Protest awaits actress Fanny Ardant in Venice

6th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

VENICE, Italy, Sept 6, 2007 (AFP) - French actress Fanny Ardant, despite a furore over her praise for Red Brigades leader Renato Curcio, will be on hand at the Venice film festival Thursday as the star of Italian director Vincenzo Marra's "L'Ora di Punta" (The Rush Hour).

VENICE, Italy, Sept 6, 2007 (AFP) - French actress Fanny Ardant, despite a furore over her praise for Red Brigades leader Renato Curcio, will be on hand at the Venice film festival Thursday as the star of Italian director Vincenzo Marra's "L'Ora di Punta" (The Rush Hour).

A demonstration is planned against Ardant, who stirred up passions last month by describing the founder of Italy's disbanded Marxist-Leninist group as a "hero" in a magazine interview. She apologised, but the family of a victim has filed a suit against her.

Red Brigades members kidnapped and murdered Italy's former Christian Democrat prime minister Aldo Moro.

Festival director Marco Mueller said last week that Ardant was welcome at the event, while disagreeing with her remarks.

Ardant co-stars with Michele Lastella in Marra's film about the obsession for money, power and greed in Italian society.

Also Thursday, Dutch director Peter Greenaway will reveal the many secrets of the Rembrandt masterpiece "The Nightwatch," a work that led to his financial and social ruin.

And the festival's "surprise" entry, "Mad Detective" by leading Hong Kong director Johnnie To along with Wai Ka Fai, was to premiere late Thursday.

Despite the standard plotline of a rookie cop teaming up with a former officer to hunt down a serial killer, "the film challenges story conventions and audience expections," To said in programme notes.

Last year's surprise entry, "Still Life" by Chinese director Jia Zhangke, won the top honour here, the Golden Lion.

On Wednesday, US director Tim Burton, the master of the macabre, became the youngest recipient of the Golden Lion for career achievement at age 49.

"This is the most amazing experience," he said. "It's such an honour."

Burton may be the youngest winner of the award, "but I'm older than I seem," quipped the creator of "Beetlejuice" (1988), "Edward Scissorhands" (1990) and "Sleepy Hollow" (1999).

Burton's frequent collaborator Johnny Depp bestowed the award ahead of a screening of a 3-D version, created by Henry Selick, of the 1993 runaway hit "The Nightmare Before Christmas," in which the Pumpkin King of Halloween tries to take over Christmas by kidnapping Santa Claus.

Viewers also were treated to the first eight minutes of Burton's next creation, a film version of the Stephen Sondheim musical "Sweeney Todd," a Broadway hit in 1979 that enjoyed a revival in Britain in 2004.

Depp stars with Helena Bonham Carter in the story of the legendary London barber who murdered his customers by slitting their throats.

Also Wednesday, Japanese director Takashi Miike presented his raucous take on the spaghetti western, "Sukiyaki Western Django," alongside a retrospective on the genre at this year's festival.

The film is packed with references to the work of both Corbucci and Sergio Leone, who directed a trio of Clint Eastwood films that helped make spaghetti westerns an international phenomenon in the mid-1960s.

With three days left until Venice's all-director jury returns its verdict, the French film "La Graine et le Mulet" (Grain of Life) by Tunisian-born director Abdellatif Kechiche enjoys the lead among Italian film critics.

The unique Bob Dylan biopic by Tom Haynes, "I'm Not There" was also well received, as well as the US film "Redacted" by Brian De Palma about the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl by US soldiers.

Dylan is conspicuously absent but omnipresent in the kaleidoscopic "I'm Not Here," but Cate Blanchett, who most closely resembles Dylan at the height of his stardom, seems set to triumph here as best actress.

AFP

Subject: French news

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