Russian Director Wins Top Prize At Venice Film Festival
Russian director Alexsander Sokurov's Faust , described by one critic as "a high-art dark comedy" but by Sokurov himself as "too serious," took the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion award for best film, while the best actor award went to Michael Fassbender for his performance in Steve McQueen's NC-17-rated Shame and the best actress award went to Deanie Yip for her performance in Hong Kong director Ann Hui's A Simple Life. In presenting the Golden Lion to Sokurov, the jury president, director Darren Aronofsky, said, "Some films make you dream, some make you cry, some make you laugh, some change you forever after seeing them." Referring to the members of jury, he added, "We are from different corners of the planet but we unanimously chose this film." The runner-up Silver Lion award went to People Mountain People Sea from Chinese director Cai Shangjun. The film was a last-minute "surprise" entry in the festival's competition. The jury called it a film "that keeps us from closing our eyes."