The things I’ve written about here in Rome have no doubt been a thousand times more interesting for me than for those who’ve been reading; sorry about that. I know that not everybody is into Italian cinema like I am, the new stuff, anyway. Most of you just want to know what you can get ahold of from Netflix and most of you don’t speak Italian, so the movies in the theaters don’t have much to offer you as a tourist.
But beyond my own enjoyment there is something bigger – the state (and the future) of Italian movies, and I’ll leave Italy (tomorrow) encouraged.
Oh, sure, there are some pretty weak stuff that Italy has to offer in the theaters right now, but what can we expect; a dozen movies like “La Vita E’ Bella” at every given moment? Hollywood spits out countless stinkers for every winner – why should Italy be any different?
The point is they are trying – and succeeding more than they are given credit.
I come to Italy at least once a year and this is the first time that I could see a different Italian movie almost every day. Most years, I’d end up seeing American movies dubbed into Italian because I’d run out of Italian movies on day 3 or 4. Obviously, there are more being made, and that’s a good thing – even if they aren’t all going to win awards or make it to foreign markets.
And I have a feeling that Italians themselves are getting a little more excited by their country’s movies. In past years being one of two or three people in a theater was common for me, but this year, even at matinees, there were people! And it seems to me that more is being written about the movies, and more favorable reviews are being given. In the past it seemed that preference was always given to the American movies – this year that wasn’t the case.
The world of Italian filmmaking is opening up and broadening it’s horizons, offering something for everyone. Just these few weeks, as an example, I’ve seen a blockbuster comedy (Checco in “La Bella Giornata”), one of those really well done personal films that Italy is famous for (Gianni e le Donne), a controversial political farce (Qualunquemente), a hilarious Christmas movie ( La Banda Dei Babbi Natale), and multiculturalism (“Into Paradiso” and “Il Padre e lo Straniero”).
There were the stupid relationship silliness – “Immaturi” and “Femmine Contro Maschi”, and one truly horrible,”La Bellezza del Somaro”, (I want my money back), but like I said, they can’t all be award winners. Do we even want them to? Seriously, most of the really big Hollywood hits aren’t for a second thought of as Academy Award contenders. A lot of times we just want to watch a silly, mindless movie. There’s nothing so wrong with that.
I missed BY ONE DAY a epic historic movie ( Noi Credevamo) and will miss next week’s “Manuale d’Amore 3” (with Di Nero) along with a bunch of others ( a new one with Tony Servillo that looks fantastic.)
If there’s anyone still saying that Italian cinema is dead, let him come here and say it to my face – so I can slap him. I love Italian movies.
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