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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Actors hit Venice despite protest
Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet arrived for the 2am premiere of Finding Neverland
Actors Al Pacino, Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp have attended the Venice Film Festival amid complaints that Hollywood films dominate the event.

The stars promoted their latest movies at the ongoing 11-day festival.

Anti-capitalist protesters have set up a Global Beach camp nearby to denounce the prevalence of Hollywood stars and the cost of screenings.

Actor Tim Robbins and author Naomi Klein will join the protest on Monday, the Independent on Sunday reported.

'More Shakespeare'

Al Pacino launched his big screen version of The Merchant of Venice at the festival.

The 64-year-old stars as Shylock in director Michael Radford's $30m (17m) production, and Pacino called for more Shakespeare plays to be made into films.

"In the theatre you are watching it as it happens and listening to the words," he said.

"But in a movie you have the opportunity to cut away, to go in for close-ups, to bring in a different dynamic to a scene."

Al Pacino
Al Pacino stars as Shylock in a movie version of The Merchant of Venice
Kate Winslet attended the 2am premiere of Peter Pan film Finding Neverland with co-star Johnny Depp on Saturday.

Depp - who plays author JM Barrie in the movie - was asked if, like Peter Pan, he would like to stay young forever.

"Nowadays, it's all a question of surgery, isn't it?" the 41-year-old actor said.

"No, of course the notion is beautiful - the idea of staying a boy or a child forever. But I think you can. I've known plenty of people in their later years who were like little kids, had the energy of little children, the curiosity and fascination.

"But I think it's great fun growing old. I think it's great."

Cannes rival

Tim Robbins' film of his satirical play Embedded is being screened at the festival, along with The Take by anti-globalisation campaigner Naomi Klein.

John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson
Travolta and Johansson are promoting their new film in Venice
The 61st annual festival opened on Wednesday as dozens of protesters picketed the premiere of Tom Hanks' movie The Terminal.

They parked a car made to resemble a pirate ship outside the cinema where the film was being screened.

Protesters object to the change in direction taken by the world's oldest film festival, which this year is attracting a Hollywood A-list crowd to rival that of France's Cannes Film Festival.

The event sees 21 films competing for the Golden Lion grand prize, which was won last year by Russian film The Return.

This year's entrants include a mix of art house movies and potential blockbusters such as Vanity Fair and Nicole Kidman's Birth.


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