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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Johansson thriller to open Venice
Scarlett Johansson
Johansson's previous films have included Lost In Translation
The world premiere of Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, starring Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett, is to open the Venice Film Festival.

The thriller is based on LA Confidential writer James Ellroy's novel, inspired by a real-life murder of an actress in 1940s Los Angeles.

The film also stars Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart and will be among those vying for the Golden Lion award.

The 63rd annual festival runs from 30 August to 9 September.

Brutal murder

It is held at Venice's Lido, a beach resort island.

The Black Dahlia was the nickname given to actress Elizabeth Short following her brutal murder in 1947.

Hartnett and Eckhart play two policemen investigating the killing who fall in love with the same woman, played by Scarlett Johansson.

De Palma's best-known work includes Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission: Impossible.

Ang Lee's gay cowboy film Brokeback Mountain collected the Golden Lion at last year's festival.

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