The red carpet has been rolled out for the 62nd Venice Film Festival, marking the start of 11 days of glitz and glamour.The flavour this year is very much Asian, with a martial-arts film chosen for the opening, and with Japanese cartoons featuring prominently. Marco Muller is the director of the festival, the world’s oldest cinema competition. “We try to be pluralistic, and therefore we try to express the many possible modes of combining cinema with the spirit of our times, to have a critical reading of our world,” he said. Other Asian films feature high in the line-up, and there will be a showcase of Chinese classics from the 40s. Film critic Nick Vivarelli said: “It seems appropriate – since films from the far east have become fixtures of major film festivals – that in the centennial of Chinese cinema, Asia features pretty prominently.” This year’s festival, which attracts thousands of people to the city, has been trimmed down somewhat. From last year’s nearly 80 films, the list this time is down to 56.