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July 31, 2009

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Moore's take on credit crisis tops Venice list

MICHAEL Moore's documentary on the global financial crisis, "Capitalism: A Love Story", will vie for the top prize at this year's Venice film festival.

The Oscar winner's is one of six US movies in the main competition at the world's oldest film festival, a sign United States film-making is back in business after last year's problems, according to organizers.

"It seemed that the writers' strike, the financial difficulties had slammed the brakes on the most creative part of American cinema, but the selection has never been so great," said festival director Marco Mueller as he unveiled the program for the September 2-12 event.

Also up for the Golden Lion are Werner Herzog's remake of "Bad Lieutenant", ex-Gucci designer Tom Ford's directorial debut "A Single Man" and John Hillcoat's "The Road," an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's bestseller.

One title among the 24 films in the official contest has yet to be unveiled.

Highlight out of competition includes Steven Soderbergh's "The Informant!", with Matt Damon as the whistle-blower in an agri-business powerhouse, and Joe Dante's 3-D horror "The Hole."

George Clooney, star of last year's opening film by the Coen brothers, will be back on the Lido in Grant Heslov's satirical drama "The Men Who Stare at Goats".

Italy and France will also loom large over Venice with four films each in the main lineup, including Jaco van Dormael's "Mr Nobody" and Giuseppe Tornatore's epic drama "Baaria," the first Italian movie to open the festival in two decades.

The heavy US presence promises a steady flow of Hollywood stars on the Lido red carpet, unlike last year, and there will be a career award for John Lasseter and his fellow Pixar directors for their animation blockbusters.

To mark the award, new 3D versions of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 will be screened.


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