Festival pays tribute to Spaghetti Westerns

Quentin Tarantino is expected to attend the 64th Venice Intl. Film Festival as patron and presenter of a sidebar dedicated to the Spaghetti Western genre.

A selection of 40 Italo oaters will unspool at the Lido and be introduced by Tarantino and a host of helmers, producers, thesps, scribes, cinematographers and stunt men, in a major celebration of the genre that “has done the most to influence the image of popular cinema over the past few decades,” fest topper Marco Muller said in a statement.

Titles unspooling will range from established classics, such as Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” to lesser-known works, such as Sergio Corbucci’s Burt Reynolds starrer “A Dollar a Head” and Spanish helmer Jose Romero Marchent’s “Cut-Throat Nine” — the last touted by Muller as the most violent Western ever made.

Sidebar titled the Secret History of Italian Cinema 4 — Spaghetti Westerns is curated by Italian critics Marco Giusti and Manlio Gomarasca, who selected works based on both their importance and, conversely, their lack of visibility, in an effort to foster rediscovery.

Muller also said this year’s official selection will be peppered with contempo world preems referencing the genre and bearing witness to its still fruitful influence “on many filmmakers from different continents.”

This month, Tarantino will be attending the Cannes Film Festival, where his expanded “Death Proof” unspools in competish.

The Venice fest will run Aug. 29-Sept. 8.

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