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Department of

Languages and Literatures

Film italiani - Autunno 2014
little boy looking at a film strip

Appuntamento al cinema! Everyone is welcome!

Click on the title to watch the trailer.

 

On campus

Contact: Loredana Di Martino (ldm@sandiego.edu | 260-3746 | Founders 144-A)
All films have English subtitles.


martedì, 23 settembre | 12:15-2:15 | Kroc IPJ 218

placido rizzotto

A startling opener of partisan resistance to Nazi brutality sets the scene for this exploration of personal moral responsibility amidst community oppression. Young Placido Rizzotto returns to Sicily from the mainland and WWII to find a fresh campaign of violence directed against the peasants by the Corleone Mafia. Organising the dispossessed to occupy the land, he himself is inevitably targeted for assassination. The film then moves into a multi-faceted analysis of the ‘versions’ of his last hours. Crafting both an insightful historical reconstruction and a timeless fable of resistance, writer/director Pasquale Scimeca has taken a true story to explore the necessary dialogue between individual action and social cohesion. With a powerful central performance from Marcello Mazzarella (light years from his delicate Proust for Ruiz's Time Regained), striking photography and an air of authenticity in the mise-en-scène, supporting cast and evocative score, this is regional film-making without a whiff of the provincial. –G.E. (www.timeout.com/london/film)

martedì, 28 ottobre | 12:10-2:20 | Kroc IPJ 218

I cento passi (the hundred steps)

“I cento passi” (one hundred steps) was the distance between the Impastatos’ house and the house of Tano Badalamenti, an important Mafia boss, in the small Sicilian town of Cinisi. The movie is the story of Peppino Impastato, a young left-wing activist who, in the late seventies (when almost nobody dared to speak about Mafia, and several politicians maintained that Mafia did not even exist), repeatedly denounced Badalamenti crimes and the whole Mafia system using a small local radio station, with the arm of irony. In 1978, at the age of 30, Peppino was killed by an explosion. The police archived the case as an accident or a suicide, but his friends never accepted this thesis. Note: This is a true story. More than twenty years after Peppino's death, the case has been re-opened. Tano Badalamenti, meanwhile, has been convicted in USA for drug trafficking. —Written by Pasquale Foggia

mercoledì, 5 novembre | 7:00-9:30 | Warren Auditorium (SOLES)

Finding the Mother lode: Italian immigrants in california

This screening includes a discussion with the filmmakers, Gianfranco Norelli and Suma Kurien. Seating is limited; arrive early to secure your seat.

Italians first came to California in large numbers with the Gold Rush. While most found little gold, they did find a mother lode in farming, fishing, commerce and making wine.

Finding the Mother Lode documents the experience of Italian immigrants in California, which was markedly different from that of their compatriots elsewhere in the United States. Through stories set in seven Italian communities throughout California, this film examines how economic and social mobility became possible for many Italians in the Golden State. It is also a look at how immigrant identity is maintained and transformed as immigrants become assimilated into mainstream America.

The current film is a follow-up to the filmmakers’ critically acclaimed Pane Amaro (Bitter Bread) on the Italian immigration to the East Coast. Finding the Mother Lode too, is based on extensive research and weaves together oral histories by community members with scholarly analyses which provide the larger historical context.

giovedì, 13 novembre | 12:15-2:15 | Kroc IPJ 218

Mine vaganti (loose cannons)

Tommaso is the youngest son of the Cantones, a large, traditional southern Italian family operating a pasta-making business since the 1960s. On a trip home from Rome, where he studies literature and lives with his boyfriend, Tommaso decides to tell his parents the truth about himself. But when he is finally ready to come out in front of the entire family, his older brother Antonio ruins his plans. (from www.rottentomatoes.com)


martedì, 9 dicembre | 12:15-2:15 | Kroc IPJ 218

la mafia uccide solo d'estate (the mafia only kills in the summer)

Centered on Arturo, a middle-class boy living in Palermo in the 1970s-1980s, this film shows his gradual awareness of the murderous evil of La Cosa Nostra and his moral awakening. His city, whose residents would have preferred to ignore the cancerous presence of the Mafia, but the brazen murders of honest politicians, magistrates, journalists force them to confront it, especially after the magistrates Falcone and Borsellino successfully prosecute some 300 members of the Mafia and pay for it with their lives. Initially Arturo is fascinated both by the mobbed-up premier Giulio Andreotti, and believes Andreotti’s -- and his parents’ -- lies about the mafia not existing in Sicily. The film’s tonal balance is remarkable; at times it is hilariously funny; at others, heartbreaking. As the mafia crimes escalate, one feels despair, but at the film’s marvelous conclusion, hope is restored. La mafia uccide solo in d’estate is without doubt one of the best films ever made about the scourge of Cosa Nostra.


 

Off campus

giovedì, 16 ottobre & venerdì, 17 ottobre

anni felici (those happy years)

16 ottobre

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

17 ottobre

Where: La Paloma Theatre
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (760) 436-SHOW | lapalomatheatre@gmail.com

A delicate, nuanced film that is unexpectedly moving in its portrait of a young Italian family
living through the turbulent, freedom-loving ’70s.

Genuine affection is paired with trenchant reflection in Daniele Luchetti’s subtle, sharply perceptive and partially autobiographical look back at (what could be) his parents’ marriage. Like Luchetti’s father, Guido Marchetti (Kim Rossi Stuart) is an avant-garde artist, here an egotistical painter, determined to succeed. Married to the lovely Serena (Micaela Ramazzotti) and father to two boys, Guido enjoys the perks that his work with frequently nude models affords while expecting his wife to adhere to more traditional codes. But it’s the 1970s, and when Serena is invited on a feminist retreat, she starts to rethink her life.

Those Happy Years uses ironic distance to talk about very intimate things. It captures the excruciating honesty and soul-searching of the years of feminism and self-liberation, a time that now seems far, far away. For this reason, it should evoke a lot of bittersweet memories in older viewers who will appreciate its light touch, along with fans of Italian stars Kim Rossi Stuart and Micaela Ramazzotti, both at the top of their game here

venerdì, 17 ottobre & sabato, 18 ottobre

la grande bellezza (the great beauty)

16 ottobre

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

17 ottobre

Where: La Paloma Theatre
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (760) 436-SHOW | lapalomatheatre@gmail.com

Oscar winner Sorrentino delivers gorgeous images: a man, a city,
and a love that cannot be consummated, nor forgotten.

Rome, in the splendor of summer.

Tourists flock to the Janiculum Hill: a Japanese man collapses, felled by such beauty. Jep Gambardella – a handsome man with irresistible charm, despite the first signs of aging – enjoys the city’s social life to the full. He attends chic dinners and parties, where his sparkling wit and pleasant company are always welcome.

A successful journalist and inveterate seducer, in his youth he wrote a novel which earned him a literary award and a reputation as a frustrated writer. He masks his disenchantment behind a cynical attitude, which makes him view the world with bitter lucidity. On the terrace of his Rome apartment which overlooks the Coliseum, he hosts parties where “the human apparatus” – that was the title of his novel – is stripped bare, and where the comedy of nothingness is played out. Weary of his lifestyle, Jep sometimes dreams of taking up his pen again, haunted by memories of a youthful love which he still hangs on to.

But will he ever manage it? Can he overcome this profound disgust for himself and others, in a city whose dazzling beauty sometimes leads to paralysis?

 

domenica, 19 ottobre

il carattere italiano (the italian character)

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 4:15 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

What makes Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia unique? See – and hear – for yourself!

Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia may be among the world’s least hyped musical stars. Although it appears on the “10 Best Orchestras in the World” list published by Classic FM magazine – the only Italian orchestra so honored – it lacks the renown of such orchestras as Vienna’s, London’s, or Chicago’s. Nonetheless, to those in the know, and this includes the world’s top musicians and conductors, the Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is special. But what makes it so?

Director Angelo Bozzolini dives deep to give us insights into the lives, motivations, anxieties and triumphs of several members of the orchestra and its charismatic and brilliant conductor Antonio Pappano. We see them rehearse, travel and reflect on what they do and are able to achieve collectively through the transformative act of performance. Guest appearances, both live and in archival footage, include such musical heavyweights as Yuri Temirkanov, James Conlon and Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Janine Jansen, Lisa Batiashvili, Evgeny Kissin, Stefano Bollani, and Lang Lang.

domenica, 19 ottobre

il capitale umano (human capital)

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

Human Capital is an anguishing thriller, set in a wintry northern Italy:
a stylish fusion of class critique and murder mystery.

Based on Stephen Amidon’s novel set in moneyed Connecticut, Human Capital smoothly relocates to Italy’s wealthy north in an engrossing if anxiety-provoking tale about two families whose destinies are tied together by a homicide. Though director Paolo Virzì (who is also the guest director of the Turin Film Festival) is best known for intelligent comedies like his award-winning The First Beautiful Thing, there is very little to laugh about in this thriller set in a downward-spiraling economy.

The term “human capital” is legalese that designates an accident victim’s net worth in compensation claims. Here it aptly defines the Bernaschi and Ossola families, the former elegant capitalists and the latter struggling middle-classers. Dino Ossola (Fabrizio Bentivoglio, sporting a northern accent) is an embarrassingly gauche social climber who mortgages the house to buy into the Bernaschi family hedge fund, while his wife Roberta (Valeria Golino) is pregnant with twins. Serena, his daughter by a first marriage, attends the same swanky prep school as the Bernaschi’s foolish son Massimiliano and the two are dating. Dino’s eyes are glued to the illusion of wealth as pure happiness.

lunedì, 20 ottobre

the vision of paolo soleri

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

Paolo Soleri was an architect and architectural philosopher whose ideas about the interplay of the environment and development resonate today but gained only limited recognition in his lifetime. Born in Italy in 1919, educated at the Turin Polytechnic, Soleri came to the United States to work under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesen West. Soleri believed in efficient, compact cities where residents could live comfortably, without cars, in a solar powered environment. His contemporaries, including Wright, focused on design but without a sense of what development meant meant in the face of expanding populations.

Lisa Scafuro’s meticulous biographical documentary follows architect and environmentalist Soleri’s career, particularly the development of Cosanti Foundation and his experimental city Arcosanti which exists today north of Phoenix. The film also focuses on today’s environmental degradation.

It is the story of an unprecedented artistic quest. While uncovering Soleri’s legacy as an architect, environmentalist, and philosopher, the film poses critical questions about mankind’s future, and architecture in a world facing environmental, social, and economic crisis.

martedì, 21 ottobre

il comandante e la cicogna (Garibaldi's lovers)

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

A modern tale on contemporary Italy where a love story intertwined
with family affairs collides with the materialism of our times.

Garibaldi’s Lovers presents a fizzy ride through a magical vision of metropolitan Italy, while at the same time casting a critical eye on modern life in the city. Widowed plumber Leo, while occasionally interacting with his wife’s ghost, is struggling to deal with the growing pains of his two adolescent children, when his life intersects with penniless artist Diana and her eccentric landlord Amanzio. Through a hilarious series of coincidences, they give each other new hope for their futures – and for the city itself, so emblematic of our times.

Director Silvio Soldini, best known for the multi-award-winning Bread and Tulips, says of the film: “I wanted to do a musical, but it came off a choral comedy: an unusual, funny, colorful, a bit wacky film. My two last movies were very realistic, and I want to start looking at life through the filter of the light now. It is an attempt to get out of the mud through something beautiful, poetic, imaginative.”

mercoledì, 22 ottobre

alì ha gli occhi azzuri (alì blue eyes)

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

A modern take on Italian neo-realism, Alì Blue Eyes exudes a deep authenticity with stellar performances.

It is a dull winter on the coast of Ostia and 16 year old Nader and his best friend Stefano spend it engaging in petty crime and half-heartedly going to class, much like the rest of their classmates. However, for Nader, life is getting more complicated. A second generation Italian, he finds himself having to negotiate between his identity as an average Italian 16 year old and the expectations of his Muslim Egyptian parents. Things come to a head when Nader gets more involved with his Italian girlfriend Brigitte. Nader runs away from home, only to encounter the realities of living on the street and find out that being a mixed Italian has its own challenges. Torn between his love of Italy and his Egyptian heritage, Nader needs to find out who he is.

Director Giavannesi places his characters against the backdrop of a working class suburb in Rome to open up what it means to be young, Italian and the child of immigrants.

giovedì, 23 ottobre

bella vita

Where: UltraStar Theater
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10 at the door; $8 with student ID
Contact: (619) 685-2841

A visual epic captured in stunning 35mm, Bella Vita is an intimate and powerful journey of self-discovery,
seeped in culture, tradition, and passion- where family comes first.

Born of mistral winds and witness to the birth of Western Civilization, the waves of the Italian coast have carried merchants, fishermen, travelers and kings. Preserved like a Roman ruin, the surf of the Italian coast now carries surfer, artist, and environmentalist Chris Del Moro on a pilgrimage back to his ancestral homeland to reconnect with his Tuscan family roots.

Del Moro’s journey is a roots story painted against the beauty and tradition of modern Italy. In a time of personal exploration, Chris is enlightened by his experiences on the-road-less-traveled with passionate friends and family dedicated to the things they love, revealing a greater truth about the simple blessings in life.

Filmmaker Jason Baffa chronicles Del Moro’s surf-travels with companions, Maggi Orli, Dave Rastovich, Lauren Lyndsey Hill, Conner & Parker Coffin and Italian stand-outs Alessandro Ponzanell and Leonardo Fioravanti.

venerdì, 24 ottobre

MIELE (honey)

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $100 general; $85 with student ID (price includes film and ticket to the gala)
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

Miele is a controlled character study of a young woman’s awakening to the brighter side of life.

Italian actress Valeria Golino (Rain Man) crosses over to the director’s chair in this character study of a mysterious young woman, Miele (Jasmine Trinca from The Best of Youth), committed to helping the terminally ill end their suffering (very much illegal in Italy). No matter how emotionally wrought her clients or their loved ones may be, Miele is the ultimate professional – so much so that she almost seems detached.

Despite her sweet code name (“Honey” in English), everything about this unlikely assassin is minimized. Her beauty is downplayed to the point where she is nearly gender neutral – apart from some quick sex with her part time lover, who slips away from his family for these frantic trysts. A daily morning ocean swim and late night bike ride home betray an intense energy lurking beneath the still surface, but in public she is so contained she’s almost invisible.

Then the uncompromising directness of a new client sends shockwaves through the concrete façade Miele so carefully projects.

sabato, 25 ottobre

GALA!: una piccola impresa meridionale (A Small Southern Enterprise)

Where: Balboa Park: Museum of Photographic Arts
Time: Gala, 5:30 p.m.; film, 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $100 general; $85 with student ID (price includes film and ticket to the gala)
Contact: (619) 238-7559 | info@mopa.org

A former priest and his mother, a lesbian and a retired call girl, two eccentric workersand a little girl:
what kind of harmony is it possible for this astounding group of people?

A former priest, Father Costantino, is persuaded by his mother, Stella, to move into an old abandoned lighthouse belonging to the Costantino family. Far from prying eyes, she hopes to avoid the people in town discovering he has left the priesthood. Stella already has another scandal to face: her daughter Rosa Maria has left her husband, Arturo, and run off with a mysterious lover. The old lighthouse should bring him some solace, but instead, it becomes a magnet for more and more characters, becoming a kind of shelter for sinners: Magnolia, a retired call girl; Arturo, Rosa Maria’s estranged husband; Valbona, a lesbian; Rosa Maria herself; and, to crown it all, two eccentric workers accompanied by a little girl… Between the misunderstandings and plot twists, an unlikely harmony is forged among this astounding group of people.