Five years ago on this day, when we were at dinner and I was blathering on and on about contemporary Italian movies, my daughter Lauren said, “Mom, you should start a blog; you know a lot about this stuff.”
Lauren, a social media expert and a journalist, offered me all kinds of help and support and so I started on what was to become an enormous adventure.
Here are the top ten fun things that have happened since I started I Love Italian Movies
1)I GET TO GO TO THE VENICE FILM FESTIVAL WITH A PRESS PASS EVERY YEAR. One of these years they are going to figure out that I am out of my league there, but until then, I’m going to Venice, baby! I’ve been to 5 so far and I’ve gotten to witness things like Marco Bellocchio getting the lifetime achievement award.
2) I MET AND INTERVIEWED LAURA BISPURI AND ALBA ROHRWACHER and I was a babbling idiot, I was so starstruck! Their amazing, award-winning film Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin) is coming the USA soon.
3) I DISCOVERED OPEN ROADS; NEW ITALIAN CINEMA and every June, it’s the most wonderful time of the year for an Italian film lover like me. At New York City’s Lincoln Center, The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents Open Roads, where you can see the best and the latest in Italian films and also meet the directors and actors.
4) I MADE GREAT NEW FRIENDS. If not for I Love Italian Movies, I’d never have met the adorable Italian film fan Lauren Marino, and others like Gilles Vauclair, Jeannine, and Elisabetta Sanino D’Amanda. I wouldn’t know film distributor Isil Bagdadi, author Stephen Amidon (Human Capital) and his wife Caryl, film festival organizer Joyce Mariani, actress (and role model!) Pia Boffilo Mann, and blogger extraordinaire, Nigel Maskell (Italian Film Review), who was more help and support to me that I can ever hope to repay. Chiara Spagnolo, Kristen Theologus, James Imrie, Mary Beth Long, Jim Spencer…you guys are AWESOME. And thanks to director Antonio Piazza, producer Olivia Musini, and actresses Greta Scarano and Maria Roveran, THANK YOU for always letting me beg you for information and being so kind!
5) I MET AND INTERVIEWED CRISTINA COMENCINI. Seriously, Cristina Comencini! The director of Latin Lover and La Bestia Nel Cuore (Don’t Tell) is delightful!
6) I’VE ALSO BEEN PRIVELEGED TO INTERVIEW Ivano De Matteo, Daniele Luchetti, Roberto Andò, Sara Serraiocco, Alessandro Rossetto, Francesco Munzi, Bianca Napi, Francesco Rosi, Matteo Creatini, Antonello Farretta, and Giuseppe Fumo. And they are all SO NICE!
7) I’VE GOTTEN INVOLVED WITH MY CITY, CLEVELAND OHIO’S FILM FESTIVAL AND PRESENTED SOME OF THE FILMS thanks to festival organizer Joyce Mariani. What a dynamo! Cleveland is so lucky to have her!
8) I GOT A SELFIE WITH RICCARDO SCAMARCIO.
9) I’VE GOTTEN TO KNOW PRACTICALLY EVERYBODY IN THE 2014 BEST FILM OF THE YEAR, ANIME NERE. Not only did I get to meet and interview the director, Francesco Munzi, but I also got to meet the brilliant cinematographer, Vladan Radovic and the producers, Olivia Musini and Luigi Musini. I interviewed the actor Giuseppe Fumo and become Facebook friends with actress Anna Ferruzzo, actor Stefano Priolo, and the author of the book, Gioacchino Criaco. (And hey guys, I’ll be bugging you for interviews soon.)
AND THE NUMBER ONE TOP 10 FUN THING I’VE GOTTEN TO DO:
10) I GOT TO KNOW MY HERO, LUIGI LO CASCIO. I’ve seen all of his movies at least once and he was in the first movie I ever went to see in an Italian movie theater, La Vita Che Vorrei. He’s my favorite actor, and so imagine how happy it made me to meet him and find out that he’s also a genuinely nice person. Don’t forget his birthday on Tuesday!