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article imageBrad Pitt, Woody Allen talk about their films at Venice

By dpa news     Sep 4, 2007 in Entertainment
Venice - Brad Pitt and Woody Allen shared the limelight at the Venice Film Festival and talked about what their movies showing at the event mean to them.
By Peer Meinert
Pitt, 43, always thronged by fans at the Lido, stars in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Directed by Andrew Dominik, the film has been described as a "psychological Western." Pitt describes it as his most difficult film.
Jesse James, as played by Pitt, is a legend of the American West, a type of 19th-century Robin Hood, robbing banks and trains.
It really is not a Western, but a drama about a man, Pitt says. The film begins with the last robbery by James and his band. The remainder of the film is the long reconciliation between Robert Ford (played by Casey Affleck of Ocean's 11 in what critics are predicting will be an award-winning performance) and Jesse James.
The relationship between the two men is the centre of the film with Ford, the youngest of the group, admiring the bandit king, but having to put up with James' jokes and jibes. In the end, Ford winds up shooting James in the back.
Pitt, who is also producer of the film, says he loves to play complex and negative characters that are not simply drawn as black or white, which he says is often the case today in cinema. The film is competing for the Golden Lion prize.
Running out of competition is Woody Allen's film Cassandra's Dream, which is also about the relationship between two men, this time brothers. It also ends in death and tragedy, but this being a Woody Allen film, it is offset by irony and humour.
The 71-year-old Allen says he is often attracted to tragedy, though when he attacks the material it often comes out as ironic and comic.
Cassandra's Dream is the third of Allen's films to be shot in Britain and is surely one of his darker works.
Two brothers (played by Colin Farrell of Phone Booth and Ewan McGregor of Trainspotting) fall into severe financial straits, but are offered a way out by a rich uncle. But under one condition - they have to "eliminate" on the uncle's rivals.
Refusing to commit murder, their financial situation forces them to turn to crime. When one of the brothers who has no stomach for this sort of thing wants to go to the police and confess, the other sees no way out except (again) through murder.
Both brothers are sympathetic people, Allen says, but one of them is not conscious of good and evil, a little like Cain and Abel.
There is no greater tragedy than murder, Allen says.
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