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American Director Walter Hill to be Feted at Venice Film Festival


The 79th Venice Film Festival will honour Walter Hill, the legendary American helmer of movies such as The Warriors, 48 Hours and Red Heat. He will receive the Cartier Glory to the Filmmaker Award to celebrate a lifetime of classic titles. Also, his latest movie, Dead for Dollar — starring Christoph Waltz (who was a German television actor before being catapulted to fame with his brilliant performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds), Willem Dafoe, Rachel Brosnahan and Benjamin Bratt — will premiere in the section titled Out of Competition.

With two Oscars to his credit, Waltz essays bounty hunter Max Borlund, who is deep into Mexico where he encounters professional gambler and outlaw Joe Cribbens (Dafoe). Max had sent Joe to prison years ago, and the gambler has never forgotten that, bearing a deep grudge that borders on vicious hatred.

Max is on a mission to trace Rachel Kidd (Brosnahan); she is the wife of a wealthy businessman. But when Max discovers that Rachel has run away from an abusive marriage, the bounty hunter is in a dilemma. He has to choose between finishing his job or standing aside while ruthless outlaws are closing in on her.

In addition to his work as a director, Hill co-produced Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking science fiction horror blockbuster Alien and served as producer on the franchise’s three sequels. He is widely acknowledged as one of the premiere action filmmakers of the 1980s, with other directing credits including Southern Comfort, Extreme Prejudice and Johnny Handsome. He had a late-career hit with the prohibition-era Western action movie, Last Man Standing, starring Bruce Willis, in 1996.

The 79th Venice International Film Festival runs from August 31 to September 10 on the Lido, a picturesque island that overlooks the historic St. Marks Square on mainland Venice, which is usually packed with tourists at this time of the year. The other attractions there include the Rialto Bridge (made famous in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice) and some of the finest churches in Europe.

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