August 10- August 17,2003
International big-wigs at the Lido
Bernardo Bertolucci, Woody Allen and the Coen brothers to attend Venice film festival
Acclaimed international heavyweights such as Bernardo Bertolucci, the Coen brothers and Michael Winterbottom will honouring the 60th edition of Venice film festival this year. Director Moritz de Hadeln unveiled a largely European crop of titles which also feature an ample offering of English-language fare, along with a smattering of Asian cinema.
The notable absence of several titles that had been thought to be locked into the festival roster, and may have been pulled, such as Jane Campion's In the Cut - confirmed for the Toronto festival - and others that aren't ready, like Wong Kar-wai's 2046 and Ingmar Bergman's Saraband, suggest a last-minute scramble to fill key slots.
"The selection this year was especially difficult because of the extremely high number of submissions, more than 1,600 works - including shorts - 400 of which were offered to us in the past two weeks," the Venice chief said at a packed Rome press conference last week. "This means that some works will be unspooling in Venice in an as-yet-not-entirely completed form," de Hadeln added.
These include a not-final-cut copy of the Coen brother's romantic comedy Intolerable Cruelty, from Universal, starring George Clooney and Catherine Zeta-Jones - both of whom are expected to attend the fest - which will screen in an out-of-competition slot.
Alejandro Gonzales-Inarritu's Amores Perros followup, 21 Grams, will be shown with the sound not yet burned into the negative. The drama about three people whose destinies intersect after a car accident in Memphis stars Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts, all of whom are expected to make the trek to the Lido. The Mexican director's English-language drama is the only U.S. entry in competition.
Other English-language titles vying for a Golden Lion are Michael Winterbottom's sci-fi romance Code 46, starring Tim Robbins and Samantha Morton as genetically incompatible lovers, and Christopher Hampton's Imagining Argentina, about the plight of that country's desaparecidos, starring Antonio Banderas and Emma Thompson. They comprise a sizable British contingent which also includes Stephen Norrington's Victorian age comic book actioner The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, starring Sean Connery; and a work-in-progress of the second installment of Peter Greenaway's Tulse Luper Suitcases trilogy, as a special event.

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