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.
I was recently asked to provide a list of my top 5 Italian Films released during the first 6 months of 2011, I am seriously struggling to find 3 so while I am having a heated debate with my virtual self, I have been taking a look at the past decade, who in the Italian Film Industry have won the most awards ? Exciting stuff on a hot day in Sicily, I have separated the winners into male and female categories, because I can.
Top Awards given to an Italian Male during the last decade are :
10 Antonio Martino with 38
08 Michele Placido with 40 (shared)
08 Matteo Garrone with 40 (shared)
06 Michelangelo Frammartino 41 ( for one film Le quattro volte, The Four Times 2010)(shared)
06 Giuseppe Tornatore with 41 (shared)
05 Marco Bellocchino with 42
04 Pupi Avati with 44
03 Ferzan Ozpetek with 54
02 Paolo Sorrentino with 61
01 Giorgio Diritti with 63
I loved Diritti’s film Il vento fa il suo giro, The Wind goes round out in 2005, it was a truly awesome film from this Italian first time director. Diritti followed that up with L’Uomo che Verrà, The Man That Will Come, I was very disappointed with that particular film purely because Spike Lee directed Miracle at St. Anna a year earlier, it was panned in Italy although a 100 % superior production, more and less the same subject bar a few black soilders and the sex of a child, I am still quietly seething over the Italians reaction to Spike Lee, do not critique or even express an opinion about a film you have not seen, that is all I am saying. Information courtesy of the great folk of Cinema Info.
June is the month in Russia for International Film Festivals, St. Petersburg International Film Festival kicks off on the 23rd June and will finish on the 26th June 2011, they are not as excited about Italian films this year as the Moscow International Film Festival also kicking off on the 23rd of June 2011, now the Muscovites who are positively drooling over Italian Films at the moment are screening 15 feature films and 2 documentaries whoop, whoop.
St. Petersburg is a must see if you are in those parts of the wood, stunning buildings, gardens, castles and Museums are all plentiful, do not forget the Film Festival, I said they were not over excited, yet they have found 3 feature films to screen so lets again rejoice and lets hear it for the Петри and as always let show some style, lets leave a good impression.
Italian Films Are :
Baaria directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Caravaggio directed by Angelo Longoni . TV will turned cinema, with great success
Le Quattro Volte, The Four Times directed by Michelangelo Frammartino,
This film is top of the league when it comes to Film Festivals and Awards for 2010, it has been shown at over 115 film festivals and it is still going strong, it has some 35 awards already and they will also increase as the year proceed. Yes, the film I did not like as I thought the continuity was terrible and I was bored and irritated because of it, I feel shame however I do always feel very very pleased for Frammartino though, it takes guts to shoot a film about old goats and a dying man, it has paid of and deservedly so.
Giuseppe Tornatore, what is happening on the film front? I am only asking as it is now 2 years since Baaria and I do think it is time to get on with a new project, for me a documentay does not count I want a feature film. Leningrad, to be exact it feels as if it has been at the planning stage since the beginning of time, it has now finally moved into pre-production and is expected to be released in 2012 in the USA. There is only a limited amount of information on the web at the moment however the official storyline is (courtesy of Imdb.com)”The historical epic depicts the siege of Leningrad by the German army during World War II. The Russians suffered terrible losses but the Communists would not give up the birthplace of the Russian revolution” it will be an epic production and rumors has it that Al Pacino has already signed up and Tornatore will himself play a part. The screenplay is written by Sergio Leone and the music as always will be by the great Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Rumored estimated budget is $ 100,000,000.00, it is a production between Italy’s Medusa and USA’s Nu Image, I smell succsss. Of course, it also presents us with a history lesson something to be grateful for, I think you will agree.
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 ?
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 ?
Out on DVD by Medusa this week is a BOXSET of Giuseppe Tornatores 9 best films in Italy, you can buy them at Feltrinelli’s . I understand they will soon be awailable on Internstional Book Shop http://www.ibs.it The titles are :
Il camorrista, The Professor
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, Cinema.Paradiso
Stanno tutti bene, Everybody’s Fine
Una pura formalità, A Pure Formality
Luomo delle stelle, The Star Maker
La leggenda del pianista sulloceano, The Legend of 1900
La sconosciuta, The Unknown Woman
What happened to La domenica specialmente , Especially on Sunday , they could have made it 10.
If you just want to see one they are already available on http://www.ibs.it/ser/serfat.asp?site=dvd&xy=Giuseppe+Tornatore