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There’s a reason to believe that 2022 may have been the last golden year for Hollywood in general. Let's see how true that is.

Was Venice Film Festival 2022 the last great film fest ?

Ever wondered why your favorite stars are missing in action from the glitzy red carpets of the Venice Film Festival? There’s a reason to believe that 2022 may have been the last golden year for Hollywood in general. Is it true? Let’s take a look at 2022 and see for ourselves in festival season.

It's not just writers, though; the directors and screen actors are also rolling up their sleeves. Look at who is taking over the strike!

A Cinematic Standoff

Jump back two years. The Venice Film Festival was alive with the buzz of blockbuster movies like Dune. Fast forward to now, and there’s a change in the air. Hollywood is staggering under the weight of a different challenge: a massive strike involving both actors and writers.

So, what does this mean for cinema lovers? With the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike raging since early May, and the Screen Actors Guild jumping onboard, a vast chunk of Tinseltown’s output is frozen. Think halted movie productions, TV show stoppages, and big-ticket films like Dune: Part Two being postponed. The glam-filled film festivals we adore? Expect a notable absence of Hollywood’s glitz and glitter.

The Festival Feel

Autumn’s film festivals are taking a hit, a far cry from 2022. Thanks to the strikes, most Hollywood productions premiering won’t see their stars walking the red carpet or engaging in interviews. Major movies like The Killer and Maestro will feel the absence of big names like Bradley Cooper and Tilda Swinton. 

But wait, there’s more. This year, mega-blockbusters like Dune: Part Two and the romantic drama Challengers have vanished from the fall lineup, pushing their releases to 2024.

Traditionally kickstarting awards season, the Venice Film Festival now finds itself in a tight spot. While some films remain unaffected, many scheduled to premiere at the event face an unpredictable fate. No actors attending award shows due to the strike could reduce the glitzy affairs to mere press releases.

Spotting the Silver Lining

However, it’s not all cloudy skies. Non-US films remain unscathed by the strikes, promising cinematic brilliance from directors like Ryusuke Hamaguchi and Pablo Larraín. Additionally, specific interim agreements mean some US film companies continue business as usual. So, don’t lose hope; stars like Adam Driver and Jessica Chastain will still dazzle us with their red carpet appearances.

Despite the lack of Hollywood’s usual sparkle, film festivals worldwide continue to thrive. The recent Edinburgh Film Festival, for instance, saw an outpouring of support and enthusiasm despite many stars’ absence.

Future Flicks in Flux

Peering into the future, the ripple effect of these strikes is evident. Beyond postponed movies like Challengers and Dune: Part Two, productions on anticipated films such as Spider-Verse and Gladiator 2 have come to a screeching halt. 

There’s rising concern that the mainstream US film industry could be inflicting lasting damage upon itself. The industry’s upheaval is ironical, especially following the roaring success of movies like “Barbenheimer” which outshone a slew of uninspiring sequels released in 2023.

While some movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer managed to steal the limelight just before the full force of the strikes came into play, the overall landscape is shifting. Even if the strikes wrap up soon, the long-term damage to Hollywood might be done.

So, with all this unfolding drama, can cinema rebound and once again light up our screens with the magic we’ve always loved?

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  • The Edinburgh Film Festival lost out massively – only 10,000 attended, many did not pay for tickets. The public money subsidy was £75 a seat. Too many boring films, no attempt to reach out to local audience. The “enthusiasm” cam from paid-for lackeys and festival sponsors like The Skinny

    September 2, 2023

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