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From Madonna to George Clooney, Matt Damon and Kate Winslet: at the Venice Lido is "star watching" time...
Absolutely everybody has turned up this year at the 68th edition of the Venice International Film Festival. The only really significant absence is that of Francis Ford Coppola, who has not yet finished shooting his horror film, Twixt. Apart from this, the menu being put on by the Palazzo del Cinema is particularly appetizing. From Madonna to George Clooney (in the picture with Evan Rachel Wood), as well as Matt Damon and Kate Winslet. With an excellent picking of directors: Polanski, Cronenberg, Abel Ferrara, Friedkin and Philippe Garrel from France.
Among the novelties competing, there are two cartoonists who have turned their hand to the cinema: the Italian-born Gipi (Gianni Pacinotti) and Marjane Satrapi from Iran who is also the authoress of Persepolis. Then we have the mythical Al Pacino presenting his tribute to Oscar Wilde (Wilde Salomè) and the Golden Lion for career achievement, the Italian director Marco Bellocchio. With this constellation of stars, there are sure to be countless parties: the Hotel Excelsior beach party offered by the Biennale is the event nobody wants to miss.
But if being really cool is what you’re after, leave the Lido for the island of the Giudecca: this is the chosen location for the exclusive party organized by Gucci, with Madonna as its guest of honour. If you’re keen on “star watching” this is the right place: Kate Winslet will be taking refuge at the Hotel Cipriani, Elton John has a home here and apparently Madonna is looking for one too.
Also when it comes to dining, the Giudecca has the edge on the Lido: if you have not yet managed to spot any stars, treat yourself to a break at Harry’s Dolci, a more offbeat and chic version of the bar behind Piazza San Marco. And enjoy Venice’s most famous drink, the Bellini. While admiring the view of the Zattere right in front of you.
68th Venice International Film Festival
Until 10th September 2011, website
Photo courtesy La Biennale