Al Pacino Calls His 'Wilde Salome' An 'Ambitious & Complicated' Cinematic Gesture

Al Pacino and Jessica Chastain pose at the 'Wild Salome' Photocall during the 68th Venice International Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino in Venice, Italy, on September 4, 2011 Al Pacino and Jessica Chastain pose at the 'Wild Salome' Photocall during the 68th Venice International Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino in Venice, Italy, on September 4, 2011

Not even Al Pacino is sure what to call “Wilde Salome,” his film making its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Pacino says it’s neither documentary, nor film. He calls it “a much more ambitious and complicated gesture in cinema.”

The movie is Pacino’s examination of Oscar Wilde’s once-banned play “Salome,” which tells the story of Herod’s obsession for his wife’s daughter, culminating with Salome’s vengeful demand for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.

The movie is premiering out of competition Sunday.

It weaves together a documentary on Wilde’s life, footage of a reading of the play in Los Angeles and a film version of the play.

Pacino also is to receive an award for his contribution to contemporary cinema.

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