3 September 2012 10:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

For festival director Alberto Barbera's tougher, more urgent slate of pictures, the conditions could not have been more perfect

The storm arrived at the Venice film festival on Monday lunchtime. Thunder cracked, bunting billowed and the walkways ran with water. If festival director Alberto Barbera required a fitting backdrop for his promised tougher, more urgent slate of pictures, the conditions could not have been more perfect. The mood had been set by back-to-back morning screenings of Something in the Air, a heady tale of leftist insurrection, and Disconnect, in which cyber-culture was cast as the villain. The day's other films told tales of abandoned children, the Libyan uprising and the parlous state of the Us housing market. Even inside the cinemas, there was little shelter from the storm.

On taking over the festival this year, Barbera signalled a contrast to the 2011, when Madonna had dominated the press coverage with »

- Xan Brooks

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