The Italian Almanac

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Brian De Palma

Italian News - August 1

Widely anticipated movie The Black Dahlia from director Brian De Palma has been chosen to open the Venice film festival in Italy. Starring two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank and Scarlett Johansson, Black Dahlia is based on the crime novel of the same name written by James Ellroy.

Its premiere on August 30, will mark the fifth time De Palma has debuted a film at the festival since 1975's Sisters. Black Dahlia is set in 1947 and tells of two cops assigned to investigate the brutal murder of an unknown actress.

Ellroy's book is a fictional tale, but it stems from the real-life murder of 22 year-old Elizabeth Short, whose body was found hacked in two and dumped in a vacant lot in Los Angeles in 1947. Her murderer was never found, but her nickname, Black Dahlia, has lived on in Los Angeles lore.

The Venice festival runs from Aug 30 to Sept 9.