The Italian Almanac

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Ben Affleck

Italian News - September 5

Paparazzi are coming under fire in Venice. Ben Affleck, who stars in "Hollywoodland", a film about the mysterious death of Superman actor George Reeves, took the opportunity to lash out at the photographers eager to snap his shot.

"I think more and more people pay attention to actors' private lives (and that) makes it difficult to suspend disbelief when you are going to watch their movie because really what you are thinking about is whatever you have read about them in a magazine rather than the performance they are giving, and it makes the actor's job harder," Affleck said at a news conference. "The movies become incidental pit-stops and commercial breaks in the soap opera of their life."

For their part, festival organizers said that despite Affleck's comments, there appeared to be no increase in paparazzi-related complaints at this year's festival. "The photographers are doing their job like everyone else at the festival," one official said. "We haven't received any complaints about inappropriate behavior" by photographers.

But it was actor-director Ethan Hawke, whose directorial sophomore effort, "The Hottest State," premiered out of competition on Saturday, who tried to put the issue in perspective when he was questioned about attention from photographers at the press conference for his film.

"If the paparazzi are bothering you," Hawke said, "it probably means you are having a pretty wonderful life."