Posts tagged ‘Southern Italy’


Corpo Celeste, Heavenly Body

by Marianne Wi

Director, Alice Rohrwacher is the screenwriter and director of this her first feature film, she has a very famous older sibling Alba, they were both born in Firenze by an Italian mother and German father, I have a feeling we will see a lot more from this younger member of the Rohrwacher family. Corpo Celeste was first presented at Cannes Film Festival 2011 receiving good reviews and will be at The Taormina Film Festival later in June 2011, it has received 3 nominations for The Silver Ribbon, Il Nastro d’argento, Best Director Newcomer for Alice Rohrwacher and two for Best Supporting Actress Anita Capriol, who plays the mother and Yle Vianello for her role as Marta, personally I would have liked Pasqualina Scuncia to have received a nomination for her role as Santa, she was awesome giving a solid, heartfelt and well-played performance, most of all she had a lived in face, excellent casting for her role. I was lucky to see this film, it was only shown in Catania for a week nowhere else in Sicily, I sort of understand why, it really is everyday life in the South, there would be little interest in seeing what virtually amounts to a Docudrama for many people here, at a price of 7 Euros. I saw Corpo Celeste with a German friend who has lived in Catania for 40 years, she positively hated the film and saw no purpose for its existence, 2 years ago I would have though it patronising with too many caricatures, a bit of a cheap shot at the south, today I think it is a very accurate portrayal of life in the South, there is always a Saint that needs to be aired, a Madonna that needs to be resting at someones house for a day or 2, while the ladies of the Church gather to sing her on her way, I think Corpo Celeste, will do very well on the International scene, a gutsy first film from Rohrwacher the Younger.

Cast :   Yle Vianello, Anita Caprioli, Pasqualina Scuncia, Salvatore Cantalupe, Renato Carpentieri, Paola Lavini

Synobsis : Marta, a 13 year old introverted adolescent has recently relocated to Calabria, Southern Italy with her older sister and mother, after 10 years in Switzerland. We follow her search for a part to play in this deeply religious neighborhood, with its bleak dilapidated exterior, poverty and petty crime. The church is the centre of everyday life in the south, Marta must prepare herself for her confirmation, she attend catechism classes run by the local Catholic Church, Santa runs these classes like a pop-quize, she does her utmost under very difficult circumstances to spread the word and prepare these youngsters for the big day “seeing the Spirit is like wearing really cool sunglasses”. On an unscheduled away day with the Priest, to a derelict and deserted village, collecting an obsolite Jesus, while making various stop-overs in the small villages drumming up signatures for his promotion to a more important church, Marta gets her first period adding to her problems. The scene in the church where Marta sensually explore a wooden and very dusty Jesus was excellent, Marta is a girl of few words yet her questioning of the church does not go down well, Jesus goes flying off the cliff perhaps because he was angry or was he mad as some people have told her…… If you are looking for a glimpse of southern Italy today, this is a film for you .


Tatanka Skatenato, Raging Tatanka

by Marianne Wi

Based on the book “La Bellezza e l’inferno” written by Roberto Saviano about the Italian Olympic Boxer Clemente Russo aka Tatanka Buffalo who won a Silver Medal in Beijing 2008. Clemente Russo, plays himself with great ease, he was born on the 27th July 1982 in Marcianise not far from Naples, where he grew up rough and fast among the crime syndicates with few escape routes, boxing being one of the only options open to him.

Director :  Giuseppe Gagliardi first feature “La vera leggenda di Tony Vilar”, “The True Legend of Tony Vilar” 2006 did very well Internationally, Tatanka Skatenato, Raging Tatanka is sure to follow suit.

Cast : Rade Serbedzija, Giorgio Colangeli, Carmine Recano, Alexander Yassin, Cemente Russo, Susanne Wolff, Enzo Casertano, Damir Todorvic, Linda Chang, Vincenzo Pane, Lorenzo Scialla,

Synopsis: We follow a very young Clemente Russo, his fight against the local crime syndicate who are hiring children, the police who are not only the enemy but also a violent enemy, we see some of the difficult choices he had to make on route to fame, always remembering honour and never forgetting that real men ” have balls”. There are few options open for a poor uneducated youth from this dilapidated area of Southern Italy, he chooses Boxing. While serving 8 years in prison for doing over a warehouse, he continues his training inside, the camorra never far behind. Once released he is trapped, falls in to bare-knuckle fights for money, crime and disillusionment. We follow his stubborn climb back to become one of the world’s best white contemporary heavyweight fighters, the highlight of his career no doubt being the Olympic Silver in Beijing in 2008 loosing only to Rakhim Chakkhiev. If you like a bit of rough play this sports film is for you.


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