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Coming of age at the 70th Venice Film Festival


Coming of age at the 70th Venice Film Festival

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Daniel Radcliffe may have cruised into the Venice Film Festival this week to hysterical wails and catcalls of ‘Harry Potter!’ but his arrival signaled the latest in a long line of efforts to distance himself from Hogwarts et al.

His new film, ‘Kill Your Darlings’, follows the meeting of minds between beatniks Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs in the wake of a murder in 1944. Radcliffe plays an 18 year old Ginsberg, fumbling with his spectacles and his sexuality, and you get the impression the boy wizard is fully aware that the film’s title is also a well-known literary device of erasing the characters you are fondest of in order to progress your work. Something he is proving increasingly adept at.

Despite this, Radcliffe says he is not only confident his legion of fans will stay with him through such transitions, but that they are as excited as he is about these new kind of roles: “The fans of the Harry Potter films and the Harry Potter books are not just fans of those films and books, they are fans of good books and good films and they go with you as you take on other things. I am incredibly grateful to have that sort of swell of support behind me and I think, in my interactions with my fans, they seem to be excited by the not always conventional parts that I am taking.”

Also gracing this 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival, was the latest Coppola in what feels like a family-run conveyor belt of directing giants.

Gia, niece of Oscar-winning Sofia and granddaughter of legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, showcased her first feature film ‘Palo Alto’ – based on short stories by James Franco. As Gia explained, she keep it low budget on purpose: “Everyone on the set and the crew were so wonderful and I just wanted to keep it more of a small kind of student film atmosphere for myself and not worry about the expectations of following in my family’s footsteps or whatever.”

‘Palo Alto’ might have all the drink-driving, weed-smoking and deflowering of virgins that accompany most films about disaffected teens but critics have praised the way it hauntingly captures that rocky passage from childhood to a fully formed personal identity.

The film screened in the Orizzonti section of the festival.

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