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Learning English - Words in the News
 
27 August, 2008 - Published 10:14 GMT
 
Venice Film Festival gets underway
 
A worker prepares the red carpet at the entrance of the cinema palace

One of the big annual events in the world of film-making, the Venice Film Festival, gets underway later today. It opens with the latest work written and directed by the Coen Brothers, starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Vincent Dowd reports from Venice:

Listen to the story

The organisers of the 65th Venice Film Festival will be relieved to have secured a major American movie to kick off with this year. Burn After Reading is a comedy about the CIA from the Oscar-winning brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen.

Venice has sometimes been the launch pad for films which went on to do well in the Academy Awards - but the effects of the Hollywood writers' strike mean the US presence is slightly down this year. But the attendance of Brad Pitt and George Clooney at the Burn After Reading premiere will give Venice some star-power, even though the film isn't actually in competition.

The seven-member jury - headed by the German director Wim Wenders - have until a week on Saturday to choose the best of the 21 films in the main competition. Four of those films are Italian - an unusually high number. But there are new works too from Ethiopia, Algeria and a Japanese-Brazilian co-production. And one of the US movies is directed by Amir Naderi, who started his movie career in his native Iran.

As these big film festivals show, the world of cinema gets more international by the year.

Vincent Dowd, BBC News, Venice

Listen to the words

will be relieved to have secured
are glad that there will be

to kick off
to get (something) started, to begin

the launch pad
(figuratively) the starting point for success

went on to do well
were later successful

the effects
here, the negative consequences/results

the US presence is slightly down
there are fewer American films planned to be shown at the Festival than would usually be the case

premiere
first screening, being shown to the public for the first time

star-power
additional appeal, because some famous people from the world of cinema will be present

until a week on Saturday
until Saturday next week, i.e. ten days

by the year
with every year



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