Best Foreign Film entered by Italy was The First Beautiful Thing directed by Paolo Virzì it did not get accepted and will miss out on an Oscar.
Director: Giuseppe Papasso’s first feature film. It was released in Italy January 2011 with some good reviews, it is likely to do very well at International Film Festivals if it gets a change. There are no foreign dates or title as yet . I am throughout the film reminded of Io non ho paura, I am not scared directed by Gabriele Salvatores 2004.
Best moment: Salvatore confession, a brave little boy.
Worst moment : The shots are often only showing part of an actors face, I find that annoying .
Synopsis : We are in the beautiful countryside of Basilicata in 1964. Salvatore , age 12 and friends are loving the cinema and often enter without paying, seeing films not exactly for their age group such as La dolce vita. They have no money and Salvatore who has seen an advert for a projector starts planning a robbery . Salvatore’s father a communist is not happy with his sons interest in all things cinema and does what he can to discourage it, he want his son to be more involved in the communist party. The party is off to Rome by bus for the funeral of Yalta Palmiro Togliatti, they have collected a lot of money and Salvatore ceases the chance to take the money and buy the projector. They start a film club in the local church however his conscience gets the better of him and he confesses his crime, serving years in a Correction Centre. The children all first time actors are very good and Salvatore is excellent and gives a detached performance only broken when speaking with great animation about cinema.
Director: Michele Placido, his latest film is already coursing a political storm for glorifying one of Italy’s notorious gang leaders from the 70s. Renato Vallanzasca Constantini head of the Comasina gang , still serving time ( 260 years to be exact) in an open jail on the outskirts of Milan. Vallanzasca is on day release and free to leave the prison from 7.30 in the morning to 7 .00 at night, he has re-married and is today 60 years old. The Italian prison system is an odd one.
Michele Placido has appeared in and have directed many films dating back to 1972 including Il grande sogno, The big Dream – Romanzo criminale, Crime Novel.
Cast :Kim Rossi Stuart, Valeria Solarino, Filippo Timi,Paz Vega, Moritz Bleibtreu, Francesco Scianna,Toni Pandolfo, Gaetano Bruno,Gerardo Amato, Paolo Mazzarelli, Lorenzo Gleijeses, Marica fracas, Adriana De Guinn and of course Michele Placido himself.
Best moment : The wedding ceremony in prison.
Worst moment : Kissing his sister and the assumption that it went further.
Synopsis : The film follows the life of Vallanzasca from early childhood and his first gang of boys to his imprisonment serving 260 years. The Comasina gang was ruthless although claiming in the film to be professionals and not wanting to hurt anyone. Vallanzasca was eventually charged with 6 murders, 4 Kidnappings ( it is believed that there were many more) and numerous robberies.
Kim Rossi Stuart portrayal of Vallanzasca is very much like his portrayal of Il Freddo in A Crime Novel 6 years ago, it was of course also Directed by Placido so no surprise there.
It will have it first showing in the UK on the 6th June 2011.