Forget Fellini, De Sica and Totò – well, don’t forget them. They were great, but there is GREAT stuff happening right now. Italian cinema has come alive with actors and directors to make you glad to be of Italian heritage. Check out the movies below, and just in case your Italian is a little rusty, or all your Nonni ever taught you was dialect, there are subtitles.
1) Paolo Sorrentino. Sorrentino, from Napoli, directed last year’s Academy Award winning La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty). He recognized the talent of fellow Napolitano Toni Servillo and made the most of him in The Great Beauty and Il Divo: The Spectacular Life of Giulio Andreotti. Sorrentino is brave, innovative, creative beyond measure, and surely one of the best directors in the world.
Watch for his new English language movie later this year, Youth, starring Michael Caine.
(click images for links)
2) Yes, Marcelo Mastroianni was very, very good-looking. But have you gotten a look at today’s talent? Their movies are fun too. Watch Roaul Bova in La Finestra di Fronte (Facing Windows) and Riccardo Scamarcio in Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons).
3) Great Mafia Movies. Ask a man what his favorite movie is and something like 95% of them will say ‘The Godfather’; am I right? Then they should be checking out movies like Salvo, from exciting young directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza. For Salvo, more lonely gunslinger than slick mafioso, any joy he’s ever gotten from the proficiency of his chosen profession seems to have been sucked out of him. That his landlords kowtow to him as if he is a king that might at any minute say, “Off with their heads!” is cold comfort in his emotionless routine, and the convenience of having subservients at his beck and call to keep the cops off his back is expected, not appreciated.
4) Luigi Lo Cascio. I have been joking about having a crush on this guy for years now, but it’s really just that I admire this extremely talented actor, one of the finest and most talented in the world. There are lots of movies available to you here in America; take a look and see if you don’t agree with me.
You can catch him in a pretty hilarious supporting role in the above Salvo, and also:
5) Amore. You don’t have to be Italian to love a good story of amore, so don’t miss: