Remember the old Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Farley interviewing people Paul McCartney and asking questions like, "Remember when you were with the Beatles?" And then saying, "That was awesome. Remember that rumor that you were dead? That was a hoax, right?" That was kind of like me interviewing Alessandro Aronadio about his cool, funny, and kind of mind-blowing comedy Orecchie (Ears). Listening to the tape I made of our conversation was really embarrassing; I really didn't let him talk very much and I asked a bunch of questions that he didn't know how to answer, because they were goofy questions. It was just me, saying things like, "Your protagonist seems post-modern to me; that was awesome", and "Are you a nihilist? You seem like a nihilist to me. That's pretty cool." I wish I had a video of Alessandro listening to me. I'm pretty sure he was looking at me like, "This lady is nuts", but IN MY DEFENSE, Orecchie is such a great movie it's hard to review, and hard to ask questions. I watched the film a half dozen times and thought of something different every single time. It's mind-blowing, but not particularly esoteric. I can't imagine anyone watching it and not coming away with something. Orecchie (Ears) was written and directed by Aronadio, a Fulbright scholar (for life, he told me. Once a Fulbright scholar, always a Fulbright scholar), studied in Los Angeles, and is fluent in English. The movie's star, Daniele Parisi, bears a striking resemblance to Aronadio, who says that everyone thinks this is on purpose, but he insists is a coincidence. I've thought about this a lot and I'm not so sure. He doesn't give the character a name, so I remain unconvinced... " '…
No divos/divas here! Over the past 10 years I have been the luckiest woman alive, getting the chance to meet so many of the people that are brilliantly, and I don't use that word lightly, working to change the face of Italian Cinema. Who would have guessed that they would all be SO DARNED NICE! CHECK IT OUT! They aren't trying to reclaim glory from days gone by, they aren't trying to recapture the essence of Neorealism or the days of "Classic Italian Cinema". They aren't trying to be someone they are not. They want to tell their truths, and the way they are doing it is pretty extraordinary. I know that a lot of you have figured this out, but for those of you still pining away for movies like Bicycle Thieves, you need to give these new filmmakers a chance. And read my interviews. I started doing them with the idea of simply "reporting", but they've become so much more. After having talked with dozens of Italian filmmakers I feel as if I've earned some kind of degree in contemporary filmmaking. I am definitely a changed person, and think about what is happening in today's Italian cinema in a whole new way. I Love Italian Movies, of course, but now I APPRECIATE them even more. Read about what director Roberto Andò explains he's learned from Bernardo Bertolucci. “In the last ten years”, he said, “filmmakers have given up on the idea of making films with no relationship to the audience.” Read about what Margherita Buy says about doing comedies. Read about why Gianfranco Rosi doesn't like Michael Moore. And why Pif will never make a movie in Rome.
If you listen carefully you can hear 31-year-old director Marta Savina's Italian accent, but her time in Los Angeles has made her just a little bit of a California girl and it suits her. (more…)
Thirty-three year-old Vincenzo Lerose is a "cousin" of the mayor of New York City. (more…)
This is the kind of stuff I live for, sharing a nice movie moment and a collective smile with an audience at the Venice Film Festival. At the premiere of Roan Johnson’s fun comedy, Piuma, I got one of those really nice movie moments. (more…)