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What to watch out for at Venice film festival

The world's oldest film festival is going to see top Hollywood talent and directors eye the Golden Lion. Photograph: (Getty)

Venice, Italy Aug 30, 2016, 07.49 PM (IST)

Concrete slabs to control vehicle traffick can be seen positioned at the entrances. So do the security officials at the venue of the Venice film festival which is opening its 73rd edition under heightened security on Wednesday.

It is not only the security that is geared up. Fans and audience too are all braced up to see the international movies being featured at the festival, including the much-awaited musical La La Land. 

La La Land, starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, has been given the prestigious opening gala slot and is also Venice's big pitch for Oscars. Mel Gibson's war drama is also tipped as a must-see.

"'La La Land' is something that everyone is talking about," said Variety film critic Jay Weissberg.

"As much as maybe people don't even want to admit that they like musicals, everybody kind of likes a musical."

The world's oldest film festival is going to see top Hollywood talent and directors eye the Golden Lion. The festival has premiered Academy winners “Gravity”, “Birdman” and “Spotlight” in its last three editions.

"The second element is that this year there is a lot of good stuff around," director Alberto Barbera told Reuters.

Other international movies include fashion designer Tom Ford's thriller "Nocturnal Animals" and Denis Villeneuve's science fiction drama "Arrival", both featuring Amy Adams, and Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge".

Paolo Sorrentino's mini TV series "The Young Pope", featuring Law as a conservative, cigarette-smoking American pontiff Pius XIII, is equally and widely anticipated.

"They think that he's going to be more liberal but it turns out he's much more conservative, so in a way it's the opposite of Pope Francis ... it's a brilliant concept," Weissberg said.

The beachside gala dinner has, however, been cancelled in respect of the nearly 300 victims who died in an earthquake in central Italy last week.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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