Wilde Salome by Al Pacino has
won the fifth annual Queer Lion prize at the 68th annual
Venice Film Festival.
The three-person jury announced the
winner on Friday. Twelve films competed for the prize that
recognizes films with queer elements playing at the festival.
The Pacino documentary was selected
“For having crafted an extraordinary, passionate act of love for a
genius through a new, dense and complex cinematic language, putting
his unique charismatic figure of actor and director at full, complete
disposal of Oscar Wilde's body of work; for having traced in a
strong, clear way the life, the loves, the success, the fall
experienced by the Irish writer, and for having followed every step
of the artistic creation of an innovative work – difficult to
categorize – with wit and self-deprecating irony.”
During a panel at the festival, Pacino
found it difficult to describe Wilde
Salome: “I like to say it's a documentary, because it's not
a film. But then it's not a documentary, either. So, I'm confused,
too. What I tried to do … I wanted to make a kind of collage and
put it together like … stuff by the end of it that you get the idea
of what I was doing. I wanted to reflect some of who Oscar Wilde
was, what he went through, but not intensely. Not like a documentary
would do it.” (A trailer for the film is embedded in the right
panel of this page.)
In 1891, Wilde wrote the play Salome.
Six years later, he was convicted of gross indecency – for being
gay – and imprisoned for two years. Wilde is best known for
writing The Importance of Being Ernest.