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August 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The 71st Venice Film Festival — the granddaddy of all international film festivals — kicked off today (Wednesday) with a screening of Alejandro Iñárritu’s Birdman, starring Michael Keaton. Keaton plays a largely forgotten actor who originally made a name for himself by playing the superhero Birdman in the movies and now wants to make a comeback by appearing in a heavyweight role on Broadway but is haunted by his Birdman alter-ego. It is not a coincidence that Keaton played Batman in two Tim Burton-directed superhero movies when he was 25 years younger. (He is now 62.) Iñarritu told a news conference in Venice that he cast Keaton in the role because he is among the "few people in the world [who] has authority to talk about that." The film’s cinematographer is Emmanuel Lubezki, who won an Oscar for Gravity, the film that opened the Venice Film Festival a year ago.