The Italian actor and model Alesandro Gassman has confirmed that he will direct his first feature film ”Roman e il suo cucciolo” directly translated ”Roman and his cub” however it is known in the English-speaking world as ”Cuba and his Teddy Bear” based on a book by Reinaldo Povoda, it featured Robert de Niro in his first stage role back in 1986 in New York. Yes, lady’s I know the photo is a little risqué however with Hunziker on the blog, I though I would even the score a wee bit. ”Roman e il suo cucciolo” is about two immigrants; an unpleasent odious father and his relationship with his own son, Alexandro feels the movie deep inside him and will be able to really focus on the actors in the film. I understand the cast to be : Alessandro Gassman, Manrico Gammarota, Sergio Meogrossi, Giovanni Anzaldo, Matteo Taranto, Natalia Lungu and Andrea Paolotti they will all be trying to transfer the magic of the Theatre stage to the magic of the Cinema screen, when they start the shooting in Spring 2012. Alexandro Gassman is an actor with many TV and feature films behind him, his most resent was Basilicata coat to coast directed by Rocco Papaleo and also Il padre e lo straniero, The Father and the Foreigner directed by Ricky Tognazzi a versatile actor, who I think has his looks and modeling career against him, it is not only women that suffer such a backlash.
Director: This is Francesco Antonio Castaldo’s first feature, there is little to no information about him on the web right now except for his age 53 and the fact that he has two teenage children. Castaldo has now found the courage and money to direct this film based on his own experiences as a 25 year old, when he shared a flat with friends and a heroine addicted girlfriend. This film is not just about drugs it is a love story set in a 70s addicted ambience, less squalid than I would have expected, yes Alan steals from his mother, put his fist through her kitchen cupboard, has anger issues, has sex with a male drug dealer in exchange for drugs (a scene that will upset the good folk of Italy, already upset by an IKEA advert showing two men holding hands) he steals and he cheats too however on the whole this is about middle class addiction not dirty mattresses in dark drug dens. The casting of Giuseppe Zeno by Rita Forzano was an error that ruined the film for me, Zeno is a 35 year old actor cast in the role of Alan who must be early to mid 20s, he looks a very handsome 35 plus, making him too old next to his father and certainly much to old next to his little football playing brother, I originally thought his brother was his young son taken away from him due to addiction; another film perhaps?. The music was excellent as can be expected from Nicola Piovani, he wrote the score and won an Oscar for the music to La vita e bella, Life is beautiful directed by Roberto Benigni. The cinematography was great, the story solid, generally a good watch.
Cast: Giuseppe Zeno, Myriam Catania, Valentina D’Agostino, Cloris Brosca, Lino Guanciale, Gigi Savoia, Vlaerio Miduri
Synobsis: Alan (Giuseppe Zeno) is a drug addict who lives for his next fix, very much at the mercy of his own fragility, we follow him and his girlfriend Laura (Valentina D’Agostino) in a world of dependency and adiction, their daily routine, it is not just about drugs this is also a love story. We watch Alan’s relationship with a father (Gigi Savoia) who totally rejects him, Alan’s longing for contact with him is touching. We watch too the abusive relationship he has with his mother (Cloris Brosca) who by giving him cash to buy drugs “It will make you feel better” aids and abets his dependency, the relationship with drug dealers and close friends are all well told. Alan goes down the path of self-psychoanalysis trying to find himself, God, Love anything that will allow him to leave the dependency behind. A warning as Castaldo mentioned in an interview to young people about the dangers and sad life of any dependency.
Parmalat, the Italian milk scandal is coming out.
Andrea Molaidi has directed and co-written this film based on the great scandal of Parmalat SpA Italy, it still holds the dubious record of being the biggest bankruptcy ever seen in Europe with a debt of 14.3 bn, also known as Europe’s Enron. That is a lot of money in anyone’s book, the problem here was that in this case the value featured in their accounts Balance sheet was showing less than 1.75 bn, some difference.
One day in early 2000 some bright spark queried the fact that as there were billions showing in the bank, why did Parmalat not pay of some of their debts? Good question I think you will agree, the answer among others were “The bank accounts did not exist “clear case of fraud and criminal conspiracy.
Investors; there were a 100,000 individual investments in Grade Corporate Bonds, all saw their money wiped out overnight and never recovered a penny or should that be lira.
In December 2010 Ernesto Fausto was sentenced to 14 years and Calisto Tanzi the original founder ( he was 22 in 1961 when he started his first pasteurizing plant Parmalat in the small village of Parma ) to 18 years, having admitted to money laundering among other accountancy faux pas. Don’t worry though as both have appealed and as it can take many years for a case to come back to court . Tanzi , who is now 72 will never see the inside of a jail, if he did he would certainly not be short of money to purchase benefits, as is custom in Italian prisons .
Interview with Toni Servillo in Italian, just for you.
Cast: Toni Servillo, Remo Girone, Sarah Felberbaum, Lino Guanciale, Fausto Maria Sciarappa, VanessaCompagnucci, Lisa Galantini
Director: This is Andrea Molaidi’s second feature film; being released in Italy on the 4th March 2011, I am expecting this film to attract a lot of interest worldwide so please proceed with due care and attention when adding subtitles….
Who can forget the Film La Ragazza del lago, The Girl by the Lake released in 2007, it opened in cinemas worldwide with great success , in Italy it grossed less than 2.3 million. Molaidi is very much a case of better known away, than at home.
This time Molaidi has teamed up with Gabriele Romagndi (mainly known for TV work) and Ludovica Rampoldi with whom he also worked with on The Girl by the Lake. Rampoldi also wrote the screenplay for The Double hour, La doppia ora.
This film centres on the human aspect of this scandal; it is not a documentary or an investigation as such more a news story and an apologue a story about Italians amoral familism ( Tutte bene, everything’s fine ) however also a story of unscrupulous greed based on Western management values.
Parmalat is still going strong today, producing dairy products and fruit juices under many different names; Lactis, Santal, Malu and Kyr to name a few.
The names of the protagonists have been changed too i.e. Calisto Tanzi became Amanzio Rastelli played by Remo Girone; Fausto Tonna his right hand man became Ernesto Botta played by Toni Servillo, why the need for this cloak and dagger stuff? Chaps this is Italy for you, I guess as the case against Tanzi and Tonna is now being appealed , there may be legal reasons for this.
Toni Servillo is Italy’s contemporary top male actor although not in the handsome category , often playing unpleasant and seedy roles, we saw him in IL divo, Gorbaciof, A quiet live, The consequences of Love and Gomorra the list is long ,very long and he is not letting us down in this film either. The storyline did drag on occasions, I do not think that will deter the public outside Italy.
18 anni dopo, 18 Years Later, is a charming Road movie well worth watching, when it appears at a festival near you , it is currently doing very well abroad and have been included in numerous International Film Festivals .It will be in competition in Fantasporto 2011 in Portugal later this month, together with Hayfever, Febbre da fieno. The film is another comedy , Italy is turning them out at the moment , I am on my knees praying that at least one thriller, Drama even a romantic film will emerge among this years offerings, without any trace of comedy
Director : Edorado Leo , is well known in his native Italy for his many roles in TV series as an actor, this is his second attempt at a feature film, it has as yet not been released nationwide so lets hope that the amount of attention it gets outside Italy will be enough to get it distributed here too.
Cast : Marco Bonini, Edorado Leo, Sabrina Impacciatore, Eugenia Costantini,Gabriele Ferzetti
Best moment : The two brothers interaction with the local Calabrese is a joy to watch.
Synobsis : We follow two brothers on the road in a restored convertiable Morgan, traveling towards Calabria and theire dead fathers hometown, where they must deliver his ashes.
Genziano (Marco Bonini) and Mirko ( Edoardo Leo) have not spoken for 18 years after falling out over an incident involving their mother, Genziano went off to London, where he excelled and became a successful businessman, while Mirko remained working with his father’s car business.
We follow the pair as they drive towards Calabria ,often meeting up with a mysterious hitchhiker, the gorgeous and tallented Mirella ( Sabrina Impacciatore) who appear when least expected. The stunning landscape and great cinematography make this such an easy film to watch. Many secrets are reveled on rute and a touching final is awaiting you .
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.