Posts tagged ‘Italian films’


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


Zanzibar International Film Festival ZIFF has gone Italian

by Marianne Wi

Zanzibar International Film Festival is kicking off on the 18th June and will not be closing its doors before the 26th June 2011, it has an unusual and very versatile programme, it is East Africa’s biggest arts festival and they have been good enough to include 2 Italian entries this year, lets hear it for Zanzibar.

In competition is an interesting documentary Arapha, ragazza dagli occhi bianchi – Arapha, white eyed woman 2010 directed by Romano Montesarchio about and I quote “an intimate and searing account of the conditions faced by albino people in Tanzania today told through the story of a young albino girl, Arapha, who was mortally threatened by her own people”

The second Italian entry is Letters from the Desert (Eulogy to Slowness) 2010 directed by Michela Occhipinti , I have not had the opportunity to see this film, the synopsis is from an anonymous source writing for IMDB “Hari is a postman. Every day for 20 years, he has been walking through the Thar desert to deliver letters to remote villages, holding the  reins of secluded lives that talk about loves, weddings, successes and dioceses. His life and that of his big family are marked by the passing of the monsoons, by events that are entwined between the ink bestowed by those who write letters and Hari’s walks, following the rhythm of the desert and of a slow life, made of friendships, of smiles and solid relations, shaped by wind, by sun and rain. Until a strange metallic tower is built in the village and things start changing…”

I think you will agree that both films look interesting, both are shot in Swahili and I am trying to ascertain if they will be shown with English or Italian subtitles……….(15.06.2011 no response to e-mail from Zanzibar so far)

Zanzibar is hot so now would be a good time to done you coolest summer outfit before turning up for any of these screenings and go easy on the cologne the high notes are always so much stronger in the heat.


Beijing International Film Festival is kicking off

by Marianne Wi

The first Beijing Film Festival is kicking off today and will run untill the 28th April 2011, it has created much excitement in China and all eyes are on the Chinese Government’s Censorship Board and their morally driven editing skills. A scene from Cinema Paradiso directed by Giueseppe Tornatore springs to mind, when our priest censored all films screaming “cut” only after he had seen a kiss, once considered an offencive scene in Italy. Two films in particular are coursing a stir in China, Black Swan directed by Darren Aronofsky it has an explicit lesbian sex scene, a big taboo in China today, as the scene is paramount to the storyline it will be interesting to see if cut, how much and where. Social Network directed by David Fincher is also on the list of foreign films, as Facebook is banned in China it is bound to be a sell out, the Chinese commonly refer to Mark Zuckerberg as “the founder of 404 Error: Not Found” (an urban myth in the making ?). There are 160 films shown from 42 participating countries including 4 from Italy. The opening night will be held at The National Grand Theatre, Tiananmen Square a historical hot spot in need to some good news.

The 4 Italian entries are :

Sorelle Mai, Sisters Mai directed by Marco Bellocchio 2010

La solitudine dei numeri primi, The Solitude of Prime Numbers directed by  Xavier Costanzo 2010

L’uomo che verra, The Man Who Will Come directed by Giorgio Diritti 2009

Puccini e la fanciulla, Puccini and the Girl directed by Paolo Benvenuti and Paola Baroni 2008


Los Angeles Italian Film Festival is kicking off.

by Marianne Wi

Los Angeles Italian Film Festival is flinging its doors open tomorrow, with a great list of feature films,documentaries and shorts. The list is impressive and very exciting indeed , there are a number of World Premiers too, they always makes me feel a wee bit jealous and am overwhelmed by an urge to hop on the next plane , hate missing the hot stuff. This festival is free all you need to do is turn up on a first come first serve basis…..It does not get any better than that folks do attend and yes do try to look elegante will you .

I am so very upset not to have seen The House by the Medlar Tree Malavoglia by Pasquale Scimeca it premiered at the London Film Festival in October, no date as yet for Italy, so exasperating don’t you think . I hope it does NOT follow  Rosso Malpelo also directed by Pasquale Scimeca it was never released nationwide here in Italy…grrrr grrr I think is an appropriate whinge.


The Festival runs from the 20th February when it opens with a documentary in of honor Dino De Laurentiis Hannibal Directed by Ridley Scott and closes on the 26th with Welcome to the south, Benvenuti al sud  Directed by Luca Miniero.


I mentioned World Premiers here is the list :

Father, Directed by Pasquale Squitieri

Rasputin Directed by Louis Nero

Atlantis Down Directed by Max Bartoli

The uneven Rome, La vita disperse Directed by Luca Fantasia

South of New York, A sud di NEW York Directed by Elena Bonelli


There are US premiers too folks:

Sorella Mai Directed by Marco Bollocchio

Angles of Evil, Vallanzasca – Gli angeli del male Direted by Michele Placido

The Vanishing of Pato, La scomparsa di Pato Directed by Rocco Mortelliti

Into Paradiso, Into Paradise Directed by Paola Randi

Men VS Women Directed by Fausto Brizzi

Women VS Men Directed by Fausto Brizzi

Cado dalle nubi Directed by Gennaro Nunzianti

I am with you , Io sono con te irected by Guido Chiesa

Gorbaciof Directed by Stefano Incerti

The Woman of my dreams, La donna della mia vita Directed by Luca Lucini


Honoring Dino De Laurentiis

Hannibal  Directed by Ridley Scott

Bitter Rice Directed by  Giuseppe De Santis

La Strada Directed by  by Federico Fellini


Tribute to Marco Bellocchio

Fists in the Pocket

My Mother’s Smile

The Wedding Director


Good Morning, Night

Sorella Mai


Honoring Mario Monicelli Big Deal on Madonna Street by Mario Monicelli


Other great films in the offering to tease you into the Mann Chinese 6 are :

Allonsanfan by Paolo e Vittorio Taviani

Piano Solo by Riccardo Milani

Liberty by Florestano Vancini

Along the Ridge by Kim Rossi Stuart

Garibaldi: the General by Luigi Magni

The Bandit of Tacca del Lupo by Pietro Germi

The Keys to the House by Gianni Amelio

One Hundred Steps by Marco Tullio Giordana

The House by the Medlar Tree by Pasquale Scimeca

The Bright Side of the Moon by Massimo Guglielmi

I am Love , Io sono amore by Luca Guadagnino

1960 by Gabriele Salvatores

Hayfever , Febbre da fieno by Laura Luchetti

Che bella giornata by Gennaro Nunziante


I think you will agree ,this free festival is truely awesome.












Lotterywest Film Festival Perth. Italian films galore !

by Marianne Wi

The International Film Festival in Perth, best known as Lotterywest is in full swing, it is spread over a number of  months ,which is unusual in itself, do not miss this exciting festival. The Cinema has air-conditioning so what a great place to cool down during the hot summer days and put your feet up…….uhmm best not , keep the popcorn and the cold beer flowing  though.

Italian films coming up are as follows:

Baaria shown from 7th Febtuary 2011 to 20th February 2011. See review on my blog.

La prima cose bella, The First Beautifyl thing 7th March 2011 to 20th April 2011. See review on my blog.

La doppia ore, The Double Hour 28th March 2011 to 10th April 2011. See review on my blog.


Giuseppe Tornatore

by Marianne Wi

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  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

Malena, Malena

La sconosciuta, The Unknown Woman

Baarìa, Baarìa

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


The International Film Festival Rotterdam IFFR

by Marianne Wi

Very hard to believe that the selection committee for this years IFFR has been unable to find one Italian film , not one ! The festival is on from the 26th January 2011 until 6th February 2011.


Palm Springs International Film Festival 2011

by Marianne Wi

Is showing the following Italian films at this years festival:

The Double Hour, La Doppia ore

Eighteen Years Later, Diciotto anni dopo

The First Beautiful Thing, La prima cosa bella

Four Times, La Quattro Volte

Loose Cannons, Mine Vagante

The Man Who Will Come, L’uomo che verra

The festival is on from the 5th January until the 17th of January 2011


Italian Films shown at this years BFI Film Festival

by Marianne Wi

For the first time in many years, I will miss the BFI London Film Festival. There is always a great selection of current Italian film shown together with at least one or two premiers. La Malavoglia is one I am looking forward to see, hope it will be released in Italy soon.

Here is a list of the films shown:

  • Mine Vaganti , Loose Cannons. Director Ferzan Ozpetek. ( Released world-wide)
  • Le Quatre Volte, The four Times. Director Michelangelo Frammartino. ( Released world-wide)
  • La IIamasa, The Call .Director Stefano Pasetto .( Premiered at this years Toronto International Film Festival, Not released in Italy).
  • Hai paura del buio, Afraid of the dark ( Bruises) Director Massimo Coppola.
  • Draquila – L’Italia che trema, Draquila – Italy Trembles. Director Sabina Guzzanti.
  • Malavoglia. Director Pasquale Scimeca ( Shown at Venice / Toronto Film Festival, not released in Italy)
  • La nostra Vita,Our life Director Daniele Luchetti.
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