I love Rome, actually I love everything about Rome except the graffiti, most of all I love its cinemas, there are your big old buildings converted into Multiplexes with smaller screening rooms, there is a superb free cinema Casa del Cinema in Villa Borghese, although sadly they will have to start charging from 1st July 2011, as all cinemas ticket will attract 1 Euro in Tax from then onwards, then you have the smallest cinema in the world Cinema Dei Piccoli also in Villa Borghese showing children films and cartoons during the day followed by more adult material in the evening, already spoilt for choise, I think you are with me so far. Summer is here and so is L’Isola del Cinema found on L’Isola Tiberina, the most wonderful venue for an openair Cinema, there is no drive in you will need to cross an ancient bridge to get to it, worth going just for the brilliant atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings alone, grab a Melon Granita at the mobile bar by the bridge before the show, so your Italian is not red hot? OK, you can always catch a glimpse from the surrounding streets Lungo Tevere if you are out for a small romantic stole or doing an evening run. The first screening will be on the 16th June and will continue untill the 4th of September 2011, the programme is exciting with film both current and retro, the programme will be available from L’isola del Cinemas here.
There are no dress code however as you know the Italians like to ” Fare la Bella Figura” so make a little effort if you can and a word to the wise, leave the newly bought ode de perfume at the hotel, just bring a good mosquito spray instead, once you have settled in you will be seduced by the odour ” OFF’” or “CITRONELLA” and find it rather welcoming and very soothing once the Tigers starts hitting on you.
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 .
Cast: Amedeo Angelone, Matteo Basso, Mia Benedetta, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Alessandro Haber, Ernesto Mahieux.
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.
A beautiful setting for this shining star among “Free” cinemas, yes gratis, hard to believe in 2010, where prices in the UK are hitting 12 to 15 pounds for just one ticket. Casa del Cinema is found in Villa Borghese at the Via Veneto entrance , a delightful building dating back to 1833 with a colourful past. It was restored in 2001 and has for the past 5 years been show-casing many foreign film festivals and is often the only place in Italy, where you will find the old black and white movies screened.
I first visited this germ back in 2005 during the first Roman Film Festival , where for a period of 2 weeks all Marcello Mastroianni’s film and documentaries with this much-loved actor was shown for free, all you had to do was stand in line before each show. I was there an hour before hand expecting hundreds of people to show up…… NO I was on my tot untill 10 minutes before it was to start. There are 3 screening rooms seating 126 ,64 and a small 35 seater, the seating is very comfortable and it is a super place to spend a few hours relaxing . During the hot summer months there are open air screenings, again free of charge and the best part ( nearly) is the DVD library from which you can choose a film for your very own private screening. Recently there have been complaints about the lack of Independent films makers being able to show their work, I hope that will be rectified soon. There is a lovely Cinecafe with friendly staff and good house wine ,again both in and outdoor service. The shop with all things cinema is worth a visit ,many books and DVDs are on sale here together with posters, cards and cinema trinkets.
I always enjoy Casa del Cinema such a free luxury.
Do not miss the little green wooden cinema a stones throw away ( no, I am not advocating stone throwing , that would be fawned upon) Cinema dei Piccoli it is a delightful children’s cinema by day and a cool adult cinema by night. With only 63 seats it is in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest cinema in the world. See my separate blog entry.