Venice sings the blues

'League' ankles fest while Scorsese brings music dox

A correction was made to this article on Aug. 18, 2003.

ROME — Fox has decided to pull Stephen Norrington’s “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” starring Sean Connery, from the Venice Intl. Film Festival where it occupied an out-of-competition berth. “The League,” as planned, premiered last week in Prague, where it was shot. The Victorian-age comic book actioner was subsequently supposed to get a bigger launch from the lagoon, but “after giving it much thought we decided to skip Venice,” said a spokesman for Fox Italia in Rome.

Meantime, the Martin Scorsese-directed documentary “Feel Like Going Home” and three other blues docus in his Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues series have been added as special events to the lineup of the upcoming Venice Intl. Film Festival, organizers have announced.

Scorsese will not be travelling to the Lido to launch his work, which traces the blues’ origins from Mali to Mississippi. The other docus executive-produced by him and premiering in Venice are Richard Pearce’s “The Road to Memphis,” about B.B. King; Marc Levin’s “Godfathers and Sons,” about Chicago blues bands; and Mike Figgis’ “Red White and Blues,” which looks at the British Blues scene. These four titles will unspool on the Lido Sept. 5 and 6. The fest runs Aug. 27 through Sept. 6.

The series’ first installment — the Wim Wenders-directed “The Soul of a Man” — premiered this year in Cannes in Directors Fortnight and has since been released theatrically in Italy and Germany.

The seven-part Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues series — which also includes segments directed by Clint Eastwood and Charles Burnett — will air stateside on PBS Sept. 28 through Oct. 4.

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