Posts tagged ‘Arts’


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


Sicilian Film Festival Miami SFF

by Marianne Wi

For the 6th year running Sicily hits on Miami with a small but perfectly formed Film Festival. I am so please when a Sicilian films makes it to the mainland of Italy, imagine if you can the excitement I am feeling knowing that a great number of films have left the Island and will be shown in the US of A. The Sicilian Film Fest Miami Beach kicks off on the 7th April and rolls along until 13th April 2011, it will show only Sicilian films. Do Sicily have a film industry ? Well of course we do it is just near impossible to get to see any as they sadly miss out on distribution, often only making it to International Film Festivals outside Italy, we should all feel shame.

The Film Fest has already announced its winner of this years Life Time Achievements Award 2011……. who ? non other that the beautiful Claudia Cardinale, you will know her from such films as : 8 1/2 , Rocco and his Brothers, The Leopard, The Pink Panther and many others, the lady has appeared in 107 films all in all, most resently filming the “Guardian of Harem” directed by Fabien Pruvot it is still in pre-production, great lady and still going strong at age 72.

There is a photo exhibition by Roberto Granata, a Sicilian photographer in Hollywood showing portraits of movie stars. The photos will be for sale with a silent auction in favor of  Roberto Granata Foundation benefitting children displaced by earthquake tragedies worldwide, make sure Sicilian generosity is on display.

The films shown this year are :

L’imbroglio del lenzuolo, The Trick In The Sheet directed by Alfonso Arau.

From Beginning To End by Aluisio Abranches (I am desperatly looking for the Sicilian angle to this film uhmmmmmm according to IMDB  it is Brazilian uhmmm x 2)

There is a tribute to Beppe Fiorello during the Festival in Miami, where he will receive a special price at the Fundraising Dinner on the 13th April, I am guessing he will be attending so do not miss out, get out there waving the Tricolore, he really is one of Italys best male actors, who gets little to no reconition at home, I am warming to this Sicilian Festival, in his honor you can see:

The Legend Of The Bandit And The Champion, La leggenda del bandito e del campione 1st and 2nd episode spread over two nights directed by Lodovico Gasparini and The Draw , Il sorteggio directed by Giacomo Campiotti.

Viola di Mare, The Sea Purple dirtected by Donatella Maiorca.

Father directed by Pasquale Squitieri is a thriller and a  2011 production, it has not been released in Italy Uffa. People of Miami do go and see this and report back, please. Pasquale Squitieri is the long term partner of  Claudia Cardinale, they also have a daughter together, just in case you were wondering.

Man of Glass, L’uomo di vetro directed by Stefano Incerti.

Baaria directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.

The Vanishing Of Pato, La scomparsa di Pato directed by  Rocco Mortelliti.

Save Me by  Robert Cary Uhmmm what makes this a Sicilian Film ?

For the foodies among you there are two feasts ready to make your mouth water:

The Taste Of Sicilian Cinema From The Leopard To Baaria.

The Taste of Sicilian Cuisine with original recipes from the movies.

There are shorts and documentarys too, do not miss them:

The Wedding, Il matrimonio directed by  Tilde Di Dio

Rita directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza

The Tomato,Il pomodoro directed by Alessio Angelico

Siracusa And Her Province, Siracusa:dai beni e giacimenti culturali alla produzione di eccellenza directed by Province of Siracus

Return To The Aeolian Islands, Fughe e approdi directed by Giovanna Taviani

Sicily For Africa, Un cuore per Ipogolo directed by Roberto Damiata

From The Ducrot Factory To The School Of Cinema, Dalle Officine Ducrot alla Scuola di Cinema directed by Luigi Valenti

UPDATE 29th March 2011:

Just a quick up-date from PrimoCiak, I had a note from the SFF concerning the two non Sicilian Films and I quote:

“There is no direct relationship between the Queer films and Sicily, but Queer Frame/Atlantide based in Italy has collaborated with the SFF for the past few years and the extra films (no matter what the language it is) add an interesting element to the festival and very appealing for Miami Beach residents and visitors”

I think we all agree that “sharing is caring” so anyone providing help to spread the news about Sicilian Films are welcome…..

People of Miami it is time to book those tickets, make it a sell out and do remember to dress appropriately.

  • Rule 1 No grey socks and brown sandals
  • Rule 2 No shorts and flip-flops
  • Rule 3 You do not mix pink and pale blue; this is not a year for pastels
  • Rule 4 Do not marinade in your favourite perfume or after-shave
  • Rule 5 Switch of the mobile, I know…non of you are that important that you cannot live for 2 hours without               it…Yes Roberto you to0 
  • Rule 6 If you have a bad cold and a runny nose, why not give your ticket to a friend

Appreciate your chance to see films that us poor habitants of Sicily might never see.

The Sicilian Film Festival Maimi is also on Facebook, why not become a fan ?


Berlinale Film Festival, Italian films.

by Marianne Wi


Berlinale Film Festival running from the 10th February to the 20th February 2011 have included the following Italian films in their  programme this year:

Qualunquemente , Whateverly  (2011)

Perdizione   ( 2006)

Le Quattro Volte, The four lives (2010)

Gianni e le donne, The salt of life   ( 2010)

Il Marchese del Grillo, The Marquis   ( 1981)


Kim Rossi Stuart and Ilaria Spada

by Marianne Wi

Diva & Donne an Italian gossip magazine is at it again , they have caught up with Kim Rossi Stuart and  Ilaria Spada a small time Italian actress who have been seen holding hands, in a “sexy” way, ohhh yes, luckily the D&D people were there ready with their cameras or we would have been left in the dark.

The are a lot of these photos so perhaps just perhaps they were pre-booked for this session.

Wishing them well anyway.


Io sono l’amore, I am love

by Marianne Wi

If you only intend to see one Italian film this year, make it Io sono d’amore, I am love , although I fail to see why you would limit yourself. I got goosebumps in a good way throughout the film , it is so beautifully shot, oozing class and style  from the first scene to the last, I have seen it a number of times and never tire. Tilda Swinton’s portrayal of Emma , the Russian born wife of  business tycoon Tancredi is extraordinary, her growth from an ice-cold super rich and super organised house wife into a warm exciting lover is exquisite ,it should have won her many awards, I hope she is plotting revenge for missing out on an Oscar.

Director : Luca Guadagnino, is known for his documentary work and has previously made a feature film Melissa P , one that did not make it outside Italy. His relationship with Tilda Swinton goes back to 2002, when she worked with him on a documentary called  Tilda Swinton : The love factory. He will not be known outside Italy although after his  great success with I am Love ,that will change.

Cast : Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edorado Gabbriellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Pippo Delbono, Diane Fleri, Maria Paiato, Marisa Berenson.

Best moment : So many it would be hard to pick one, not one to shy away from difficult decisions , I picked : The moment Emma told Tancredi  that she no longer loved him, there I did it.

Synopsis : There is as in all good Italian films a family dinner, this is no exception as we gather to celebrate the grandfathers birthday. He  marks the day by handing  over the power of his enormous  industrial business  to not only his son, as was expected, but to share it between his son Tancredi and grandson Eldo.  He dies shortly after this dinner and the fun begins. Food is of great importance within the family , occasions often remembered by superb dishes cooked by  Emma ,Russian Fish soup being one such dish. While Tancredi is busy running the business Eldo set about opening a restaurant with his friend Antonio. This perfect Milanese family begin to show cracks in the perfectly polished veneer, when the daughter while studying in London falls in love with a woman. Emma takes this news well and it partly empowers her to have a very hot and out of character affair with Antonio her son’s friend and business partner, as this is an Italian film there can only be one end and that is , family upheaval………………………

Great choise of music  Nixon in China composed by  John Adams is spot on and new to me, excelent is the word.


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.


06/01/2011 free movies (online)

by Marianne Wi

If like me you are always looking to cut the cost of going to the cinema and you happen to be  in Italy or have a proxy installed on your computer, do keep a beady eye on  . You will need to register and have the patience of a saint  booking your ticket as this is time driven, if you log on and the clock show 2 hours 4 minutes and 30 seconds , you will need to come back closer to that time ( I know but the film is free and often not yet released in Italy, so get over it)   click  frantically on the spot indicated as the clock reaches 0 hours 0 minutes and 0 seconds, after which you will be allowed to book your place. Once you have done this a few times you will be sent an invite , much easier. Remember to cancel your ticket if you are actually not going to watch it.

I have seen a number of films , they are usually shown a few days before the nationwide released date, as I live in Sicily some of the smaller Independent movies are not reaching us so I am very pleased to have this chance to watch a good quality film from my bed with the odd glass of  Inzolia.

An evening with is usually flowing as :

Book you ticket, as soon as possible, you need to keep an eye on their site, there is not much warning. Once they confirm you seat you enter the virtual cinema and find yourself a place,which you will book, you can see who you are sitting next to, quite often the same charming individuals will appear ( I choose to believe that)

20.30 Virtual red carpet, you can see a mini you and are allowed to make comments that will appear in a bubble some  minutes later.

21.00 You enter the cinema and take your seat…. You can still make comments and say hello to be people next to you, I did last time and to my horror because of some technical mishap, it was repeated up to 20 times and I was reprimanded  in the chat room after wards by Frederico …..I only pressed the button once….honest guv.

21.15 There are trailers , sometimes shorts , various clips to see and you can still comment.

21.30 We are off, now you can choose , to stop seeing the comments being made throughout the film, you can change to full screen, it is all up to you or move back and forth.

After the film you will be able to enter the chat-room manned by the Director or an actor from the film. This does not work well, as each showing has 500 participants, if only 10 %   (50 people) begin to ask questions at the same time you can only imagine the chaos , obviously the chat is all in Italian , if you are studying Italian, this is a great place to go and participate or just watch the banter flow .

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