Eclectic U.S. pix mix marks Venice fest

Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” and Gus Van Sant’s “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues” will compete at the 50th Venice Festival, while Woody Allen’s “Manhattan Murder Mystery” will unspool out of competition, fest officials announced Friday.

Venice chief Gillo Pontecorvo unveiled the program of the grand dame of Euro film festivals, which this year runs Aug. 31-Sept. 11.

Pontecorvo said he was pleased with this year’s program, which came together despite budget cuts and controversy over managementof past editions.

American films will be a big draw at the fest. Tom Cruise and Tina Turner are said to be on the list of talent attending.

A budget cut of about $ 800,000 is partly being picked up by sponsors, including leading Italo movie magazine Ciak.

The fest follows its usual formula of competing and non-competing pix accompanied by the Venetian Nights midnight screenings and the Panorama Italiano , a sidebar of new Italian films.

The following is a list of films in competition and their directors:

“Short Cuts,” Robert Altman (U.S.)

“De Eso No Se Habla,” Marisa Luisa Bemberg (Argentina)

“Un, Deux, Trois Soleil,” Bertrand Blier (France)

“Aqui Na Terra,” Joao Botelho (Portugal)

“La Prossima Volta il Fuoco,” Fabio Carpi (Italy)

“Dove Siete? Io Sono Qui,” Liliana Cavani (Italy)

“Bad Boy Bubby,” Rolf De Heer (Australia/Italy)

“Snake Eyes,” Abel Ferrara (U.S.)

“Helas Pour Moi,” Jean-Luc Godard (Switzerland)

“L’Ombre Du Doute,” Aline Issermann (France)

“You Seng,” Clara Law (Hong Kong)

“Trois Couleurs, Bleu,” Krzysztof Kieslowski (France)

“Za Zui Zi,” Liu Miaomiao (China)

“Un’Anima Divisa in Due,” Silvio Soldini (Italy)

“Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” Gus Van Sant (U.S.)

In addition to Allen’s new pic, unspooling out of competition will be Robert De Niro’s “A Bronx Tale,” Ermanno Olmi’s “Legend of the Old Wood,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Age of Innocence” and “Jurassic Park” by Steven Spielberg, which will close the fest.

The Venetian Nights section is as follows:

“The Fugitive,” Andrew Davis (U.S.)

“What’s Love Got to Do With It,” Brian Gibson (U.S.)

“Sirga,” Patrik Grandperret (France)

“Boxing Helena,” Jennifer Lynch (U.S.)

“Wild East,” Rachid Nougmanov (Russia)

“Posse,” Mario Van Peebles (U.S.)

“In the Line of Fire,” Wolfgang Petersen (U.S.)

“Dave,” Ivan Reitman (U.S.)

“La Madre Muerta,” Juanma Bajo Ulloa (Spain)

Unspooling in the Panorama Italiano are:

“Lest,” Giulio Base

“Un Marito Per Caso,” Lucio Guadino

“Diario di un Condannato a Nozze,” Giuseppe Piccioni

“Mille Bolle Blu,” Leone Pompucci

“Bonus Malus,” Vito Zagarrio.

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