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Affleck lambastes paparazzi at film fest

Sept. 5, 2006 at 10:02 PM   |   Comments

VENICE, Italy, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. actor Ben Affleck, at the Venice Film Festival to promote "Hollywoodland," sharply criticized the paparazzi, saying they distracted from the art of film.

"I think more and more people pay attention to actors' private lives (and that) makes it difficult to suspend disbelief when you are going to watch their movie," he said at a press conference.

"The movies become incidental pit-stops and commercial breaks in the soap opera of their life," he said.

Paparazzi were booed when they appeared on the screen Saturday in the world premiere of "The Queen," three days after the anniversary of Princess Diana's death in 1997, the Hollywood Reporter said.

"Hollywoodland" and "The Queen" are two of the 21 films being shown at the festival this year.

Festival organizers said they had received no complaints about "inappropriate behavior" by photographers.

"I guess people have to complain about something," said Geoff Pugh, a three-year Venice veteran with London's Daily Telegraph.

Ethan Hawke, who directed "The Hottest State," which debuted Saturday, said, "If the paparazzi are bothering you, it probably means you are having a pretty wonderful life."

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