Trying to find anything remotely interesting to write about between mid June to mid September is like running two marathons a day, nothing is going on, nothing is going down. OK, so Woody Alan is busy in Rome filming his new film ”Whatever” who knows what he will call it in the end; Roberto Benigni has not yet started his part, I should imagine he has run off with Dante once he saw the full line up for the film, I hope he got a good deal out of Alan as this film will not do his street cred any good. The Venice Film Festival will start at the end of August, there are write-ups daily about it everyone trying to find a new fresh angle…..and failing, as the films are all having their world premier there is nothing out there to debate. So what pray tell is one to do ? Revert to gossip and beachwear or close down for the summer ? No, PrimoCiak was never a defeatist blog, if Italy is hot and full of a lethargy population, then it must be freezing somewhere else in the world, where perhaps a cool exciting winter film festival is being planned at this very moment….. off investigating whoop whoop the excitement is overwelming…watch this space !
Espoo International Film Festival is preparing for an influx of over excited cinema goers, they will be kicking off on the 19th of August, running until the 28th of August 2011. Espoo has a very exciting programme with great variety and, of course, they have chilled Snaps and Smoked Reindeer meat too, if you are feeling a little peggish. Finland is always ready to give Italy a chance, and although this Festival is relatively small, we have been well represented, lets hear it for the Finns Hip Hip Hurraa - Hip hip Hurraa, me rakastamme Suomi.
The films picked by our northern friends for their 2011 programme are:
Il ragazzo con la biciletta, The Kid With A Bike, Le gamin au vélo directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne do not miss this excellent film, well worth booking in advance and go easy on the Snaps.
Gianni e le donne, The salt of life directed by Gianni Di Gregorio. You loved Pranzo di farragosto, Mid August Lunch and you will love The Salt of Life as it flows gently past the fjords.
Hai paura del buio, Are You Afraid of the Dark directed by Massimo Coppola, this has not been seen by us poor neglected habitants of Sicily, we await its issue on DVD.
Quattro volte, Le, The Four Times directed by Michelangelo Frammartino, another award for this film about goats ? I would not be surprised at all.
A great selection all round I think you will be impressed, there is also Espoo well worth a relaxing few days, the Finns are keen on their Designer Gear so do keep it smart rather than elegant and again get the Tricolor out, casually attach it to your Vespa’s, as you arrive or throw it even more nonchalant on the back of the old yet shiny 500.
The list of Italian entries in the 68th International Film Festival in Venice ”Controcampo Italiano” have been publicised and I am trying to get the momentum up by hitting the accelerator with a vengeance. If you are looking to see the latest films produced in Italy you usually need to look to the big International Film Festivals such as London and dare I say it Moscow for a sizeable portion of films, both did us ever so proud during their last season, you will also do well checking out the Italian Film Festivals both in the UK, Australia and the States, the place to look last is inevitable Italy, where you will need to have the patience of a least two Saints one will just not do, Italian distributed is in a class of its own. Venice this year has gone all out with 7 new feature films, 6 documentaries and 7 shorts, they will all premier and they will all be in competition so I believe although that seem a bit exaggerated; let’s wait and see. There are also a number of interesting events not to be missed such as UN foglio bianco, A White Sheet directed by Maurizio Zaccaro, exciting stuff.
The 7 feature films are :
Scialla, Hello there (possible English title) directed by Francesco Bruni, it is his first feature with a great cast Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Barbora Bobulova, Filippo Scicchitano, Vinicio Marchioni, Giuseppe Guarino, Prince Manujibeya. We have a sad depressed professor and a teenager with trouble on his mind.
Maternity Blues directed by Fabrizio Cattani, here again an interesting cast in the shape of Andrea Osvart, Monica Birladeanu, Chiara Martegiani Marina Pennafina, Daniele Pecci, Pascal Zullino. Maternity Blues, I am hoping the title is giving it away.
Qualche nuvola, Some Clouds directed by Saverio di Biagio his very first feature staring Elio Germano with a great line-up Greta Scarano, Michele Alhaique, Primo Reggiani, Giorgio Colangeli, Aylin Prandi.
Cose dell’altro mondo, Things of this world directed by Francesco Patierno he too has a great cast Diego Abatantuono, Valerio Mastandrea, Valentina Lodovini, Sandra Collodel, Grazia Schiavo, Maurizio Donadoni.
Cavalli, Horses directed by Michele Rho again a first feature about horses, I am risking my reputation on this as there are little to nothing on the net about this film. Cast: Vinicio Marchioni, Michele Alhaique, Giulia Michelini, Thomas Trabacchi, Asia Argento, Andrea Occhipinti.
Tutta colpa della musica, Blame the Music directed by Ricky Tognazzi, I guess this is the one to keep your eye on, a star line-up if I ever saw one. Stefania Sandrelli, Ricky Tognazzi, Marco Messeri, Elena Sofia Ricci, Debora Villa, Monica Scattini.
L’arrivo di Wang, directed by Manetti Brothres starring Ennio Fantastichini e Francesca Cuttica a psychological fantasy-sci film.
The 6 Documentaries are :
Black Blok directed by Carlo Augusto Blacksmidt his very first.
Piazza Garibaldi directed by Davide Ferrario this doc has a number of well know stars, one not to be missed if you like me just love Luciana Littizzetto.
Pugni chiusi, Closed Fists directed by Fiorella Infascelli.
Out of Tehran directed by Monica Maggioni.
Pasta nera, Black Pasta directed by Alessandro Piva.
Quiproquo directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi again on to keep an eye on as it has a number of well know stars Franco Battiato, Nicoletta Braschi, Umberto Eco, Andrea Renzi.
The 7 Shorts are:
Il maestro, The Master directed by Maria Grazia Cucinotta staring Renato Scarpa and Giselda Volodi. I want to see this one her first venture off screen.
A chjàna directed by Jonas Carpignano staring Koudous Seihun and Cheik Baily Kane.
Alice directed by Roberto de Paolis staring Giulia Bevilacqua and Edoardo Pesce.
The Cricket directed by Stefano Lorenzi staring Birol Ünel and Edoardo Gabriellini.
Eco da luogo colpito, Echo from the Accected Area directed by Carlo Michele Schirinzi staring Francesca Cazzato and Matteo Fachechi.
Prove per un naufragio della parola, Testing the Word of a Shipwrecked directed by Elisabetta Sgarbi staring Fabrizio Gifuni and Sonia Bergamasco.
My Name is Sid directed by Giovanni Virgilo staring Alessio Vassallo, Liborio Natalia.
Special Events Screenings:
La Tratta, Trafficing directed by Barbara Cupisti a documentary.
Clado grigio, clado nero – Hot Grey, Hot Black directed by Marco Dentici a documentary.
Rudolf Jacobs, l’uomo che nacque morendo, The Man That Was Born Dying directed by Luigi M Faccini, staring Marina Piperno, Carlo Prussiani and Alessandro Cecchinelli this is a docu-fiction.
Andata e ritorno, Round trip directed by one of my favorit actersses Donatella Finocchiaro her first stab at directing a documentery.
Dai nostri inviati – La RAI racconta la Mostra del cinema 1968 – 1979, From our Correspondents - RAI tells the Venice Film Festival 1968 – 1979 directed by Giuseppe Giannotti, Enrico Salcatori and Davide Savelli. Documentary.
Pivano Blues – Sulla strada di Nanda, Pivano Blues, On the Road to Nanda directed by Teresa Marchesi staring some great musiocisians Fernanda Pivano, Patti Smith, Vasco Rossi, Luciano Ligabue one not to miss.
Schuberth – L’atelier della dolce vita, Schuberth – and the Workshop of the sweet life directed by Antonello Sarno. Documentery.
Hollywood Invasion directed by Marco Spagnoli. Documentary.
Un foglio bianco, A White Sheet directed by Maurizio Zaccaro a documentary staring Ermanno Olmi, Michael Lonsdale and Rutger Hauer.
El de los machetes linguaje directed by Kyzza Terrazas (Mexico)
Là-bas directed by Guido Lombardi (Italy)
The land of outragée directed by Michale Boganim (France-Ukraine)
Louise Wimmer directed by Cyril Mennegun (France)
Merécages directed by Edoin-Guy (Canada)
Totem directed by Jessica Krummacher (Germany)
Closing Film - Peace Mission directed by Francesco Lagi (Italy).
Out of competition in this section will be Scossa, Shock directed by Citto Maselli, Carlo Lizzani, Ugo Gregoretti e Nino Russo
Il villaggio di Cartone, The Carboard Village directed by Ermanno Olmi
Finally a short Venice 2011 directed by Pietro Marcello Marco Bellocchio
The hype around the 68th Venice Film Festival starting on the 31st August 2011 is in full swing, they have chosen their Italian entries, always an exciting moment. My lucky number is 7 so I am again getting just that little too excited about it all, 7 shorts, 7 documentaries and 7 features, did that happen on purpose or by change, I want to know as if that was not enough to excite you they will all be world premiers and all be in competition in their respective groups. Will there be enough awards ? Yes Sir, we have got an additional 2 awards for shorts and documentaries.
The list of the chosen films are:
Not yet issued, lets keep the suspense going just that little bit longer…… I wonder who will be presenting which film.
What we do know for sure is that George Clooney will be opening the festival without Elisabetta Canalis, who will he bring onto the red carpet? I am putting my money on Sandra Bullock although I reserve the right to change that bet anytime I feel like it.
Al Pacino will be receiving the Premio Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2011 della Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica - Award Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory To The Filmmaker of the 2011 Venice International Film Festival.
I am loving it already.
Jerusalem Film Festival JFF, they are not feeling the love for Italy and personally I am not over excited about their website, you would think if there is a search button and you type in Italy, Italian entries would appear ? לא לא באתר .
They do have a Festival running from the 7th to the 16th of July 2011 and we have not been completely alienated.
Jerusalem will be showing:
Gianni e le donne, The Salt of Life directed by Gianni Di Gregorio
Gangor directed by Italo Spinelli
I have said it before and I never tire of repeating myself, keep it smart yet a little reserved no need to overdo the tricolor.
Jealousy is not a great threat to carry around with you, yet when you live in a village without a cinema, reading about the overflowing horn that is Rome, can make you feel just a tiny bit green. Nanni Moretti is staging his very own Film Festival, well if you have your very own cinema why not, it is the 7th edition and this year Moretti will be focusing on the newbies. If in Rome between the 5th to the 21st July 2011, have a reasonable grasp on Italian, why not swing by and take in a screening, Moretti will be present for a heated debate after each film together with the director of the film screened, never mind going a bit green, I am going fluorescent !
Why is the cinema call Nuovo Sacher ? Moretti loves Sacher Torta (smooth dark chocolate cake) and has named all his various companies ”Sacher” something or other, I know still it is his show so also his call.
Films screen are :
La pecora nera, The Black Sheep directed by Ascanio Celestini
Il primo incarico, The First Job directed by Giorgia Cecere
Tutti al mare, All at Sea directed by Matteo Cerami
Nessuno mi puo giudicare, No One Can Judge Me directed by Massimiano Bruno
Into Paradiso directed by Paola Randi
Hai paura del buio directed by Massimo Coppola
Diciottanni- Il mondo ai miei piedi, 18 – The World at my Feet directed by Elisabetta Rocchetti
Boris – Il Film directed by G. Ciarrapico, M Torre and L Vendruscolo
20 sigarette, 20 Cigaretesd directed by Aureliano Amadei
Corpo Celeste, Heavenly Body directed by Alice Rohrwacher
What a great selection of films would really love to be there for the Q&A afterwards, Moretti is a character.
You look for love and support from you nearest and dearest in life as in Film Festivals, so scouring the Munich International Film Festival‘s program for proof that Italy was not forgotten, I felt a little unloved only 5 entries and one of them is suspect.
What did the wise Ladies and Gentlemen of Munich pick for their 2011 film fest?
Barnesy’s Version directed by Richard J Lewis. It has Italian money invested in it so I am claiming it for us, end off !
Il Castello, The Castle directed by Martina Parenti and Massimo D’anolti, not a film I have heard much about, it was seen at Swaziland’s Film Festival in April 2011 otherwise niente.
Et In Terra Pax, And Peace on Earth directed by Matteo Bofrugno and Daniele Coluccini
Corpo Celeste, Heavenly Body directed by Alice Rohrwacher, she will be receiving 12,ooo euros for the best new talent award ” CineVision Award” last year it went to Michelangelo Frammartino for the film ”Le quattro volte”, ”The four Times” they might not be drooling over Italian Films but they are putting their money where their mouth is.
La solitudine dei numeri primi, The Solitude of prime numbers directed by Saverio Costanzo, Pietro di Daniele Gaglianone
Not a kick in the teeth I grant you, yet I had hoped for a little more exuberance oozing from Southern Germany, close enough to smell our coffee, that’s all I am saying and just look at the love oozing from Moscow International Film Festival 2011.
June is the month in Russia for International Film Festivals, St. Petersburg International Film Festival kicks off on the 23rd June and will finish on the 26th June 2011, they are not as excited about Italian films this year as the Moscow International Film Festival also kicking off on the 23rd of June 2011, now the Muscovites who are positively drooling over Italian Films at the moment are screening 15 feature films and 2 documentaries whoop, whoop.
St. Petersburg is a must see if you are in those parts of the wood, stunning buildings, gardens, castles and Museums are all plentiful, do not forget the Film Festival, I said they were not over excited, yet they have found 3 feature films to screen so lets again rejoice and lets hear it for the Петри and as always let show some style, lets leave a good impression.
Italian Films Are :
Baaria directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Caravaggio directed by Angelo Longoni . TV will turned cinema, with great success
Le Quattro Volte, The Four Times directed by Michelangelo Frammartino,
This film is top of the league when it comes to Film Festivals and Awards for 2010, it has been shown at over 115 film festivals and it is still going strong, it has some 35 awards already and they will also increase as the year proceed. Yes, the film I did not like as I thought the continuity was terrible and I was bored and irritated because of it, I feel shame however I do always feel very very pleased for Frammartino though, it takes guts to shoot a film about old goats and a dying man, it has paid of and deservedly so.
Director: ”6 Giorni sulla terra”, ”6 Days on Earth” directed by Varo Venturi, he was born in Rome and that is just about the only information I can find about this gentleman on the web, not for him a long informative entry in Wikipedia. It is Venturi’s second feature after ”Nazareno” (2007) that made it on to six Italian Film Festivals and won awards too. Venturi’s latest film “6 Days on Earth” was screened on mymovies.it on the 17th of June 2011, as always I am sending love to the good people who makes those important choices. ”6 Days on Earth” is a well made Italian Science Fiction about Aliens, who are not as expected arriving from space BUT are here already inside all of us, I am not keen on this notion however it does explains a lot of aches and pains of late. These badass aliens are not friendly, so do not be fooled by their exterior which looks very much like ”Paul” the funny, intelligent good for a laugh Alien directed by Greg Mottola starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Venturis film is not my cup of tea to be honest I did not enjoy ”’The Exorcist” either so I have been so bold as to borrow the synopsis from Wikipedia, am I being lazy? Yes, I am a little sorry. Laura Glavan did a great job in this film, really good it is her 3rd feature, I hope it will propel her upwards and onwards.
Cast: Massimo Poggia, Laura Glavan, Marina Kazankova, Ludovico Fremont, Varo Venturi, Nazzareno Bomba, Emilian Cerniceanu, Francesca Schiavo,Giovanni Visentin, Ruby Kammer, Ferdinando Vales, Daniele Bernardi, Leon Kammer, David Taylor
Synobsis : Dr. Davide, a courageous scientist, has been studying thousands of cases related to alien abductions, obtained by the abductees under hypnosis, the unsettling thesis that some extraterrestrial races have been installing for millennia their active memories in the abducted people’s brains, in order to “live” through them in this dimension, exploiting a special human energy: the Soul… But when the scientist will decide to help Saturnia, a seductive eighteen-old girl that believes she has been abducted, and shows a clear attraction for him – he will have to face an insurmountable problem: once hypnotized, Saturnia will not leave anymore the trance condition, giving place to Hexabor of Ur – an alien entity coming from Mesopotamian ages that consider himself an half-god. This will be complicated by the unexpected discovery that Saturnia belong to a wealthy black aristocracy’s family…