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Venice guns for Japanese Western

Miike pic appears in competition

Japanese helmer Takashi Miike’s “Sukiyaki Western Django,” a tribute to spaghetti Westerns that features a Quentin Tarantino cameo, will world preem in competition at the Venice Film Festival, where Tarantino is hosting a retrospective celebrating the Italo oater genre.

Meanwhile, “Searchers 2.0,” a comic homage to Sergio Leone by British helmer Alex Cox (“Repo Man,” “Sid and Nancy”), is also locked into a Lido berth, in the cutting edge Horizons section.

Shot in English, Miike’s eclectic film is centered on two gangs struggling over control of a 19th century Japanese frontier town. Movie is inspired by “Django,” the 1965 spaghetti Western helmed by Sergio Corbucci, which is unspooling in the retro.

Latest from Miike, who is best known for his chillers and yakuza pics, including “Audition,” “Ichi the Killer” and “One Missed Call,” will be released locally by Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan.

News of these two titles unspooling in Venice’s official selection surfaced during Wednesday’s Rome presser for the retrospective, where fest topper Marco Mueller cited them as testimony to the genre’s pervasive and enduring influence.

Sidebar, titled “The Secret History of Italian Cinema 4 — Spaghetti Westerns,” will feature 32 titles ranging from acclaimed classics such as Leone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” to lesser-known works, such as 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.

The Venice fest will run Aug. 29-Sept. 8. Its complete lineup will be announced today.

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