Thursday, May 26, 2016
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
It's just been announced that Gianfranco Rosi's "Fuocoammare" will open the 10th edition of Giovanna Taviani's SalinaDocFest, an annual film festival held on the Aeolian Island of Salina that features documentaries and feature films with themes of human rights and relevant social issues.
Rosi's film will be shown as a special event, not in competition. Listed below are the ten films, in two categories of competition along with the screening times.
|"Sponde. Nel sicuro sole del Nord"|
International Competition- "Mother Mediterranean"
Watch the beautiful trailer
|With Giovanna Taviani in Rochester, NY|
Monday, May 23, 2016
"Quo Vado?" is Checco Zalone's box office record-breaking film and it's in the lineup of this year's edition of the Italian Contemporary Film Festival in Canada. Grillo plays the part of Don Michele Vannucci, the pastor in a fictitious village in Calabria, called Castrovizzo. Don Michele Vannucci is a priest who fights against organized crime and because of this, ends up being transferred elsewhere.
The focus of "Quo vado?" is on Checco Zalone (Luca Medici aka Checco Zalone). Born into a life of relative comfort and privilege among his peers in his small town in southern Italy, he is one of the lucky few to have a posto fisso, or guaranteed job as a public servant. When a new reformist government vows to cut down on bureaucracy, Checco is forced to accept ever-worsening public-sector postings in order to maintain his guaranteed pay, benefits, and lifetime employment. While on assignment at Italy’s Arctic research station, Checco meets Valeria and falls in love with her. Checco cannot help but be enchanted by her Norwegian progressive, merit-based society. Ultimately Checco must choose between his secure yet parasitic place in Italy or a new and uncertain life with Valeria. The film opened on January 1, 2016 in over 1200 theatres across Italy. In the first eight days alone, the film earned €47 million in box office takings, beating "Star Wars".
I asked Stefano Grillo about his experience working on one of the most popular films in Italy's history and why the subject will be understood beyond the borders of his country. Our interview was done in Italian, so both versions are included.
My experience was fabulous. On the set, I met great professionals and at the same time beautiful people. Working with Luca (Checco Zalone) was magnificent. He is a great artist, very attentive to every detail.
I am especially grateful for Massimiliano Moretti's casting. I owe my part in "Quo vado?" to him. He was the first to give me a chance and audition me. After working on the film together, we have become very good friends He is a great professional, and the Italian film scene is so much in need of people like him.
Because Zalone and Gennaro Nunziante (the director) manage through sharp humor to describe the positive and negative aspects of our country.
Can you give me an example of these negative and positive aspects?
One of the negatives is the attachment to the state jobs as if they were the only reason for living. This is just because today in Italy, young people do not have steady jobs and therefore having a stable job of any kind means to be privileged. The positive aspects are the ease with which people can adapt and the devotion to family. Love in the movie wins over everything and everyone.
Puoi raccontami questi aspetti positivi e negativi?
Gli aspetti negativi sono ad esempio l'attaccamento ai posti di lavoro statali come se fossero l'unica ragione di vita, questo proprio perché oggi in Italia i giovani non hanno un lavoro stabile e di conseguenza avere un lavoro stabile di qualsiasi tipo adesso in Italia significa essere privilegiati. Gli aspetti positivi sono l'adattamento, l'attaccamento alla famiglia, l'amore che nel film vince su tutto e tutti.
Do you think the message of the film will be understood by audiences outside of Italy?
You can see Stefano Grillo in "Quo Vado?" on the following dates:
Screening times and locations:
June 9 @ 7:00pm TIFF - Toronto
June 10 @ 9:00pm Colossus - Vaughan
June 10 @ 9:15pm Colossus - Vaughan
June 11 @ 4:00pm Film House - Niagara
June 12 @ 7:00pm Museum of fine Arts - Montreal
June 13 @ 7:00pm Cinematheque Quebecois - Montreal
June 14 @ 7:00pm Cinema Guzzo - Montreal
June 14 @ 7:00pm Cinema Cartier - Quebec City
Click here to watch the trailer and to buy tickets.
You can see Checco Zalone in person:
9:00pm Screening "Quo Vado?"
Thursday, May 19, 2016
|With Alberto Diamante in Toronto, Canada|
Alberto Diamante is a jack-of-all-trades. He wrote the screenplay, directed the film and participated as a lead actor. We met last year in Toronto at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival. He photographed my interview with Edoardo Leo, and we had a very nice conversation while waiting for Leo to arrive for the interview. However, I had no idea the range of his talent. Now living in Toronto, Diamante is originally from Italy. He called on his Italian culture when writing the screenplay for The Bookstore. I spoke with Diamante about those roots, his many talents and the idea for this film.
What is your personal story? Where exactly are you from and why did you move to Toronto?
Well, there are three kinds of Italians here, essentially. There are the old-school Italians, who immigrated here forty-fifty years ago. They still speak the language and are very proud of their Italian heritage. They watch Italian television and listen to Italian radio programs. Then there are their children, who speak little or no Italian and have only a frail connection to Italy. They are essentially Canadians who talk with their hands and eat pasta. Then there’s the third kind of Italian: those who immigrated in the last 10 to 15 years. These are often well educated, speak Italian fluently, and are dissatisfied with the way Italy is being run today. They are part of the “brain drain.” They are often unappreciated in their homeland and emigrated in order to find a place that would appreciate their talent. In fact, if it weren’t for strict immigration laws, there would be an avalanche of new Italians in Canada today.
The Bookstore will be shown on June 14 during the Italian Contemporary Film Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Click here for more information and to watch promotional clips.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
|Enrico Medioli and Rocco Talucci|
Filmmaker Rocco Talucci explores the career of Enrico Medioli, one of the most renowned writers of Italian cinema. He worked with the likes of Luchino Visconti, Valerio Zurlini and Sergio Leone and is credited for writing their masterpieces: "Il Gattopardo", "Once Upon a Time in America" and "Ludwig" just to name a few. He also worked extensively in television, creating recent hits like the acclaimed 2007 "War and Peace" and the 2008 miniseries "Coco Chanel".
With "Ritratto di sceneggiatore in un interno", Talucci analyzes the work of Medioli through his unpublished testimonies and those of the people who have worked with him throughout his distinguished career in cinema, such as Claudia Cardinale, Charlotte Rampling and Adriana Asti.
Talucci describes "Ritratto di sceneggiatore in un interno" as "a small independent film that tells a great story: the story of screenwriter Enrico Medioli." He goes on to call the film "a journey through the most beautiful pages of the last fifty years of cinema."
Medioli completely opens up to Talucci sharing his experiences as a screenwriter, working with true legends of cinema. In addition to information regarding the drafting of the screenplays he wrote, there is a small private portrait on the years of his youth and high school education as a student of the poet Attilio Bertolucci.
|Claudia Cardinale in "Rocco e i suoi Fratelli"|
I've been connected with Rocco Talucci on social media for a while now and what I appreciate most about his perspective is that he truly appreciates the cinema of yesterday.. the Golden Age as we know it but at the same time, he also appreciates the contemporary filmmakers. of today. In a recent interview with Giacomo Aricò for Camera Look, he commented on Cardinale's statement in the film, that the cinema of those years made you dream. He was asked if the cinema of today can still make us dream. He replied by saying, "The cinema of today is different. It is difficult to compare two very different worlds.. but today's cinema can still make us dream.
Cineteca Nazionale will dedicate May 12 to Enrico Medioli. Two of his works will be shown- "La ragazza con la valigia" and "Gruppo di famiglia in un interno" followed by "Ritratto di sceneggiatore in un interno" with a special Q&A with Rocco Talucci. Click here for more information.
Monday, May 9, 2016
The team from the Italian Contemporary Film Festival outdid themselves this year with a spectacular lineup of Italian Films. Checco Zalone will headline the festival, which opens on June 9.
This year, the ICFF is joining forces with the Niagara Integrated Film Festival of Niagara Falls, Canada where Italian cinema icon Claudia Cardinale will present her latest film, "All Roads Lead to Rome". The ICFF will also be presenting Cardinale with a lifetime achievement award.
Among my personal highlights of the festival are the following films that I have already written about either in anticipation of their Italian releases or in review after having seen them.
-Not in any particular order
"Loro chi" by Fabio Bonifacci and Francesco Miccichè starring Edoardo Leo and Marco Giallini
"L'Abbiamo fatta grossa" by Carlo Verdone starring Carlo Verdone and Antonio Albanese
"La stoffa dei sogni" (The Stuff of Dreams) by Gianfranco Cabiddu starring Sergio Rubini and Ennio Fantastichini
"Non essere cattivo" (Don't be Bad) by Claudio Caligari starring Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Valentino Campinelli and Silvia D’Amico
-Interview with actor Valentino Campitelli
-Interview with screenwriter Francesca Serafini
"Alaska" by Claudio Cupellini starring Elio Germano and Astrid Berges-Frisbey
"Cloro" by Lamberto Sanfelice starring Sara Serraiocco
"All Roads Lead to Rome" by
-Profile on Claudia Cardinale
-Interview with actress Paola Lavini
-Profile on actor Raoul Bova
-Profile on AMBI Pictures and Distribution
"La Felicità è Un Sistema Complesso" (The Complexity of Happiness) by Gianni Zanasi starring Valerio Mastandrea and Giuseppe Battiston
"Io e lei" (Me and Her) by Maria Sole Tognazzi starring Sabrina Ferilli and Margherita Buy
"Mia madre" (My Mother) by Nanni Moretti starring Margherita Buy, Nanni Moretti and John Turturro
"Un paese quasi perfetto" (An almost perfect country) by Massimo Gaudioso starring Fabio Volo, Silvio Orlando, Miriam Leone, Nando Paone, Carlo Buccirosso, Gea Martire, Maria Paiato and Francesco De Vito
"Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot" (They Call Me Jeeg Robot) by Gabriele Mainetti starring Claudio Santamaria, Illenia Pastorelli and Luca Marinelli
Visit the Italian Contemporary Film Festival for the complete lineup. For more information on Claudia Cardinale's presentation, visit the Niagara Integrated Film Festival.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
We'll keep you posted on the progress of "Tek". In the meantime, watch the teaser trailer on vimeo.
Lucia Grillo with her vegan cacio pepe at NYC's Osteria 57 One of Italian Cinema Today's frequent collaborators and favorite...