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by Indiewire
July 24, 2006 9:46 AM
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De Palma's "The Black Dahlia" to Open 63rd Venice International Film Festival

"The Black Dahlia," directed by Brian De Palma, starring Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank and Josh Hartnett will be the opening film at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival, organizers revealed Monday. The film, adapted from the famous novel of the same name by James Ellroy, inspired by a crime in 1940s Los Angeles, will be presented in competition as a world premiere on August 30th in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema. The 63rd Venice Film Festival will run at Lido di Venezia from August 30 to September 9, with Marco Muller serving as the fest's chief for the third year running, and organized by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Davide Croff. In the film, friends and former boxers, Bucky Bleichert (Hartnett) and Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart) are in love with the same woman, the mysterious Kay Lake (Johansson), a former friend of a gangster. A call for the two to investigate a terrible crime changes their lives for ever - the murder of Elizabeth Short (Mia Kirshner), a girl with ambitions to be an actress, known as the Black Dahlia, who is found brutally murdered on the hillsides of Hollywood. "We are honored that Brian De Palma has chosen to open the 63rd Festival with his new and long-awaited thriller, thus confirming his strong links with Venice," commented Croff and Muller in a joint statement. [Brian Brooks]

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