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Official Awards of the 61th Venice Film Festival (1 > 11 September 2004)

  Head of the Venezia 61 Jury: John Boorman;
Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement: Stanley Donen and Manoel de Oliveira;
Best film: "Vera Drake by Mike Leigh

King of Musical

STANLEY DONEN (1924) American film director and choreographer whose most celebrated works are Singin' in the Rain and On the Town, both of which he co-directed with actor and dancer Gene Kelly, ad many other important musical movies. He received an Honorary Academy Award in 1998 for his body of work and a Career Golden Lion from the Venice Film Festival in 2004. He began his career in the chorus line on Broadway for director George Abbott, where he befriended Gene Kelly. In 1943 he went to Hollywood and worked as a choreographer for several years before he and Kelly made On the Town in 1949. He then worked as a contract director for MGM under producer Arthur Freed and continued to make hit films and gain critical acclaim, both as a solo director and for his work with Kelly. In 1952 Donen and Kelly co-directed the musical Singin' in the Rain, which went on to become regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. Donen's relationship with Kelly had been shaky for several years and deteriorated in 1955 during the making of their final collaboration: It's Always Fair Weather. He then broke his contract with MGM and became an independent producer of his own work in 1957. By the end of the 1950s musical films were losing popularity and Donen began to focus on comedies instead, continuing to make hit films until the late 1960s. Donen is credited with transitioning Hollywood musical films from realistic backstage dramas where the songs were motivated by a stage setting or the physical presence of musicians to a more integrated art form where the music was unmotivated and the songs were a natural continuation of the story being told. Donen and Kelly's films created a more cinematic form of movie musicals and included dances that could only be achieved in the medium of film.


Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, both of which he co-directed with actor and dancer Gene Kelly; Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Funny Face, Indiscreet, Damn Yankees!, Charade, and Two for the Road.


MANOEL DE OLIVEIRA (1908) Portuguese film director born in Cedofeita, Porto. He began working on films in the late 1920s, but did not receive international recognition until the early 1970s. Since the late 1980s he continues to make an average of one film per year past the age of 100. In March 2008 he was reported to be the oldest active film director in the world, and is possibly the second oldest film director ever after George Abbott. He is also the only filmmaker whose active career has spanned from the silent era to the digital age. Among his numerous awards are two Career Golden Lions from the Venice Film Festival, in 1985 and 2004.


D1963 Rite of Spring 1972 Past and Present 1975 Benilde or the Virgin Mother 1978 Doomed Love 1981 Francisca 1985 The Satin Slipper 1987 My Case 1988 The Cannibals 1990 No, or the Vain Glory of Command 1991 The Divine Comedy 1992 Day of Despair 1993 Abraham's Valley 1994 The Box 1995 The Convent 1996 Party


2004 Venice Film Festival Films in Competition

VENEZIA 61 - the International competition of feature films, presented as world premieres:
  • CinquePerDue - Frammenti di vita amorosa: François Ozon
  • Ferro 3 - La casa vuota: Ki-duk Kim
  • Birth - Io sono Sean: Jonathan Glazer
  • Kôhî jikô: Hsiao-hsien Hou
  • Le chiavi di casa: Gianni Amelio
  • Delivery: Nikos Panayotopoulos
  • Haryu insaeng: Kwon-taek Im
  • Il castello errante di Howl: Hayao Miyazaki
  • L'intrus: Claire Denis
  • La terra dell'abbondanza: Wim Wenders
  • Lavorare con lentezza: Guido Chiesa
  • Mare dentro: Alejandro Amenábar
  • Ovunque sei: Michele Placido
  • Palindromes: Todd Solondz
  • Promised Land: Amos Gitai
  • I re e la regina: Arnaud Desplechin
  • Shijie: Zhang Ke Jia
  • Piccoli ladri: Marzieh Makhmalbaf
  • Tout un hiver sans feu: Greg Zglinski
  • Udalyonnyy dostup: Svetlana Proskurina
  • La fiera della vanità: Mira Nair

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