Dune: Back to the future al Lido

Venice Film Festival has always been fascinated by the sci-fi genre.

Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity opened out of competition the festival on August 28 2013 and then won 7 Oscars. Arrival competed in 2016 and this year Denis Villeneuve is back to Lido out of competition with his most ambitious project, the first chapter of the Dune saga.

The connection between art and sci-fi is crystal clear: art tells reality from the dawn of time and sci-fi gives the chance to those who are can do it to open a window on the future. Frank Herbert’s Dune was written in 1965, but the novel anticipates themes that are on the news today. Sustainable environment, female empowerment. And Herbert was also one the most important reference for George Lucas’ Star Wars.

The relationship between fantastic cinema and Venice Film Festival started from the very beginning. The first movie ever screened in Venice was Rouben Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and after the screening, there was a great ball t the Excelsior and the movie won two unofficial awards (there was not a competition at that time) to Fredric March (best actor) and Rouben Mamoulian (best movie). In the same first edition was also screened James Whale’s Frankenstein, a classic horror festival.

But the sci-fi genre has been always present. Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back (1980), E.T. (1982) until Independence Day (1996) are some of the blockbusters screened during the years. The only discordant note dates back 1982, when Ridley Scott was in competition Blade Runner, but the jury ignored the movie and the Golden Lion was won by Wenders’ Der Stand der Dinge and Zanussi’s Imperativo won the Silver Lion. Today would be probably different.

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