"Casanova" cast lavished praise on Venice

Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom and his cast lavished praise on Venice for opening up some of its most ornate palaces for the shooting of "Casanova," one of the hits of the Venice Film Festival so far.

But one Venetian official said producers should have been more generous with their wallets. Venice's cultural commissioner Sandro Parenzo complained that the city was paid only Ђ75,000 ($US90,000) for allowing it to be used as the backdrop for starring Heath Ledger, with big box official potential. The film was entirely made in Venice, and the cast extolled the virtues of the city's crafts people and other technicians. A murder mystery entitled " The Good German" and set in Berlin in 1945, some six weeks after the end of World War II, will be Steven Soderbergh's next picture starring George Clooney. The director and producer said that shooting would start soon on the film, which will also feature Cate Blanchett.

Soderbergh was in Venice to promote another murder story, "Bubble," in which he used nonprofessional actors in a small Ohio town to give the film a more realistic look. Five years ago, he and Clooney formed a film company called Section Eight, based at Warner Bros., with "Ocean's Eleven," also starring Clooney, its first film, AP reports.

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