27 August 1997
Three Golden Lions for lifetime achievement were awarded to:
Gerard Depardieu, Alida Valli and Stanley Kubrick.
Michelangelo Antonioni received a replacement for the Golden Lion
that was awarded to *Deserto Rosso*/Red Desert* in 1964 and which was
This year's jury is composed of: Jane Campion, president (director,
Ron Bass (screenwriter, USA)
Vera Belmont (director and producer, France)
Peter Buchka (film critic, Germany)
Nana Djordjadze (director, Georgia)
Idrissa Ouedraogo (director, Burkina Faso)
Charlotte Rampling (actor, Great Britain)
Francesco Rosi (director, Italy)
Shjnya Tsukamoto (director, Japan)
Besides the already mentioned *Deconstructing Harry,* which came to
the festival with a "companion piece" *Wild Man Blues* by Barbara
Kopple (a documentary the band in which Allen plays), *Four Little
Girls* (Spike Lee) was shown, and *Strawberry Fields* (Rea Tajiri).
*Strawberry Fields,* a reference to the camps in California in which
Japanese immigrants worked as farmers prior to WWII, examines the
search for identity of Irene, a 16 year old Japanese-American girl
during the Seventies. Irene is haunted by the recent death of her
sister and finds no comfort in a repressive home life, where her
parents deny their painful memories of WWII internment camps. Irene
thus travels cross country searching for her family past.
I met Rea Tajiri and Suzy Nakamura (the actor playing Irene) on the
boat that took me from the Lido (where the festival takes place) to
Venice. Tajiri is a young independent filmmaker based in New York
and the showing at the festival (in a section called *Officina
Veneziana*/*Venetian Workshop) was the first major break of her
career, with *Strawberry Fields* being her first feature film.
I think this film is an important document which deserves to be
shown in classrooms because it presents a seldom seen perspective on
an important chapter in American history. I have Ms. Tajiri's e-mail
address and the address of her production company, should anybody
wish to contact her.
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama.