Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs.
Anne Hathaway lights up patchy Venice fest
VENICE (Reuters) - Mickey Rourke and Anne Hathaway are among the favorites to win top actor and actress prizes at the Venice film festival awards ceremony on Saturday, while the race for the coveted Golden Lion for best picture is wide open. The 11-day cinema showcase in the canal city has been under fire for what critics said was a generally weak selection of 21 films in the main competition, but three strong U.S. entries towards the end have helped lift spirits.
Mayhem reigns in Toronto's "Midnight Madness" films
TORONTO (Reuters) - Forget red carpets and polite Hollywood stars. Mayhem reigns at the Toronto film festival's "Midnight Madness" movies that kicked off, literally, with an early Friday morning screening of "JCVD" in which aging action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme pokes fun at his own career. The Toronto festival is one of the world's top movie gatherings and Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and even young Dakota Fanning will be in town walking up the glamorous red carpet at gala screenings.
Heart says "Barracuda" use is fishy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The rock group Heart, angry that its '70s hit "Barracuda" is being used as the unofficial theme song for Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, is taking aim at the Alaska governor. The song, a nod to the "Sarah Barracuda" nickname Palin earned on the basketball court in high school, was dusted off for her appearance at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul on Wednesday.
Venice remembers steel factory deaths in two films
VENICE (Reuters) - "Is my face burnt? I don't want to die!" shouts a steel worker engulfed in a fire last December at a ThyssenKrupp plant in northern Italy, shortly before dying with six of his colleagues. His screams, recorded in a phone call made by fellow workers to the emergency services, can be heard in "The Germans' Factory," one of two documentaries about the workplace deaths premiering at the Venice film festival.
Kanye West ends VMA boycott
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A year after vowing never to perform on the MTV Video Music Awards again, hip-hop star Kanye West will close the show's 25th annual ceremony in Hollywood on Sunday, joining a lineup that includes Christina Aguilera and the Jonas Brothers, organizers said. The outspoken rapper was upset by his treatment at last year's show, when his performance was relegated to a small stage in the Las Vegas venue.