Archive for July, 2011


Rovinj Italian Film Festival is Kicking off (Croazia)

by Marianne Wi
For the 11th time the Rovinj Italian Film Festival is kicking off on the 1st August 2011 in Rovinj, it is a relative small festival with a very big heart but sadly without a website, it will be  running for 6 days only. La fisica dell ácqua, The Physics of Water directed by Felice Ferina will open the Festival, she will be present at the screening and I assume at a Q & A after the show. The closing film will be Rapotez. Un caso Italiano directed by Sabrina Benussi, who will also and again I assume to be present for a Q & A at the end.
Films at this years festival will be :
La fisica dell’acqua, The Physics of Water  directed by Felice Ferina
Velma directed by Piero Tomaselli
Noi Credevamo, We Once Believed  directed by Mario Martone
Viva L’Italia Roberto Rosellini 1961
Correva L’Anno di Grazia 1870 directed by Alfredo Giannetti 1971
Piccolo Mondo Antico directed by Mario soldati 1941
Camicie Rosse directed by Goffredo Alessandrini 1952
1860 directed by Alessandro Blasetti 1934
Uomini Contro directed by Francesco Rosi 1970
Shorts and Documentaries
Io sono ieri directed by Stefano and Alessio Poggioni
La foresta della Siciliana directed by Tilde di Dio
La vita dell’ambra
Rapotez. Un caso Italiano directed by Sabrina Benussi,who will close the festival and again I assumed to be present for a Q&A at the end.
Rovinj is not a place I have been visiting, they have by all accounts a big Italian population and I can only urge them to put on their finery and get their tickets booked tut suit, I am particularly loving the look of the Retrospectives.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is 50 today Tanti Auguri

by Marianne Wi

50 today, the awesome film directed by Blake Edwards starring George Peppard and the beautiful Audrey Hepburn released 1961.

You’ll say, we’ve got nothing in common,
No common ground to start from,
And we’re falling apart,
You’ll say, the world has come between us,
Our lives have come between us,
Still I know you just don’t care.

And I said, “What about ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s?'”
She said, “I think I remember the film,
And as I recall, I think, we both kind of liked it.”
And I said, “Well that’s, the one thing we’ve got.”

I see you, the only one who knew me,
And now your eyes see through me,
I guess I was wrong,
So what now? It’s plain to see we’re over,
And I hate when things are over,
When so much is left undone.


You’ll say, that we’ve got nothin in common,
No common ground to start from,
And we’re falling apart,
You’ll say the world has come between us,
Our lives have come between us,
Still I know you just don’t care.



And I said, “What about ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s?'”
She said, “I think I, remember that film,
And, as I recall, I think, we both kind of liked it,”
And I said, “Well that’s, the one thing we got.”

And I said, “What about ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s?'”
She said, “I think I, remember that film,
And, as I recall, I think, we both kind of liked it,”
And I said, “Well that’s, the one thing we got.”


The European Producers Club is dropping into Locarno for their 47th Co-production Forum

by Marianne Wi

The European Producers Club is a exclusive outfit, set up to help and promote European Producers, they have been meeting up 46 times so far, we are looking forward to the big 50 and the Silver Jubilee celebrations. Italy has done well this year with 2 out of possible 15 entries.

Italy is there with:

La Legge del Rugby, The Law of Rugby directed by Donato Pisani and produced by Gagarin.  I am again putting it all out there stating that this will be about Rugby and its laws.

Elsewhere directed by Vittorio Rifranti and produced by Gagarin. Four students on an out of season  holiday by the sea, while continuously sending feeds to their housebound friend who has been unable to come, it all of a sudden goes terribly wrong.

The remaining 13 films being promoted at Locarno on the 6th August 2011 are:

Rialto produced by Cien Plus Filmproduktion (Germany)

White Men directed by Joerg Hiller-Garcia produced by Motivo Films (Germany)

Desde Dentro, From Inside directed by Sanuel Lame Ferreira and produced by Visual Think (Spain)

Krampus directed by Stephen Hughes and produced by Achille Entertainment (UK and Austria)

Rainy Days directed by Maria Salgado Gispert and produced by Aquellare Servicios Cinematograficos, Promarfi Futuro 2010 and Pensa & Roca Productions (Spain)

Bobo directed by Ines Oliveira and produced by David & Golias (Portugal)

On a Day Like This directed by Georg Isenmann and  produced by Langfilm (Switzerland)

Father directed by Artur Urbanski and produced by Apple Film Production (Czech Republic)

The Waiting Room directed by Viliam Docolomansky and produced by Prvni Verejnpravni (Czech Republic)

Puppy Love directed by Delphine Lehericey and produced by Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium)

Carto directed by Gorune Aprikian and produced by Araprod (France) one to look out for if you were asking me

The Hunter  The Woman and The Labyrinth directed by Olivier Delahaye and Dani Kouyate produced by Odelion Films (France)

So where ohh where is the elusive 15th entry ? Perhaps a surprise in the making, the one that might not be quite ready yet.


Espoo International Film Festival is found in Finland EIFF

by Marianne Wi

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 Best Offer from Giuseppe Tornatore

by Marianne Wi

Giuseppe Tornatore is preparing his next film ”The Best Offer” due to be released in 2012, you will of course remember him for ”Cinema Paradiso” 1988, the winner of many awards including the 5 Bafta’s and one very nice shining Oscar in 1991 and lets not forget  ”Malèna”  2000 for which he was again nominated for both Bafta’s and an Oscar, his last film Baaria was a Minestrone full of clichés, altogether a wee bit OTT, yet lovable. I have mixed feelings about The Best Offer as I have been awaiting the blockbuster ”Lenningrad” for the past 2 years, it would appear that it has again been put on the back-burner, Tornatore, really ? The producers of The Best Offer is Paco Cinematografica and there is a financial incentive too as it will be filmed in Alto Adige, South Tyrol, nothing else out there on the net about this new venture.

Guiseppe Tornatore what happened to Leningrad ?    11.05.2011


Ettore Scola enough is enough, the directors chair has been moved to the attic.

by Marianne Wi

Ettore Scola is a great Italian film director who is now 80 years old (10 May 1931), he has made some tremendous films over the past 4 decades, here are some of my favorites : C’eravamo tanto amati, We All Loved Each Other So Much 1974, Brutti, sporchi e cattivi, The Ugly, The Dirty and The Bad 1976, Una giornata particolare, A Special Day 1977, La Familia, The Family 1987, Che ora è, What Time Is It 1989 and his last film Gente di Rome, The People of Rome 2003. Scola directed more than 88 features, documentaries and TV series, a versatile director who has now had enough of the Italian Film industry and put his Directors Chair in the attic. Scola recently gave an interview to Maria Pia Fusco at Pescasseroli, L’aquila, where he tried to describe his discontentment with the industry as a whole.

MPF: You have not directed a film for 10 years, why ? How many times have you been asked this question?

ES: Every time I am interviewed and the answer is always the same. I am grateful to Mr. Berlusconi who has facilitated my decision not to direct again. I was making a film with Depardieu, the contract was drawn with Medusa, when in one of Berlusconis deluding interventions in Parliament, in order to prove his liberalism stated that Medusa was producing a film with the communist Scola. I wrote to Medusa without delay stating that I did not need ”Patrons” and cancelled the film as I was not comfortable making it, however perhaps in the future there might be some collaboration.

MPF: What movie was it? 

ES: The title was A Dragon-shaped Cloud. The story of a bookseller, who keeps a little secret in the apartment above the library in form of a disabled daughter, who falls in love with a client. The actress was to be Audrey Tatou, who knew it would be an impossible love, and she helped him find a younger guy. A Twilight story.

MPF: Do you not want to write other screenplays ? 

ES: “No. I read a lot, I read Cicero, the classics, I have the time to read everything I want. I know that some people of my age are still working but tell that Lizzani or Montaldo, who are awaiting calls from either RAI or Medusa to close a deal on a film, it only reinforces my decision. They do very well, they are not critical, but I am 80 years old, I want to avoid the humiliation of expectations. I have my pension of 1,400 euros per month. There is also a bit ‘of pride’ because it is demonstrated that the last great film writers are crap, a few examples are Chaplin and De Sica. I do not want to finish my career in ugliness.

MPF: A Special Day, We All Loved Each Other So Much, The Family. Awesome titles, have you no regrets?

ES: Time is another form of regret, that of negritude to Metz and Marchesti, masters of their craft writing 10 contemporary scripts. They gave me 10 pages on the subject and told me to write the jokes and funny situations and if I did well they were to include them in the next Totó. I still remember the joke I wrote for Totó Tarzan, when he met Jane, Tamara Lees. Totó said ” Me Tarzan, You bona” (you are beautiful, gorgeous etc.)

MPF: Snobbery ?

ES: I am sincere when I say that I am very proud of my written collaboration with Totó and Peppino. Never forget  Totó’s sence of humor and delivery of lines, his timing. I did a great job writing, Metz chose the lines and had the responsibility. Shame, Italy no long do parodies.

MPF: How do you imagine a dialogue between Berlusconi and Bossi would be ?

ES: I think it would be a game and a party. You say this, I say that, then you take a step back, I slam my fist on the table, you pretend to be angry. Players,  who perform badly. “

MPF: This year has been the year of Comedies…

ES: They play a part of Italian culture, Alfieri aside, we are not a nation of tragic people. The Italian comedy, however has become a cover for so many things, the difference now is that we wrote to help us understand the world we lived in, reality was ever present. Today it is not so, but we still love Italy, yet why should we love this country? I understand that many men go abroad looking for success, we no longer have the sense of belonging, who are we.
MPF: Italy has awakened by the celebration of Unity … .

ES: Thank Napolitano! It’s absurd, we are tied to a gentleman of 86 years, God preserve him for a long time.
MPF: People used to say “I do not want to die Democrat.” Now?
 ES: I do not think we will die under Berlusconi, even if we have to wait generations to return to being a respectable country. I think we will see better times, in witch there will be more Cicchitto and Capezzone. “

The Guetteur, Il cecchino, The Sniper director Michele Placido, its a rap.

by Marianne Wi

Michele Placido has for the past four weeks been shooting his new venture Le Guetteur, Il cecchino, The Sniper in the streets of Paris, he has  directed the final scenes in the heart of the French capital and is properly looking forward to some good pasta aldente and a glass of chilled white.  The Sniper is a French film starring Daniel Auteuil,  who is playing head of police in hot pursuit of Mathieu Kossovitz our sniper who foiled the arrest of a group of bank robbers by killing numerous Police Officers. The Sniper will have a number of Italian Actors too, Raoul Bova was originally signed up raving about his great joy of being able to work with one of Italy’s greatest directors ……. only having to pull out due to other work commitments, he is currently shooting Ultimo 4, I saw Ultimo 1 whatever happened to 2 and 3 ? anyway a favorite Italian eye candy of mine without a big ego is Luca Argentero has taken over the role. This film sounds very much like a police thriller, yet Placido has pronounced it a ”noir” the latest trend among Italian film makers. Placido describes this film as and I quote “It’s a film about Western decadence of the age we live in and on the eternal struggle between good and evil.” I think we can look forward to that sometime early spring 2012 unless they decide to keep in under wraps untill Cannes.

Cast : Daniel Auteuil, Mathieu Kassovitz, Violante Placido, Luca Argentero, Arly Jover, Oliver Gourmet, Francis Renaud and Nicolas Briançon.


Steven Spielberg in the jaws of the Italian Coast Guard

by Marianne Wi

Spielberg currently on holiday in Sardinia with Gwyneth Paltrow and her family came a cropper when he decided to explore the superb ”Maddalenaile of archipelago” area, a number of tiny islands just of the coast of Sardegna, a forbidden territory if you arrive on a noisy boat. Spielberg transferred from his 90 foot luxury yacht the Seven Seas to a small 10 foot rubber duck, they sped towards the tranquil nature reserve ”motor running” … managia, had the captain of the yacht known his stuff he would have realised that motors are not allowed within 300 feet of the shore so arriving at full throttle on the beach of Porto Lisca a small dot between Gabbiani and Coluccia was unwise. Are the Italian Coast Guards always on the alert heads buried in the sand just waiting to hear the offending sound of a running engine? No, they were called by a tourist (currently looking for an exclusive deal) who watched Spielberg signing autographs …. Spielberg is said to have apologised profusely and asked a 100 pardons, no ”phone home”,”miraculous escapes” Indiana Jones style or ”We were excaping from a giant shark, honest” No…he is said to have accepted the fine of 172 Euros, while looking mortified.


Ermanno Olmi one of Italy’s Great Directors has come of age.

by Marianne Wi

Ermanno Olmi was born on the 24th July 1931 in Bergamo, he was celebrating his 80th birthday yesterday Hip Hip Hurrah! Olmi is a prolific director who over the years has amassed 79 titles, not just feature films but also documentaries and shorts. My all time favourite film directed by Olmi is L’albero degli zoccoli – The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)  a film that to this very day can make me reach for a hanky, yes I was raised wearing wooden clogs, what of it ? As a matter of fact I still have 2 pairs of Wooden Clogs one red and one blue pair, made of wood not for me the joy of light rubber soles.

Olmi has not been resting on his laurels over the past 12 months, he will be appearing at this year’s 68th International Film Festival in Venice in Un foglio bianco, A White Sheet directed by Maurizio Zaccaro a documentary also starring Michael Lonsdale and Rutger Hauer. His new film The Cardboard Village is still in Post-production due to be released this autumn, he has been keeping busy since Centrochiodi, One Hundred Nails released in 2007 by directing a varity of  TV documentaries.

Top Ten Italian Film Directors


68th Venice International Film Festival has gone Italian.

by Marianne Wi

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.

There are 2 Italian films entered for ”International Film Critics  Week”  this year too, they are Là-bas by Guido Lombardi a sad story about immigration and the massacre at Castel Volturno in 2008, it has been a long time in the making as it is in French and English with subtitles, no dubbing? The second film Mission Peace directed by Fracesco Lagi a comedy filmed in the former Yugoslavia staring Silvio Orlando playing an Army Captian struggling with his pacifist son after capturing a war criminal. Fracesco Lagi said about this film  “The idea was to use comedy to talk about things dramatic, current and burning. I wanted to look at the issue of military missions abroad, but also on family, a war on and off with the two characters in conflict yet intertwined ”  I so want to see these two films……….
Films in competition for the ‘Critics  Week” are:
Opening Film  – Stockholm Ostra directed by Simon Kaijser da Silva (Sweden)
El-field directed by Hernan Belon (Argentina)
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).
The International Art Section with 3 Italian entries :
Quando la notte, When the Night directed by Cristina Comencini starring Claudia Pandolfi and Filippo Timi.
Terraferma, Mainland directed by Emanuele Crialese starring Donatella Finocchiaro and Beppe Fiorello.
L’ultimo terrestre, The Lasy Earth directed by catroonish Gipi.

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

Marco Bellocchio to receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement 10.05.2011

%d bloggers like this: