First you need a region free DVD player, and then you need ibs.it.
Everybody wants to know how they can watch all the great Italian films that have not been been distributed in the United States, and there’s no easy answer.
Technically, it’s illegal to watch films outside the region they are made for unless there’s a distribution agreement. And we download an illegal upload, we’re stealing. The lesser of two evils, as I see it; get yourself a very inexpensive region free DVD player, the cheaper the better.
This Samsung region free DVD Player is only $37.50.With a region free DVD player you can watch films from all over the world, with the added bonus of subtitles (illegal uploads aren’t likely to have them) and the satisfaction of knowing you can pay for what you watch. You can get many foreign films from Amazon, but the real treasure trove is ordering direct from Italy with ibs.it.
These movies are not available in the USA but should be. They all under €10.00 and they all have English subtitles.
La Città Ideale €4.99
Luigi plays a man who moves from his native Palermo to the city he considers ideal, Siena. He’s an architect who is extremely green and has been trying to live without electricity and running water for a year, collecting rain water on his roof, leaving his drivers’ license unused, and generating electricity with a stationary bike. Showering with cold rain water and getting a little cardio to make his shaver work makes him very happy, even if his friends and coworkers consider him an annoying ball buster.
When, on the first night in eight years that he drives a car there’s an accident, or rather, a series of accidents, the ideal city turns on him, throwing him into a judicial system for which he is sorely unprepared; he’s too honest. While he’s only interested in the truth, everyone else advises him to invent one that better suits his circumstances. “The truth is like wind that flows into a box”, one lawyer tells him. When you open that box it never comes out the way it went in.”
Mio Cognato €4.99
It’s been compared to Scorsese’s “After Hours” because the stories are played out on similar stages. “After Hours” takes place late at night and into the morning in the seedy parts of New York and “Mio Cognato”, in the underbelly of Bari. In “Mio Cognato”, when Vito’s (Lo Cascio) car is stolen his brother-in-law, Toni, (Silvio Rubini) helps him pull an all nighter, searching for it.
La Vita Che Vorrei €4.99
Is Stefano (Lo Cascio) a jerk? He sure is. In one scene he sleeps with an old girlfriend (booty call, rather) to get even with Laura and the old girlfriend realizes what is going on. She asks him, “When’s my birthday? How many brothers do I have? Do you ever think about me?” It’s a defining moment for Stefano, but he’s honest with her. “No”, he tells her. “I never think of you at all.”
He’s wickedly judgmental and suspicious of Laura (Sandra Ceccarelli), but maybe he should be. Is she a whore? (figuratively if not literally) Yeah, I think she is. When she zeros in on Stefano in the beginning it’s like a cat with it’s prey in that it seems more instinctive than sinister. It’s what she does – she doesn’t know any other way.
I know what you’re thinking: “This doesn’t sound like much of a love story to me.” But believe me, it’s oddly romantic in a very realistic way.
Smetto Quando Voglio €7.99
In the first few minutes of Sydney Sibilia’s Smetto Quando Voglio ( I Can Quit When I Want), I thought, “Oh wow, this director is ripping off ‘Breaking Bad!’ “; but I was wrong. Smetto Quando Voglio is a hilarious comedy and a story all it’s own. Breaking Bad’s Walter and Smetto Quando voglio’s Pietro (Edoardo Leo) are in the same boat; two frustrated college professors who are highly educated and bright but can’t get ahead decide to use their knowledge of chemistry to make money.
La Mafia Uccide Solo D’Estate €6.99
This is Pierfrancesco “Pif” Diliberto, Italian TVs answer to Jon Stewart’s first movie, a clever child’s eye view of what it was like for normal people living under the mafia’s thumb in 1980s and 90s Palermo. Diliberto directed, starred in, and cowrote this uniquely entertaining take on a very serious theme, the mafia’s killing spree that resulted in the deaths of judges, politicians, and police officers and reached fever pitch with the famous “Maxi-Trial”.
Una Piccola Impresa Meridionale €7.99
Don Constantino (Rocco Papaleo), a defrocked priest returns to his hometown a broken man. He’d fallen in love with a woman who didn’t find him quite so alluring as an ex-priest, but the defrocking and the heartbreak weren’t the worst of his problems; telling his mother would be the hard part.
Already shamed by a daughter who ran away “to China” with a lover, leaving behind her loyal husband Arturo (Riccardo Scamarcio), Mamma Stella (Giuliana Lojodice) isn’t willing to suffer another humiliation in town and she banishes her son to the family lighthouse to lay low.
Un Boss In Salotto €9.99
The adorable Cortellesi is “June Cleaver” with a Southern Italian edge in this comedy from Luca Miniero (Beneveuti al Sud), one that again takes a look at the differences between northerners and southerners in Italy.
Paola plays Carmela, who has changed her name to Cristina and tells everybody that her brother Ciro (Rocco Papaleo) is dead in an attempt to “northernize” herself. Her transformation is overzealous and her beautiful family, though it is truly beautiful (two cute kids and married to Luca Argentero? That’s pretty perfect) everybody is cracking under the strain of trying to live up to her idea of perfection.
Due Partite €4.99
Gabriella, played by Margherita Buy, is married to a tyrant, Claudia, played by Marina Massironi, is the mother of three with a husband who cheats on her, and Sofia, played by Paola Cortellesi is an unhappy wife who is cheating on her husband. Beatrice, played by Isabella Ferrari, is nervously pregnant and her friends are not calming her fears about marriage and motherhood as they argue about what it means to be a woman in the 60s.
Fast forward twenty some years when one of the women dies and the daughters gather around the same table; though their mothers had dreamed that life would be better for them, the problems really haven’t changed very much and they are unhappy in much the same way that their mothers were.
Scusate Se Esisto €7.99
La Cortellesi is always adorable, but In Scusate Se Esisto, she just explodes with cuteness, and proves herself a top comic actor. Her Co-star, Raoul Bova, is equally engaging, and when I say “engaging”, I mean HOT (as well as talented and funny).
As Serena the brilliant architect, Paola plays a young woman who graduates with the highest of honors and moves to London, proving herself a success over and over. But when she’s alone in her apartment on rainy London nights she’s homesick, so she decides to move back to Italy to try to make it there.
The social commentary here can only be verified or disputed by Italian women, but as an outsider, the movie seems a little exaggerated for comic effect, but basically authentic, as Serena Bruno struggles to find a job in her male dominated field of employment. When her resume is confused for a man’s, she goes with it, pretending to be “Bruno Serena’s” assistant to get the job.
Tutti I Santi Giorni €9.99
In this rom-com from Paolo Virzì, 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.
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.
Dieci Inverni €7.99
Star-crossed lovers Camilla (Isabella Ragonese) and Silvestro (Michele Riondino) meet when Camilla comes to Venice to study Russian literature. She’s a studious loner and he’s a goofy, immature kid and they like each other but at first are too different to be anything but friends.
It’s called 10 Winters and it’s just that, their winters. Whatever happens to Camilla and Silvestro during the spring, summer and fall, we can’t know for sure. So when during one winter they’ve had a terrible falling out and you think it’s over for them and it cuts to the following winter, you’re left to fill in the gaps, decide for yourself how they’ve patched things up and are friends again.
Cosimo E Nicole €6.39
Does knowing that Riccardo Scamarcio and Clara Ponsot had an off-screen affair make the sex scenes in Cosimo e Nicole a little hotter? Why yes. Yes, I believe it does.
It’s love story about a relationship born at the G8 Summit riot in 2001 when Nicole (Ponsot), gets her head split open by riot police and Cosimo (Scamarcio) saves her. Watching the intense relationship, the sadder and wiser of us in the audience know, from experience, that it might have been the tear gas talking when they first declare their love. I mean, we’ve all been there, young, and swept up in something exciting and thinking it can last forever. Even Nicole wonders, at several points, if it was ” just Genoa”, and if they’d fallen in love if they’d met anywhere else.
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