The annual celebration of Italian cinema, Cinema Italian Style, will open this year with Italy’s official Oscar submission for Best Foreign-Language Film, Emanuele Crialese’s topical drama TERRAFERMA. Following is an array of Italy’s best films, with an emphasis on the country’s strong year for comedies: Nanni Moretti’s papal crowdpleaser WE HAVE A POPE, starring Michel Piccoli as an insecure cardinal; Paulo Genovese’s THE IMMATURE, an ensemble comedy about a long-overdue reunion of a group of former best friends; Gianni Di Gregorio’s THE SALT OF LIFE, in which an aging married man dabbles in the possibility of being a cradle robber; Sergio Castellito’s family farce LOVE & SLAPS, about a successful architect (Castellito) nervously celebrating his half-century birthday, augmented by the arrival of his daughter and her senior-citizen boyfriend; and CHILL, starring Fabrizio Bentivoglio as an apathetic retiree who discovers he has a 15-year-old son. Also on offer is an excellent selection of powerful dramas, including Alice Rohrwacher’s Cannes official selection CORPO CELESTE, about a self-conscious preteen preparing for her Catholic confirmation; Mario Martone’s recently recut historical epic WE BELIEVED, following the events of Italy’s unification in the mid-19th century; Cristina Comencini’s Venice Film Festival official selection WHEN THE NIGHT, starring Claudia Pandolfi as a struggling single mother on vacation in rural Italy; Giuseppe Gagliardi’s TATANKA, about an ex-convict boxer trying to go straight; and THE FATHER AND THE FOREIGNER, an international thriller from director Ricky Tognazzi starring Alessandro Gassman. All films are in Italian with English subtitles.
Cinema Italian Style also welcomes director Terry Gilliam in person with his new short film “The Wholly Family” and the classic sci-fi delight BRAZIL.
In-person guests joining us for this series include TERRAFERMA’s director Emanuele Crialese and cast members Filippo Pucillo, Donatella Finocchiaro and Guiseppe Fiorello, composer Carlo Siliotto (THE FATHER AND THE FOREIGNER) and actresses Francesca Inaudi (WE BELIEVED), Lidia Vitale (LOVE & SLAPS), and Barbora Bobulova (THE IMMATURE & CHILL). Terry Gilliam will also be presented with the CIS Award on opening night at the Egyptian!
Cinema Italian Style is co-presented with Cinecittà Luce. Supported by the Italian Ministry of Culture-Film Department, with the generous contribution of Alitalia, Baci Perugina, Bulgari, Dolce&Gabbana, and the participation of E.L.M.A. (European Languages and Movies in America) in collaboration with the Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, the Italian Trade Commission and the Italian Cultural Institute
Opening Night! Italy’s Official Oscar Submission!
Friday, November 11 • 7:00pm
This year’s series of new films from Italy opens with official Oscar entry TERRAFERMA. Director Emanuele Crialese, cast members Filippo Pucillo, Donatella Finocchiaro and Guiseppe Fiorello, and other guests from the series including CIS Award recepient Terry Gilliam will appear in person.
Saturday, November 12 – 5:00pm, Aero Theatre
2011, Minerva Pictures Group, 100 min, Italy, Dir: Giuseppe Gagliardi
Champion boxer and ex-convict Michele (Clemente Russo), nicknamed “Tatanka,” flees to Berlin after his old mobster associates lean on him to fight a dirty match. Once in Germany, Michele starts training with Coach Vinko (Rade Serbedzija) to get back to his peak form pre-incarceration – but escaping one’s past is never easy, and Tatanka’s hardest fight proves to be outside of the ring. In Italian with English subtitles.
Saturday, November 12 – 7:30pm, Aero Theatre
THE IMMATURE (IMMATURI)
2011, 108 min, Italy, Dir: Paolo Genovese
Twenty years after the dissolution of their friend group, child psychologist Giorgio (Raoul Bova), realtor Lorenzo (Ricky Memphis), mother and manager Luisa (Barbara Bobulova), chef and rehabilitated sex addict Francesca (Ambra Angiolini), radio DJ Piero (Luca Bizzarri) and Virgilio (Paulo Kessisoglu), whose lie was the catalyst for the group’s breakup, are all on the brink of turning 40. When the Ministry of Education informs them each separately that their SAT scores have been voided and they will need to re-take the test, the ex-friends are forced to meet again. A winning comedy about continued immaturity well into adulthood. Nominated for 4 National Italian Union of Film Journalists Awards, including Best Comedy and Best Supporting Actor (Ricky Memphis). In Italian with English subtitles.
WHEN THE NIGHT (QUANDO LA NOTTE)
2011, Celluloid Dreams, 114 min, Italy, Dir: Cristina Comencini
Single mother Marina (Claudia Pandolfi) and her 2-year-old son Marco are sojourning in the small mountain town of Macugnaga for a month-long holiday, setting up camp in the most remote house in the village. This seemingly bucolic ideal quickly turns sour when Marco refuses to stop crying, and, after an accident that requires the little boy to get stitches, the misanthropic house owner and mountain guide Manfred (Filippo Timi) is convinced that Marina is a neglectful and possibly abusive mother. So begins Cristina Comencini’s (DON’T TELL, Academy Award nominated for Best Foreign-Language Film in 2006) thoughtful drama about parenthood and its effects, as Marina and Manfred must confront each other’s shortcomings – while also facing their growing attraction to one another. Nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. In Italian with English subtitles.
Sunday, November 13 – 4:00pm , Aero Theatre
THE FATHER AND THE FOREIGNER (IL PADRE E LO STRANIERO)
2010, Intra Movies, 110 min, Italy, Dir: Ricky Tognazzi
Rome native Diego (Alessandro Gassman) and Arab Walid (Amr Waked) meet while taking their disabled young sons to the same rehabilitation clinic. As Diego spends more time with Walid due to his strained marriage, he realizes he knows very little about his new friend. When Walid suddenly disappears and the Secret Services interrogate Diego, he becomes mixed up in a web of crime and intrigue that reaches from Rome to Syria. Director Ricky Tognazzi’s breathless thriller combines international mystery with a message of cultural fraternity, and was an official selection of the 2010 Rome Film Festival.In Italian with English subtitles.
Sunday, November 13 – 7:30pm, Aero Theatre
WE BELIEVED (NOI CREDEVAMO)
2011, Rai Trade, 120 min, Italy, Dir: Mario Martone
With this recently re-cut version from his original 2010 epic, director Mario Martone’s (NASTY LOVE, DEATH OF A NEAPOLITAN MATHEMATICIAN) historical mythbuster follows the real events surrounding Italy’s unification in the 19th century, from the nation’s stormy birth in the 1820s to its solidification in the 1870s. Edoardo Natoli and Andrea Bosca star as Domenico and Angelo, two commoners loosely based on minor historical figures from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies who dream of a unified Italy. Over the course of decades, the two transform into very different types of revolutionaries – Domenico siding with the populist movement, with Angelo becoming a violent nihilist willing to murder friends and enemies. With Luigi Lo Cascio (THE BEST OF YOUTH) and Francesca Inaudi (AFTER MIDNIGHT). For lovers of Luchino Visconti’s THE LEOPARD, this is a must-see! In Italian with English subtitles.
2011, Film Movement, 98 min, Italy, Dir: Alice Rohrwacher
In director Alice Rohrwacher’s assured debut feature, 12-year-old Marta (Yile Vianello) has moved to her native Calabria, a heavily Christian, working-class province in the south of Italy, after having lived in Switzerland for ten years. Feeling like an alien in her new surroundings, Marta self-consciously bumbles her way through catechism classes, tries to make friends and grapples with the loathsome, lofty village priest Don Mario (GOMORRAH’s Salvatore Cantalupo). Official selection of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. “Almost a street-level and youth-centered counterpart to vet helmer Nanni Moretti’s Cannes competish title WE HAVE A POPE about a pontiff in crisis, Rohrwacher’s pic offers a Dardennes-esque look at a working-class teen’s growing pains in a backwater parish in southern Italy.” –Variety. In Italian with English subtitles.
Monday, November 14 – 7:30pm, Aero Theatre
2011, Rai Trade, 95 min, Italy, Dir: Francesco Bruni
In writer Francesco Bruni’s charmingly funny and endlessly crowd-pleasing directorial debut, Fabrizio Bentivoglio (THE FAMILY FRIEND) stars as an apathetic retired schoolteacher whose life is thrown off-kilter when he discovers he has a 15-year-old son. With Barbora Bobulova (THE IMMATURE) as a former porn star who becomes mixed up in the father-son bonding. Official selection and recipient of the top prize in the Controcampo Italiano section of the 2011 Venice International Film Festival. In Italian with English subtitles.
LOVE & SLAPS
LA BELLEZZA DEL SOMARO
2011, Intra Movies, 107 min, Italy, Dir: Sergio Castellito
In actor-director Sergio Castellito’s (DON’T MOVE) romp-like farce of aging and family dynamics, successful architect Marcello (played by Castellito) is approaching the half-century mark with stress and neurosis. He and psychologist wife Marina (Laura Morante) plan to celebrate the looming event at their Tuscan country home with a few close friends and family, but when the couple’s daughter Rosa (Nina Torresi) shows up with her T.S. Eliot-quoting new boyfriend, who is Marcello’s senior by decades, the “quiet” weekend goes berserk. In Italian with English subtitles.
Tuesday, November 15 – 7:30pm, Aero Theatre
WE HAVE A POPE (HABEMUS PAPAM)
2011, IFC Films, 102 min, Italy, Dir: Nanni Moretti
Luis Bunuel favorite Michel Piccoli stars “with consummate brilliance” (Variety) as Cardinal Melville, who fears being elected as the new pope after appointment by his co-cardinals in the Sistine Chapel (perfectly reproduced at Cinecitta). With filmmaker Nanni Moretti (THE SON’S ROOM, IL CAIMANO) in a hilarious turn as the shrink summoned to get to the bottom of Melville’s mental stability and papal potential. Official selection of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In Italian with English subtitles.
THE SALT OF LIFE (GIANNI E LE DONNE)
2011, Zeitgeist, 90 min, Italy, Dir: Gianni Di Gregorio
Filmmaker Gianni Di Gregorio’s follow-up to his sleeper hit MID-AUGUST LUNCH centers on Gianni (played by Di Gregorio), an aging retiree who spends his time either being treated as an errand-boy by his wife and elderly mother or bemoaning his waning attractiveness to the opposite sex. When Gianni’s friend Alfredo (Alfonso Santagata) comes up with a philandering scheme for them to both find younger girlfriends, Gianni is reminded of the thrills of meeting beautiful women – and of the nagging suspicion that such trysts may be paper-thin, plaintive daydreams. “[An] intimate comedy that blows fresh air around a topic long made banal by less sincere helmers… There’s a wistfulness here, a gentle self-mockery that realizes that dreams can be delightful but will remain only a fantasy. ” -Variety. In Italian with English subtitles.