Cronenberg, Polanski films on Venice lineup

Canadian director David Cronenberg will premiere his A Dangerous Method at the Venice Film Festival this fall, the festival has confirmed.

Canadian director David Cronenberg will premiere his film A Dangerous Method at the Venice Film Festival this fall, the festival has confirmed.

Cronenberg's psychological drama joins Roman Polanski's Carnage and Madonna's W.E. on the lineup at the world's oldest film festival.

These films are scheduled for galas at the Toronto International Film Festival, but Venice has beat TIFF to the premiere screenings, as it starts Aug. 31, a week ahead of Toronto's festival.

Venice announced 22 films for its official competition on Thursday, including Shame by Britain's Steve McQueen and Himizu by Japan's Sion Sono, which based on the famous manga series.

Canadian director David Cronenberg will take his film about the fathers of psychoanalysis to Venice. Associated Press
Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method is based on the tempestuous relationship between psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, his pupil Carl Jung and a young woman who comes between them.  Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortenson and Michael Fassbender star in the film, based on a 2002 stage play.

Polanski's Carnage is also based on a play, about two sets of parents who meet up to talk after their children get into a fight at school.

While stars Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet are expected to walk the red carpet in Venice, the Polish-born director "cannot be present for legal reasons," festival director Marco Mueller told journalists Thursday.

Madonna, shown Nov. 29, 2010, premieres her film W.E. in Venice. (Miguel Tovar/Associated Press)
Polanski was held in Switzerland for months in 2009 and 2010 while awaiting extradition to the U.S. for alleged sexual assault dating back to 1977. He has stayed in France since his release.

A Canadian-Irish co-production, The Moth Diaries, directed by Mary Harron, is slated to screen out of competition.  Starring Scott Speedman and Sarah Bolger, it is about a teenage girl at a boarding school who suspects her roommate is a vampire.

Other Canadian films in Venice:

  • Marécages, a debut feature by Guy Édoin, is one of only nine films from around the world accepted for the Critics Week program.
  • Black Mirrors at the National Gallery, a short by experimental filmmaker Mark Lewis, who represented Canada at the Venice Art Biennale   in 2009, is to be screened in the Orizzonti program.

Madonna's W.E., a film about King Edward VIII's romance with American divorcee Wallis Simpson  also screens out of competition. It stars British actress Andrea Riseborough as Mrs Simpson.

Other high-profile films to have their premiere in Venice:

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, a new adaptation of the spy thriller, directed by Tomas Alfredson.
  • Dark Horse by Todd Solondz.
  • Poulet Aux Prunes by Marjane Satrapi.
  • Faust by Russia's Aleksander Sokurov. 
  • Salome by Al Pacino.

The festival opens Aug. 31 with George Clooney's The Ides of March. Clooney directs and stars in the political drama.