Hollywood veteran Al Pacino was honoured by the Venice Film Festival yesterday with a special prize when his latest directorial project 'Wilde Salome' was premiered.
'Wilde Salome', part of which was shot in Dublin, is part-documentary about the staging of Oscar Wilde's play 'Salome' with rising star Jessica Chastain, part an exploration of the author and part-film version of 'Salome' itself.
Pacino admitted to being a little confused about what type of picture he had made.
"I like to say it's a documentary because it's not a film, but then it's not a documentary either, so I'm confused too."
The 71-year-old said that making movies for himself, some of which remain hidden away never to be shown, made him fall in love with cinema years ago and become a better actor.
Pacino said Wilde, who was hounded for his homosexuality at the end of the 19th century, was a fascinating subject.
Meanwhile, Irish actor Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict in 'Shame', a movie by British filmmaker Steve McQueen that is vying for the festival top prize.
It is the second lead role for Fassbender in a competition movie at this year's festival after his portrayal of psychoanalyst Carl Jung in David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method'.
In 'Shame', the Killarney-raised actor is Brandon, a 30-something executive in New York whose only distraction from work is seducing women and looking for sex on the internet.
Fassbender, whose portrayal of Brandon was warmly applauded after a press screening yesterday, said taking part in the film's graphic sex scenes was not easy.