Saturday, September 08, 2007

Ang Lee Film Wins Golden Lion at Venice Festival

Venice Festival Crowns Lee
Ang Lee's ''Lust, Caution,'' an erotic thriller set in 1940s Shanghai, won the Golden Lion top prize at the Venice Film Festival, closing the 64th competition.
"I'm Not There," a U.S. movie directed by Todd Haynes and inspired by Bob Dylan, and ''La Graine et le Mulet,'' a French film by Abdellatif Kechiche, shared the Special Jury Prize.
Accepting the award, Lee paid homage to Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, who died on July 30. ``When I was in preproduction, I visited Ingmar Bergman on his island,'' Lee said. ``He touched my face liked a mother touches a child. He hugged me. Tonight, I pass that hug to you.''

Brian De Palma was voted best director for ''Redacted,'' which is about the conflict in Iraq. ``Prizes are always great because it helps your film to be seen,'' De Palma said. ``But critics and prizes just tell you what the fashion of the day is. We don't make movies to win prizes.''
The award for best actor went to Brad Pitt for his performance in ``The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,'' directed by Andrew Dominik.

Cate Blanchett won the best actress prize for her role in ``I'm Not There.'' "Cate turned what could have been a stunt into a compelling performance,'' director Haynes said.

Paul Laverty won the award for best script for "It's a Free World'' by Ken Loach, and Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci was presented with a special Golden Lion for his career. The seven- member jury was headed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

In this year's festival, 23 films vied for the Golden Lion, which last year went to "Still Life'' by the Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke. Veteran French filmmaker Alain Resnais won the Silver Lion for best director in 2006 for "Private Fears in Private Places.''
The first Venice Film Festival was held in 1932. Among the earliest prize winners were directors Rene Clair and Rouben Mamoulian and actors Frederic March and Helen Hayes.

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