Archive for January, 2011

31/01/2011

Johnny Depp

by Marianne Wi

Johnny Depp , I hear he might….might have purchased a new home in Venice , YES Venice Italy ? Anyone knows if this is the true, let me know as I am more than a little bit excited ?

Any news really, would do !

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31/01/2011

Immaturi, The Juveniles (Possible English Title)

by Marianne Wi

Well, sometimes you just have to rejoice in the fact that you can be wrong. I was not looking forward to this afternoons film, the trailer filled me with dread and I did wonder why this film had not been release at Xmas…… BUT Wooo I really enjoyed it despite myself, it was fun ,easy-going , music lovely, screenplay just right, editing smooth and the scenes were just …….. Immaturi, The Juveniles were just what you needed on a rainy afternoon , all warm and wossy from the beginning to the end, hot cioccolate and slippers..

Director :  Paolo Genovese , is riding high here in Italy at the moment a bit of a Golden Goose right now, he had this years Santa number one ,with an enormous turnover La Banda dei babbi natale. I did not see it, I am just too fragile to watch Santa films, I might now look into seeing it  as I enjoyed Immaturi so much. I do not think Genovese is known outside Italy, although I am sure I saw Nessun messaggio in segreteria, Sorry you cannot get through  in the USA back in 2007. I will be surprised if it makes it across the Italian border , I do hope it does as I enjoyed it.

Cast : Isabelle Adriani, Ambra Angiolini, Luca Bizzarri,  Barbora Bobulova, Raoul Bova, Anita Caprioli, Paolo Kessisoglu, Ricky Memphis, Giulia Mechelini, Giovanna Ralli, Luisa Raineri, Daniela Virgilio.

Synopsis : A group of Thirty Somethings ,who have known each other for over 20 years, all receive a letter stating that their  exam has been disqualified and need to be re-sat , yes chaps re-sat after 10 years ( now perhaps you understand why I was not over joyed to see this film) Still, we follow this delightful group and each individual protagonist blossom and grow with such great insight and like the onion gets stronger as the layers are peeled away or does it get sweeter ? Yes, it is a bit of a girly movie, a wee bit cheesy even, what is wrong with that ? Great acting from everyone and I do love Ricky Memphis and his character “Italian cinema gold” The Mammone .

31/01/2011

Ferzan Ozpetek , Aida

by Marianne Wi

When hearing the name Ferzan Ozpetek I immediately think of such charming films as :

Le fate Ignorante, The Ignorant Fairies. Il bagno Turco, Steam: The Turkish Bath. La finestra di Fronte, Facing the window and  Cuore Sacro, Sacred Heart and most recent and still doing well Mine Vagante, Loose  Cannons.

So hearing the news that  Ferzan Ozpetek was spending an excessive amount of time in Naples often at the Maggio Fiorentino Theatre tickled my curiosity ……I was not disappointed, is he producing a new film there ? No, Ozpetek is making his debut as a Director of the great opera  Aida Verdi’s masterpiece , it will open its doors on the  28th April 2011, there are still tickets if you are around that part of the world.

Singing the part of Aida will be  Hui He and Maria Jose  Siri, The king is sung by Roberto Tagliavini and  Amneris by Luciana D’Intino and Mariana Pentcheva. This is Ozpeteks first attempt at directing an opera and although I am wishing him well with this new venture ,I hope it will not be the end of his film making days.

30/01/2011

Et in Terra Pax, And Peace on Earch

by Marianne Wi

Directed by  Matteo Botrugno, Daniele Coluccini

Cast : Maurizio Tesei, Ughetta D’Onorascenzo, Michele Botrugno, Fabio Gomiero, Germano Gentile, Simone Crisari, Riccardo Flammini .

Official synopsis : On the distant outskirts of Rome, crime and drugs tie several parallel stories together which gradually become one. The exchange of a moped for a bit of cocaine brings the plot into focus. Once the main characters meet, they will leave a trail of blood, fire and violence behind them.

Again sadly another film that is doing the rounds of International Film Festivals abroad, while still waiting for a release date  nationally here in Italy. It is tough being an Independent filmmaker,very tough sorry I keep repeating myself while I huff and I puff over missing such interesting films.

 

30/01/2011

Pietro

by Marianne Wi

Pietro directed by Daniele Gaglianone was released in Italy in August ,however it does not appear to have been shown nationwide alas.

Cast : Pietro Casalla, Franscesco Lattarulo,Fabrizio Nicastro,Giuseppe Sanna

Synopsis and review all in one :

Pietro’ is a brilliant tour-de-force by actor Pietro Casella according the skillful and raw plot and direction of director Daniele Granaglione. This desperate, miserable story really makes you touch and somehow feel empathy with the kind characters you usually read in the crime news. Pietro is a boy with a light handicap, whose life is subdued to the addiction of the brother and his problems with drug dealers and street gangsters. He trays to work a straight life of impossible dignity, inhibited more by a sad social role of clown for the brother and friends than by the hard, demeaning work or few perspectives of better life. The performances of the actors are the main thing; details as score and soundtrack sometimes in my opinion border on the Great Cinema, while the desperate story follows a somehow preventable dramatic path. This fine movie deserved a bigger notion at Locarno 2010 Film Festival for sure. Courtesy of ” Man from down under ” Imdb.it

I am so very much looking forward to see this film myself, when it hits the shores of Sicily or even mainland Italy. Small unknown Independent film makers have it difficult here for sure.

30/01/2011

Un altro mondo, Another World ( Possible English Title)

by Marianne Wi

Director : Silvio Muccino, this is his second film as a director, his first being Parlami d’amore, Talk to me about love released in  2008 a film that did very well in NZ  and the UK . I have no doubt that this film will have great success  at International Film Festivals.

Un altro Mondo, Another World does not disappoint it is light, sometimes funny, sometimes sad and in the end very emotional, not a dry eye in the cinema that night.   Charlie played by Michael Rainey Jr. is showing great promise as a first time actor, really looking forward to see him develop.

Cast : Silvio Muccino, Michael Rainey Jr, Isabella Ragonese,Maya Sansa, Greta Scacchi,Flavio Parenti

Best moment : Rollercoaster ride, great to se Charlie let go… as a matter of fact I do not think Muccino was acting either. The viwes in Africa were truly great.

Worst moment : After traveling on the bus in Nairobi all passengers leave the bus …..the bus depart with all their luggage still on top of it.

Synopsis :   Andrea played by Silvio Muccino is a 30 something wealthy middle-class professional lay about , leading a less than meaningful life in Rome with his bulimic girlfriend  Livia ( Isabella Ragonese  – another great performance ) financed by his icy cold detached mother. After receiving a letter from his father  ,with whom he has not had contact since he left him in a park age 3 , Andrea departs for Nairobi in search of the truth. The discovery of a half-brother leaves him perplexed and as his attempt to off load Charlie on his step-mothers family fails, he faces the problem of what to do with Charlie.

Andreas struggle in Rome trying to integrate Charlie into his previously very much routine driven life has many highs and lows, it can have but one ending so bring the kitchenroll and enjoy.


29/01/2011

Gotenburg International Film Festival giff

by Marianne Wi

Gotenburg International Film Festival 28.01.11 to 07.02.11 has this year a great selection of  films. I am please that even a short and a documentary has made it into the program from Italy. .

Pietro directed by Daniele Gaglianone was released in Italy in August ,however it does not appear to have been shown nationwide alas.

Cast : Pietro Casalla, Franscesco Lattarulo,Fabrizio Nicastro,Giuseppe Sanna

Synopsis and review all in one :

Pietro’ is a brilliant tour-de-force by actor Pietro Casella according the skillful and raw plot and direction of director Daniele Granaglione. This desperate, miserable story really makes you touch and somehow feel empathy with the kind characters you usually read in the crime news. Pietro is a boy with a light handicap, whose life is subdued to the addiction of the brother and his problems with drug dealers and street gangsters. He trays to work a straight life of impossible dignity, inhibited more by a sad social role of clown for the brother and friends than by the hard, demeaning work or few perspectives of better life. The performances of the actors are the main thing; details as score and soundtrack sometimes in my opinion border on the Great Cinema, while the desperate story follows a somehow preventable dramatic path. This fine movie deserved a bigger notion at Locarno 2010 Film Festival for sure. Courtesy of ” Man from down under ” Imdb.it

I am so very much looking forward to see this film myself, when it hits the shores of Sicily or even mainland Italy. Small unknown Independent film makers have it difficult here for sure.

La prima cosa bella, The First Beautuful Thing, directed by Paolo Virzì is “SOLD OUT” already and rightly so it was a great film, do check out my previous review of this wonderful touching film.

And Peace on Earch , Et in Terra Pax

Directed by  Matteo Botrugno, Daniele Coluccini

Cast : Maurizio Tesei, Ughetta D’Onorascenzo, Michele Botrugno, Fabio Gomiero, Germano Gentile, Simone Crisari, Riccardo Flammini .

Official synopsis : On the distant outskirts of Rome, crime and drugs tie several parallel stories together which gradually become one. The exchange of a moped for a bit of cocaine brings the plot into focus. Once the main characters meet, they will leave a trail of blood, fire and violence behind them.

Again sadly another film that is doing the rounds of International Film Festivals abroad, while still waiting for a release date  nationally here in Italy. It is tough being an Independent filmmaker,very tough sorry I keep repeating myself while I huff and I puff over missing such interesting films.

28/01/2011

La doppia ora, The Double Hour

by Marianne Wi

Just the best Thriller to come out of Italy for many years. The film has everything you need from a Thriller and more , it is shot beautifully, great story line, unexpected twists  and even the editing ( often a painful subject) is done to perfection. Why have I not bothered to spread this news before I hear you say, well it is not a recent  film and I have just noticed that it is included in many International Film Festivals such as Palm Springs USA and Lotterywest (Perth) Australia.

Director : Giuseppe Capotondi, know in Italy for his videography work and commercials, this is the first feature film and I very much hope not his last it is awesome.

Cast : Filippo Timi, Kseniya Rappoport,Antonia Truppo,Gaetano Bruno,Fausto Russo Alesi,Michele Di Mauro,Lorenzo  Gioielli, Lidia Vitale.

Best moment  : The scene with the plastic sheet among many .

Excellent performances from both Filippo Timi and  Kseniya Rappoport  should have had an Oscar .

Synopsis :  Sonia from Eastern Europe  has recently moved to  Turin and is looking for a man, she signs up for a speed-dating service, and meets Guido , an ex-cop who is now working as a security guard. Sonia and Guido are attracted to each other and his near obsession with the double hour becomes apparent , it’s a sign of good luck and one should make a wish for sure.  (Double hour = the clock must show 12.12 or 20.20 if you see what I mean) A great thriller do not miss it.

28/01/2011

Baaria

by Marianne Wi


This film has been out in Italy for some time and is now doing the International Film Festival scene. It carried the Italian hope for an Oscar last year at the Academy Awards, it fell at the last hurdle and was not nominated. I so wanted to love this film, yet in all honesty it did not quite do the trick. In my eagerness to see it, I  hopped on a Ryanair flight from London to Pisa  early one sunny but freezing Sunday morning, knowing that it was showing in the local cinema. I spent a cool day shopping, lunching and shopping some more, before settling in the Odeon Cinema with some popcorn and a lotta of goodwill for this epic film. You might be aware that in Italy we like our Intervallo after an hour, nothing to do with small bladders,  just the love of Gelato and the need for a cigarette , we are not proud of this fact it is just the way it is. Baaria did not have an Intervallo 150 minutes long  yep 2 hours and 30 minutes and not one Intervallo !  The audience was pointing this out after every scene in between making calls on their mobiles and discussing who the various actors were…….. a family occasion as always .

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore is very famous  outside  for his other films :

Cinema Paradiso earning him an Oscar back in 1989 – The Starmaker, L’ uomo delle stelle – Malena – The Unknown Woman, La sconoscuta.

In post production “Leningrad”. ( I am dreaming, he started writing and speaking about this film back in 2003 surely it must be coming soon )

All really great films so I was just a little disappointed, still if you get the chance and I am sure you will do go and see it. It is out on DVD box set of 3 disks Italian version, Sicilian version and a full DVD with extra information about the making of the  film.

There were controversy ohhhh yes,  more than just a little from Italy’s animal rights groups, who accused Tornatore of deliberately filming the live killing of a cow in Tunisia ,where the laws protecting animals are non existent. Tornatore defended himself by stating that the cow had not been killed for the film but formed part of everyday life in the 1930s and is still part of life in Tunisia. If you are wearing leather shoes then what is your problem ??? if you are a vegetarian then I feel you pain and between you and me the cow was not really killed, it is still happily gracing on a green field in Tunisia.

Cast :  Francesco Scianna, Margareth Made, Enrico Lo Verso,Angela Molina, Raoul Bova, Luigi Lo Cascio, Laura Chiatti, Nicole Grinaudo, Nino Frassica, Aldo, BeppeFiorello, Gaetano Bruno,Monica Bellicci and many many many many more the list is endless.

Synopsis:

The film recounts life in the Sicilian town of Baaria from the 1920s to the 1980s, through the eyes of lovers Peppino (Francesco Scianna) and Mannina (Margareth Madè). A Sicilian family depicted across three generations: from Cicco to his son Peppino to his grandson Pietro… Touching lightly upon the private lives of these characters and their families, the film evokes the loves, dreams and disappointments of an entire community in the province of Palermoover five decades: during the Fascist period, Cicco is a humble shepherd who, however, finds time to pursue his passion: books, epic poems, the great popular romance novels. In the days when people go hungry and during World War II, his son Peppino witnesses injustice by Mafiosi and landowners, and becomes a communist. After the war, he encounters the woman of his life. Her family opposes the relationship because of his political ideas, but the two insist and get married, and have children.

Subplots include one about a boy running an errand, a living fly locked inside a top, three rocks people try to hit in one throw, a man mutilating himself to avoid having to fight in the war, looting while the US conquers Sicily, making clothing from an US parachute, and Peppino’s daughter calling her father a fascist for not allowing her to wear a mini-shirt. Running through the film however is the main subplot concerning the history of the Italian left especially the Communist party of which Peppino is a life long member. It charts his fight against injustice and eventual disillusionment in the face of corruption and compromise by his fellow politicians. Courtesy of  Wikipedia sorry chaps but it is a long time since I saw this film.

28/01/2011

Lotterywest Film Festival Perth. Italian films galore !

by Marianne Wi

The International Film Festival in Perth, best known as Lotterywest is in full swing, it is spread over a number of  months ,which is unusual in itself, do not miss this exciting festival. The Cinema has air-conditioning so what a great place to cool down during the hot summer days and put your feet up…….uhmm best not , keep the popcorn and the cold beer flowing  though.

Italian films coming up are as follows:

Baaria shown from 7th Febtuary 2011 to 20th February 2011. See review on my blog.

La prima cose bella, The First Beautifyl thing 7th March 2011 to 20th April 2011. See review on my blog.

La doppia ore, The Double Hour 28th March 2011 to 10th April 2011. See review on my blog.

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