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Al Pacino nabs honor at Venice Film Festival, debuts new film 'Wilde Salome' - Video

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09/04/2011 by Kristina Lopez

Al Pacino nabbed a big honor at the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Sunday, September 4. The veteran actor received the Jaeger LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award at the festival in honor of his work and contribution to cinema over the years.

"For us, it's extraordinary to present in particular those artists of cinema who need other expressive languages; who need -- just like in Pacino's case -- to explore theater through film," Marco Mueller, the artistic director of the festival told Variety. "And, as you have seen, Al Pacino confirms this once again with his most ambitious and most complete film."

The film Mueller is referring to is the actor's latest passion project "Wilde Salome." Pacino, who directed and starred in the film, told reporters at the festival the project is not just a documentary or a film.

Pacino, 71, called it "a much more ambitious and complicated gesture in cinema," according to the Associated Press. The actor is known for roles in "The Godfather" franchise, "Carlito's Way," "Scarface" and "Scent of A Woman."

The movie is the actor's examination of Oscar Wilde's once-banned play "Salome." The movie blends footage of a documentary on Wilde's life, scenes of a reading of the play in Los Angeles and a film version of the play.

The movie also stars Jessica Chastain, who has had a very successful summer with three films released in the past three months with "The Help," "The Debt" and "Tree of Life."

"I didn't plan it like this," Chastain said at the premiere of "The Debt," in an interview provided by Focus Features. "I've been making movies for about four and a half years and they kept getting delayed and my heart kept getting broken when I thought, 'What's happening? When are people going to be able to see my films?' And now, for some strange reason, they all are coming out at the same time, so it's great! Now, this is like the big pay-off!"

"Jessica is really the reason I made the movie," Pacino told Variety. "As soon as I met her and saw her, I thought, 'I must get her to play Salome before the world picks her up -- it's done now -- and turns her into the next big star.' "

Check out a preview of "Wilde Salome" below.

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