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IPFS News Link • Hollywood-Entertainment Industry

Venice Film Festival: Is Hollywood self-destructing?

•, By Leila Latif

Returning to the Venice Film Festival towards the tail-end of the pandemic in September 2021, a group of newly vaxxed, tested and masked film journalists journeyed to the Lido to see a brilliant slate of films, including sci-fi epic Dune, Campion's homoerotic western The Power Of The Dog and harrowing feminist autobiographical tale Happening. It felt at the time that, gratifyingly, cinema had weathered the terrible storm of the previous 18 months, and only better days could lie ahead. Two years on, however, and as the industry hits the Lido once more from today, unfortunately an altogether different crisis has left it reeling.

At present, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike has lasted since early May, and negotiations to end it are still ongoing, but both sides are accusing the other of being unreasonable. To make matters more tense, on 14 July SAG-AFTRA (the Screen Actors Guild) joined the strike, and now labour disputes involving both actors and writers have brought Hollywood to its knees, with production suspended on the majority of its films and television programmes.

The strikes also mean that the film festivals that populate the autumn season will feel very different. In accordance with union strike guidelines, the majority of Hollywood productions premiering at them will have no actors or writers walking the red carpet or doing press. The ramifications of this are potentially huge for some of the larger Hollywood films like David Fincher's The Killer, with Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton, and Bradley Cooper's Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, in which he stars alongside Carey Mulligan; none of those aforementioned stars will be attending Venice, including Cooper, who despite being a director as well as actor, will not attend, in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA.

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