Cinema Italiano

I love Italian cinema- and who doesn't?! Apparently migliaia di Americans, not just Italian Americans, enjoy new Italian cinema every year and it can be found everywhere:

Io sono cine-filo! Is that a real word? I love watching movies and when I get a chance, I watch Italian movies! I don't need English subtitles, so I can watch obscure Italian movies- if I find them. 

If your community isn't hosting an Italian film festival, you can still get your Cinema Italiano on somewhere else. If I can't actually make it to the cinema, I look up the current Italian films highlighted at any one of several Italian film festivals and look for the title in my local library or on Amazon, NetFlix and Hulu.

"Il Divo" (The God) is a great, true-to-life drama about Italian politics depicting the tumultuous, complicitly criminal years during the Giulio Andreotti  "reign". I found "Il Divo" very interesting, seductive, calculating and all together mesmerizing because of the Andreotti character portrayal by Tony Servillo, "the best Italian actor you don't know..." If you have any knowledge into Italian politics, this movie is chilling and eye opening.

Of course with a director like Paolo Sorrentino's fly on the wall approach to directing and presenting to the audience- you will be nothing less than entertained. See the great Tony Servillo in "The Great Beauty" or La Grande Bellezza.

The most recent film I got to see, all by myself, without having to interpret or assist in linguistic navigation of the film, was La Grande Bellezza .

This film is fresh, visually marvelous and to the point of absurdity. The main character Jep Gambardella is so self-assured of his importance in Roman society and at the ripened age of 65, his swagger and charisma is undaunted. One of many great lines in the film, he asks a woman, "che lavoro fai" and she answers, "sono ricca"--brilliant banter!  Jep Gambardella is the epitome of essere convinto, in the trailer above I love the line"..."...volevo diventare il re` dei mondani".  La Grande Bellezza reminded me a lot of La Dolce Vita, in fact it may as well serve as the new cult film of the millennium. The panoramic cinematography of Rome used in the film, along with the musical soundtrack that everyone can relate to, takes your breath away. Any tourist to Rome could only dream of seeing Rome like this for the first time. Having lived in Rome for a few years, I can attest to the fact that I had to make special trips with personal itineraries, to visit the exquisite cultural treasures that abound everywhere you turn in Roma, la citta` eterna.

About Italian Cinema in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Marin County:  Just a 20 minute drive across the Golden Gate Bridge north of San Francisco, lies bucolic Marin County, Mt. Tamalpais, like Vesuvius, always seems to be in view wherever you roam. The extraordinary Lido Cantarutti presents Italian Film Festival running from late September to early November (this way you can continue your Italian film/love fest in San Francisco in mid November). 

 For a list of films, movie trailers and descriptions click here.

San Francisco:  An annual event that I look forward to, being a San Francisco native, is the arrival of the San Francisco Film Society's New Italian Cinema, this year from November 13-17, 2013. Can't wait to see:  Napoli 24

Miami:  Equally and ardently distributing new Italian cinema is
Cinema Italy in the areas of Miami, Atlanta and San Juan ---what a great line-up of films they have. The film festival takes place from September to October every year.

St. Louis:  Italian Film Festival USA was showing---for free---"Girlfriend in a Coma", quoted:  "an alarming new documentary film about Italy's economic and political crisis from the former editor of The Economist, Bill Emmott, and Annalisa Piras.
If you haven't read the book, it's a must read for Italophiles and intellects alike; a fascinating and frightening current description of the state of Italy- the country and its most valuable resource- her people. 

Good Italy, Bad Italy: Why Italy Must Conquer its Demons to Face the Future, by Bill Emmott.

New Mexico:  In Sante Fe, New Mexico, Italian cinema is paired with fundraising efforts for the University of New Mexico Children's Hospital. In its 7th year of promoting Italian film and Italian culture, dinner and the film "Io sono Li" are on the bill for February 2014. Original Founder, Ronaldo Patrizio Steiner, created a  non-profit organization called Italian Festivals of New Mexico and with his annual gift and the work of extremely dedicated individuals in the organization, the festival continues to raise funds for the Children's Hospital while dishing out Italian cinema and culture. 

Toronto:  Although we're not anywhere near Toronto (we're in
California),  I love the Toronto Italian Film Festivals website intro! Art...isn't that what film is, another form of art?!
If you find yourself in Toronto starting December 1, you'll have about 18 films to choose from in a 5-day span. Screenings, parties, live Q & A sessions--what fun!

Mi piace da morire il cinema italiano!  

Have you seen "Bitter Rice", (1949)?  Compelling, outstanding performances by the tragically beautiful Silvana Mangana & young, sexy Vitorrio Gassman. This one is a must see!

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