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In retrospect

The 56th San Sebastian International Film Festival will honor Japanese film noir and Italian director Mario Monicelli with retrospectives. About 40 comedies and dramas from Monicelli's filmography, including what organizers called his "most coveted piece of comical effervescence, 1958's 'Big Deal on Madonna Street,'" will be showcased. The Japan in Black sidebar will focus on Japan's prolific detective and criminal movie production.

Down with film

As Italy's new center-right government — led by media magnate Silvio Berlusconi — was sworn in Friday, new Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi sought to set himself up as a friend of the arts. "I've seen all the films of (auteur and left-wing activist Nanni) Moretti, and I loved them," Bondi said. "I want to meet with (Franco) Zeffirelli and ask him for advice about my new job." Recent events have given the impression that the government is not pro-industry, but Bondi wants to change that. "Culture is not the property of the right or the left," he said.

repeat performance

U.K. cable company Virgin Media has posted its 11th consecutive quarterly loss. Net losses narrowed to £104 million ($202.5 million) from £120 million a year ago on revenue down 2% at £1 billion ($1.95 billion). Virgin added 36,800 new TV customers in the period. New CEO Neil Berkett has re-opened talks with satcaster BSkyB to end a bruising channel dispute that has seen Virgin customers quit the platform in droves.
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