Lee's erotic spy thriller Lust, Caution won the
Venice Film Festival's top award, the Golden
Lion, Saturday, two years after he captured the same
prize there with Brokeback Mountain.
Brian De Palma
won the 11-day-long festival's award for best direction
for his film Redacted, about the Iraq war.
Lee's film is set
against the backdrop of Japanese-occupied Shanghai
during World War II. An idealistic young acting troupe in
Hong Kong driven by patriotic fervor concocts a naive
plot to assassinate a Chinese official collaborating
with the Japanese during World War II. The star
performer delves into the role of seductress as an escape
from the emptiness of her father's abandonment and
Her pursuit of a
cruel, aloof man takes her from Hong Kong to Shanghai at
the height of the Japanese occupation, and her deception
becomes her reality.
Lust, Caution, which contains explicit sexual
content, has been given an NC-17 rating in the United
States, barring viewers under 17. The film also does
not shrink from a graphic portrayal of violence. It is
due out in the United States at the end of September.
Brokeback Mountain, which also took the Golden
Lion prize at the festival, told the love story between two
cowboys in the American West.
Lee said he was
dedicating his prize to Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish
director who died in July at age 89.
Golden Lion for a second time ''is a wild one, which
frightens me, like the film,'' Lee said at the ceremony.
won the festival's award for best actress for her role in
I'm Not There, a movie about
singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Blanchett played the role of
Dylan during his folk-rock incarnation.
Brad Pitt won
best actor for playing the legendary outlaw in The
Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
or Pitt was on hand to pick up the awards.
Bernardo Bertolucci was honored with a special award for
his career's work, which includes Last Tango in
Paris, The Conformist, and The Last Emperor, his
1987 film about the life of China's last emperor,
which won nine Oscars, including best director.
Last Tango in Paris was banned from Italy
for 16 years, said he wished he could help his homeland
open up a bit more. At a news conference, the 66-year-old
director was asked if receiving the honor would make
him feel like Italy's ambassador to the world.
''I'd rather be
the world's ambassador to Italy. That way, perhaps, I
could bring something to this country that struggles a
little to open itself up to international
experiences,'' he said.
But ''if I were
ambassador, I would create diplomatic incidents,''
Bertolucci said, chuckling. ''Thus it is better that I
continue as a simple film director.'' (AP)