Like a heavenly body twinkling down from another time and galaxy, the Venice film festival still beams out the glamour of the old world. From its first incarnation in 1932, when the likes of Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, James Cagney, Ronald Colman and Joan Crawford, not to mention Boris Karloff, sipped drinks on the terrace of the Excelsior in the Lido, the festival has offered the perfect gilded backdrop for the shiny hoopla of film promotion.
This summer, however, the future is coming to the lagoon city and to the longest-established of all film festivals. As a billboard-sized sign of things to come, Netflix, one of the new breed of video on demand services, is bringing its first in-house production, Beasts of No Nation, to open at Venice 3 September. It stars British actor Idris Elba as a shady commandant fighting with a militia during an unspecified African war and is directed by Cary Fukunaga, who was behind the acclaimed first series of True Detective. Already its striking poster and alarming trailer have added to a buzz suggesting it may make waves at Venice.
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