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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Anna Magnani- Unconventional Cinema Royalty

Updated April 17, 2016

It's recently been announced that the Film Society of Lincoln Center along with Istituto Luce Cinecittà will honor the distinguished career of Italian cinema icon Anna Magnani. "La Magnani", an all-celluloid retrospective will feature 24 works shown entirely on 35mm and 16mm film. The series will take place at Lincoln Center in New York City, May 18 – June 1 leading right up to the much anticipated "Open Roads: New Italian Cinema". Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

She is one of the most revered actresses in the history of cinema and her memory lives on in some of the most influential films of all time. 

Born in Rome in 1908, Anna Magnani became a highly respected Academy Award winning actress, but her beginnings were anything but glamorous. Magnani grew up in poverty. She was raised by her grandmother after her mother left at a young age, and she never knew her father. It was clear before long that Magnani was a natural born performer. She worked her way through Rome's Academy of Dramatic Art by singing in local clubs around Rome and its countryside. Her first role was in a 1920's silent film, but Vittorio De Sica's 1941 film, "Teresa Venerdì"  was the first to earn her critical acclaim. Four years later came her breakout role in Roberto Rossellini's 1945 classic, "Rome, Open City". The movie broke new ground, being the first work of the neorealistic era of filmmaking and put Anna Magnani on international radar, paving the way for a prolific career in film that would last right up until the end of her life in 1973.

Magnani won an Academy Award in 1955 for her role as Serafina Delle Rose played opposite Burt Lancaster in Tennessee Williams' screen version of "The Rose Tattoo".  Magnani was known for her realistic portraits of salt of the earth characters who faced hard economic and social times in a post-war world. She gave strong, passionate personalities to each character that she portrayed and made each one come alive and light up the screen through her vast talent and empathy. Although she is considered cinema royalty, she was never one to embrace the lifestyle of a movie star. She is quoted as saying, "I hate respectability. Give me the life of the streets, of common people."  There is no doubt, however, that she was indeed respected not only by her fans and critics, but by her peers as well. Magnani worked with some of the most talented filmmakers of her time including Marlon Brando, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alberto Lattuada, Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Eduardo De Filippo, Luchino Visconti and Vittorio De Sica, all of whom are now considered legends in cinema. 

She gave so many incredible performances but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be her role in "Mamma Roma". This 1962 masterpiece by Pier Paolo Pasolini is by far my favorite Anna Magnani film, and is filled with exquisite beauty and tragic sadness. It's the story of a mother trapped in a world of prostitution as she tries to support her son and give him the things she never had. Magnani owns every scene, all of which are set against the social economic landscape of the early 60's. You cannot help but pull for her as she tries so desperately to escape the world that she just can't leave behind. Her beloved son gets mixed up with the wrong crowd and reaches out to her only to find that it's too late. The outstanding performances by Anna Magnani and Ettore Garofolo, who plays her son, will make you laugh one minute and cry the next.

Because of her international success and the success of the filmmakers with whom she collaborated, many of her films are easily attainable today giving new generations the opportunity to enjoy her timeless and enormous talent.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Actor Domenico Centamore: Pride and Passion for his Sicilian Culture

He’s had roles in some of the biggest Italian blockbusters of the new millennium and each time, he portrayed a fearless protagonist willing to fight until the end against organized crime. 

Sicilian born actor, Domenico Centamore is proud of his heritage, expressing that pride by working on films that make strong statements against the corruption his culture has had to endure. He’s had roles in  popular mafia-themed films such as I cento passi (One Hundred Steps), La mafia uccide solo d’estate (The Mafia Only Kills in Summer) and Anime nere (Black Souls).

Centamore has an impressive list of credits to his name, always portraying complex characters, some of which seem to border on insanity. His gaze is penetrating, as you can see in the clip below from I cento passi with Luigi Lo Cascio, and he sincerely gives a performance that comes straight from the soul. When we began our informal interview a few weeks ago, Centamore at first seemed a man of few words but then his pride and passion for his Sicilian culture took over and he shared some very special cinematic moments with me. He's especially proud of the work he and his colleagues have done through filmmaking to take a stand against organized crime in their regions and communities. My intention was to talk about the numerous David di Donatello nominations and then sweep for Anime nere but he had so many other things he wanted to talk about. During our interview, I also learned that he is somewhat of a composer and was nominated for a David di Donatello for his work on Pierfrancesco Diliberto's (Pif) La mafia uccide solo d’estate.

Tell me about your experience working on Anime nere.
Working on Anime nere was an extraordinary journey in Calabria. Munzi managed to create a good mix of professional and non-professional actors. He made us recite our lines in Calabrian dialect, and for me it was my first acting experience that was not my dialect. My character, Rosario was a member of the Carbone family. The film shows the stark reality, and unfortunately is the true story of how people in these situations live. The story of Anime nere is really a Greek tragedy that takes place within the ‘Ndragheta of Africo, Calabria.


Since you were previously involved in the mafia stories,I cento passi”and La mafia uccide solo d’estate, was it meaningful for you to be involved with another film that speaks of the life-changing effects of the mafia?
I am from Scordia, which is located in the Sicilian province of Catania. However, Sicily and Calabria are similar lands where the gangs have done a lot of damage, as you can see in these films, Anime nere, I cento passi and La mafia uccide solo d’estate. So, it’s really been a privilege to take part in all these projects.

How do you feel about the success of Anime nere at the David di Donatello’s? 
I didn’t attend the David di Donatello awards show this year. However, I was there last year and had a very beautiful experience as I was a nominee for Best Original Song on another great movie, Pif’s film, La mafia uccide solo d’estate. I was at the premiere for Anime nere at the 2014 Venice Film Festival where we received 15 minutes of applause.
Tell me about the song you wrote for Pif’s film.
The name of the song is Tosami Lady. It’s a parody of the song by Ivana Spagna, an Italian singer that in the film, was deeply admired by the mafia boss, Bagarella.

(Check out the song below in the closing credits of the film)



You gave a beautiful, heartfelt performance in I cento passi alongside Luigi Lo Cascio. It seemed a very special role for you.

It was my first film, and remains in my heart for many reasons. The story of Peppino Impastato is heartwarming for Sicilians and he set an example for everyone. We traced his footsteps by shooting in the actual places in Cinisi (the town in which the film was made) where he spent time, and we got to know his mother. So, this character, Peppino, really existed and as we were shooting around town, many people came up to us and told anecdotes about Peppino and the character that I play. It created an extraordinary atmosphere among the actors and we really felt that we were doing something important. It was a unique experience because all the actors, including Luigi Lo Cascio were just starting out. It was also the producer, Fabrizio’s first film and Pif was working as an intern. Every time I see it, I still get emotional.



What are the similarities between Pif's La mafia uccide solo d'estate and Marco Tullio Giordana's I cento passi? 
The message is the same. Never forget these people who sacrificed so much for what they believed in.. and we must keep their memory alive.


Centamore is currently working on two television projects. His latest, a role in Rai Uno's Il giovane Montalbano can be seen in upcoming episodes of the popular Italian series. Then in July and August, check him out in the role of Inspector Cariddi on Rai Uno's Lampedusa, a show about the illegal immigrants that arrive on the Italian island. Lampedusa has become the main entry point for immigrants from Africa. Many never make it because of the dangerous conditions on the boats. The issue has emerged as one of Europe's most serious and controversial topics, so this would be a great show to catch if you're in Italy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Al GEOpenDay la presentazione della Libreria Multimediale Geocart

Il #GEOpenDay della Geocart, in programma il 26 giugno a Potenza, sarà l'occasione per lanciare alcuni nuovi prodotti altamente innovativi e digitali.

Tra le attività in programma verrà presentata la nuova Libreria Multimediale Geocart. Il 26 giugno, durante il #GEOpenDay, nel Centro Entertainment & Media di Geocart, il laboratorio Digital Lighthouse, verranno mostrate alcune delle accurate ricostruzioni virtuali che sono state sviluppate durante i mesi di ricerca e si potranno osservare gli output del percorso elaborativo che i dati percorrono dal momento della loro acquisizione, fino al desktop. La scommessa di Geocart parte proprio da qui, con una nuova tecnica sviluppata dalla società che permette di sfruttare i dati provenienti dai nostri sensori e dalle tecnologie utilizzate nelle fasi di telerilevamento, per ricostruire con soluzioni inedite: accurati modelli digitali 3D e simulazioni virtuali di interi paesaggi, siti d’interesse, set, architetture o di oggetti.

Le stesse Realtà Virtuali, potranno essere esplorate con tecnologia immersiva ed in particolare attraverso l'utilizzo degli occhiali Oculus Rift, sui quali la Geocart sta continuando i test e la preparazione di Demo. Un'esperienza multi sensoriale che permette di immergersi completamente in realtà parallele, che siano fedeli ricostruzioni o scenari di completa fantasia, ma sempre frutto di innovative elaborazioni al computer. Con la Realtà Virtuale viene avvertito lo spazio anche se il proprio corpo non è lì! E' una frattura sensoriale, un'asincronia, la base per infinite sperimentazioni narrative.

Propri a partire da 26 Giugno, attraverso il portale geocartspa.it, l'utente verrà accompagnato in viaggi virtuali interattivi e potrà ammirare alcuni siti lucani di rilevanza storico/culturale, potrà esaminare i modelli 3D, girarci intorno e ritornare a volare nella realtà virtuale per trasferirsi in un'altro luogo. Importanti architetture storiche della città di Potenza come il Ponte Musmeci, la Cattedrale di San Gerardo, Torre Guevara o quelle presenti a Matera, Capitale europea della cultura 2019, come la Cripta del Peccato Originale e il Castello Tramontano, saranno alcuni dei luoghi visitabili interattivamente sulla nostra libreria.

Elementi distintivi della soluzione firmata Geocart, riguarda la compresenza di tre livelli di visualizzazione, pensati per migliorare l'esperienza di navigazione: il primo, l'interfaccia di ingresso, sarà una cartografia digitale intuitiva che metterà in evidenza le città o i luoghi in cui saranno presenti le ricostruzioni virtuali; selezionata la città o il luogo da "visitare", si accederà al secondo livello, navigando attraverso un modello 3D "Point Cloud" su cui saranno presenti le architetture elaborate.
I modelli Point Cloud - nuvole di punti - sono delle suggestive rappresentazioni 3D, frutto dell'elaborazione dei dati provenienti dai sensori Laser Scanner e da fotocamere digitali ad alta risoluzione, utilizzati nelle fasi di telerilevamento aereo e terrestre. Il laser scanner rappresenta uno dei sensori innovativi che la Geocart utilizza per le attività di telerilevamento, per "radiografare il territorio", ed è il principale sensore alla base delle nuove tecniche di computer grafica implementate dalla società. I dati point cloud infatti, sono un'output intermedio della catena di processamento che permette di ottenere modelli 3D accurati e realistici. Ultimo livello di interazione con la libreria multimediale, è rappresentato infine, dalla visualizzazione delle accurate realtà virtuali dei siti e delle architetture di interesse. Inoltre, con un apposito comando, potrà essere lanciato il rendering della struttura che si sta visitando e visualizzare il modello nella sua ricostruzione più completa e realistica, con un livello di dettaglio elevatissimo. E' proprio qui che la distanza tra mondo reale e virtuale diventa nullo e le due dimensioni si confonderanno inevitabilmente. Ogni tour virtuale, inoltre, sarà arricchito da informazioni storiche e scientifiche dei modelli visitati e da foto e testimonianze bibliografiche riportate in chiave moderna e critica. L'utente diventerà il "Caronte" di se stesso in un viaggio alla scoperta di luoghi, segreti e informazioni pensati, raccontati e visualizzati per rendere unico e piacevole il soggiorno nel mondo digitale.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Basilicata: Terra di Cinema - Edoardo Leo's "Noi e La Giulia"

"Lucania" Photo by Jeannine Guilyard
It’s a vast, spacious land untouched and unpolluted by industry. Its rolling hills, majestic mountains and ancient buildings have stood the test of time. Throughout the years, it has served as a backdrop for iconic filmmakers like Pier Paolo Pasolini and Francesco Rosi. Now, a whole new generation of filmmakers is discovering the magic of Basilicata as a natural set, bringing the region to the world’s stage once again.

Edoardo Leo’s award-winning film, Noi e La Giulia, is the latest high-profile film to be shot in Basilicata. Adapted from Fabio Bartolomei’s book, Giulia 1300 e altri miracoli, the story follows three unlikely partners as they join hands on the risky business venture of turning a dilapidated farmhouse into a modern agriturismo.

The opening scenes were shot in Rome, with the remainder of the film shot in the countryside of Pomarico, situated in the hills of Matera. The farmhouse in which most of the scenes took place is called Masseria San Felice. Built in the late 18th century, the property belonged to the Castellano family, which owned much of the land in the surrounding area.

Leo’s film was the first major production since the Lucana Film Commission was established, so its director, Paride Leporace, is absolutely thrilled. Leporace works tirelessly to promote the culture and filmmaking of his beloved Basilicata. He travels from south to north and everywhere in between with the region’s filmmakers to spread the word about their southern gem.

Photo by Alberto Diamante
I recently caught up with Edoardo Leo at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival in Toronto where Noi e La Giulia was shown to a packed theater. When Basilicata was mentioned as its backdrop, there was applause and cheers as proud Lucani-Canadians celebrated their beautiful cinematic land. Leo and I talked about his experience working in Basilicata and why he plans on going back.

There has been a huge surge in film production in Basilicata during the last year, with movies like Ben Hur, 007 and your film, Noi e La Giulia. Tell me about your experience there.
It was a great experience. In Noi e La Giulia, I never mention Basilicata. I wanted to shoot a sort of symbol of the south of Italy, never mentioning Campania or Cammora or the Sicilian mafia. I just wanted to be in the heart of the south. Now in Basilicata, they have a great film commission so I was able to shoot with fantastic people in a fantastic place, so I am very happy.

How did you find the farmhouse?
We saw the farmhouse when we started to scout locations. Sometimes you can spend more than 20 days to find the perfect location. In this movie, we just used the one location and it was the first one I saw. It was a real miracle, but after seeing that farmhouse, we were all convinced that it was perfect. We said, let’s continue to look for something else but we were all convinced that that place was perfect for the movie. Basilicata is a great place and I would like to come back to shoot another film.

What makes Basilicata such a great place to shoot a film?
It’s quiet with great color and great light.

Did you enjoy the culture and the food, in particular? We can’t talk about Basilicata without mentioning the amazing food and of course, Matera’s famous bread.
(Laughs) Yes, the food in Basilicata is great, really great. Every night, we went to Matera to eat the fish and traditional food of the region.. and the bread, too. It all was great.

What do you think of all the support for your film and the pride of the people of Basilicata?
They are very active and they’re very proud of their region. When you talk about Italy, you always talk about the south of Italy, and you mention Sicily, Calabria or Puglia. But in the last three or four years, they really have made Basilicata shine, and they’re right. I think in the next 10 years, more tourists will come to Italy to visit Basilicata. That is what I dream for them.

Paride Leporace and his team are extremely prolific in their promotion of the region. They are very active on social media, always promoting the events in which they will attend to talk about the latest production and news of the region. Visit the Lucana Film Commission online at http://www.lucanafilmcommission.it. There, you will find links to follow them on social media.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ischia Film Festival Celebrates Location of Francesco Munzi's "Black Souls"

The Ionic Sea along the town of Africo (Photo by Actor, Stefano Priolo of Black Souls)


Out of the 109 films selected for the festival, 54 will be enjoying their national premieres, 2 their international premieres and 2 their European premieres. 42 are Italian productions or co-productions, and the competition will feature 40 films, including feature films, documentaries and short films, which will battle it out for the festival’s awards.

From 27 June to 4 July 2015, the 13th edition of the Ischia Film Festival will be held at the Aragonese Castle in Ischia. It is the only international competition dedicated to cinematographic locations that gives artistic recognition to audiovisual works, directors, directors of cinematography and set designers that endorse Italian and international locations, putting the emphasis on the landscape and cultural identity.

Out of the 109 films selected for the festival, 54 will be enjoying their national premieres, 2 their international premieres and 2 their European premieres. 42 are Italian productions or co-productions, and the competition will feature 40 films, including feature films, documentaries and short films, which will battle it out for the festival’s awards.

The festival awarded the multi-award-winning writer of Black Souls, Francesco Munzi (who won 9 David di Donatello awards including for Best Film and Best Director) the Ischia Film Award 2015, naming him Best Director of the year. The award, which has previously been given to illustrious people from the world of film such as the French director Benoit Jacquot and the Oscar-winning Bille August, will be awarded on 29 June.

As a way of promoting the land through audiovisuals in collaboration with independent festivals, the Ischia Film Festival will once again be showcasing films set on the Baltic Coast this year. In collaboration with the biggest promoter of films from Northern Europe, the Nordische Filmtage Lübeck, for the fourth year running some of the biggest cinematographic works of 2014 (none of which were released in Italy) that place greatest emphasis on the cultural identity of the countries of Northern Europe will be screened.

Opening the focus will be Norwegian director Jan Vardøen with the Italian premiere of Heart of Lightness, which is based on the piece of theatre by Henrik Ibsen. The focus will feature other important films such as the Swedish film Och Piccadilly Circus ligger inte i Kumla by director Bengt Danneborn, the Finnish documentary Joka muistaa vähän enempi by Minna Valjane, the Latvian documentary Pelican in the desert by Viesturs Kairišs and a film set in the Faroe Islands, Ludo, by Katrin Ottarsdóttir, who will be attending the festival with his producer Hugin Eide.

On 2 July the Ischia Film Festival will be hosting the Bari branch of Creative Europe Desk Media for an info day on the MEDIA sub-programme of Europa Creativa.

-Written by 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Canada's Italian Contemporary Film Festival to Feature the Award Winning "Noi e La Giulia"



“We’re born with our hands full. That’s why as newborn babies, we clench our fists.. because we have the best gifts we could ever wish for.. innocence, curiosity, a will to live. But then they bring us up to be God-fearing. So, we can’t blame ourselves for fearing everything else as well.”

Edoardo Leo’s “Noi e La Giulia” is a thought-provoking, hilarious trip on waking up one day over the age of 40 and realizing that you don’t have a whole lot in life to account for. “You turn 40 and you realize your best friends are a negro, a cammorista and a pair of losers” proclaims a tearful Fausto, Leo’s politically incorrect, right wing character.

The film begins with a day in the lives of three Roman 40-somethings from completely different backgrounds. There is Fausto (Edoardo Leo), a macho, self-confident on-air personality that sells mock watches and is wanted by creditors, Diego (Luca Argentero), a disenchanted car salesman unable to show emotion and Claudio (Stefano Fresi), who is being left by his wife as he shuts the doors to his family business that began in 1910. The unlikely trio are brought together by a country property they are each looking to buy and turn into an agriturismo.  Since none of them can afford the property on their own, they decide to become partners. Enter Sergio, a slightly bitter left-wing comrade who is looking to collect unpaid wages from Fausto, and Elisa (Anna Foglietta), a good-hearted, pregnant woman jilted at the alter.. and what ensues is a laugh-until-you-cry adventure of a bunch of self-proclaimed failures, that for the first time in their lives, feel like they are succeeding at doing something good. However, it comes with a price as the local countryside thugs threaten to destroy them if they don’t pay “protection money”. Vito (Carlo Buccirosso) leads the way for a whole host of bandits and shady characters relentless on collecting their fees.
There are so many elements that make this film a modern-day masterpiece. Leo and his cast perfectly convey the magic we feel when a dream is realized. There is the right amount of conflict and tension just when it seems that everything is going well. The comic timing between the characters is impeccable. The professionalism and skill of the actors bring an element of classic Italian cinema. “I soliti ignoti” (The Big Deal on Madonna Street) came to mind many times, particularly when hostage, Vito, complained about the onion in his carbonara. I couldn’t help but think of these petty criminals in the middle of robbing a house, helping themselves to some pasta and cece that was on the stove. This only validates what I have been saying for more than a decade in my articles about contemporary Italian cinema. We have indeed reached a new “Golden Age” in which writers, directors, actors and all filmmakers for that matter, have reinvented cinema for their own generation while keeping in mind the roots of the past. Yesterday, we had Mario Monicelli, Vittorio Gassman, Claudio Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni and Antonio De Curtis. Today, we have Edoardo Leo, Alessandro Gassman, Anna Foglietta, Luca Argentaro and Stefano Fresi- each actor with his or her own signature style and characterisics but with an echo and nod of respect for those who set the original bar. I believe those maestros of the past would be pleased to see the actors to whom they have passed the torch.

“Noi e La Giulia” has won a whole slew of awards, including two recent David di Donatello’s for Carlo Buccirosso’s performance and Edorado Leo’s direction. The film will be shown this week at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival in Canada. For information on showtimes, visit the festival online at- http://icff.ca/blog/2015/05/07/noi-e-la-giulia/

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Maria Grazia Cucinotta Kicks Off 2015 Shanghai International Film Festival


Sicilian movie star, Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Our interview with Cucinotta)was in Shanghai over the weekend to kick off the 2015 Shanghai International Film Festival. Ratified by the State Council of the People's Republic of China, the Shanghai International Film Festival will run for nine days. The festival offers cinema-goers the chance to see a number of Italian films that were never imported into theaters in China, which restricts the number of foreign films that can enter the market each year.

This year, eight Italian films will be featured at the festival:
 

  • 
    Ermanno Olmi's "Greenery will bloom again"
    "Black Souls" by Francesco Munzi: Focus Italy
  • "Greenery will bloom again" by Ermanno Olmi: Focus Italy
  • "Happily mixed up" by Massimiliano Bruno: Focus Italy
  • "Invisible Boy" by Gabriele Salvatores: Focus Italy
  • "Italo" by Alessia Scarso: Focus Italy
  • "Italy in a Day" - Un giorno da italiani by Gabriele Salvatores: Focus Italy
  • "Land of Saints" by Fernando Muraca: Focus Italy
  • "We are Francesco" by Guendalina Zampagni: Focus Italy
For more information- check out the English version of their website.. www.siff.com

Friday, June 12, 2015

Complete List of Nominees and Winners for the 2015 David di Donatello's

 
David di Donatello
59esima edizione
 
-Winners are in Italics
_______________________________________________________________________
MIGLIOR FILM
*ANIME NERE di Francesco MUNZI
HUNGRY HEARTS di Saverio COSTANZO
IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO di Mario MARTONE
MIA MADRE di Nanni MORETTI
TORNERANNO I PRATI di Ermanno OLMI
________________________________________
MIGLIORE REGISTA
*Francesco MUNZI per ANIME NERE
Saverio COSTANZO per HUNGRY HEARTS
Mario MARTONE per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Nanni MORETTI per MIA MADRE
Ermanno OLMI per TORNERANNO I PRATI
________________________________________
MIGLIORE REGISTA ESORDIENTE
Andrea JUBLIN per BANANA
Lamberto SANFELICE per CLORO
Eleonora DANCO per N-CAPACE
*Edoardo FALCONE per SE DIO VUOLE
Laura BISPURI per VERGINE GIURATA
________________________________________
MIGLIORE SCENEGGIATURA
*Francesco MUNZI, Fabrizio RUGGIRELLO, Maurizio BRAUCCI per ANIME NERE
Saverio COSTANZO per HUNGRY HEARTS
Mario MARTONE, Ippolita DI MAJO per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Edoardo LEO, Marco BONINI per NOI E LA GIULIA
Nanni MORETTI, Francesco PICCOLO, Valia SANTELLA per MIA MADRE
________________________________________
MIGLIORE PRODUTTORE
*Cinemaundici e Babe Films, con Rai Cinema per ANIME NERE
Palomar, Rai Cinema per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Nicola GIULIANO, Francesca CIMA, Carlotta CALORI per Indigo Film, con Rai Cinema per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
Carlo CRESTO-DINA per LE MERAVIGLIE
Nanni MORETTI per Sacher Film, Domenico PROCACCI per Fandango, con Rai Cinema per MIA MADRE
________________________________________
MIGLIORE ATTRICE PROTAGONISTA
Alba ROHRWACHER per HUNGRY HEARTS
Virna LISI per LATIN LOVER
*Margherita BUY per MIA MADRE
Jasmine TRINCA per NESSUNO SI SALVA DA SOLO
Paola CORTELLESI per SCUSATE SE ESISTO!
________________________________________
MIGLIORE ATTORE PROTAGONISTA
Fabrizio FERRACANE per ANIME NERE
*Elio GERMANO per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Alessandro GASSMANN per Il NOME DEL FIGLIO
Riccardo SCAMARCIO per NESSUNO SI SALVA DA SOLO
Marco GIALLINI per SE DIO VUOLE
________________________________________
MIGLIORE ATTRICE NON PROTAGONISTA
Barbora BOBULOVA per ANIME NERE
Micaela RAMAZZOTTI per IL NOME DEL FIGLIO
Valeria GOLINO per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
*Giulia LAZZARINI per MIA MADRE
Anna FOGLIETTA per NOI E LA GIULIA
________________________________________
MIGLIORE ATTORE NON PROTAGONISTA
Luigi LO CASCIO per IL NOME DEL FIGLIO
Fabrizio BENTIVOGLIO per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
Nanni MORETTI per MIA MADRE
Claudio AMENDOLA per NOI E LA GIULIA
*Carlo BUCCIROSSO per NOI E LA GIULIA
________________________________________
MIGLIORE AUTORE DELLA FOTOGRAFIA
*Vladan RADOVIC per ANIME NERE
Fabio CIANCHETTI per HUNGRY HEARTS
Renato BERTA per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Italo PETRICCIONE per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
Fabio OLMI per TORNERANNO I PRATI
________________________________________
MIGLIORE MUSICISTA
*Giuliano TAVIANI per ANIME NERE
Nicola PIOVANI per HUNGRY HEARTS
Sascha RING (Apparat) per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Ezio BOSSO, Federico DE ROBERTIS per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
Paolo FRESU per TORNERANNO I PRATI
________________________________________
MIGLIORE CANZONE ORIGINALE
*“ANIME NERE” interpretata da M. DE LORENZO, musica e testi di G. TAVIANI per ANIME NERE
“WRONG SKIN” musica, testi e interpretazione di M. CIPOLLA per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
“ELIS” musica e testi di A. ANNECCHINO, inter. da C. CUTAIA e M. SCIUCCHINO per NESSUNO SI SALVA DA SOLO
“SEI MAI STATA SULLA LUNA?” musica, testi e interpretazione di F. DE GREGORI per SEI MAI STATA SULLA LUNA?
BONESEMPIO musica e testi di G. CORAPI e R. SERRETIELLO, inter. R. SERRETIELLO per TAKE FIVE
________________________________________
MIGLIORE SCENOGRAFO
Luca SERVINO per ANIME NERE
*Giancarlo MUSELLI per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Emita FRIGATO per MARAVIGLIOSO BOCCACCIO
Paki MEDURI per NOI E LA GIULIA
Giuseppe PIRROTTA per TORNERANNO I PRATI
________________________________________
MIGLIORE COSTUMISTA
Marina ROBERTI per ANIME NERE
*Ursula PATZAK per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Alessandro LAI per LATIN LOVER
Lina NERLI TAVIANI per MARAVIGLIOSO BOCCACCIO
Andrea CAVALLETTO per TORNERANNO I PRATI
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MIGLIORE TRUCCATORE
Sonia MAIONE per ANIME NERE
*Maurizio SILVI per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Maurizio FAZZINI per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
Ermanno SPERA per LATIN LOVER
Enrico IACOPONI per MIA MADRE
________________________________________
MIGLIORE ACCONCIATORE
Rodolfo SIFARI per ANIME NERE
Daniela TARTARI per HO UCCISO NAPOLEONE
*Aldo SIGNORETTI, Alberta GIULIANI per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Alberta GIULIANI per LATIN LOVER
Carlo BARUCCI per MARAVIGLIOSO BOCCACCIO
________________________________________
MIGLIORE MONTATORE
*Cristiano TRAVAGLIOLI per ANIME NERE
Francesca CALVELLI per HUNGRY HEARTS
Jacopo QUADRI per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
Massimo FIOCCHI, Chiara GRIZIOTTI per ITALY IN A DAY
Clelio BENEVENTO per MIA MADRE
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MIGLIOR FONICO DI PRESA DIRETTA
*Stefano CAMPUS per ANIME NERE
Remo UGOLINELLI per IL NOME DEL FIGLIO
Gilberto MARTINELLI per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
Alessandro ZANON per MIA MADRE
Francesco LIOTARD per TORNERANNO I PRATI
Alessandro Zanon sarebbe entrato in cinquina anche per il film Il giovane favoloso, ma da regolamento viene candidato solo per il film più votato.
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MIGLIORI EFFETTI DIGITALI
Chromatica per IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO
*Visualogie per IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE
Reset VFX per LA BUCA
Reset VFX, Visualogie per NOI E LA GIULIA
Rumblefish per TORNERANNO I PRATI
Chromatica sarebbe entrata in cinquina anche per il film “La trattativa”, ma da regolamento viene candidata solo per il film più votato.
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MIGLIOR DOCUMENTARIO DI LUNGOMETRAGGIO
*BELLUSCONE. UNA STORIA SICILIANA di Franco MARESCO
ENRICO LUCHERINI – NE HO FATTE DI TUTTI I COLORI di Marco SPAGNOLI
IO STO CON LA SPOSA di Antonio AUGUGLIARO, Gabriele DEL GRANDE, Khaled SOLIMAN AL NASSIRY
QUANDO C’ERA BERLINGUER di Walter VELTRONI
SUL VULCANO di Gianfranco PANNONE
________________________________________
MIGLIOR CORTOMETRAGGIO
DUE PIEDI SINISTRI di Isabella Salvetti
L’ERRORE di Brando De Sicai
LA VALIGIA di Pier Paolo Paganelli
SINUARIA di Roberto Carta
*THRILLER di Giuseppe Marco Albano
________________________________________
MIGLIOR FILM DELL’UNIONE EUROPEA
ALABAMA MONROE – UNA STORIA D’AMORE di Felix van GROENINGEN (Satine Film)
*LA TEORIA DEL TUTTO di James MARSH (Universal Pictures)
LOCKE di Steven KNIGHT (Good Films)
PRIDE di Matthew WARCHUS (Teodora Film)
STORIE PAZZESCHE di Damián SZIFRON (Lucky Red)
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MIGLIOR FILM STRANIERO
AMERICAN SNIPER di Clint EASTWOOD (Warner Bros. Italia)
* BIRDMAN di Alejandro GONZÁLES IÑÁRRITU (20th Century Fox)
BOYHOOD di Richard LINKLATER (Universal Pictures)
IL SALE DELLA TERRA di Wim WENDERS (Officine UBU)
MOMMY di Xavier DOLAN (Good Films)
________________________________________

DAVID GIOVANI
ANIME NERE di Francesco Munzi
I NOSTRI RAGAZZI di Ivano De Matteo
IL GIOVANE FAVOLOSO di Mario Martone
IL RAGAZZO INVISIBILE di Gabriele Salvatores
* NOI E LA GIULIA di Edoardo Leo

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Nicoletta Braschi and Roberto Benigni.. What cinema dreams are made of


The Toronto International Film Festival is wrapping up its retrospective of the cinematic collaboration of husband and wife team, Nicoletta Braschi and Roberto Benigni. Over the last few days, the couple have participated in discussions, Q & A sessions and have introduced several of their films.

Today, I attended a screening of La voce della luna (The voice of the moon). It was Federico Fellini's last film and is a wonderful tribute to the director's signature poetic madness. The film gave Benigni the opportunity to team up with fellow beloved comic, Paolo Villaggio, and the two created a truly unforgettable adventure. Today's screening began with an introduction by Benigni. The moments leading up to his introduction were noticeably serious and somewhat tense. Benigni's publicist and TIFF security staunchly guarded his privacy. There was no interaction and no photos were allowed. Guided by his entourage, he walked quickly from the Green Room to the theater, looking straight ahead and ignoring calls from the press. However, when Benigni hit the stage to talk about his experience with Fellini and Villaggio, his enthusiasm and presence lit up the room. His detailed account of their collaboration was both endearing and hilarious.


Roberto Benigni

With a larger-than-life personality that immortalizes every character he plays, Roberto Benigni is one of the most recognizable faces in Italian cinema.

Born in 1952 in Tuscany, his beginnings were humble. Benigni’s mother worked as a fabric inspector in the textile industry and his father, Luigi, was a farmer, carpenter and bricklayer. Luigi was a prisoner for two years in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwestern Germany. The camp was liberated by the British 11th Armored Division in 1945 and Luigi was freed. Benigni called upon his father’s experience to make his Oscar-winning film, Life is Beautiful.

Roberto Benigni started his career in Roman theaters, earning a reputation as one of the area’s funniest comics. He then moved on to television, where he quickly became a national sensation. Considered a genius by his idol, Federico Fellini, Benigni lived up to that honor when he made the transition to the big screen. His first major movie hit came in 1985 with Non ci resta che piangere (Nothing Left to do but Cry), which he co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred with the beloved Massimo Troisi of Il Postino fame.

“And the Oscar goes to Roberto!” Those famous words from Sophia Loren at the 71st Annual Academy Awards ceremony in 1999 changed Benigni’s life forever. He was awarded "Best Actor in a Leading Role" for his performance in La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful), making him the first actor to win a Best Actor Oscar for a non-English speaking role. The film netted three Oscars in all, including Best Foreign Language Film and Best Music- Original Dramatic Score.

After the success of Life is Beautiful, Benigni went on to make two more films, the big-budget “Pinocchio” and his wartime love story, “The Tiger and the Snow”. Then in 2010, he joined Woody Allen's all-star cast of To Rome with Love. (Read my review)


Nicoletta Braschi

She may be the wife of one of Italy’s most iconic contemporary figures, but Nicoletta Braschi is a talented actress in her own right whose characters often mirror the struggles and issues of today’s woman.

Born in the northern region of Emilia Romagna in 1960, Braschi is an award-winning actress that portrays complex characters, usually with a clever, subtle sense of humor. In America, Braschi is best known for her role opposite her husband in the Academy Award winning, Life Is Beautiful.

Braschi and Benigni met back in the early ’80s when he cast her for a role in his 1983 comedy, Tu mi turbi (You Disturb Me). They were married in 1991. Their real-life chemistry translates perfectly to the big screen as they are known for their impeccable comic timing and adorable goofball characters.

Braschi won a David di Donatello Award for her portrayal of Giovanna in Paolo Virzi’s 1997 film, Ovosodo. She played a teacher who encourages a troubled student to work harder and do well in life. She was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for her role in Benigni’s La vita è bella. A few years back, she called upon her passion for theater with a role in Tradimenti, based on Harold Pinter’s stage play Betrayal. She often speaks of theater as her most loved art form.

Braschi and Benigni give meaning to the term, soulmates. Their intensity and eternal love both onscreen and off make them one of the world's most beautiful and respectful couples. Respect is not often the word that comes to mind when I watch cinematic couples today, but it is ever so present when they are together, and in 2015, that is a rare gift and a reason that I never tire of their films.

Johnny Stecchino is the final film in the series, and will be shown on June 9th. Check here for details...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Diversity of Actress Valentina Lodovini

"I always say that I don’t plan to change the word through my work, but show it as it is. I think cinema has a huge power, in that it can describe many things and awaken much in us.”  Those words come from Valentina Lodovini, one of the brightest stars in Italian cinema today.

Valentina Lodovini was born in 1977 in Umbertide, a small commune in Umbria.  She spent her childhood growing up in San Sepolcro in Arezzo. Since she was a little girl, she always had dreams of acting, but didn’t pursue them until she graduated from college and went on her first audition.  Since then, she’s done more than a dozen a films and is earning respect as one of the most sought after leading ladies in Italian cinema.

Lodovini has had a very successful career on the big screen.  Her first role was in a film with some of the biggest names in the business.  “Ovunque sei” was directed by Michele Placido in 2004 and stars Stefano Accorsi and Barbora Bobulova.
 
Despite her success in film, Lodovini continues to go back and forth between television, stage and the big screen. In a 2008 interview with Luxury Magazine, she said that it seems like a switch of language to her; a cinematic language, a theatrical language and a television language.  She appreciates the challenge of diversity in her career.  When she is considering portraying a character, she always starts from the story, and then assesses how different that character is from others she’s taken on in the past. She always tries to choose very different women because it gives her a challenge and let’s her explore the depths of her own skills.  When watching Lodovini at work, it is obvious that she indeed digs very deep within herself to bring out her characters. She becomes her characters and creates their own idiosyncrasies and uniqueness.  She acts out, she moves around, she makes use of the set and props. There’s never a dull moment when Lodovini is onscreen. When asked if there is still a character out there that she’d really like to play, she had this to say; “I would definitely like some edgier, dirtier, more realistic characters.  There’s too often a really frightening superficiality and vulnerability in cinema that ought to be wiped away. To fight that, I always try to convey the shades of grey within a character, the qualities that we can all relate to. For instance, if I have to play a girl next door type, I’d also like to show her imperfections and neuroses, making her more real and authentic.”


A Conversation with Actor- Luca Calvani from Warner Bros. Upcoming Release "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."

The cast and filmmakers of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in Rome 
A few years ago, I interviewed actor, Luca Calvani on the occasion of his U.S. release, When in Rome. Today, we are revisiting our conversation as he is promoting his much anticipated spy thriller, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the all-star cast includes Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Jared Harris, and Hugh Grant. Based on the television series by Sam Rolfe, the story is set in the 1960's and follows CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin as they participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons. The U.S. release date is set for August 14, but the cast recently did some press for the film in the Eternal City, where much of it was shot.

Luca Calvani

Born in Tuscany, Calvani has traveled the world following his career. He began working as a model in the 1990's before studying acting. That chapter of his career has lead him to both the big and small screen. He's worked with many top Italian directors including  Davide Marengo, Riccardo Milani and Ferzan Ozpetek, and even appeared on the hit HBO show, Sex & the City and the CBS soap opera, As the World Turns.  During our interview, we talked about the early days of his career in New York City, his experience working on both sides of the Atlantic and his role in Disney's When in Rome.

How did you get into acting?
When I first moved to New York in the 90s, I worked in the textile business and I also modeled. After four years, a friend of mine, Justin Chambers, who went on to Grey’s Anatomy, suggested that I take an acting class. I was already curious about acting. The town I come from in Italy doesn’t offer much in terms of acting, but I did work a bit in theater and I was in school plays. I never thought that I could make a career out of acting, though.

You played the role of Dante Grimaldi on the soap opera, As the World Turns. Tell me about that experience. Did you enjoy working on a soap opera?                                                                  
It was a great experience to work on a daily basis!  I thought, ‘Wow I can actually do this for a living.’ I was also doing some guest appearances on Sex & The City around that time. On As the World Turns, I played a villain, which meant that I had to observe other actors because there is a certain way of playing this kind of role. There are tricks of the trade that you have to learn. I worked on the show from May – September of 2001. Then I moved to Los Angeles for a while.

What was it like to work with Ferzan Ozpetek on his 2001 film, Le fate ignoranti?         
Ozpetek is a great director, a genius. It was an intense experience for me because I was just starting out. It was my first movie and I was working with this big ensemble cast of very established actors, so at times I felt a little lost and a little lonesome.

How does the experience of working on an Italian film differ from that of working on an American film?                                                                                        
Well now I’ve been working for a while in Italy, so people know me there and they have an opinion about me. I am not so known to American audiences, so I find it liberating not to be recognizable. The environment when working on an American film is much more relaxed and professional. There’s also such a wide range of characters to play in America, so many different genres of films. I do my audition tapes in Italy and send them via internet, so when I go to the studio, my camera guys are excited to see what kind of audition we’ll be doing that day. When I auditioned for the movie, Surrogate, I was thinking how I could be robotic. During the When in Rome shoot, we just had so much fun. I worked with some big caliber actors on that film, and they always made feel comfortable. It seemed like I had always worked with them. We went out to dinner every night together and just laughed and had such a great time. When we were shooting the Italy scenes, it was like a big road trip. American productions are like a big machine, very hands on at every level from production to publicity. In Italy, people tend to keep to themselves.

Which brings me to my next question about When in Rome. Tell me about your character in that film.                                                                                                
I play an Italian guy that moved to America and fell in love with an American girl. We get engaged and decide to get married in Rome, so we take our friends and family there for the wedding. When I sent my audition tape, I actually prepared two types of characters, one who was more like me, just an average guy, and the other, who was more of the stereotypical Italian "Guido".

Speaking of that “Guido” character, there has recently been some controversy with an MTV show here in the United States with their portrayal of Italian Americans. How do you feel about the stereotype that many Mafia films and television shows in the U.S. portray?                                  
I think that The Sopranos crystallized the portrayal of Italian Americans in the U.S. and people should take distance. MTV is trying to sell commercials, and in Reality TV, nothing sells better than a good fight. It’s a bad judgment call made by the producers, the studios and the kids on the show. Those types of shows  send a wrong message and should be taken with a grain of salt.

When In Rome is your second American release in a year. Now that you’re working more and more outside of Italy, are there any directors that you’d like to work with in the future?                                                                                        
Oh, there are so many. I really like Sam Mendez. He is a brilliant director. I loved his film, Away We Go. It was beautiful and delicate. I’d also like to work with Wes Anderson. He’s one of my favorite directors. He belongs to that independent school of filmmaking. There are many others, too. So, I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.


The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is scheduled for release on August 14. In the meantime, check out the trailer-

Elio Luxardo's Portraits on Display at Rome's Casa del Cinema

Curated for the Rome Film Festival, the photo exhibit, Luxardo e il cinema , consists of images of iconic protagonists during the infamous...