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Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman take centre stage in Venice

The stars of director Paul Thomas Anderson's highly anticipated new film 'The Master' took to the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday (September 1). Joaquin Phoenix stars as struggling World War II veteran and alcoholic Freddie, who ends up embroiled in a cult run by Philip Seymour Hoffman's character Lancaster Dodd. The film was labelled "controversial" months before release, mainly because of parallels with Scientology, a self-described religion followed by some of Hollywood's biggest names and which has a reputation for carefully guarding its image. Phoenix signed autographs at his movie's world premiere as well as posing for pictures. The rest of the team, including Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Thomas Anderson, also made time for the photographers and fans. 'The Master' is in competition at the festival competing for the Golden Lion Prize.

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