Posts tagged ‘murder’


5 (Cinque)

by Marianne Wi

Director : It is Francesco Dominedo first feature, he has previously appeared in a number of TV films here in Italy, will this film be his opening onto the International Film Festival Circuit? That is the million dollar question, as Italian films goes it is not bad, the editing is good, the camara work is well above average, usually the two immediate obstacles for success. The story line ? Well, there are so many sub stories going down, that you will need to be on full alert throughout. Matteo Branciamore (Manolo) was seen for the first time outside The Cesarone, he has turned ”BAD”. Also very good acting from the other 4, known for their TV work, so why am I not excited? Dominedo has tried to compete with the American Gangster Movies and although he often hits the spot, he fails overall possibly because of a low budget, it was released into only 5 cinemas in Italy so has not had a good start in life.

Cast: Matteo Branciamore, Stefano Sammarco, Christian Marazziti, Rolando Ravello, Alessandro Borghi, Lito Vitale, Massimo Bonetti, Angelo Orlando, Giorgia Wurth, Franscesco Arca, Francesco Venditti, Cladua Zanella, Loredana sofizi, Alessandro Tersigni.

Synobsis:  We find our group of 5 in Quarticcilo east, a Roman suburb that lends itself perfectly to petty crime. Our 5 friends have all been to the same correction center or ”riformatorio” reformatory center, where they have served time for their senseless crimes. Our little group grow up, get married leading lives of petty crime until they decide to hit the big time with a large robbery… it worked and there was a bonus in the shape of a briefcase…… belonging the The Russian Mafia in Rome… is all very much downhill from there, as the 5 begin their fight for survival.


Giallo, Yellow and Dario Argento

by Marianne Wi

Giallo directed by Dario Argento was released in 2009, however it is only now being distributed into the Italian Cinemas (01.07.2011). I am still sitting upright at my desk expecting the worst to happen, phobias of which I had non are forming in the grey matter as I type. Whooorrrr a too graphic yet compelling watch, if you like Argento it is certainly worth watching, yet it is not quite up to his usual high standard and I am at a loss to understand why it took 2 years to be distributed to the general public, it is already out on DVD so it seems sort off pointless now, Italian distribution has always been one of life’s great mysteries. Giallo, does have quiet moments and does not always flow as well as it could have done, the unbelievable sub-plot, one about the Inspectors early life as a killer, covered-up by a passing policeman did spoil an otherwise believable storyline.

Director : Dario Argento, certainly one of Italy top directors in the genre of movies is famous for them outside Italy too, you often find Suspira 1977 on a list of “Top Ten Horror Movies” of all time, watch Gaillo and you will be scared, do not be embarrassed just hide under the desk or where ever you feel safe…that said it is not Suspira, so do not hold your breath.

Cast : Adrien Brody, Emmanuelle Seiger, Elsa Pataky, Robert Miano, Valentian Izumi, Sato Oi, Luis Molteni, Taiyo Yamanouchi, Daniela Fazzolari, Nicolo Morselli, Gueseppe Lo Console, Anna Carello, Lorenzo Pedrotti, Farhad Re, Barbara Mautino

Synobsis : Woman get into Taxi and is not seen again before turning up dead and mutilated in a Square in Turin, there are at least 4 known cases of this type of murder, that is the story in a nutshell. We follow first a Japanese lady, then and American lady getting into a Taxi and later we see some of the mutilations being done by a sexual predator and sadist, I think you will agree that he is a real badass. Inspector Enzo Avolfi is on the case helped by the sister of  the American victim, there is a lot of blood and it takes awhile before we understand what Giallo is all about, it is all about the colour Yellow and nothing to do with a crime mystery as you might originally have suspected.

Out in the cinemas here in Italy on the 01.07.2011 and already out on DVD with English subtitles among others.

Giallo, Yellow directed by Dario Argento has a release date   14.06.2011


Una Vita Tranquilla, A Quiet Life.

by Marianne Wi

A Quiet Life has now hit the International Festival scene, I am happy to see it doing so well, the reviews are excellent. I wonder if Italians realise in just how high esteem Toni Servillo is held outside its borders, Gorbaciof another of Servillo’s films from 2010 is also widely sought after, in fact in this years Italian Film Festival in London both were shown, as they say down under  “Good on you Mate”.

Director : It is Cladio Cupellini second full length film after Lezioni di coccolato, Chocolate Lessons released in 2007. Choosing such a difficult subject in today’s climate, is taking a risk for sure, making an ex hitmen from the Camorra likeable and on occasions even loveable takes guts. There are a number of sequence  and close-up shots done with great clarity and skill, the plot is good and the ending I guess inevitable.

Cast:  Toni Servillo, Marco D’Amore, Francesco Di Leva, Juliane Kohler, Leonardo Sprengler,  Alice Dwyer, Maurizio Donadoni.

Best moment : Brothers diving together, did it for me although the nailing of the tree came a close second.

Synobsis : Rosario (Toni Servillo) is an ex-hitman, who faked his own death and moved to Germany near Weisbarden, where he re-invented himself. Having started a new life as a hotelier and restaurateur with a new wife (Kohler) and a cute young son, life is truly good for Rosario, life is quiet for Rosario. The tranquility is shattered, when two bad ass Neapolitan youth arrives on the screen Diego (D’amore) and Edoardo (the awesome de Leva, if you like your man bad, you will want to take him home) they book a room at the Inn and trouble starts. The two Camorra hit-men are here to kill a disposal plant manager before he puts pen to paper and signs a contract, waste disposal is always big news and big money in Italy. There are some very strong scenes with the two sons as they relationship developes, there are beautiful scenes shot in the forest  always giving full attention to detail,  a priority in every frame, the nailing of the tree by Rosario was breathtaking, the sound track by Teho Teardo ever-present yet never intrusive  was  excellent.  As endings goes I guess this one was inevitable, strong acting from Toni Servillo brilliant as always was backed by both  Marco D’Amore and Francesco Di Leva .


Miami International Film Festival MIFF

by Marianne Wi


Miami International Film Festival, (4th March to 13th March 2011) I nearly missed this charming Festival showing an interesting selection of films due to the Oscar hype . We  have two Italian films being championed at the Festival, unusual choices if you ask me, however I am pleased for both films, lets go explore….


Passione, Passion I was denied the possibility of seeing this film myself when it was released nationwide in Italy ( It never screened in Catania, Sicily and was also confused by the general public with La Passione , The Passion out at the same time) only in Italy.  Passion without the THE  is a must for any second ,third generation Italian living abroad , it is a festival must see. John Turturro’s latest movie takes us on a journey through Napoli, one of the biggest jukeboxes in the world with songs from way back to present day . Sing along if you must , you will surely know all the songs .

The second film shown is A Quiet Life, Una Vita Tranquilla staring Toni Servillo, if you love him you will adore this offering by the director Cladio Cupelli . Toni Servillo is Rosario an ex-hitman who ran off to Germany and re-invented himself , with a lovely new family including cute child,leaving a family behind including not so cute child in Italy. One day the prodigal son from Italy turns up as a hitman in Germany and their lives collide. This film is excellent , I really enjoyed it and I am chuffed to see it hitting the US too. Italians of Miami, now it is time to put on those glad rags and your best perfume and get this Festival rocking.


Vallanzasca – Gli angeli del male, Angles of Evil.

by Marianne Wi

Director: Michele Placido, his latest film is already coursing a political storm for glorifying one of  Italy’s notorious  gang leaders from the 70s. Renato Vallanzasca Constantini head of  the Comasina gang , still serving time ( 260 years to be exact) in an open jail on the outskirts of Milan. Vallanzasca is on day release and free to leave the prison from 7.30  in the morning to 7 .00 at night, he has re-married and is today 60 years old. The Italian prison system is an odd one.

Michele Placido has appeared in and have directed many films dating back to 1972  including Il grande sogno, The big Dream – Romanzo criminale, Crime Novel.

Cast :Kim Rossi Stuart, Valeria Solarino, Filippo Timi,Paz Vega, Moritz Bleibtreu, Francesco Scianna,Toni Pandolfo, Gaetano Bruno,Gerardo Amato, Paolo Mazzarelli, Lorenzo Gleijeses, Marica fracas, Adriana De Guinn and of course Michele Placido himself.

Best moment : The wedding ceremony in prison.

Worst moment : Kissing his sister and the assumption that it went further.

Synopsis :  The film follows  the life of  Vallanzasca  from early childhood and his first gang of boys to his imprisonment serving 260 years. The Comasina gang was ruthless although claiming in the film to be professionals and  not wanting to hurt anyone. Vallanzasca was eventually charged with 6 murders, 4 Kidnappings ( it is believed that there were many more) and numerous robberies.

Kim Rossi Stuart  portrayal of Vallanzasca is very much like his portrayal of Il Freddo in A Crime Novel 6 years ago, it was of course also Directed by Placido so no surprise there.

It will have it first showing in the UK on the 6th June 2011.


George Clooney

by Marianne Wi

George Cloony is to play Douglas Preston in the new film The Monster of Florence  ( Il Mostro di Firenze) a serial killer  on the loose in Florenze , he is believed to have murdered 14 couples between 1968 and 1985. The film will be based on the book written by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi.



Il primo giorno d’inverno, The First day of Winter

by Marianne Wi

Directed by Mirko Locatelli, this full length film is his first, a courages attempt with a difficult subject. Locatelli  is a director who does not go for the easy option, he is not known in Italy and as all Independent Film-makers has found it a struggle to get this charming film released nationwide. It has been shown at film festivals in Italy and also appeared at festivals in the Czech Republic, Denmark and France, it was recently shown on-line on . Sending love to the good people of mymovies.

Cast:  Mattia De Gasperis,  Michela Cova,  Andrea Semeghini, Teresa Patrignani,  Alberto Gerundo, Giseppe Cederna,

Trailer: I do not normally find the need to comment on trailers however I do find this one annoying and misleading. For 1 minute and 29 seconds a man walks along corridors interrupted only by unknown names appearing on the screen, it would not have made me rush out to the local cinema handing over  10 to 15 pounds, dollars or Euros. The trailer does not give any indication as to what the film is about.

Best moment: Michela baptising her pet rabbit with holy water from a Madonna statue. The final scene where Valerio asked for help at last.

Worst moment: Valerio spends time with Michela starting his bike (never actually driving off) cuts without warning to a scene where the family are cleaning out  the grand mothers room after her death, certainly some editing issues.

Synopsis: Valerio is a loner living with his mother and younger sister in a male-less family unit, outside what appear to be a small Italian village.  It becomes clear early in the film the he may be gay or that there will be gay issues (leaving the cap on the tooth-brush may be an accident or a deliberate clue) he is being bullied a very competitive sports environment. Valerio spies on his contemporaries and see  on one occasion a gay sexual encounter between two of his male school friends, the story follow his empowerment and growths from being a weak loner to being a bully with increasing demands of the two culprits. There are little conversation in this film, the swimming coach being the most vocal , he was also the most authoritative male in the film.

As with these stories there can only ever be one end and I was expecting a violate blood bath Tarantino style ever time he turned a corner, while walking through the long white corridors . I misunderstood the end of the film as I thought Daniele was unconscious, he was quite clearly helping Valerio getting  out of the water.  Valerios cry for help although late was touching, it was not before  the chat-room afterwards with Locantelli that it was made clear that Daniele was dead. It is a really good effort from this first time Director, it is now out on DVD so do check it out, the trailer does not do it justice.


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