Aug. 30 - Venice prepares for its 68th annual film festival. Alicia Powell reports.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Venice rolls out the red carpet for Hollywood. The 68th edition of the world's oldest film festival promises a rich line-up of eagerly awaited movies and A-list stars. Kicking off the 11 day fest will be George Clooney's political drama "The Ides of March." Jay Weissberg, Venice festival regular and film critic for Hollywood trade publication Variety, believes this year will make history. SOUDNBITE: Jay Weissberg Variety magazine film critic, saying (English): "I hate giving numbers to anything but I would say it's probably an eight (out of 10), which is very, very strong particularly for me. But the line-up looks exceptionally good. There are directors who are well known, who are light. There's a nice mix -- as usual Marco Mueller does an excellent job in balancing more Hollywood types of films with more art-house films, so I think there is much more than is generally the case something for everyone." The lineup of 22 competition films eclipses last year's low-key event as the organizers aim to repeat the success of 2008 when it launched "The Hurt Locker" which went on to win six Oscars. Among the most anticipated titles is "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," starring Colin Firth, Gary Oldman and John Hurt. Outside the main line-up, but still creating much buzz is Madonna's second foray into feature films with the drama "W.E." Weissberg details other highlights. SOUDNBITE: Jay Weissberg Variety magazine film critic, saying (English): "The Alexander Sokurov "Faust" is a film that many of us are very much looking forward to. The follow-on film from "Dogtooth" from the Greek director, it was a film that really enchanted so many people, that I think that's another film after years of not having very good Greek films, there seems to be a bit of a revival now so people are looking at that." The Venice Film Festival ends on September 10th. Alicia Powell, Reuters.