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Thread: Open Roads: New Italian Cinema at Lincoln Center 2018

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    Open Roads: New Italian Cinema at Lincoln Center 2018

    Open Roads: New Italian Cinema at Lincoln Center May 31-June 6 2018

    Open Roads: New Italian Cinema is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Istituto Luce CinecittÓ. Organized by Dennis Lim and Dan Sullivan, Film Society; and by Carla Cattani, Griselda Guerrasio, and Monique Catalino, Istituto Luce CinecittÓ.

    Festival Coverage thread

    Links to the reviews
    Ape Woman, The/La donna scimmia (Marco Ferreri 1964)
    Beautiful Things (Giorgio Ferrero 2017)
    Boys Cry (Damiano D'Innocenzo, Fabio D'Innocenzo 2017)
    Crater/Il cratere (Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino 2017)
    Diva (Francesco Patierno 2017)
    Equilibrium/L'Equilibrio (Vincenzo Marra 2017)
    Fortnata (Sergio Castellitto 2017)
    Look Up/Guarda in Alto (Fulvio Risuleo 2017)
    Marco Ferreri: Dangerous Bu Necessary/La lucinda folia di Marco Ferreri (Anselma dell'Olio 2017)
    Sicilian Ghost Story (Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza2017)
    Naples in Veils/Napoli velata (Ferzan Ízpetek 2017)
    Nome di Donna (Marco Tullio Giordana 2017)
    The Place (Paolo Genovese 2017)
    Pure Hearts/Cuori puri (Roberto De Paolis 2017)
    Rainbow: A Private Affair/Una questione privata (Paolo Taviani 2018)



    Sicilian Ghost Story

    FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
    All screenings take place at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street) unless otherwise noted.

    Opening Night
    Sicilian Ghost Story
    Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza, Italy, 2017, 120m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Winner of the David di Donatello award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s spellbinding follow-up to their acclaimed 2013 drama Salvo is by turns fantastic and ripped-from-the-headlines. One day after school, 12-year-old Luna (Julia Jedlikowska) follows her classmate crush Giuseppe (Gaetano Fernandez) into a possibly enchanted forest—and, just like that, he vanishes. Was he kidnapped by the Mafia, for whom his father used to work as an assassin before he turned informant? Grassadonia and Piazza’s film, based on true events, renders Luna’s quest for the truth as a transfixing blend of realism and mythology.
    Thursday, May 31, 1:00pm & 6:00pm (Q&A with Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza at the 6:00pm screening)
    ***Grassadonia, Piazza, and actors Vincenzo Amato and Filippo Luna are available for interview.***

    The Ape Woman / La donna scimmia
    Marco Ferreri, Italy/France, 1964, 100m
    Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    “One of Marco Ferreri’s earliest and most beloved films, The Ape Woman is inspired by the true story of 19th-century carnival performer Julia Pastrana. Annie Girardot gives a signature performance as “Marie the Ape Woman,” an ex-nun whose body is completely covered in black hair. She is discovered at a convent by sleazy entrepreneur Focaccia (Ugo Tognazzi), who marries her and swiftly gets her on the freak show circuit to cash in on her distinctive appearance. A freewheeling satire both hilarious and grotesque, The Ape Woman is distinguished by the irreverent wit and anarchic energy of Ferreri’s greatest work. New digital restoration!
    Tuesday, June 5, 8:45pm

    Beautiful Things
    Giorgio Ferrero & Federico Biasin, Italy/Switzerland/USA, 2017, 94m
    North American Premiere

    This wildly ambitious documentary follows four men who work in isolation at remote scientific and industrial sites around the world. Like monks, they carry out their daily tasks in silence and solitude, creating products soon to enter the capitalist cycle of production, consumption, and destruction. A ravishingly beautiful audiovisual experience, Giorgio Ferrero and Federico Biasin’s debut feature is a transfixing work about the origins of consumer society imbued with a musical sense of rhythm (Ferrero is also a composer and sound editor) and a wealth of aesthetic ideas about the way we live now.
    Sunday, June 6, 6:00pm (Q&A with Giorgio Ferrero)

    Boys Cry / La terra dell'abbastanza
    Damiano & Fabio D'Innocenzo, Italy, 2018, 96m
    Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    The D’Innocenzo brothers reinvigorate the gangster genre with their gritty, surprising debut feature, set on the outskirts of Rome. Best friends and aspiring restaurateurs Manolo (Andrea Carpenzano) and Mirko (Matteo Olivetti) kill a pedestrian in a car accident, kicking off a series of events that enmesh them with the local crime syndicate and push their mutual allegiance to the breaking point. Smart, stylish, and muscular, this critical hit at the 2018 Berlinale announces the D’Innocenzos as formidable and film-savvy new voices in Italian cinema.
    Sunday, June 3, 3:30pm (Q&A with Damiano & Fabio D'Innocenzo)
    Tuesday, June 5, 2:30pm

    Crater / Il cratere
    Silvia Luzi & Luca Bellino, Italy, 2017, 93m Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    Documentarians Luzi and Bellino’s fiction debut stars Rosario and Sharon Caroccia (playing versions of themselves) as a carnival worker and his ostensibly unambitious daughter. He dreams she’ll hit it big as a pop singer, but when Sharon loses interest in pursuing this potentially lucrative profession, tensions build between the two. Luzi and Bellino summon their nonfiction filmmaking background to lend naturalism and spontaneity to this tale of helicopter-parenting that consciously recalls Luchino Visconti’s Bellissima. Crater is a moving parable about the gulf that exists between our desires and those of the people closest to us.
    Saturday, June 2, 1:00pm (Q&A with Silvia Luzi & Luca Bellino)
    Monday, June 4, 4:15pm

    Diva!
    Francesco Patierno, Italy, 2017, 75m
    Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    Valentina Cortese starred in films by such masters as Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, and Franšois Truffaut (she was nominated for an Oscar for her turn as an over-the-hill, hard-drinking thespian in the latter’s Day for Night). In this inventive work of cinematic biography, eight actresses play Cortese at various stages of her career, amidst a kaleidoscopic wealth of film clips and archival footage. In a work that is by turns glamorous, celebratory, and soberly confessional, “Cortese” often addresses the viewer directly, yielding a direct and engaging portrait of an actress whose offscreen complexity often exceeded the roles she memorably incarnated.
    Friday, June 1, 4:00pm (Q&A with Francesco Patierno)
    Wednesday, June 6, 8:30pm

    Equilibrium / L'equilibrio
    Vincenzo Marra, Italy, 2017, 90m

    Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere
    The director of Vento di terra returns to Open Roads with this realist parable about faith and crime in Campania. After Roman priest Don Giuseppe (Mimmo Borrelli) begins developing an attraction to an employee of the refugee center where he works, he requests a transfer, settling just north of Naples. There, he finds himself in conflict with the Camorra when he tries to intervene in the local industrial-waste crisis, their nefarious tactics putting the priest’s spiritual resolve to the test. Working with a mix of professionals and non-actors, Marra renders a scrappy, moving drama about the antagonism between religious belief and the modern world.
    Sunday, June 3, 1:00pm (Q&A with Vincenzo Marra)
    Wednesday, June 6, 4:30pm

    Look Up / Guarda in alto
    Fulvio Risuleo, Italy/France, 2017, 90m
    Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    While taking a cigarette break on a rooftop in Rome, a young baker (Giacomo Ferrara) notices a curious fowl plummeting from the sky. He crosses from one rooftop to the next to get a closer look, and what he discovers is the beginning of a journey down an urban rabbit hole of incredible situations and bizarre characters (including one played by a delightfully off-kilter Lou Castel). Documentary filmmaker Fulvio Risuleo’s fiction debut is an odd bird indeed, an unpredictable and imaginative twist on the road movie that evokes Alice in Wonderland and recalls the early work of Michel Gondry.
    Sunday, June 3, 8:30pm

    Fortunata
    Sergio Castellitto, Italy, 2017, 103m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Jasmine Trinca plays the ironically named Fortunata, a young mother and hairdresser living in Rome whose ambitions are constantly thwarted by inept, needy friends and family baggage. Awaiting a divorce from her soon-to-be-ex-husband and dealing with the resultant issues her 8-year-old daughter has developed, Fortunata begins taking her daughter to a handsome child therapist (Stefano Accorsi), with whom she has immediate chemistry. Also featuring legendary German actress Hanna Schygulla, Fortunata is an emotionally raw melodrama anchored by Trinca’s powerhouse performance, which earned her the Best Actress prize in the Un Certain Regard section at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.
    Friday, June 1, 6:15pm (Q&A with Jasmine Trinca)
    Monday, June 4, 2:00pm

    Marco Ferreri: Dangerous but Necessary / La lucida follia di Marco Ferreri
    Anselma Dell’Olio, Italy, 2017, 77m
    Italian and French with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    Marco Ferreri: Dangerous but Necessary is a complex, multilayered portrait that seeks to give an underappreciated iconoclast his due. Directed by journalist-critic (and former Ferreri collaborator) Anselma Dell’Olio, the film draws upon interviews with such performers as Isabelle Huppert, Roberto Benigni, Hanna Schygulla, and Ornella Muti, as well as cinematic luminaries like Philippe Sarde and Dante Ferretti, to make the case for Ferreri as a figure who belongs on the same historical wavelength as such artistic revolutionaries as Godard, Fassbinder, and Bu˝uel. This fast-paced documentary’s enthusiasm for its legendarily provocative subject is positively infectious.
    Tuesday, June 5, 6:30pm

    Nome di donna
    Marco Tullio Giordana, Italy, 2018, 90m
    Italian with English subtitles
    North American Premiere

    A woman courageously tries to break the silence in a culture of complicity surrounding sexual harassment in this all-too-timely film from Open Roads veteran Marco Tullio Giordana. Nina (Cristiana Capotondi) is a single mother who takes a job at a home for the elderly in Lombardy, where the inappropriate verbal treatment of her new manager (Bebo Storti) turns into outright assault. Nina’s quest to seek justice brings her face to face with the cultural and institutional mechanisms that allowed for the harassment in the first place. Ultimately, Nina is one of the most multidimensional and inspiring protagonists in recent Italian cinema.
    Saturday, June 2, 3:30pm (Q&A with Marco Tullio Giordana)
    Tuesday, June 5, 4:30pm

    Naples in Veils / Napoli velata
    Ferzan Ozpetek, Italy, 2017, 113m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    In this moody, baroque thriller from Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek, Giovanna Mezzogiorno stars as Adriana, a medical examiner who meets cute with younger man Andrea (Alessandro Borghi) during a party at her eccentric aunt’s garish apartment. They hit it off immediately, though their romance is curtailed when Andrea later stands her up. While inspecting a corpse at work, Adriana notices a distinctive tattoo that reminds her of Andrea’s—at least as she remembers it. So begins a gripping metaphysical murder mystery, in which Naples becomes a shadowy, mysterious labyrinth of desire and memory.
    Saturday, June 2, 8:30pm (Q&A with Ferzan Ozpetek)

    The Night of the Shooting Stars / La Notte di San Lorenzo
    Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Italy, 1982, 35mm, 105m

    Italian with English subtitles
    The Taviani brothers’ crowning achievement and winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, The Night of the Shooting Stars remains one of world cinema’s great war films. The story of a group of Italians in Tuscany fleeing the Nazis, who intend to bomb their small town before it can be liberated by the Americans, this is an enthralling chronicle of everyday people refusing to sit back and wait for history to redeem them, instead seeking their own salvation. This tonally eclectic, humanistic masterwork affectingly melds comedy, tragedy, and melodrama to convey the resilience of the Italian people during the war’s darkest hours.
    Monday, June 4, 8:45pm

    The Place
    Paolo Genovese, Italy, 2017, 105m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    An enigmatic, nameless man (Valerio Mastandrea) sits in the corner of a bar, receiving visitor after visitor. They tell him of their profoundest wishes and desires, and he assures them they can have exactly what they want . . . but there will be a price, and the extreme deeds they must perform will lead them to question who they are and to what lengths they will go. An elegant reworking of the American television series The Booth at the End, this gripping, minimalist moral thriller boasts an all-star cast that includes Alba Rohrwacher, Silvio Muccino, and Rocco Papaleo.
    Thursday, May 31, 3:30pm & 9:00pm (Q&A with Paolo Genovese at the 9:00pm screening)

    Pure Hearts / Cuori puri
    Roberto De Paolis, Italy, 2017, 114m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    An impeccably acted drama about youthful self-discovery, De Paolis’s feature debut is a fresh take on the “opposites attract” tale, set on the outskirts of Rome. Seventeen-year-old Agnese (Barbora Bobulova) plans to take a vow of chastity to appease her intensely devout mother, but then she encounters 25-year-old parking lot attendant Stefano (Simone Liberati) while shoplifting a cell phone. Stefano represents for Agnese an alternative way of being in the world beyond the strictures of the church, from which she feels increasingly alienated. Partly improvised and deftly filmed by DP Claudio Cofrancesco, Pure Hearts marks an auspicious debut for De Paolis.
    Friday, June 1, 8:45pm (Q&A with Roberto De Paolis)
    Wednesday, June 6, 2:00pm

    Rainbow: A Private Affair / Una questione privata
    Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Italy, 2017, 85m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Few filmmakers have better embodied Italian cinema over the past 50 years than the Taviani brothers. Their latest and final film together (Vittorio died in April) is an elegant tale of young love caught in the whirlwind of war, loosely adapted from a book by Beppe Fenoglio. Set near Turin in 1944, Rainbow follows student Milton (Luca Marinelli) and his friend Giorgio (Lorenzo Richelmy), who both love the same woman (Valentina Belle). Their friendship is put to the ultimate test against a backdrop of violent struggle after the two men are swept up in the anti-fascist movement. A sensitive, atmospheric film about the connection between the personal and the global, this is an essential capstone to the Tavianis’ vital oeuvre.
    Friday, June 1, 2:00pm
    Monday, June 4, 6:30pm

    Stories of Love That Cannot Belong to This World / Amori che non sanno stare al mondo
    Francesca Comencini, Italy, 2017, 92m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Francesca Comencini adapts her own novel for this intelligent, intensely felt romantic comedy. Academics Claudia (Lucia Mascino) and Flavio (Thomas Trabacchi) have been a couple for seven years, but their physically and intellectually passionate relationship seems to have reached an impasse, and neither of them understands why. As a result, Claudia begins a process of reflection and self-exploration to come to terms with Flavio’s love in light of her own insecurities and neuroses. This funny, charming movie reveals the inner work we must do in order to move on with our lives.
    Saturday, June 2, 6:00pm (Q&A with Lucia Mascino)
    Wednesday, June 6, 6:30pm

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 07:04 PM.

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    Open Roads: New Italian Cinema At Lincoln Center 2018

    General Film Forum thread

    This year's Lincoln Center Italian series, its 18th edition (and my fifth), is another elegant and varied collection. It includes some homages to Italian cinematic greats, the actress Valentina Cortese, filmmaker Marco Ferreri, and the iconic Taviani brothers, Paolo and his late brother Vittorio.

    Here are my preview-summaries. I expect to see most of the films and will report on them in more detail later. Already I have been devastated in advance by Boys Cry, mesmerized and turned on by Naples in Veils, horrified and then reassured by the #Me Too-Italian style courtroom drama Nome di Donna, and puzzled and thought-provoked by The Place. There will also be films by Marco Ferreri and the Taviani brothers.




    BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Giorgio Ferrero
    The title, I assure you, is ironic. This is a film about consumerism. (Venice 2017.) A rather high-toned and intentionally off-putting documentary composed in four parts, with good music and images. It focuses on four men in different worlds and connects them abstractly.



    BOYS CRY by Damiano D'Innocenzo, Fabio D'Innocenzo
    Twin brothers wrote and directed this film about two best friends still in high school who get drawn into the Italian underground by accident. A "muscular first feature," Boyd van Hoeij said, "A knockout." Well received at the Berlinale, a post-Gomorrah piece on what Jay Weissberg thought an overdone subject of amoral youths. Both have a point. It's stylishly shot, fresh, beautifully acted. These young Italian toughs' criminal lives fill Hobbes' definition: "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."



    CRATER by Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino
    About a fairgrounds huckster who grooms his daughter to become a pop diva. Won the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo 2017. By former documentarians and based on fact.



    DIVA! by Francesco Patierno
    An inventive bio-doc about Italian star Valentina Cortese, Oscar-nominated for her turn in Truffaut's Day for Night, has different actresses play segments of her life, as in Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan film, I'm Not There. Van Hoeij (again) calls it "inventive."



    EQUILIBRIUM by Vincenzo Marra

    The director's fourth feature follows a priest who returns to his native Campania and gets into a conflict with the Camorra over their waste exploitation, premiered at Venice in its "Days" series. Another documentarian driven to fiction. Shot modestly with non-actors like his successful Land Wind (2004).



    FORTUNATA by Sergio Castellitto
    A working class hairdresser plans to open her own hair salon, but hooking up with her kid's shrink distracts her. Castellitto (in Muccino's The Last Kiss, Rivette's Va Savoir and Nettlebeck's Mostly Martha, all in 2001) is best known as an adept and prolific actor, a consummate pro. This is his seventh film as director, a field of action where colorful melos like the hyperventilating medical drama Don't Move/Non ti muovere are what often tempt him.



    LOOK UP by Fulvio Risuleo
    A bizarre trip across the rooftops of Rome. "Only Fulvio Risuleo could make such a bizarre and original movie like Look Up and only Giacomo Ferrara could interpret its leading role". Rolling Stone



    MARCO FERRERI: DANGEROUS BUT NECESSARY by Anselma Dell'Olio
    Documentary about an important but intentionally low-profile Italian director.



    NAPLES IN VEILS/NAPOLI VELATA by Ferzan Ozpetek
    At once an immersion in Neopolitan arts and culture and a mystery-shrouded thriller-romance. Enjoyably sensuous and beautiful, with surprisingly vivid sex scenes, lots of atmosphere, a little bit inconclusive and, no doubt intentionally, apolitical.



    NOME DI DONNA by Marco Tullio Giordana
    Not at all apolitical, this unexpectedly timely sexual harassment drama. The director is known internationally for his involving 2003 generational saga, The Best of Youth. In this one, star Cristiana Capotondi gives a rich performance. A slow-burning courtroom drama where the male abusers, slick and slimy, get theirs in the end of a long, painstaking sequence of events meticulously set out by the director in a style both low-keyed and grand.



    THE PLACE by Paolo Genovese
    Davide di Donatello-nominated film about a sad-sack mystery man who grants wishes to eleven strangers, in return for carrying out an often extreme and criminal task. Closely based on Christopher Kubasik's US FX cable TV series "The Booth at the End." Genovese's Italian dialogue is simple and natural. . His 2014 Blame Freud was in Italian series but I missed it. This one has stars like Alba Rohrwacher, Silvio Muccino, Rocco Papaleo, and the hot young actor Alessandro Borghi, who also has key roles in Fortunata and Naples in Veils - everybody wants him!



    PURE HEARTS/CUORI PURI by Roberto De Paolis
    This was shown at Cannes 2017 Directors' Fortnight, about a teenage girl in Rome who takes a vow of chastity, then spots a working-class boy eight years older who catches her eye. Touches on themes of class difference and Christian fundamentalism.



    RAINBOW - A PRIVATE AFFAIR by Paolo Taviani
    Based on Beppe Fenoglio’s 1963 novel set during Italy’s mid-1940's civil war when partisans and fascists were fighting, but this arouses mixed reactions. Is it only a "bland literary adaptation" (according to Variety's Jay Weissberg)- or "a quiet classic," as Deborah Young says in Hollywood Reporter? Perhaps somewhere in between.



    SICILIAN GHOST STORY by Antonio Piazza, Fabio Grassadonia
    The Cannes 2017 Critics Week opener, based on a true story of the Mafia kidnapping of a youth to silence his father, with touches of Romeo and Juliet and the Brothers Grimm. This sounds like a winner. TRAILER.



    STORIES OF LOVE THAT CANNOT BELONG TO THIS WORLD by Francesca Comencini
    I reviewed her TV documentary In the Factory/In fabbrica in the 2008 Open Roads. This is something quite different, an adult romantic comedy, based on her own novel, about an academic couple who have to reassess after seven years together. And we will have to reassess Francesca Comencini.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-25-2018 at 09:59 PM.

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    Open Roads.

    The series begins tomorrow and I'll be seeing the opening night film and reporting on it.


    Sicilian Ghost Story

    Opening Night
    Sicilian Ghost Story
    Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza, Italy, 2017, 120m
    Italian with English subtitles
    New York Premiere

    Winner of the David di Donatello award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s spellbinding follow-up to their acclaimed 2013 drama Salvo is by turns fantastic and ripped-from-the-headlines. One day after school, 12-year-old Luna (Julia Jedlikowska) follows her classmate crush Giuseppe (Gaetano Fernandez) into a possibly enchanted forest—and, just like that, he vanishes. Was he kidnapped by the Mafia, for whom his father used to work as an assassin before he turned informant? Grassadonia and Piazza’s film, based on true events, renders Luna’s quest for the truth as a transfixing blend of realism and mythology.
    Thursday, May 31, 1:00pm & 6:00pm (Q&A with Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza at the 6:00pm screening)
    ***Grassadonia, Piazza, and actors Vincenzo Amato and Filippo Luna are available for interview.***
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:54 PM.

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    SICILIAN GHOST STORY (Fabio Grassadonia, Antonio Piazza 2017)

    The Opening Night Film of Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 2018 is a magical, fable-like tale based round an actual mafia kidnapping of a boy, a brutal story. I found the combination of these two elements confusing. Hard to see anything magical in gangster brutality; the love story turns into a horror story. Still, a striking film in its way (the dp is a longtime collaborator of Paolo Sorrentino) that fans of magic realism may appreciate more. From Cannes Critics Week 2017, and by the team behind ND/NF 2014's Salvo.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-06-2018 at 10:43 AM.

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    THE PLACE (Paolo Genoese 2017)

    An infinitely slick and engaging remake of the web-only originally FX TV series "The Booth at the End," where a mystery may grants wishes in exchange for assigned tasks that can be as extreme as blowing up a restaurant. Eleven characters, played by some well-known actors. The fun is in the overlapping of the situations, the surprises. But one can't help thinking, is this what the best and brightest of Italian cinema must do now?

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:55 PM.

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    RAINBOW: A PRIVATE AFFAIR/UNA QUESTIONE PRIVATA (Paolo Taviani 2017)

    Paolo finished this literary adaptation alone, and his brother died last month at 88; they made movies together for 62 years. And this one, about partisans and fascists fighting in the Piedmont hills in the mid-Forties, goes back to the time of their first inspiration. This is a story about a man searching for a fascist captive to trade for a best friend just caught by them, for personal reasons, involving a woman they both love. The story and the execution seem oddly detached from the wartime hostilities. But there are some arresting moments.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:55 PM.

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    DIVA (Francesco Patierno 2017)

    Patierno crafts an adaptation of longtime actress Valentina Cortese's autobiography using a wealth of clips from her films and eight different-looking actresses impersonating her to narrate. Perhaps his taste in clips is a little too Catholic at times, using fiction to illustrate fact, but the effect is stimulating. The Q&A was interesting too. She almost won an Oscar playing an alcoholic actress in Truffaut's Day for Night but Ingrid Begman unfairly beat her; Bergman and Truffaut (in accepting Best Foreign Oscar for the film) acknowledged her fine performance. She worked also with Jules Dassin, Robert Wise, Antonioni, Fellini - and got Harvey Weinstein'd by Daryl Zanuck.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:55 PM.

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    NOME DI DONNA (Marco Tullio Giordana 2018)

    A timely drama about sexual harassment of a nursing home worker successfully taken to court. I outline its good points and weaknesses.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:55 PM.

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    CRATER (Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino 2017)

    Some Italian viewers have, like me, been put off by the style of this high-concept effort about a 13-year-old girl who likes to sing "neo-melodic" Neapolitan songs - and her dad who tries to turn her into a paid performer. The cinematography literally focuses on these two and a few others to the visual exclusion of all else, with the camera up so close you can hardly see anything, all backgrounds blurred-out. These non-actors might have used more skillful direction, but one of many problems is the vague line between fiction and fact.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:59 PM.

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    NAPLES IN VEILS/NAPOLI VELATA (Ferzan Ízpetek 2017)

    Departing from his usual bright Roman settings, Ízpetek turns to a lush, glamorous Napes full of danger and mystery in this inconclusive, but sexy and enjoyable murder mystery starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno of Muccin's Last Kiss and his own Facing Windows along with hot young actor Alessandro Borghi. No mafia in sight, and this might make you want to include Naples in your next trip to Italy.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:59 PM.

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    EQUILIBRIUM/L'EQUILIBRIO (Vincenzo Marra 2017)

    A priest, formerly a missionary in Africa, asks to be transferred from his post in Rome because of love for a coworker, and is sent to his native Campania near Naples, the "Land of Fires" where Camorra corruption causes widespread pollution from waste mismanagement, including constant burning of toxic waste. He gets into something much more complicated: standing up the the dominance of the criminal clan. Mostly non-actors are used. A small but passionate film that seemed to me the most exciting I'd seen in the series so far. Marra himself was present, proving also to be a modest but passionate man, with a sense of humor and a sense of mission.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:59 PM.

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    FORTUNATA (Sergio Castellitto 2017)

    Unconvincing "Mama Roma" knockoff is Castellitto's 6th directorial outing with the same writer. This frantic melodrama suggests he should (1) get a new writer; (2) stick to acting. He is far more respected for his 100+ acting roles (he is a consummate pro). This contains notable actors, Jasmine Trinca in the title role, who won Best Actor at Un Certain Regard at Cannes; a menacing (too menacing) Edoardo Pesce; the popular Stefano Accorsi; the hot new actor Alessandro Borghi (also in The Place and Naples in Veils in this year's Open Roads); even a wasted Hanna Schygulla.

    What a contrast to yesterday's film, which was about something really significant. This is about a free lance hairdresser who runs off with her little girl's child psychotherapist. Both seem equally ditsy and irresponsible.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:59 PM.

  13. #13
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    LOOK UP/GUARDA IN ALTO (Fulvio Risuleo 2017)

    A young baker called Teco (Giacomo Ferrara) climbs up for a smoke break on a roof in Rome with some coworkers. They spy huge seagulls, one of which crashes, he leaps over to the neighboring roof to investigate - and launches a personal adventure into a parallel universe. This is 27-year-old Risuleo's first feature, and it's a film Michel Gondry would like to have made. A unique charmer that weaves its own special magic. Risuleo has a bright future ahead. This is way better than I imagined it would be.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 06:59 PM.

  14. #14
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    Cooming: roundup of Open Roads 2018

    There will be one or two more short reviews of individual films, and a roundup listing the hits and misses of this year's Italian series at Lincoln Center.

    See Maria Garcia's preview-roundup on Film Journal, which includes a description of opening night edible fare - truffle risotto and prosecco. See the article on the series by Tony Pipolo in Artforum.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-06-2018 at 10:46 AM.

  15. #15
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    MARCO FERRERI: DANGEROUS BUT NECSSSARY/LA LUCIDA FOLLIA DI MARCO FERRERI (Anselma Deell'Olio 2017)

    Documentary about a neglected, iconoclastic, provocative Italian filmmaker (La Grande Bouffe. He deserves a retrospective.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 06-09-2018 at 07:00 PM.

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