Archive for ‘Romance’


Edda Ciano e il comunista, Edda Ciano and the Communist man

by Marianne Wi

“Edda Ciano e il comunista”, “Edda Ciano and the Communist man” directed by Graziano Diana for Rai TV 2011. I think it is a possible candidate for International Film festivals, a fascinating subject, part of Italian history and really well made. I am surprised that Diana is not making feature films, he is well-known in Italy for his TV work with over 50 titles as a writer, he has acted too, I wish he would give it a go and I hope this film makes it to the festivals as so many TV films have done before. Edda Ciano e il comunista is based on a true story about a small part of Benito Mussolini’s eldest daughters life, Edda Mussolini was born on the 1st September 1910 and past away in Rome on the 9th April 1995, she was illegitimate although her parents did marry five years after her birth. Edda was a headstrong child by all accounts and having a father with a gran title of “His Excellency Benito Mussolini, Head of Government, Duce of Fascism, and Founder of the Empire” meant that prospective boyfriends might be just a bit hesitant in coming forward. One courageous lad did step forward and they married in 1930, he was Gian Galeazzo Ciano, 2nd Count of Cortellazzo and Buccari, who later became Italy’s foreign minister, they had three children together before Mussolini had him murdered for treason, tied to a chair and shot in the back or by a firing squad, the Internet has numerous versions of his last moments. Incidentally Eddas son Fabrizio later wrote a book titled “Quando il nonno fece fucilare papa”, “When Granddad had father Shot” After the war Edda fled to Switzerland with her children, she was later sent to Lipari for a number of years due to the connection with the Fascist Party and family background, ” Edda and the Communist” recounts her affair with the communist Leonida Bongiorno. I am now looking for her book “Edda Ciano La mia vita” one interesting life story I think you will agree. After her death in 1995 she was laid to rest next to her husband Gian Galeazzo Ciano.

Cast : Stefania Rocca, Alessandro Preziosi, Dajana Roncione, Adriano Chiaramida, Alessio Vassallo, Federica de Cola, Gaetano Aronica, Domenico Centamore, Mimmo Mignemi, Alessandro Agnello, Massimo Leggio, Daniele Perrone, Emanuele Salce, Ilaria Occhini

Synobsis : We see Edda Ciano (Stefania Rocca) arrive on the island of Lipari, her humiliation at the hands of the local authority and the police, as she settles in to serve what amounts to house arrest away from her children, they have remained in safety in Switzerland. Leonida Bongiorno (Alessandro Prezios) a young handsome communist with whom she forms a relationship, that evolves into a deep profound love affair, an affair that is doomed. Edda does form relationships with some locals during her time on the island, however the locals mostly do not care for her, it is a clear case of “The sins of the father”…..

The clip is not from the film, I had real trouble finding a good trailer to attach, so you are treated to Eddas wedding with Gian Galeazzo held at Mussolini’s Villa Torlonia  in Rome 1930, enjoy. Villa Torlonia is now opened to the public and well worth a visit as he actually lived there for 18 years, it has been restored to the highest spec.

I really enjoyed this beautifully shot romance, yes a little lightweight in places, worth seeing just for Stefania Rocca’s performance alone. I am now off to La Feltrinellis Bookshop …….

PS : Yes this is the film that brought Alessandro Preziosi and Dajana Roncione together for a hot weekend.

PPS : I think this is a photo of the real deal, the communist Leonida Bongiorno, if it is not I apologise in advance.

This film was shown in March 2011 on Rai Uno, they are still showing it on demand for free, if you are practicing you Italian why not settle down with a glass of  vine tonight and improve your vocabulary. To watch Rai Uno Edda Ciano e il comunista just click.


Diciottanni – Il mondo ai miei piedi, 18 Years – The World at my Feet

by Marianne Wi

Director: Elisabetta Rocchetti, directed and wrote the screenplay for this her first feature, sadly she also gave herself a starring role, I say sadly as Rocchetti’s face seem frozen by fillers and Botox, apart from her lips that appear to have done major battle with a beehive. IMDB and Mymovies have her birthday on the 21.05.1970, where as her official fan page has it as 25.05.1975. I remember her from L’imbalsmatore, The Embalmer 2001 and Piano 17, The 17th Floor 2005, Rocchetti managed to act in both of these films without moving an eyebrow, a shame as it detracts from the film.

We follow a young man Ludovico, who finds himself attracted to a number of much older lady’s all of whom have faces very much frozen in time, only Luisa (Rosa Pianeta) the mother of one of his school friends could act, the look of disbelief when Ludovico fell into her bed was adorable and charming, followed with the inevitable sadness as he left her untouched, she was great.

Cast :  Marco Rulli, Marco Iannitello, Elisabetta Rocchetti, Alessia Barela, Nina Torresi, G.Max, Rosa Pianeta, Monica Cervini

Synopsis : Ludovico (Marco Rulli) was raised by his uncle Luciano (G. Max) who is a drug addict, with low moral values to pass on this is nephew, who was orphaned at the tender age of ten. Ludovico has reached 18 

years of age and is searching for that unconditional love he never received from his mother, can it be achieved by having sex with mature women? Ludevico is up for a bit of research. Luca (Marco Iannitello) is a close friend whose mother teaches both of them Literature, Ludovico tried her out but did not find what he was looking for, sex with your best friends mother should carry a warning. Onwards and upwards Ludovico has a relationship with his uncles lover Giulia (Elisabetta Rocchetti) it can only lead to trouble and it does. Adolescence, raving hormones, mood swings and a big existential question was promised, sadly Marco Rulli did not deliver any of those, a passionless performance. The film is out in Italy on the 29th April 2011


Nessuno mi può giudicare, No One Can Judge Me (possible English Title)

by Marianne Wi

Sometimes a rainy afternoon in Catania can turn all sunny and warm, I had no plans to write about this romcom and no real urge to see it either but it was raining and I was cold…….What a pleasant surprise it was, nearly shed a tear too or was it just dust in the air?

Director : Massimiliano Bruno it is his first feature film as a director, you might know him from “Notte prima delle esami”, “The Night Before the Exams Today” a big box office success here in Italy and it hit some International Film Festivals too, Bruno did part of the screenplay for that. Worth noting that Nessuno mi puo giudicare, No One Can Judge Me took 3 million Euro in its first week here in Italy, well it is a comedy so I should not really be taken aback.

Cast :   Paola Cortellesi, Raoul Bova, Rocco Papaleo, Anna Foglietta, Giovanni Bruno, Hassani Shapi, Valerio Aprea, Pasquale Petrolo, Lucia Ocone,  Awa Ly

Best moment : Filippo (Giovanni Bruno) sitting on a table at night singing a love song sniffle sniffle.

Synopsis : Rich Italian family with a big house, swimming pool and servants in Parioli a posh part of Rome, enjoy a superficial life style that ends abruptly, when the husband is knocked down while driving his Vespa after seeing his mistress, leaving behind a mountain of debts.
Alice (Paola Cortellesi) must sell the house and find a new place for her and her son to live, enters the servant Aziz who finds cheap lodgings on top of a building in Quarticciolo a down-market area of Rome. Alice’s paths cross with Giulio’s (Raul Bova) outside the family home and later in his Internet Cafe and a romance is born, you need one to call it a romcon.
Alice needs to make money fast to pay of the husbands debts to keep her son. What better way than “The Worlds Oldest Profession”  an Escort, all in the best possible taste I might add as this is a family film.
There are no twists or turns, just a really well made film with no surprises,……. actually Fausto Leali appearing suddenly singing in the Internet cafe was a highlight and a surprise. There was a spring to my step when I left The Alfieri this evening.

La vita facile, An easy life goes Botox Free !

by Marianne Wi

This film is not a comedy as advertised, it is really more of a Romance, something that always lightens my mood on a cold winter afternoon. This is a film about friendship, betrayal, greed, the Italian speaking part of Africa and a confirmation of the old saying  “Three is a crowed”.

What really struck me throughout the film was the lack of Botox used by the  actors, Victoria Puccini has lines on her forehead and when she laughs her face creases, if I was a song writer I would be composing an ode to the lady right now. Both Accorsi and Favio looks weather-beaten and all three look their age, worth seeing the film just for that reason alone. We are treated to great cinematography, wonderful panoramic views of Kenya and some very interesting camera angles too. There has been in Italy a small storm blowing over the possible affair between Stefano Accorsi and Vittoria Puccini, I am hoping it is a stunt to raise publicity for the film.

Director: Lucio Pellegrini also directed Figli delle stelle ( not released outside Italy) and Ora o mai piu, Now or Never , the latter did the International Film Festival Trail back in 2003/2004.

Cast : Stefano Accorsi, Pierfrancesco Favio, Camilla Flippi, Djibril Kebe, Ivano Marescotti, Eliana Meglio, Vittoria Puccini, Angelo Orlando

Synobsis : Mario (Accorsi) is a doctor who left Rome 9 years earlier to set up a hospital and the “Italy for Africa” project in Kenya. Luca (Flavino) also a doctor however in a private clinic in Rome is rich, obnoxious , and a racist who as it turns out later also has a criminal mind. Ginevra (Puccini) is married to Luca, she is a fitness fanatic, a marathon runner if I ever saw one and not much else..

Luca decides to take time of to work with Mario in Africa, where he is followed by his wife shortly afterwards. They were friends a decade earlier and had been involved in a car accident that left Luca in a coma, leaving Mario free to have an affair with Ginevra, the reason Mario left for Africa in the first place. I think that is our setup in a nutshell. As we see the plot unfold we are treated to twists and turns although sadly no snake incident, we have great looking African kids, some stunning views of the African landscape and a possible insight into life in a small african hospital run by Italians. I did not enjoy the last 15 minutes and saw no reason for this final twist,  nothing in Mario’s makeup prepared me for this sudden unexplained flaw, I felt let down by the ending although I did fall a little bit for Luca in the end, I am glad the screenwriters did not destroy that for me.


Febbre da fieno, Hayfever

by Marianne Wi

Director : Laura Luchetti , this is her first feature film and a great job she made of it too. An interesting fact about Luchetti is that she was back in 1999 the Production Secretary on Il Talento di Mr Riply also know as The Talented Mister Riply. I was not planning to blog this film as I did not actually think it would find its way unto the International Film Festival scene, I was wrong it is in competition at this years Fantasporto 2011 ( full programme will be published shortly ) in Oporto Portugal and also at the New Mexico Italian Film Festival in Albuquerque , great news for Luchetti , I think you will agree.

Best moment :  I just loved the tree scene, lovely romantic candles hanging from every branch not a single Health and Safety Officer in sight , how often lady’s and indeed  some of our more sensitive gentlemen have we  blamed hayfever ,when welling up unexpectantly in a romantic moment, ahhh yes those were the days.

I watched this film on Valentines day, so I am allowed to be a wee bit sentimental, it is very much a young , romantic movie , a girly afternoon at the cinema.

Cast : Amdrea Bosca, Cecilia Cinardi, Camilla Filippi, Diane Fleri, Giuseppe Gandini, Benjamino Marcone, Gabrielle Sangrigoli  and Giulia Michelini.

Synobsis : A group of teenagers in Rome, meets around a vintage shop named Twinkled , owned by Stephen who has two children and a wife who does not understand him , the shop brimming with nostalgic knickknacks is in trouble. We follow the trials and tribulations of this shop and each individuals story as it unfolds , romance , heartache, ex’s and blossoming relationships. A real feel-good movie, for when you get the urge.

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