Our highlights from the 79th Venice Film Festival

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The Venice Film Festival kicks off cinema's peak season every September. Many hotly anticipated titles are celebrating their world premiere on the coast of Venice. And it's not just the stars and press who headed over to the Lido – a few members of the Yorck team were among the 2022 attendees as well.

For the past few days, we've been watching films non-stop, met cinema colleagues from around the world, and sipped lots of Aperol Spritz. Here are our five favorite discoveries of the festival:


Cate Blanchett stuns as Lydia Tár, the conductor of an internationally acclaimed Berlin orchestra. Throughout the film, we follow Lydia manipulating everyone around her to maintain strict control of her public persona and her private life. Yet her carefully crafted world begins to show cracks when details about an abuse scandal revolving around Lydia and a former student emerge. 

Brilliantly directed by Todd Field, Tár is far from a simplistic movie complaining about "cancel culture" and instead a fascinating study of power, control, and abuse.

Apart from Cate Blanchett's and Nina Hoss' brilliant performances, we were particularly impressed by the thorough research that went into this film – from classical music to details about daily life in Berlin. Our only complaint is that it is somewhat ridiculous to depict Neukölln as dirtier than in real life.

Tár will be released in February 2023.


Bones and All

Five years after Call me by your Name, Timothée Chalamet and director Luca Guadagnino finally reunite, and the result is marvelous.
Starring Chalamet and Taylor Russell (Waves), Bones and All tells a coming-of-age story with stunning cinematography, a beautiful soundtrack, and a cannibal twist that is not just for spectacle but the heart of the story. 
In his previous films, Guadagnino has transported us into dreamlike romance in Call Me By Your Name and nightmarish worlds in Suspiria. With Bones and All, he strikes a perfect balance between both films. 
An absolute must-see and already one of our highlights for this fall.

Bones And All will be released in November 2022.


All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

The new film from Oscar-winning director Laura Poitras portrays photographer Nan Goldin's life, career, and activism. Goldin has taken on the notorious Sackler family, whose companies are responsible for the opioid epidemic in the US, by targeting their sponsorships of museums and galleries around the globe. Poitras masterfully tells this story in five parts and across two timelines, connecting themes and motifs among arts, politics, and personal lives and building towards an ending that left us in tears. One of the best documentaries we've seen in recent years. 

No word on a German release date yet.


The Whale

Brendan Fraser returns to the big screen as the lead of Darren Aronofsky's The Whale, an adaptation of the play by the same name. Fraser plays Charlie, a gay widower who tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter (Stranger Things breakout star Sadie Sink) after spending years in isolation. This adaptation's theatrical roots are omnipresent and left our team in Venice divided. While some appreciated Arronowky's one-location setting and minimalist cinematography, others were turned off by the stage-play feel of it. No matter our personal feelings towards the film, we were all in agreement that Fraser's performance is an absolute highlight and very much deserving of the now infamous six-minute standing ovation at the premiere screening. Our Oscar bets for Best Actor are all on Fraser. 

Plaion will distribute this film in Germany; the release date is unknown.


The Banshees of Inisherin

Lastly, our absolute highlight of the festival was The Banshees of Inisherin. Set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland in 1923, the film tells the story of a friendship that unexpectedly ends when Colm decides he no longer wants to talk with his former best friend Pádraic. 
Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, and the rest of the cast have lots to work with, as the screenplay from writer-director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges, Three Billboards) is infused with his signature mix of humor and tragedy. A film best experienced with a large audience, sometimes deeply melancholic and sometimes hilariously funny. 


Banshees touches on several questions that seem on top of mind for many people after living through more than two years of a pandemic. What makes our lives worth living? What do we value most as we realize or time on earth is limited? And which connections enrich our lives? You can feel this sense of post-pandemic self-reflection in many films of the festival, whether in BansheesThe Whale, or (the sadly underwhelming) Bardo.

While we could not attend the festival for its entire duration, we decided to pick a winner from all the films our team saw. Drumroll please:
Our Papier-Mâché Lion for the Best Film goes to The Banshees of Inisherin. 

Of course, we saw quite a load of additional films during the festival, from Bardo to Bobi Wine; and had lively debates about the quality of Don't Worry Darling. You can read some of our takes by browsing our HQ profile's 'team' section. For now, we're finally going to catch up on some sleep.


The international association CICAE hosts ACT - Arthouse Cinema Training, a specialized program for professionals working in arthouse cinemas from around the globe. The one-week training takes place annually simultaneously to the Venice Film Festival. Learn more about the program here.
In 2022, Arvid Liedtke and Stefanie Kleppesius attended the program for Yorck as trainees.

Written by Marvin Wiechert
With input from Arvid Liedtke, Claudia Dostal, Christian Bräuer, Stefanie Kleppesius