Quentin Tarantino says the Venice Film Festival lineup is "one of the most wildest, cool, eclectic lineups" he's ever seen.
Tarantino heads the jury that will judge 22 films from 11 countries, plus one surprise film to be announced next week, for the coveted Golden Lion.
The director of "Inglourious Basterds" and "Kill Bill" ought to know about festival lineups. This isn't his first jury. In fact, the director confessed to hosting his own private festivals, lining up 15 DVDs and judging himself which was the best, a sort of unofficial Tarantino Film Fest.
He said Wednesday that he once he ran into German filmmaker Tom Tykwer and told him: "I did a little film festival for myself, and you won. 'Perfume' won!"
Tykwer is competing for the Golden Lion with his new film, "Drei," or, "Three." But Tarantino said that even though he knows and admires a lot of the directors competing for the top prize, he has no problem separating the director, even a friend, from the work.
"I give a critical read to every single film I see. That's my job as a film fan. That's my job as a film critic," Tarantino said. "Sometimes I even go and write a review of the film. I don't intend on publishing it or something. I do it for my edification ... I do it to explore further into the work."
Of the Venice lineup, he said: "I think it is one of the most wildest, cool, eclectic lineups. It's kind of all over the map, and that's really exciting."
The festival opens Wednesday with Darren Aronofsky's psychological melodrama "Black Swan," starring Natalie Portman as a New York City ballerina trying to surpass herself and her rivals. It closes next week with Julie Taymor's adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."
The Golden Lion will be awarded Sept. 11.