Hip canal 

Becky Barnicoat

Becky Barnicoat checks in to Venice's slickest 
new hostel and finds it's a far cry from the dowdy, dirty crowded digs conjured up by the name.

Hip canal 

Bob Dylan film should 'wash over you like a dream'

Gina Doggett

I'm Not There, a biopic of folk icon Bob Dylan in which he is conspicuously absent but omnipresent, should "wash over you like a dream", the film's director, Todd Haynes, said on Tuesday. Viewers should not "get too bogged down in the literal connections to Dylan and let it take you somewhere", Haynes told reporters.

Venice tourists must stay respectable or face fines

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

Watching thousands of tourists stroll through Venice's Saint Mark's Square, steward Giovanna is ready to step in at the first sign of unacceptable behaviour -- picnics, bare torsos or discarded food wrappers. Speaking languages ranging from Chinese to Polish, Giovanna and six other women have been deployed by the lagoon city to improve decorum and cleanliness in the square Napoleon called "the drawing room of Europe".

Iraq war films among favourites at Venice festival

Mike Collett-White, Silvia Aloisi

Two very different movies about the Iraq war are among the favourites for awards at this year's Venice film festival as it passes the halfway stage, and an unusually high number of male leads have stood out. For pure shock value, Brian De Palma's Redacted wins hands down, stunning audiences with an uncompromising reconstruction of the real-life rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl.

Who shot Superman?

Denis Barnett

As a character, he has been rocketing across our screens for half a century, but few remember that the original Superman, George Reeves, died in mysterious circumstances in the bedroom of his Hollywood Hills home at the height of his fame in 1959.

Femme fatale Johansson thrills festival

Staff Reporter

Brian de Palma's noir movie The Black Dahlia premiered at the 63rd Venice Film Festival to critical acclaim on Wednesday as its 21-year-old star, Scarlett Johansson, paraded down the red carpet. The actor plays a femme fatale in the murder mystery set in 1940s Hollywood and film reviewers emerged from a preview screening acclaiming her on-screen sex appeal.

Clooney film favourite for Venice Golden Lion award

Denis Barnett

Critics and public at the Venice film festival have made the George Clooney directed Good Night, and Good Luck the clear favourite to win the two-week event's prestigious Golden Lion award, to be announced on Saturday. With just a few of the 20 films in the official competition yet to be screened, Clooney's film remains the most popular with critics and public alike.

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