Che Bello! So many movies this spring!
Entering all of the Italian movie screenings here in America on the new I Love Italian Movies Calendar is taking FOREVER (I may need carpal tunnel surgery when it’s finished). It’s a “fatica”, a lot of trouble, but I do it because I care and because I don’t want any of us to miss a minute of what’s to come…
Here’s the best of it:
Italian Film Festival USA should be awarded a Italian cinematic medal for its great FREE, WITH SUBTITLES 2016 lineup, in particular these 3 ABSOLUTELY NOT TO MISS films:
Noi E La Giulia (The Legendary Giulia) I Love Italian Films is the proud sponsor of the Cleveland, OH screening on April 22.
Comedy of the year, according to The Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists and the foreign press (Italian Golden Globes), Noi e la Giulia (The Giulia and us) deserves the accolades, but it isn’t laugh out loud, “rolling in the aisle” funny. In its own way it is inspirational, and a call to action for all of us who need to stand up and stand for something.
Written, directed by and starring Edoardo Leo, with Luca Argentero, Claudio Amendola, Claudio Buccirosso, Stefano Fresi and Anna Foglietta, it’s based on a book (Alfa Romeo 1300 and Other Miracles by Fabio Bartolomei) and is the story of three guys, their individual mid-life crisises, and a Giulia 1300 Alfa Romeo.
Detroit: March 30, 7:00 p.m.
Indianapolis: April 1, 6:00 p.m.
Phoenix: April 1, 7:00 p.m.
Memphis: April 5, 7:00 p.m.
St. Louis: April 8, 8:00 p.m.
Boulder: April 9, 6:00 p.m.
Cleveland: April 22, 7:00 p.m.
Portland: April 22, 8:00 p.m.
Milwaukee: April 23, 9:00 p.m.
Dallas: April TBA, p.m.
Io E Lei (Me, Myself and Her)
Italy’s first film with lesbian protagonist is about Marina, a former B list actress that’s gotten bored with her career and has bought a restaurant, out of the closet at a young age and comfortable in her own skin. Federica, in contrast has lived most of her life in heterosexual relationships, an architect with an ex-husband and a grown son. “I’m not a lesbian”, she tells Marina, and the disdainful accent on the word lesbian is obvious. “You are the first woman I was ever attracted to.”
When a magazine article about Marina comes out that hints about their relationship (one that they don’t try to hide in their day-to-day life, by the way), and then Marina gets offered a part in a movie and Federica thinks, “Oh no! More publicity!”, their happy homelife gets a little icy. I haven’t decided yet whether Federica really does love her privacy, and that’s why she’s freaking out, or if she’s just not gay, and doesn’t want to be identified that way. Throughout the movie it’s never obvious which team she’ll end up playing for, and I have the feeling that the one she’s on at the end of the movie is not the end of the story.
Pittsburgh: April 8, 7:00 p.m.
Detroit: April 16, 7:30 p.m.
Portland: April 23, 8:00 p.m.
Torneranno i Prati (Greenery Will Bloom Again)
With a film career that would have been considered brilliant had he ended it in the ’60s (Il Posto, I Fidanzati), Ermanno Olmi made what might be considered his masterpiece, Torneranno i Prati (Greenery Will Bloom Again) at age 83.
A deeply moving anti-war film, Torneranno i Prati memorializes Italian soldiers in WWI and most particularly his own father, who served and shared his harrowing experiences with his son. The title, Torneranno i prati, means “the fields will return” but has been translated to “Greenery Will Bloom Again” for English language audiences; in any case, it’s a kind of Flanders Fields for Italians.
Phoenix: April 2, 3:00 p.m.
Kansas City: April 9, 2:00 p.m.
St. Louis: April 24, 8:00 p.m.
Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin)
High Five, Cleveland (Ohio) International Film Festival! My city is lucky to have a pretty impressive lineup of Italian films, most notably director Laura Bispuri’s Vergine Giurata (Sworn Virgin), a film that has already won Best Film at film festivals all over the world.
Hana is an Albanian “sworn virgin’, who in an archaic Northern Albanian practice has given up her femininity in exchange for the opportunity to live with the same rights that men have.
Starring one of Italy’s finest actors, Alba Rohrwacher, Sworn Virgin is a triumph for Bispuri and a jewel in the crown of contemporary Italian cinema, so watch for it in your city.
CIFF40 showtimes: Monday, April 04, 2016 at 11:45 AMTuesday, April 05, 2016 at 7:15 PM
Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers)
The Tribeca Film Festival (April 13-24) only has one Italian film this year, but luckily, it’s cast is a practical “who’s who” of contemporary Italian film with Alba Rohrwacher, Edoardo Leo, Marco Giallini, and Valerio Mastandrea.
During a dinner party, seven friends decide to play a dangerous game. Each attendee places their cell phone on the table and agrees to make all texts and calls public in an attempt to prove that they have nothing to hide, and I think we can all see how that could play out.
6:15 PM – THU 4/14
REGAL CINEMAS BATTERY PARK
4:45 PM – FRI 4/15
REGAL CINEMAS BATTERY PARK
10:00 PM – SAT 4/16
BOW TIE CINEMAS CHELSEA
3:45 PM – MON 4/18
BOW TIE CINEMAS CHELSEA
Mia Madre (My Mother)
Director Nanni Moretti’s best ever stars him, Margherita Buy and John Turturro in a semi-autobiographical, perfectly balanced, and artfully told story about grief, loss, and self-reflection. Nothing maudlin here, and though it is at times achingly sad, it’s not a cheesy tear-jerker. Moretti’s script and Buy’s performance as Margherita, the film director, put the viewer solidly into the story as observation turns to meditation. Buy’s character is the modern everyman; self-absorbed, impatient, and a bit removed from relationships in her life.