Capitalism the villain as Moore movie hits Venice
By Mike Collett-White
LONDON (Reuters) - The Venice film festival has capitalism in its sights this year, with premieres of Michael Moore's documentary on the U.S. economic meltdown and a drama starring Matt Damon as a corrupt corporate whistleblower.
"Capitalism: A Love Story," in competition at the annual cinema showcase, sees Moore take on the corporate bosses with his trademark combative style, bringing the hot topic of recession to the picturesque Lido waterfront. And "The Informant!," directed by Steven Soderbergh and featuring Damon as a real-life crooked executive who exposed his company's price-fixing tactics, will be screened out of competition. The festival runs from September 2-12.
Damon is one of several Hollywood A-listers due to grace the red carpet in 2009, as studios appear prepared to foot the substantial bill and come to Venice in order to generate buzz for their pictures as the awards season kicks off.
Hundreds of fans waiting outside the main cinema where gala premieres are held each day will be hoping to catch a glimpse of Nicolas Cage, George Clooney, Oliver Stone, Charlize Theron, Eva Mendes, Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone among others.
The 2009 edition of the world's oldest film festival looks set to eclipse 2008, which, despite awarding Mickey Rourke's acclaimed comeback "The Wrestler" with the Golden Lion for best film, was seen as lackluster and lacking star power.
"On paper it looks good, and these people will be doing the red carpet giving the festival the glamour I think it needs," said Lee Marshall, film critic for Screen International and a Venice regular.
"That was lacking last year, considered by many to be a limp festival from that point of view. Many media representatives canceled pretty much after the program was announced."
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