You can meet me, if you’ve been dying to do so, at the CLEVELAND ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL 2014
in Cleveland Ohio, USA.
Award winning film from Italy w/English subtitles. ALL tickets sold in advance! 5 pre-film parties East and West side! Sells out early ea. year. Film tickets: $10 – Pre-film dinners $20 (inc. tax, tip and beverage) Call: 216-456-8117
I’ll be there on October 2 and 9 introducing 2 wonderful films:
“Viva La Liberta” Long Live Freedom showing at the Atlas Cinemas Eastgate Oct. 2.
Only Italians are going to completely appreciate a movie like Roberto Andò’s political comedy Viva la Libertà, but Americans will be hear echos of JFK’s “ask not” speech with the words from Bertolt Brecht : Non aspettarti nessuna risposta…oltre la tua, don’t wait for an answer, other than your own. And I think that we’ve all been paying enough attention to the actual, recent Italian political situation to know that a movie like this one will surely hit Italian nerves.
So when Enrico Oliveri, the secretary of the major opposition party, goes AWOL and hides out at an old girlfriend’s house in Paris (“What’s he doing here, Mom?” ” I think he just needs a little rest.”), an absurd and Pirandello-esque scenario works surprisingly well.
That he has a twin brother, and that twin brother is a bi-polar philosopher just recently released from a mental hospital, and that twin brother should be enlisted to impersonate the missing politician in his absence may seem nothing more than an Italian version of “The Parent Trap”, but it’s a lot more. The absurdity of today’s Italian government kind of requires a preposterous skewering, and Viva la Libertà is it. Do politicians need to go back to real life and “rest” once in a while to refresh their perspectives, and does a country sometimes need a madman to say the things that nobody else has the guts or the vision to say?
Well sure, but the problem is that it’s never going to happen, and so the optimism of the film’s message seems a little naive. But that’s its only problem. The cast (including Toni Servillo as the “twins”, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, and Valerio Mastandrea) is outstanding, and Andò tells a story that, despite the zany premise, is very human, contemplative, and bittersweet.
Can a country be saved if a crazy person steps up and speaks the truth? If only it were that easy.
Tutti I Santi Giorni – Capitol Theater – Oct. 9
Paolo Virzì, who directed one of my favorites (Caterina Va In Città) and one I feel was extremely overrated (La Prima Cosa Bella) gives us most recently a romantic movie, Tutti i Santi Giorni. His romantic couple, Antonia (Thony) and Guido (Luca Marinelli), are nothing really out of the ordinary or anything we’ve not seen in other movies. He’s serious and brainy, she’s artistic and less stable, and their happy-go-lucky life together is marred only by their struggle to conceive a child. What makes this couple special is that they are real, and they are believable as a couple.
If you know me, you’ll remember that I whine incessantly about Italians, who with their obscene wealth of young, good-looking actors and actresses and for reasons I do not understand make way too few romantic movies. I like love stories. Who doesn’t like a movie with an attractive couple, genuine chemistry and honest emotions? (Do you have to be a chick to love a chick flick?) I can’t say enough good things about Thony and Marinelli, so expressive and genuine in their roles and so naturally likeable. They drew me in and made me care about them, investing my own emotions in their relationship.
I ask so little of a romantic story; I really just want to be made to believe that the feelings are real. I want to feel that the couple not only loves but knows and likes each other. I want to feel that it’s beyond a physical attraction, that there’s a true connection, and that’s what Virzì delivers with Tutti i Santi Giorni.