Archive for February, 2011


Manuale d’amore 3, 3 Stages of Love (Manual of Love 3)

by Marianne Wi

I love the trailer, they have included all the really funny moments, no need to leave the comfort of your own home to see the film.

It has been hyped here in Italy as the “Comedy of the year” and much fuss has been made over it. It was released Friday and I am still trying to muster some enthusiasm and blog a few lines ….. I loved Manaule D’amore, Manual of Love when it came out in 2005, it was funny, great actors, believable story lines and the music was fabulous too, I can hum the tune for you right now. On the odd occasion I still find myself reaching for the DVD on a cold rainy Sunday afternoon.

Manuale d’amore 2, Manual of Love 2 came and went I cannot actually remember anything about it not a single frame comes to mind.

Manuale d’amore 3, Manual of Love 3, is as Italian comedies go not a bad movie, I was just bored and would have hot footed it out of there at the interval had they not left Robert de Niro until last, one nill to the clever producer.

Director:   Giovanni Veronesi a prolific Director and screenwriter.Manuale d’amore 1, 2 and 3 together with Me and Marilyn, Italians and Parents and their children.

Cast : Robert de Niro, Monica Bellucci, Riccardo Scamarcio, Michele Placido, Laura Chiatti,Valeria Solarino, Donnatella Finocchiaro, Carlo Verdone, Daniele Pecci,Vincenzo Alfieri

Synobsis : The film has 3 acts ……….

Youth : Riccardo Scamarcio  and Laura Chiatti story…. he goes up north on a business trip, has an affair with another woman (lets not confuse this with Mine Vaganti,Loose Cannons, that would be wrong) usual story, usual mediocre acting from both of them, I am sure I have seen this story many times before with both actors in it too.

Maturity : Carlo Verdone has great comic timing and the sexy Donatella Finocchiaro is equally funny, great acting  from both of them. Carlo Verdone plays a self-absorbed Ankerman, she plays a professional stalker, not believable and too much silliness packed into one short story, it had the potential  of being the best story of the tree acts.

Late middleage : Robert de Niro speaking Italian throughout (sounded great actually, top marks to him for trying) falls in love with the daughter of a Porter in Rome. Enter Monica Berluccio , God love her ,  a sad sight to see the once so beautiful actress Botoxed to point of freeze frame, STOP it is all I want to say to this lady, she plays a stripper , not quite the story of  An Officer and a Gentleman though, it was just another predictable  story, end of !

I am going off in search of a Drama or a Thriller now…… Ohhh yes, there must be one out there somewhere.


Academy Awards 2011 Winners List

by Marianne Wi

We were robbed, Italy did not win Custom and Design as I had hoped , it went to Alice in Wonderland ….OK , to be fair she is a child and the floodgates would have swong open had it gone to anyone else.

Makeup, went to the Woofman, I am looking to Canada for emotional support here and hope they will take it up with the Academy Awards board on our behalf, we  were robbed.

Wooo Woooo, we did it, we did it , ONE shiny golden Oscar went to Italy!

Well done  Francis Ford Coppola, we are so very proud and grateful for your Lifetime Achievement Award , please visit during the summer , let’s have a look at it, bring it to Basilicata , we will throw you a party…no make that a Festival with fireworks, one  you will never forget.

Denmark, I am so very very happy for you ” In a Better World” it was a great film, a small but well-formed tear was shed by me  ” Hip Hip Hurrah, hip Hip Hurrah  for Susanne Bier certainly a year that has seen her wardrope grow , having also run of with the British BAFTA and the Golden Globe.

Here is a list of all the winners :

Best Picture: “The King’s Speech”

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech”

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman for “Black Swan”

Best Director: Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”

Best Supporting Actor:Christian Bale for “The Fighter”

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo for “The Fighter”

Best Art Direction: “Alice”

Best Cinematography: ‘Inception’

Best Animated Short: ‘The Lost Thing’

Best Animated Feature: ‘Toy Story 3’

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for “The Social Network.”

Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler “The King’s Speech.”

Best Foreign Film: ‘In a Better World’ from Denmark

Best Documentary Feature: “Inside Job”

Best Documentary Short: “Strangers No More”

Best Live Action Short: “God of Love”

Best Original Score: “The Social Network”

Best Original Song: Randy Newman – “We Belong Together” for Toy Story 3

Best Sound Mixing: “Inception”

Best Sound Editing: Richard King – “Inception”

Best Film Editing: “The Social Network”

Best Costume: “Alice”

Best Make-up: “The Wolfman”



Miami International Film Festival MIFF

by Marianne Wi


Miami International Film Festival, (4th March to 13th March 2011) I nearly missed this charming Festival showing an interesting selection of films due to the Oscar hype . We  have two Italian films being championed at the Festival, unusual choices if you ask me, however I am pleased for both films, lets go explore….


Passione, Passion I was denied the possibility of seeing this film myself when it was released nationwide in Italy ( It never screened in Catania, Sicily and was also confused by the general public with La Passione , The Passion out at the same time) only in Italy.  Passion without the THE  is a must for any second ,third generation Italian living abroad , it is a festival must see. John Turturro’s latest movie takes us on a journey through Napoli, one of the biggest jukeboxes in the world with songs from way back to present day . Sing along if you must , you will surely know all the songs .

The second film shown is A Quiet Life, Una Vita Tranquilla staring Toni Servillo, if you love him you will adore this offering by the director Cladio Cupelli . Toni Servillo is Rosario an ex-hitman who ran off to Germany and re-invented himself , with a lovely new family including cute child,leaving a family behind including not so cute child in Italy. One day the prodigal son from Italy turns up as a hitman in Germany and their lives collide. This film is excellent , I really enjoyed it and I am chuffed to see it hitting the US too. Italians of Miami, now it is time to put on those glad rags and your best perfume and get this Festival rocking.


Diva E Donne is at it again….. Riccardo Scamarcio, Valeria Galino, Sean Penn and Deniz Ozdogan, what is going on?

by Marianne Wi

Diva E Donne is at it again….. Riccardo Scamarcio, Valeria Galino, Sean Penn and Deniz Ozdogan, what is going on?

Nothing is going on, that’s what!

Nothing, I am putting my seize 38 down and stopping this silly publicity stunt. At least try to pretend to have these dates in secret will you and not right in front of the Paparazzi. The tickets for Romeo and Juliette are selling well so give it a rest.


Last week Riccardo Scamarcio and Deniz Ozdogan were seen half smooching in front of a photographer, just before the opening night of Romeo  &  Juliette  at the Teatro Eliseo in Rome. No, not actually kissing that would have rubbed Valeria Galino up the wrong way. On the 14th of February at the first night,RS and VG were seen out dinning with friends , no sign of any discord at all.



Valeria Galino went out with Sean Penn two nights ago, big deal they have known each other for years  actually since he directed her in The Indian Runner back in 1991, they were seen having dinner with Paolo Sorrentino the evening of the “Romantic “ strol,  I always thought 3 was a crowd and Riccardo Scamarcio actually joint them later that evening too.




The photo of RS and DO after kissing on stage, what pray tell is that all about? Would Diva & Donne have Romeo and Juliette re-written to fit this publicity stunt, may Shakespeare thunder in his Round House?


Riccardo Scamarcio and Valeria Galino were papped outside the Teatro Eliseo, they spoke briefly before he drove off pensively into the night, while she took a Taxi…ahhh I am wondering if she might be off to see Michele Placido, I think he is doing something in Rome with a Taxi or was he being interview by  (I will get back to you on that story, unless D&D gets the photos out first.)

As I blogged on the 17th December 2010 , Valeria is writing her first screen play , it will feature RS and show him in a different light no less , further more I see no problems romantically in the bottom of my coffee cup ,crystal ball or tealeafs………Now tell me about a new Dramatic, Thriller will you !





Academy Awards 2011 , time for an Oscar !

by Marianne Wi

OK, it is Friday and it is time to get in the party stuff for Sunday nights Oscar bash, here in Italy we are all in fancy dress already as we are mid Carnival so no need for a costume or design . We do need food for this fest though and let’s not forget the Prosecco it is a must, we have the possibility of 3 Oscars so there surely must be one Oscar coming this way, three golden Oscars for Italy…..really ? Yes, THREE, I have had to push the boundaries a little to get that many but yes I am claiming 3 Oscars for Italy Sunday night.

Oscar Number one goes toIo sono l’amore, I am love Directed by Luca Guadagnino it is one of our hopes still alive and kicking for Costume and Design , responsible for those beautiful sumptuous ensembles is costume designer Antonella Cannarozzi, who first worked with the director on Melissa P back in 2005 , you have seen Io sono l’amore, I am love and will agree that Tilda Switon never looked better even Alba Rohrwacher looked positively stunning . Who are we up against for this elegant Oscar  ? :

Alice in Wonderland, C & D Colleen Atwood ( They took the BAFTA give us the Oscar)

Il Grinto , True Grit,  C & D Mary Zophres

The Tempest, C & D Sandy Powell

Il discorso de re , The Kings Speech, C & D Jenny Powell

Second Oscar goes to: La versione di Barneby, Barnaby’s Version, it is a production shared by Canada and Italy so any Oscar will be 50% Italian that is good enough for me. We are looking for an Oscar in the Makeup Department here, always an important Oscar if you ask me. The team working on this lovely film was: Natalie Garon, Rick Gassman, Magoli Metiveir, Adrien Morot, Valli O’Reilly and Alessandra Venzi, many good Italian names so let’s run with this Oscar. We are up against some heavy makeup I agree ,The Wolfman directed by Joe Johnston and The Way Back directed by Peter Weir, our best change.

The third and final Oscar goes to : Francis Ford Coppola the 71-year-old was born in Detroit USA ,I do not want a deep and meaningful discussion on genealogy here, just listen up for a second , when your father is Carmine Coppola and your mum is named Italia and they both came from Bernalda , Basilicata, we have some claim on him here in Italy, enough titter tatter, he is getting a lifetime achievement award , Premio alla carriera and we here in Italy will be celebrating …right ?.


We are in for a great evening on Sunday and a few Oscars too. So get the pasta ready, the Prosecco chilled and lets party.



Online Italian Films and it’s legal

by Marianne Wi

I always get a little bit over excited, when finding films online that are free and legal, not for me the pirated stuff, something to be very proud of when you live in Italy where Music and Film DVD’s are sold openly from market stalls, even before the films  have hit the local Cinemas…

While allowing my beady eye to stray from the safety of Google search, I came across this online TV channel  currently showing numerous films directed by Mario Monicelli they are :

We hope it is female – Speriamo che sia femmina 1986,

Il male oscuro – A Man’s Blessing 1964,

Parenti serpenti – Dearest Relatives, Poisonous Relations  1992 ,

Panni sporchi – Dirty Linen 1999 ,

Facciamo paradiso – Looking for Paradise 1995,

I Picari 1988,

A great list I think you will agree, the first 15 to 18 minutes are free in form of a trailer before seeing the full film and parting with  EURO 2.99  per film, that is frankly on the expensive side and very much what I expect from Mediaset ( I wonder if there is a connection) the latter has been charging you to watch their repeats for years. I have a great personal fondness for RAI, surely one of the leading Channels when it comes to showing mainstream TV online, who will allow you access to many of the films, history, documentaries, music and news programmers once shown on terrestrial TV, even when OUT of Italy all for Free, yes Gratis chaps even when not in Italy, I so wish the BBC would follow their lead.

The address of this channel showing Mario Monicelli films is once online and on their site you will need to search for Mario Monicelli or clemitalia  (Click on the film or preview you want to see and remember to click on the green arrow too, staring wistfully at it will not do).

You can at the moment only pay by PayPal, easy enough to set up an account  if you do not have one and I understand that plans are in progress to make payment by SMS via your mobile.

Now here is the sad bit, you need to understand a reasonable amount of  Italian as there are no subtitles neither English or French , I know I was upset for you, these films have already been subtitled as Monicelli’s films have been shown abroad , so please slap some subtitles on for us , from a commercial point of view,  foreigners are more like to actually pay nearly 3 EUROs to see an Italian foreign language films, as we are not used to dubbing. In the  UK for example a DVD can set you back 15 to 20 GBP  for just one DVD so would become very popular both as a teaching tool and for recreational purposes everywhere …… good free advise, I think.

There are a number of other Italian channels on the site including sport and news so go and have a look, some programmes are free too. I also understand that clemItalian will show other films both new and old from their archives  sadly not for free, still a lot cheaper that actually renting or purchasing the DVD.


Habemus Papam, We have a Pope….. Directed by Nanni Moretti

by Marianne Wi

Habemus Papam, We have a Pope, due to be released here in Italy on the 15th April 2011 is the latest offering from Nanni Moretti. I am so looking forward to this release as I understand it to be a Drama in Moretti’s own words “Contains a painful core,but wrapped in a light tone”, that does not sound like comedy to me and I am very much on the look out for Italian Films without the usual mindless comedy thrown in.

Habemus Papam, We have a Pope, is the announcement made by the senior Cardinal on presentation to the people of a new Pope at Saint Peters Square once a new pontiff has been chosen.

We follow the newly elected pope played by the french actor Michel Piccoli he is beleaguered by self-doubt, depression, deep rooted fear of responsibility, he did not wish for the this  job, enter Moretti as his psychiatrist offering help and advise to this fragile man.

I am missing Silvio Orlando, who although perhaps a little too young to be a Cardinal should have had a role , I understand that the role played by Jerzy Stuhr the Polish actor/director and close friend of Moretti  got the part instead…….uhmmmm.

Parallels are of course already being drawn with Pope Benedict and his troubled papacy, overshadowed by pedophilia and the coverup, of which he appear to have been involved, rumbles on. Interesting to see how the Vatican will react to this film. The Sistine Chapel was recreated in Cinecitta, as Moretti was denied access to shoot in the Vatican, many scenes are shot in Palazzo Farnese currently housing the French Embassy, awesome building.


Mario Monicelli honored at LA Italian Film Festival

by Marianne Wi

Los Angeles Italian Film Festival will on the 25th February honor the great Italian Director and Screenwriter Mario Monicelli, who on the 29th of November 2010 leaped from his hospital window in Rome committing suicide at the age of 95. He had been admitted to hospital some days previously and was being treated for Prostrate Cancer.


Monicelli was since the 40s a major influence on the Italian Film Industry , he was dubbed the “father of Italian comedy” for directing films such as Amici Miei (My Dear Friends) and I Soliti Ignoti (Persons Unknown – Big Deal on Madonna Street ) a big void is being left for sure. I am so please to see Los Angeles Italian FIlm Industry honoring this big man with the showing of “Big Deal on Madonna Street” on the 25.02.11 at 10.00 as I fear due to the circumstances of his death, he will now be largely ignored by his Roman Catholic countrymen. Monicelli looked at his compatriots with love, and at Silvio Berlusconi with anger. Lets rejoice in the fact that he did not see the latest antics of Berlusconi dubiously managing to survive a no-confidence vote in parliament and the running of brothels in Milan ( Well, if you put young women in free housing and use them for sex, that constitutes brothel keeping, right ?).

Many quotes have been made since his death all positive , here are some of them for you:

President Giorgio Napolitano said he would be “remembered by millions of Italians for the way he moved them, for how he made them laugh and reflect”.

Director Giovanni Veronese said, “Monicelli was my Fellini”.

Politician, writer and former Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni said that Mario Monicelli was an extraordinary man who carried his 95 years with a strong sense of irony. Mr Veltroni said that the director had become the “grand old man” of Italian cinema against his will.

Actor and director Michele Placido said that we should respect his decision to die.

My five top films Directed by Mario Monicelli:

Un Borghese piccolo piccolo – A very little Man

Amici Miei – My Dear Friends

Casanova 70

I Soliti Ignoti  – UK Persons Unknown – USA  Big deal on Madonna Street.

Padri e Figlie

Toto cerca casa  all Toto’s film really.

Yes I know that is six, he really was that good , difficult to choose .


COURTESY OF  wikipedia






Los Angeles Italian Film Festival is kicking off.

by Marianne Wi

Los Angeles Italian Film Festival is flinging its doors open tomorrow, with a great list of feature films,documentaries and shorts. The list is impressive and very exciting indeed , there are a number of World Premiers too, they always makes me feel a wee bit jealous and am overwhelmed by an urge to hop on the next plane , hate missing the hot stuff. This festival is free all you need to do is turn up on a first come first serve basis…..It does not get any better than that folks do attend and yes do try to look elegante will you .

I am so very upset not to have seen The House by the Medlar Tree Malavoglia by Pasquale Scimeca it premiered at the London Film Festival in October, no date as yet for Italy, so exasperating don’t you think . I hope it does NOT follow  Rosso Malpelo also directed by Pasquale Scimeca it was never released nationwide here in Italy…grrrr grrr I think is an appropriate whinge.


The Festival runs from the 20th February when it opens with a documentary in of honor Dino De Laurentiis Hannibal Directed by Ridley Scott and closes on the 26th with Welcome to the south, Benvenuti al sud  Directed by Luca Miniero.


I mentioned World Premiers here is the list :

Father, Directed by Pasquale Squitieri

Rasputin Directed by Louis Nero

Atlantis Down Directed by Max Bartoli

The uneven Rome, La vita disperse Directed by Luca Fantasia

South of New York, A sud di NEW York Directed by Elena Bonelli


There are US premiers too folks:

Sorella Mai Directed by Marco Bollocchio

Angles of Evil, Vallanzasca – Gli angeli del male Direted by Michele Placido

The Vanishing of Pato, La scomparsa di Pato Directed by Rocco Mortelliti

Into Paradiso, Into Paradise Directed by Paola Randi

Men VS Women Directed by Fausto Brizzi

Women VS Men Directed by Fausto Brizzi

Cado dalle nubi Directed by Gennaro Nunzianti

I am with you , Io sono con te irected by Guido Chiesa

Gorbaciof Directed by Stefano Incerti

The Woman of my dreams, La donna della mia vita Directed by Luca Lucini


Honoring Dino De Laurentiis

Hannibal  Directed by Ridley Scott

Bitter Rice Directed by  Giuseppe De Santis

La Strada Directed by  by Federico Fellini


Tribute to Marco Bellocchio

Fists in the Pocket

My Mother’s Smile

The Wedding Director


Good Morning, Night

Sorella Mai


Honoring Mario Monicelli Big Deal on Madonna Street by Mario Monicelli


Other great films in the offering to tease you into the Mann Chinese 6 are :

Allonsanfan by Paolo e Vittorio Taviani

Piano Solo by Riccardo Milani

Liberty by Florestano Vancini

Along the Ridge by Kim Rossi Stuart

Garibaldi: the General by Luigi Magni

The Bandit of Tacca del Lupo by Pietro Germi

The Keys to the House by Gianni Amelio

One Hundred Steps by Marco Tullio Giordana

The House by the Medlar Tree by Pasquale Scimeca

The Bright Side of the Moon by Massimo Guglielmi

I am Love , Io sono amore by Luca Guadagnino

1960 by Gabriele Salvatores

Hayfever , Febbre da fieno by Laura Luchetti

Che bella giornata by Gennaro Nunziante


I think you will agree ,this free festival is truely awesome.












Il Padre e lo straniero, The Father and the Foreigner.

by Marianne Wi

So very exciting to see a film without a hint of comedy, Italy is churning out comedies as if the Italian cinema industry depended on them, we are mid February yet two local cinemas are still opening their doors daily to Xmas movies about Santa Gangs and a Xmas in South Africa.

The Father and the Foreigner is not a comedy, small mercies it is drama before turning thriller, it is already doing its rounds at the International Festivals and is now released nationwide here in  Italy.

Director: Ricky Tognazzi   is a prolific Actor and Director , well known here in Italy less so abroad. He comes from famous Italian Cinema stock his father being Ugo who in his time acted in over 70 films .

Cast: Alessandro Gassman, Amr Waked, Ksenia Rappoport, Leo Guillotta, Nadine Labaki, Emanuele Salce, Leonardo Della Bianca, Ilary Branco


Best Moment: Both shower scenes…..

Synopsis: A touching story about friendship between two fathers from very different cultures, both have handicapped sons, it turns into a not very believable spy combo halfway through though, never quite believable and a real struggling to keep engaged with. Gassman is appearing in most shots , often wearing very little ladies, just thought I would mention it, as he is rather gorgeous in a sort of Italiano stallion way.

Diego (Alessandro Gassman) is living in Rome with his Russian wife (Ksenia Rappoport) they have a handicapped son together. Diego has never really accepted Giacomino’s illness and is deeply tormented by his inability to love his offspring.

At the rehabilitation Centre where Giacomino (Diego’s son) attends for daily therapy, Diego meets Walid (Amr Waked), a very rich Arab businessman, who also has a severely handicapped son. They strike up a warm and deep friendship despite their many cultural and traditional differences. Walid philosophy “the destination is the destiny,” has a huge positive impact on Diego, who tries to re-kindle the love and passion he once had for his dishevelled wife ,whose love for their son has never faulted.

I really wanted to explore these two diverse characters deeper and was enjoying the film, I felt more than a little miffed, when I suddenly had to deal with Syria, terrorism, Belly dancers, the secret service and missing persons.

Walid disappears, and our spy story begins. Not wanting to be accused of giving the game away I will leave you to make up your own mind on this thriller finish.


This photo of Alessandro Gassman is not from the film,I just could not resist.  Italian Stallion or Gay Icon, who cares…. just  let me have pins like that in my next life  !

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