Al Pacino honoured in Venice, but says future is 'blank'
Monday 05 September 2011
American movie star Al Pacino said his future was "blank" and criticised his latest directorial effort, "Salome," on Sunday, ahead of the film's public screening at the Venice film festival.
"The Godfather" star is in Venice to receive the "Glory to the Filmmaker" award for artists who have left an original mark on contemporary cinema, but said he had "no idea" where he had been going with his latest work.
"I didn't know where I was going, I'm confused," he said about "Salome," a documentary and feature film melange based on Oscar Wildes play, the biblical tale of Salome and King Herod which explores the destructive use of sexuality.
Pacino becomes both creator and protagonist, as he documents the challenges of making the film, while playing himself, King Herod and, in one scene, Oscar Wilde - with rising American star Jessica Chastain in the role of Salome.
His obsession with Wilde - an Irish writer who was imprisoned and sentenced to two years hard labour for gross indecency with other men - underpins the film, but Pacino said he regretted not exploring the playwright's life further.
"I don't think I covered enough of Wilde's personality. He was a provocateur with a superior mind - a rare person and a great artist," he said.
Looking back over his career - which has included films such as "Dog Day Afternoon" or "Carlito's Way," and his first docudrama "Looking for Richard" in 1996 - Pacino said he had long been "torn between" cinema and theatre.
"I started to take things I liked, an idea or a play, and I filmed it. I've made five or six movies on my own, which nobody knows about," he said.
"Looking for Richard got away, now Salome has got out too," he joked.
But the 71-year old, who turned up to the press conference in a white silk shirt with several buttons undone - apparently the same one that he wore to a party on the island the night before - said he had no plans for the future.
"My future? It's blank," he said.
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