'Burn' will ignite 65th Venice Film Festival

'Bicycle Thief' screening also among Day 1 highlights

ROME -- The world premiere of the Coen brothers' latest and a tribute to one of Italy's most seminal films will highlight Day 1 at the Venice Film Festival, which opens Wednesday.

Joel and Ethan Coen's "Burn After Reading" -- their follow-up to Oscar winner "No Country for Old Men"-- opens the 65th edition of the event with a screening that will follow the festival's traditional gala opening ceremony. Stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton are all expected to be on hand to lend starpower to the Lido's well-worn red carpet.

Vittorio De Sica's 60-year-old classic "The Bicycle Thief" will be among the first day's other highlights. The completely refurbished print is the result of months of painstaking work piecing together parts of existing but damaged prints. It will screen with Manuel and Christian De Sica -- the director's sons -- among those in attendance.

"We're very proud of this work," Manuel De Sica said. "It will be wonderful to have this restored version of such an important film on this big screen and then available for future screenings."

The festival continues with its first full day -- including the first competition screenings -- on Thursday.
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