Confused by me? You’re not alone. Here are the top 10 things people don’t get.
1.I focus on CONTEMPORARY Italian movies.
Yes, as a matter of fact it is. That’s our deal here, only the contemporary Italian movies. There are probably about a million other websites that talk about Fellini, De Sica, and those guys, but here, I’m all about Sorrentino, Moretti, and hundreds of new filmmakers that are popping up every day. It’s exciting! Let go of the past and check them out!
2.I don’t even like Fellini that much.
I find those movies a little silly, and enjoy them ironically, but that’s about it.
3.I try not to dwell on the films that can’t be found in the USA.
Don’t get me wrong, I weep for the Italian movies that will never be distributed in the United States, and as a matter of fact, a lot of the most wonderful films never are. But I’m realistic. I am America’s Cheerleader For Italian Film and my main mission is letting Americans know about Italy’s vibrant film industry. It’s been to my sincere surprise and delight to find that I have followers from Italy, and all over the world!
4.I say I Love Italian MOVIES and not ‘I Love Italian Film’ or ‘I Love Italian Cinema’ – for a reason.
I am not a film snob. I am not an elitist. I love silly comedies (that American audiences will never get the chance to see) like Un Boss In Salotto with Rocco Papaleo and Paola Cortellesi and Benvenuti Al Sud with Claudio Bisio, Alessandro Siani, Angela Finocchiaro. I LOVE them, just like I love a good Will Ferrell movie once in a while. Movies don’t always have to be IMPORTANT and award-winning to be worthwhile. Most of the time I just want to be entertained. And so…
5…I love Checco and I won’t apologize for it.
At a conference a few years ago a speaker gave a talk on Checco Zalone and I listened, squirming in my seat. For all you Italians that find Checco an embarrassment, I say, RELAX! Biggio and Mandelli are embarrassments, not Checco.
I think Checco naysayers are missing a few crucial points. Yes, he can be sexist, racist and homophobic, but not in the way that, for instance, Biggio and Mandelli are. Not even in the way that Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo can drift toward. Checco is stupid, but he’s willing to learn and to change. I think the message in his films is something like, “Hey dumbasses! If even a dumbass like me can be enlightened, you can too.
Checco lampoons stupidity, not holds it up for admiration.
And with all those ticket sales, even if you still hate him, you can’t ignore him. He holds box office records in Italy and his most recent, Quo Vado, made more money in the first weekend than any movie ever before in Italy, more than Star Wars did in its first 18 days at the box office.
He’s a phenomenon , and I am fascinated by him. The critics probably hated Totò when he first appeared on the screen too.
6. On the other hand, I surely don’t ignore the more IMPORTANT films.
When I saw Francesco Munzi’s Anime Nere, Black Souls I was overwhelmed with excitement. I KNEW it would be big, and it was. It outdid everybody with Italian awards and deserved everything it got. I adore Sorrentino, Moretti, Garrone, and everyone that is making movies that are getting more global attention, even if they are just showing up in art houses. Films like Salvo, Le Meraviglie, and Hungry Hearts are fabulously entertaining and good-for-you in that intellectual kind of way, and Americans are very lucky to have access to them.
7.I’m just an old lady in Ohio, sitting at her desk in the suburbs writing this stuff.
So if you find a dead link, a typo, or something that doesn’t really make sense at all, remember; I probably had a big hangover and/or hadn’t had my morning coffee when I was writing it. (Kidding, but not really.) Let me know if you see things I should fix, and thanks in advance for not making fun of me to my face.
8.Until recently, I didn’t even make any money from this site.
I did it and I still do because I love Italian movies, for real. I go to the Venice Film Festival and all the other film festivals on my own dime and I’m only saying this so that you can stop thinking of me of some big important film critic, as I am sure you all were. (Again, kidding.)
9. But I have TRULY appreciated the folks that got what I was doing here right away.
I would like to thank those of you who have been with me for a long time and appreciate the same films that I do; Kristen Theologus, Lauren Marino, Gilles Vauclair, James Imrie, Terri Garcia and Teo Kim Merlino, and other readers who share the same love that I do.
10.I’m going to keep moving forward following the Italian film industry wherever it goes. So Carlo Verdone, you are great, but what have you done for me lately?
Although I am still in love with Pane e Tulipani (I have watched it over 100 times and still watch it every flight to Italy) I will not get stuck in the past. I am constantly looking for what’s new, what’s interesting, what’s funny, what’s important…
That’s my deal here.