Archive for May, 2011


Corpo Celeste, Heavenly Body

by Marianne Wi

Director, Alice Rohrwacher is the screenwriter and director of this her first feature film, she has a very famous older sibling Alba, they were both born in Firenze by an Italian mother and German father, I have a feeling we will see a lot more from this younger member of the Rohrwacher family. Corpo Celeste was first presented at Cannes Film Festival 2011 receiving good reviews and will be at The Taormina Film Festival later in June 2011, it has received 3 nominations for The Silver Ribbon, Il Nastro d’argento, Best Director Newcomer for Alice Rohrwacher and two for Best Supporting Actress Anita Capriol, who plays the mother and Yle Vianello for her role as Marta, personally I would have liked Pasqualina Scuncia to have received a nomination for her role as Santa, she was awesome giving a solid, heartfelt and well-played performance, most of all she had a lived in face, excellent casting for her role. I was lucky to see this film, it was only shown in Catania for a week nowhere else in Sicily, I sort of understand why, it really is everyday life in the South, there would be little interest in seeing what virtually amounts to a Docudrama for many people here, at a price of 7 Euros. I saw Corpo Celeste with a German friend who has lived in Catania for 40 years, she positively hated the film and saw no purpose for its existence, 2 years ago I would have though it patronising with too many caricatures, a bit of a cheap shot at the south, today I think it is a very accurate portrayal of life in the South, there is always a Saint that needs to be aired, a Madonna that needs to be resting at someones house for a day or 2, while the ladies of the Church gather to sing her on her way, I think Corpo Celeste, will do very well on the International scene, a gutsy first film from Rohrwacher the Younger.

Cast :   Yle Vianello, Anita Caprioli, Pasqualina Scuncia, Salvatore Cantalupe, Renato Carpentieri, Paola Lavini

Synobsis : Marta, a 13 year old introverted adolescent has recently relocated to Calabria, Southern Italy with her older sister and mother, after 10 years in Switzerland. We follow her search for a part to play in this deeply religious neighborhood, with its bleak dilapidated exterior, poverty and petty crime. The church is the centre of everyday life in the south, Marta must prepare herself for her confirmation, she attend catechism classes run by the local Catholic Church, Santa runs these classes like a pop-quize, she does her utmost under very difficult circumstances to spread the word and prepare these youngsters for the big day “seeing the Spirit is like wearing really cool sunglasses”. On an unscheduled away day with the Priest, to a derelict and deserted village, collecting an obsolite Jesus, while making various stop-overs in the small villages drumming up signatures for his promotion to a more important church, Marta gets her first period adding to her problems. The scene in the church where Marta sensually explore a wooden and very dusty Jesus was excellent, Marta is a girl of few words yet her questioning of the church does not go down well, Jesus goes flying off the cliff perhaps because he was angry or was he mad as some people have told her…… If you are looking for a glimpse of southern Italy today, this is a film for you .


Transilvania goes Italian in Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca

by Marianne Wi

The Transylvanian International Film Festival kickers off in Cluj-Napoca on the 3rd June with a number of Italian films until the 12th of June 2011, where it will pack its bags and move onto Sibiu, running from the 15th June 2011 untill the doors slams shut on the 19th June 2011.

Transylvania, I know me too, vision of black horses dragging an old carriage that would rival the Royal Wedding in the UK, vampires , Count Dracula, garlic and a gold crosses, horror galore, that is what Transylvania means to me too, now is the time to move on, give the people of Romania a change to shine, both Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca are impressive towns, there are so many interesting places, you would not know what to see first.

The Festival is in its 10th year and is giving Italy a good showcase, what films have they picked this year ? Here is your list:

Vallanzasca – Gli angeli del male, Angles of Evil directed by Michael Placido

Le Quattro Volte, The Four Times directed by Michelangelo Frammartino.

Gianni e le donne, The Salt of Life  directed by Gianni Di Gregorio

La boca del lupo directed by Pietro Marcello

Solitude of Numbers directed by Saverio Costanzo

Somewhere directed by Sophia Coppola ok ok its not Italian, I just could not resist.


Il ragazzo con la biciletta, The Kid With A Bike, Le gamin au vélo

by Marianne Wi

Director : The Kid With A Bike is directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, you will have heard about them recently as they also wrote the screenplay for this charming film, winning “Best Screenplay” at Cannes last week (24.05.11). The Dardenne brothers are from Belgium, they have been writing screenplays, producing and directing films since 1978 and have a number of great films behind them, “Rosetta” won the Palme d’Or in 1999, “The Child” got a Palme d’Or in 2005 and now their 3rd Palme d’Or for “The Kid With A Bike”, unique and a great class act. Jean-Pierre the older brother is known for his many quips, one being “We are not Spielberg. Spielberg is successful, not us.”  The Kid With A Bike will surely change that and take them out of Europe and worldwide, it cannot fail to be picked by International Film Festivals and I hope sold independently, it is a co-production between Belgium, France and Italy, a film not to be missed.

Cast: Thomas Doret, Cecile De France, Jeremie Reiner, Fabritzio Rongione, Egon Di Mateo

Synopsis: Cyril (Thomas Doret) is a 12 year old boy living in a care-home from which he repeatedly try to escape, looking for his father Guy (Jeremie Reiner) who has moved on without leaving a forwarding address. Cyril’s single-minded approach to find his father is touching yet matter of fact, this little boy is not a victim, he is a resourceful little tyke who will get his way, a fighter. Cyril teams up with Samantha (Cecile De France) with whom he builds a warm yet detached rapore, she becomes his weekend foster parent, a parent with natural parental skills. When Cyril finds his father, a weak self-centred egoist, and has to accept his total rejection, you catch a glimt of Cyril’s well hidden emotions, running deep underneath the matter and fact exterior, although understated and lasting only a few moments, I reached for my hanky, you are not allowed by the Dardenne borthers to dwell in this moment of misery for long, it is upwards and onwards. Cyril get a new best friend Wess (Egon Di Mateo) teaching him the road to crime, the inevitable downfall were felt by us and a few ” mamma mia, no Cyril” was heard in the dark. Cyril, is a strong character something he did not inherit from his father, there will be no spoiler alert….. suffice to say, I left the cinema feeling that despite all the worlds problems there is hope, hope for all of us and most of all hope for Cyril. The Bike, what about the bike I hear you cry…… Cyril, loved his bike, dad sold it, Samantha bought it back , it was stolen a number of times, formed part of many scenes and was his to the end, go see the film.


Il Nastro d’argento speciale, The Special Silver Ribbon the votes are in.

by Marianne Wi

Il Nastro d’argento, The Silver Ribbon Europa’s oldest film industry award, will be presented during the Taormina Film Festival on the 25th June 2011. The Festival will be running from the 11th of June until the 18th June 2011. We do already have the name of the recipient of Il Nastro d’agento speciale, The Special Silver Ribbon it will be going to Pupi Avati for his film Sconfinata giovinezza, Endless Youth (possible English title) it was a good film with a daring subject; Lino’s (Fabrizio Bentivoglio) decent into childhood, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer was played with great depth and sensitivity by Bentivoglio a solid performance, even though he must have felt frustrated playing to Francesca Neri’s frozen face, neurotoxin Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Juvederm should be used exclusively by models and wifes of rich oil magnets not actors and actresses, she was dreadful, of course it is not entirely her fault, Italian actresses are all doing it, the fault lies with casting, to be fair, if an actress cannot display simple emotions such as happy, sad, worried and angry, they should not be booked, simple really. Pupi Avati, is an awesome director with a diverse catalog of films behind him and he has more awards than most of his contemporaries, to follow is a list of  films he has directed :

Courtesy of   Wikipedia

  • Balsamus l’uomo di Satana (Blood Relations, 1968)
  • Thomas e gli indemoniati (Thomas and the Bewitched, 1969)
  • La mazurka del barone, della santa e del fico fiorone (The Mazurka of the Baron, the Saint and the Early Fig Tree, 1974)
  • Bordella (House of Pleasure for Women, 1976)
  • La casa dalle finestre che ridono, The House with the Laughing Windows, (1976)
  • Tutti defunti… tranne i morti (1977)
  • Le strelle nel fosso (1979)
  • Aiutami a sognare (Help Me Dream, 1981)
  • Zeder (1983)
  • Una gita scolastica (A School Outing, 1983)
  • Noi tre (We Three, 1984)
  • Impiegati (1984)
  • Festa di laurea (Graduation Party, 1985)
  • Regalo di Natale (Christmas Present, 1986)
  • Ultimo minuto (The Last Minute, 1987)
  • Sposi (Bride and Groom, 1987, first segment)
  • Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze (The Story of Boys and Girls, 1989)
  • Bix (1991)
  • Fratelli e sorelle (Brothers and Sisters, 1991)
  • Magnificat (1993)
  • L’amico d’infanzia (The Childhood Friend, 1994)
  • Dichiarazioni d’amore (Declarations of Love, 1994)
  • Festival (1996)
  • L’arcano incantatore (The Mysterious Enchanter, 1996)
  • Il testimone dello sposo (The Best Man, 1998)
  • La via degli angeli (A Midsummer Night’s Dance, 1999)
  • I cavalieri che fecero l’impresa (The Knights of the Quest, 2001)
  • Il cuore altrove (The Heart Is Elsewhere, also known as The Heart Is Everywhere, 2003)
  • La rivincita di Natale (Christmas Rematch, 2004)
  • Ma quando arrivano le ragazze? (2005)
  • La seconda notte di nozze (2005)
  • La cena per farli conoscere (2007)
  • Il nascondiglio (The Hideout, 2007)
  • Il papà di Giovanna (Giovanna’s Father, 2008)
  • Gli amici del bar Margherita (The Friends at Margherita Café, 2009)
  • Il figlio più piccolo (2010)
  • Una sconfinata giovinezza (2011)


MovieMov Italian Film Festival is kicking off in Bangkok

by Marianne Wi

There is no such thing as a free lunch so they say, they might be right there, we do however have a fee Italian film festival kicking off in Bangkok on the 8th June finishing on the 12th June 2011. All films will be in Italian with both English and Thai subtitles and they are all free, gratis. Bangkok is a very exciting place with some awesome attractions, yet you might just find yourself feeling a little homesick even a little lost, so why not catch a film and support MovieMov 2011.

Here is a list of all films showing, most will see their Asian premier so lets rejoice and fill some seats, as always dress smart tracksuits are a big no no, you will have competition in Bangkok, the Thais are known for their elegance.

Films being shown for free are:

Manuale D’amore 3, The Three Stages of Love  directed by Giovanni Veronesi

Una vita tranquilla, A Quiet Life directed by Cladio Cupellini

Mine Vaganti, Loose Cannons directed by Ferzan Ozpetek

Dieci Inverni, Ten Winters directed by Valerio Mieli

La Doppia Ora, The Double Hour directed by Giuseppe Capotondi

La Scuola e finita, School is over directed by Valerio Jalongo

Io sono amore, I Am Love directed by Luca Guadagnino

Special Screening of Vlazer, Waltz directed by Salvatore Maira

There is a special mini festival for Mario Monicelli the great Italian Director, who committed suicide in November last year at the age of 95. For a list of all his films and additional information please click here

There will be 7 films to see :

Guardie e Ladri, Cops and Robbers 1951

I soliti ignoti, Big Deal On Madonna Street  1958

La grande guerra, The Great War  1959

Amici miei, My Friends 1975

Un borghese piccolo piccolo, An Average Little Man 1981

Il marchese del grillo, The Marquese of Grillo 1981

Parenti serpenti, Dearest Relatives Poisonous Relations 1962


Hollywood, Basilicata and a big Coppola

by Marianne Wi

Rumors are running wild in Basilicata, well actually they are running riots in Hollywood, Paris and most of Italy too. The wedding of the year “mach 2” will take place in Bernalda, August 2011, preparations are on the way and I am sure the bridemaids are all to be found in a Gym doing Pilatus. Who is getting married? Well, the director of “Somewhere” last years winner of the Golden Lion, Sophia Carmina Coppola and her long time companion the French singer Thomas Mars from the indie group Phoenix, they have been together for 9 years producing 2 children. The knot will be tied in Bernalda from where her grandfather immigrated back in 1904, he incidentally invented the videophone that was patented and purchased by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Sophia Coppola’s famous father Francis Coppola is one of Americas biggest director and producers, you are bound to have seen The Godfather One, two and Three, Apocalypse Now, Black Beauty and many others, he received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the ceremony of this years Oscars, Sophia comes from a sturdy stock of film makers, no one can argue with that. Sophia and Thomas visited Bernalda back in 2008 and it is understood that he asked her to marry him while inside Palazzo Margherita…..I know, who said romance was dead ? Palazzo Margherita was purchased by the Coppola Family many years ago and restored to the highest spec, a beautiful setting for a wedding ceremony, we know this as many scenes from “Somewhere” were shot inside the palazzo. Will the “I do” be said in the surrounding gardens to the tune of Lisztomania, I think that is a wait and see for now. There will be an influx of  Hollywood stars, French stars and the odd Italian movie icon for sure, Nicholas Cage is Sophia’s  cousin, Al Pacino a close friend of the family as is Steven Spielberg and Sly Stalone … what about Jackie Stalone will she be there doing her Rumpology readings after the service, I am sure the guest list will read like an international who’s who, I am getting excited and will have a look at eBay for that special hat, just encase .


Cannes Film Festival 2011 Winners list

by Marianne Wi

There has been tears of joy and there has been tears of despair during the 64th Cannes Film Festival and then there has been Lars von Trier.

Lars von Trier, who could have cracked jokes about Bin Laden’s fish supper or even a small controversal jest about Israels continual slaughter of Palestinians, if he felt the need to be mischievous, wisecracks about Hitler is in serious bad taste, what was he thinking, perhaps he thought the term “Freedom of Speech” was on the Cannes menu?. I noticed his new film Melancholia remained in competition, wonder why the Cannes Organisers did not remove it too, ahhh yes it could of course be because good old Kirsty Dunst had made the effort across the pond and was getting The Best Actress Award “political correctness” did not stretch so far as to ban his film too, von Trier should have been left in Cannes to deal with the consequences of his sarcastic comments, more effective surely for him to be surrounded by his contemporaries and their wrath, than being sent packing in his car.

Here are a few interesting facts about Lars von Trier, this Danish Film director who never shy away from controversy, he was born in Denmark on the  30th  April 1956, brought up by his mother Inger Trier a Communist and father Ulf Trier a Social Democrat and a Jew, although not practicing. On Inger Trier’s deathbed ten years after Ulf’s death, when Lars was 33 she informed him that his biological father was Fritz Michael Hartmann an ex-employer of hers with whom she had a fling. Lars von Trier has often made jokes about his changing heritage from Jew to Nazi, this was actually incorrect as Hartmann was a Danish Civil Servant and an active member of  “Frit Danmark” an underground resistance group fighting Hitler during the Second World War. Lars met with Hartmann his biological father only a few times until his father rejected him completely and refused all contact with him. Lars von Trier does not fly and has an enormous collection of phobias, he biggest being flying, all his films have been made in Denmark or Sweden even if they pretend to be shot in the USA. Lars von Trier has now driven back to Denmark and has made a number of interviews, where he offer his sincere apologies to the organisers of the Cannes Film Festival, although he could not resist a little dig at the French feeling that they had somewhat overreacted, why ? “Well, the French did little for the Jews during the Second World War and are properly therefore feeling a little over sensitive about them now” quote on quote.

Winners of the 2011 Festival are:

Feature Films :

The Palme d’Or “The Tree of Life” directed by Terrence Malick

Grand Prix  Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia) directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Le gamin au vélo (The Kid With A Bike) directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Award for Best Director Denmark’s Nicolas Winding Refn for “Drive” 

Jury Prize  Poliss directed by Maiwenn

Award for Best Screenplay Joseph Cedar for “Footnote” 

Award for Best Actress Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia”

Award for Best Actor  Jean Dujardin for his role in “The Artist” directed by Michel Hazanavicius

Short Films

Palme d’Or   Cross-Country by Maryna Vroda

Jury Prize   Badpakje  46 (Swimsuit 46) by Wannes Destoop

Camera D’or   Las Acacias directed by Pablo Giorgelli presented in the framework of the the Critic’s Week

Un Certain Regard

Prize of un certain regard Ex-æquo Arirang  directed by kim Ki-Duk

Halt Auf Freier Strecke (Stopped on Track) by Andreas Dresen

Special Jury Prize  Elena directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

Directing Prize  Be Omid and Didar (Au revoir) directed by Mohammad Rasoulof


First Cinéfondation Prize  Der Brief (The Letter) directed by Doroteya Droumeva
dffb, Germany

Second Cinéfondation Prize  Drari directed  by Kamal Lazraq La Fémis, France

Third Cinéfondation Prize YA-GAN-BI-HANG (Fly by Night) directed by Son Tae-gyum
Chung-Ang University, South Korea


Vittoria Puccini and Claudio Santamaria loved up in Lisabon

by Marianne Wi

Vittoria Puccini and Claudio Santamaria loved up in Lisabon, Portugal for 3 whole days? Well, they are looking happy, relaxed and a little bit scruffy; what pray tell happened to “Fare la bella figura”? Perhaps going overseas they thought they would be able to blend in with the local riff raff ohhh no not our smuching couple. Diva and Dona was busy or perhaps found themselves without passports, as it came down to “CHI” to run this story with some rather nice photos. Sometimes I miss Hello Magazin and their glossy beautiful airbrushed photographs, just sometimes so that is OK  right ?

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Feel free to ask me anything about Vittoria Puccini and her men although if I knew something really juicy it would be in this blog so have a look under categories  – After a News Flash – Vittoria Puccini and……. you will find everything you always wanted to know about her breakup with Alessandro Preziosi and her rumored affaires after the very public argument in the streets of Rome all those months ago.

Preziosi and Roncione, an item ?


Paolo Sorrentino “This Must Be The Place” wins at Cannes

by Marianne Wi

The Ecumenical Prize was today awarded to Paolo Sorrentino at Cannes, it is a special prize approved by SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication) together with INTERFILM (International Interchurch Organisation) a price most Directors are not particular overjoyed to receive and one Lars von Trier certainly joked himself out of this year, you can take freedom of speach too far at Cannes. Sorrentino took the news in his stride and I am sure hoping it is just one of many.

The Ecumenical Award was first given out in 1974, to follow is a list of previous winners courtesy of :

1974   Angst essen Seel auf (Fear Eats the Soul) – Rainer Werner Fassbinder
1975   Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle (Kaspar Hauser) – Werner Herzog
1976   The Ecumenical Jury did not give an award
1977   J.A. Martin, photographe – Jean Beaudin/La dentellière (The Lacemaker) – Claude Goretta
1978   L’albero degli zoccoli (The Tree with the Wooden Clogs) – Ermanno Olmi  ITALY
1979   Bez znieczulenia (Without Anesthesia) – Andrzej Wajda
1980   Stalker – Andreï Tarkovski/Constans (Constancy) – Krzysztof Zanussi
1981   Czlowickz zelaza (Man of Iron) – Andrzej Wajda
1982   La Notte di San Lorenzo (The Night of San Lorenzo) – P. et V. Taviani   ITALY
1983   Nostalghia – Andreï Tarkovski   ITALY
1984   Paris Texas – Wim Wenders
1985   La historia oficial (The Official History) – Luis Puenzo
1986   Offret (The Sacrifice) – Andreï Tarkovski
1987   Pokayaniye (Repent) – Tenguiz Abouladze
1988   A World Apart – Chris Menges
1989   Jésus de Montréal – Denys Arcand
1990   Stanno tutti bene (Everybody’s Fine) – Guiseppe Tornatore   ITALY
1991   La double vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Veronique) – Krzysztof Kieslowski
1992   Il ladro di bambini (The Stolen Children) – Gianni Amelio   ITALY
1993   Libera me – Alain Cavalier
1994   Huo Zhe (To Live) – Zhang Yimou/Outlomlionnye Solntsem (Burnt by the Sun) – Nikita Mikhalkov
1995   Land and Freedom – Ken Loach
1996   Secrets and Lies – Mike Leigh
1997   The Sweet Hereafter – Atom Egoyan
1998   Mia eoniotita ke mia mera (Eternity and one Day) – Theo Angelopoulos
1999   Todo sobre mi madre (All about my Mother) – Pedro Almodovar
2000  Eureka – Aoyama Shinji
2001   Safar e Gandehar (Kandahar) – Mohsen Makhmalbaf
2002   Mies vailla menneeisyyttä (The Man without a Past) – Aki Kaurismäki
2003   Panj é Asr (At Five in the Afternoon) – Samira Makhmalbaf
2004   Diarios de motocicleta (Motorcycle Diaries) – Walter Salles
2005   Caché (Hidden) – Michael Haneke
2006   Babel – Alejandro González Iñárritu
2007   The Edge of Heaven – Fatih Akin
2008   Adoration – Adam Egoy

2009   Looking for Eric – Ken Roach

2010   Of Gods and Men  – Xavier Beauvois

2011   This must be the Place  – Paolo Sorrentino ITALY


Alessandro Preziosi and Vittoria Puccini the aftermath

by Marianne Wi

 Diva & Dona have caught the pair in less than romantic circumstances, I am trying to analyse this non story as it appeared on their front page. Well, Puccini was reduced to tears, not in front of Preziosi in fact he was not there…. no she was hugging a female friend while crying her eyes out on the streets of Rome in front of the paparazzi ? Living in London for so many years have made me cynical, I apologies in advance, surely to God if you are feeling delicate, hurt, angry, betrayed, used or just generally pissed off, you cry in private , right ?. I think this is a case of Diva & Dona running a non story, we have had little sun in Italy of late so few bikini clad Celebes to put on the front page…… Now the Magazine Chi on the other hand caught Vittoria Puccini with Claudio Santamaria on holiday……. watch this space !

Vittoria Puccini and Claudio Santamaria loved up in Lisabon

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