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Sofia Coppola, Julian Schnabel to Compete in Venice

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"Black Swan"
Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman in "Black Swan." Photographer: Niko Tavernise/Venice Film Festival via Bloomberg

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere” and Julian Schnabel’s movie about the creation of Israel are two of the 23 contenders at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Quentin Tarantino heads the jury that will pick the winner.

The festival, which runs Sept. 1 to 11 on Lido island, opens with Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” a psychological thriller about rival ballerinas starring Natalie Portman. The director is a runner-up for the top Golden Lion award, which he won two years ago with “The Wrestler” starring Mickey Rourke.

Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez and Jessica Alba star in the eagerly anticipated world premiere of “Machete,” an action film (not in the official competition) by Robert Rodriguez, who co-wrote “Grindhouse” with Tarantino. A homage to drive-in B-movies, it screens at midnight on the festival’s first day.

The selection was revealed today at a Rome news conference. Organizers said a surprise title would be announced Sept. 6.

Schnabel’s Israel-themed “Miral” stars Freida Pinto, Willem Dafoe and Vanessa Redgrave. Another movie in the running for the Lion: French director Francois Ozon’s “Potiche,” starring Catherine Deneuve.

Closing the festival, Oscar-winning British actress Helen Mirren will take over the male lead in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” to play a character named “Prospera” in Julie Taymor’s cinematic take on the classic, which co-stars Russell Brand.

Joaquin Phoenix

Screening out of the competition is Casey Affleck’s documentary “I’m Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix,” which tracks the actor’s life after he quit movies to become a rapper. Casey’s brother Ben Affleck directs and stars in “The Town,” with Rebecca Hall.

Director Martin Scorsese’s documentary about director Elia Kazan (“A Letter to Elia”) and actor-director John Turturro’s documentary “Passione” about Neapolitan song will also premiere at Venice.

To contact the writer on the story: Flavia Krause-Jackson in Rome at fjackson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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