Europe was mad for movies this weekend as a flurry of events kicked off in the world of cinema. Venice Film Festival and Deauville Film Festival brought the razzle, and the highly-anticipated premiere for Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune kicked off, bringing the dazzle. American stars walked the red carpets including Johnny Depp looking classic and dashing, and Dune star Zendaya, whose jaw-dropping dress at the premiere may have just raised the bar for 2021 fashion.  

Deauville Film Festival

While the Deauville Film Festival may not be as well-known as the Venice or Cannes festivals, this year’s lineup shows that it’s here to play with the big dogs. The festival started on September 4th and will continue until September 12th. One of the big stars to walk the carpet so far is none other than recently-embattled Johnny Depp. Depp was there September 5th for his film, City of Lies. The 58-year-old who is currently battling in court ex Amber Heard, looked dapper in a shabby-chiq ensemble with a pinstripe punk jacket, slouch hat and cigarette accessory.

Other stars to dazzle the weekend were Dylan Penn, Clemence Posey and Oliver Stone

The Deauville American Film Festival was first established in 1975 by Lionel Chouchan and André Hal­i­mi, along with then-mayor of Deauville, Michel d’Or­nano. The festival, “high­lights the diver­si­ty of Amer­i­can cin­e­ma, from major Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tions to inde­pen­dent films.” But it’s unique from its sister festivals; Deauville is the only festival of its tier and size in Europe that allows the public to attend. 

Deauville also has a rich history of being the place where masterpieces have been unfurled. Per the festival’s website, “The Fes­ti­val has revealed works of art which have marked cin­e­ma his­to­ry: James Gray’s Lit­tle Odessa, Dar­ren Aronofsky’s Pi, Tom DiCil­lo’s Liv­ing in Obliv­ion, Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovitch, Christo­pher Nolan’s Memen­to, Todd Solondz’s Wel­come to the Doll­house, Paul Hag­gis’s Crash, John Cameron Mitchell’s Hed­wig and the Angry Inch, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Day­ton’s Lit­tle Miss Sun­shine, Jeff Nichols’s Take Shel­ter, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, Matt Ross’s Cap­tain Fan­tas­tic, Ben Zeitlin’s Beasts of the South­ern Wild, David Low­ery’s A Ghost Story,” plus many more beloved films. 

Highlights of Deauville’s 47th festival include 53 films over 8 categories, including:

  • City of Lies, Depp’s upcoming film. 
  • Flag Day, a highly-anticipated new Sean Penn film. 
  • Dune, Villeneuve’s well-received film adaptation of Frank Herbert‘s classic sci-fi novel of the same name. 
  • JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, by Oliver Stone. 
  • Son of the South by Barry Alexander Brown
  • Plus many more.

For information on the festival, including the events calendar, visit the website

Venice Film Festival

Venice

The world’s best-known film festival, the Venice Film Festival, is also the world’s oldest. The festival takes place every August to September, since 1932. Like its sister festival, Cannes, the Venice Film Festival has its roots under fascists governments but eventually became a symbol of art and rebirth. According to the festival’s website, “The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue. The Festival also organises retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards a better understanding of the history of cinema.”

This year’s festival has been home to several big premieres, and boasted an all-star celebrity red carpet as they flocked to Venice to root for their work or peers. 

Stars seen shining this year include:

  • Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac whose Scenes From a Marriage ran out of competition. 
  • Kristen Stewart, whose movie Spencer was in competition. 
  • Salome Dewaels, stunning in an understated nude/earthtones dress for the premiere of Lost Illusions
  • Hellen Mirren, the acting legend attended the opening ceremony and looked stunning in silver. 
  • Anya Taylor-Joy, pretty in pink at the premiere of Last Night in Soho
  • Plus many more.

And of course, the one everyone’s talking about, the cast of Dune

Dune Premiere Gets Standing Ovation

Zendaya

You can’t talk about Venice without talking about the movie that stole the stage, one dress at a time. The Villeneuve’s adaptation of Herbert’s beloved classic Dune is doing something sci-fi movies don’t often do; it’s transcending genres. Like most niche genres, sci-fi fans usually remain sci-fi fans, and Hollywood tends to treat sci-fi movies like cousins who occasionally overstay their welcome. 

But not this time. Dune has been enthusiastically welcomed with huge names at the helm like Zendaya, Cynthia Erivo, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa plus many more well-loved names. The film reportedly received a several-minutes-long standing ovation after its premiere in Venice. The film follows Paul Atreides (played by Timothee Chalamet), who finds himself in charge of a desert world’s most precious asset, along with the galaxy’s most coveted resource. Atreides soon realizes that his destiny lies beyond his “heir to a noble house” birth right. 

It’s not just the apparently excellent film that people are buzzing about though. Zendaya absolutely upped the fashion bar for 2021 when she showed up to the Venice premiere wearing something, quite frankly, out of this world. Zendaya’s dress was both cheeky and jaw-dropping. A Balmain original, the gown was made out of nude leather, which sounds underwhelming until you see it in action. Using the actress’s form to model the bodice, creative director of Balmain Olivier Rousteing fit the gown perfectly to her curves. The way the leather draped gave it a wet look, and Zendaya’s slicked-down hair added to the illusion. It’s a cheeky nod to the fact that the movie is about a desert planet where water is a resource desperately fought over. 

Around her neck was a stunning, 93-carat Bvlgari emerald, ringed in diamonds and mounted on a snake-shaped necklace. If people weren’t already talking about Dune because of its all-star cast and acclaimed premieres, the dress certainly would have been a game-changer.

Both festivals along with Dune‘s press tour, which included Paris, have brought joy and relief to the film industry. Although the future may still be uncertain, for now; Hollywood is back.