrentino has seen fit to dilute the tension of the competition of the Exhibition with the cigar of great occasions. But he doesn’t smoke it alone in a corner. No, he decided to give the interviews directly on the lawn to combine pleasure and practicality.

SILVER LION – Grand Jury Prize: IT WAS THE HAND OF GOD by Paolo Sorrentino
Marcello Mastroianni Filippo Scotti Award for the film IT WAS THE HAND OF GOD by Paolo Sorrentino

5. Antonio Banderas bellowing at the press conference

Never say that Antonio Banderas leaves out some details when he tells an anecdote. This time during the conference of Competencia oficial, the film starring him with Penelope Cruz, he imitated the absurd rituals of his colleagues before taking the stage. One of them – he says – bellowed at every take. And he has seen fit to make the verse – in the literal sense – in front of everyone.

CUP VOLPI for the best female interpretation Penélope Cruz in the film MADRES PARALELAS by Pedro Almodóvar

6. Luca Guadagnino by night cycling around the Lido

There are those who ride only in limousines and those who only get on board sports cars, especially near prestigious festivals such as that of Venice. Luca Guadagnino doesn’t care and in fact during the event he was spotted several times at night pedaling in his usual casual look. To the astonished looks of onlookers he responded with a mocking smile.


7. The crowd bath for Remo Girone

He sparked more hype than Can Yaman: Remo Girone, at the Mostra with his wife to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award Starlight International Cinema Award founded by Francesca Rettondini and Giuseppe Zaccaria, took a walk in the crowd after the ceremony to go to the aperitif in the Biennale Terrace. He traveled 400 meters in an hour, totally encircled and surrounded by fans from all over the world. Nobody went home without taking a selfie with the darling of The Octopus.

8. The arrival of JLo to support Ben Affleck

ben affleck jennifer lopez

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 09: Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck arrive at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 09, 2021 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Jacopo Raule / Getty Images)

The general hysteria sparked by the couple’s first red carpet for the Bennifers has reached epic levels. At least as much as the reactions of the two who, in order to meet the eyes of the public, got on the taxi boat after having almost flattened themselves against the wall of the Palazzo del Casino, without a nod or a smile. All gestures of affection were reserved for each other.

9. The presence of the Afghan director Saahra Kamiri

Less than a month after escaping from Kabul, Afghan director Sahraa Kamiri was hosted by the festival to participate in a panel on the conditions in her country. While waiting for asylum in Europe, the filmmaker recounted the genesis of the open letter denouncing the Taliban world which almost cost her her life.

10. Oscar Isaac’s “sensual” kiss on Jessica Chastain’s arm

They have been friends since art school and have become husband and wife only for script needs (the Sky Scene series from a wedding) but the gossip already fantasizes about something more. Especially since Oscar Isaac sensually kissed the inside of Jessica Chastain’s arm on the red carpet. The slow motion video version is pure poetry.

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11. The party at the Danieli Hotel with forays by Vin Diesel

Every year the exhibition starts with the pre-opening signed by Variety at the Hotel Danieli in Venice. The party is dedicated to the president of the jury but this time there was the Carramba effect because in the meantime Vin Diesel was wandering around the corridors (together with Helen Mirren), fresh from the Dolce & Gabbana event in Piazza San Marco. The Fast & Furious effect of those present to get a photo is record-breaking.



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