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Harvey Weinstein and Mia Wasikowska talk about her latest movie, Tracks.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Venice Film Festival a delegation of Hollywood Foreign Press Association members, traveled to Lido Island across the lagoon from Venice, to attend the historic festival’s opening ceremony, meet with filmmakers and look at films for Golden Globe consideration. First up was a luncheon with George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, director Alfonso Cuaron and his co-writer son, Jonas, whose space thriller ‘Gravity’ was the opening night premiere. “It just it’s not about a father and son collaboration,” said Cuaron of working with his son. “He came to all these fresh ideas and ways of doing things. He said, look, ‘I like your movies. They’re okay but you can do the same thing being more fun and less rhetoric.’” In keeping with a long held tradition, the HFPA once again hosted a cocktail reception for filmmakers and actors, this year held poolside in the new Maserati Lounge at the Excelsior Hotel overlooking the Adriatic Sea. HFPA vice-president Lorenzo Soria introduced the festival’s artistic director Alberto Barbera who took over leadership of the festival last year. Others attending included Harvey Weinstein, director Samantha Fuller (A Fuller Life), Mia Wasikowska (Tracks), James Deen and Nolan Gerard Funk (The Canyons) and Tye Sheridan and director David Gordon Green (Joe).

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George Clooney chats with HFPA members


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Members pose with Mia Wasikowska

  Pictures: Alex Tuma and Armando Gallo Members also met with famous fashion photographer Bruce Weber in the gardens of the exclusive Cipriani Hotel. A kind and warm old bear of a man, Bruce Weber, 67, was in Venice presenting his beloved project Nice Girls Don’t Stay For Breakfast, a film that he had been working on and off for the past 15 years focusing on the talented skills and tough behaviors of Hollywood icon Robert Mitchum. “Bob had what I needed, sort of like a tough guy with a big heart, and that’s a quality I really find attractive in anyone,” he said.  “I had a kind of crazy childhood and my mom would pick me up early at school and we would go to these bars and I would sit there and see her boyfriend and I would do my homework.  And so I saw a lot of men like Bob, who would help me with my homework and just hang out with me and befriend me, and I was like a frail, skinny kid then, I didn’t have a lot of friends and big fantasy life, and so it sort of happened that I got to really like that kind of male image in my head, very protecting, father like or big brother, and so I always wanted to make a film about an actor and when I was making Let’s Get Lost, we always talked about Bob Mitchum and we really shared a lot of stories about Bob and what movies we loved with him.


Members meet Bruce Weber

“When Tina Brown was at Vanity Fair she wanted to do a piece on tough guys so she sent me and my team to Santa Barbara to do a photo shoot with Bob Mitchum by the pool side. That was 1989 and we became friends, a very strong relationship. And I hope this translates in the film.” ——-Armando Gallo