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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Filmmakers Antonio Andrisani and Pascal Zullino to present "Il Vangelo secondo Mattei”

It seems these days that everyone is talking about Matera. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Center, the "Sassi" (rock) neighborhoods of the southern Italian city have recently been featured in a number of high profile newspapers and travel publications including the New York TimesLonely Planet and England's The Guardian. Tourists from all over the world are lining the ancient streets curious to explore the history and stunning beauty of the unique landscape.

Monte Vulture taken from a bus going through Spinazzola in Puglia
It’s refreshing to see mainstream publications writing positive articles about Basilicata even though they are focusing predominately on Matera's recent rebirth. In the past, foreign journalists quoted the decades-old writings of Carlo Levi, declaring the region remote and difficult to reach. These days, nothing could be farther from the truth. One direct bus from Rome is all you need to reach the natural paradise of Basilicata.

The region is known for producing high quality products like olive oil, wine, beans and peppers. The popular naturally carbonated waters Sveva and Gaudianello along with their “liscia” counterpart Lilia come from the area of Monte Vulture, a dormant volcano that houses two small lakes. “I sette colli del Vulture” (The seven hills of Vulture) refers to the distinguishing peaks of the volcano, which can be seen from the neighboring region of Puglia. If you take a bus from the Rome’s Tiburtina station directly to Matera, and pay attention around the Pugliese town of Spinazzola, you will see the majestic Mount Vulture in the distance. The water and wine that come from the area of Vulture are enjoyed throughout Italy and the world. The Gaudianello brand of water is distributed by some small companies in America. It can be found at CVS pharmacies depending on availability.

There is quite a lot of irony in the fact that Basilicata produces such rich, sought-after products. The irony is in the fact that it’s still referred to as one of Italy’s poorest regions. If that’s not ironic enough, consider Basilicata’s other liquid gold: petroleum. Underneath the rich soil of Lucania is oil and lots of it. For two decades, oil companies have relentlessly been drilling the earth for every drop they can extract. Nicknamed "Little Texas", a recent report states that current production is up to a staggering 80,000 barrels a day by the chief operator in Basilicata, Eni. Read all about it right here in English on Eni's website. 

A scene from Il Vangelo secondo Mattei shows the vast countryside of Matera 
While the tourists are enjoying the beauty and tastes of the region, the majority of locals are concerned about the effects of the oil drilling on the environment. It’s a highly politicized debate because the proponents say the drilling is bringing money and jobs to the region. However, on the other side of the coin are opponents such as Italy's emerging political party Movimento 5 Stelle as well as local newspapers, which have published numerous articles on the havoc the drilling is wreaking on the environment. The reports have included allegations on emissions going into the air, alleged spills entering lakes, an increase in illnesses as well as seismic activity in the area of Val d’Agri, the site of the oil drilling. Whether the reports are accurate, the fact is that the emissions caused by the oil drilling are going into the air and the people of Basilicata are breathing that air day in and day out.

Since the beginning of our series "Basilicata: Terra di Cinema" in 2015, which features the new generation of filmmakers in the region, this issue of oil drilling has been present. So much so, that it would be disrespectful to the filmmakers to overlook it. The contemporary directors express their concerns over the oil drilling through their work but they do it ever so poetically. The latest filmmakers to take an environmental stance are Antonio Andrisani and Pascal Zullino with their feature film Il Vangelo secondo Mattei (The Gospel According to St. Matthews). The story centers on an elderly man Franco Gravela (Flavio Bucci) who is offered perhaps one last shot at his dream of acting in cinema. Those making the offer are a couple of failed directors who also need to make this film in a last ditch effort to save their faces and careers. Most of the "film inside a film" takes place on the natural, magnificent set of the Sassi of Matera with shots of the surrounding countryside and landscape. 

Antonio Andrisani (left) and Pascal Zullino in a scene from  Il Vangelo secondo Mattei 
I talked with the filmmakers and actor Flavio Bucci when they were filming in Matera in October of 2015. Check out the initial story here. After recently seeing a press copy of the film, I traveled to Italy to interview Andrisani and Zullino. In both conversations, the filmmakers talked about the theme of petroleum as well as the dreams of the protagonist. My personal interpretation of the film, having watched it with English subtitles, is a story of second chances. I did not feel the theme of petroleum to be strong, but rather cleverly and artistically on the part of the filmmakers, presented as a metaphor. I saw an elderly man get another chance at his dream. At one point, he turns down an offer to be bought out by a politician and that is where I can see the metaphor for the petroleum. Perhaps the filmmakers want to say, “You cannot put a price on our sacred land.”

Pier Paolo Pasolini and Enique Irazoqui on the set of
Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo
I met with filmmaker Antonio Andrisani in the depths of the Sassi of Matera. We talked amidst children running up and down the never-ending stairs of the Sassi and the wide-eyed, awe-inspired tourists as they took in the enchantment of the spell-binding stone structures. During our conversation, Andrisani spoke of the influence of Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1964 film Il Vangelo Secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to StMatthew), which was also shot in the Sassi of Matera. He explained that at the time of Pasolini's assassination in November of 1975, he was working on a book titled Petrolio that was published posthumously in 1992 by the Giulio Einaudi publishing company.

So with that thought in mind, Andrisani and Zullino decided to pay a kind of tribute to Pasolini by calling the film Il Vangelo secondo Mattei (The Gospel According to St. Matthews). Pasolini's actor Enrique Irazoqui also makes a guest appearance in Andrisani and Zullino's film, a gesture which further validates the filmmakers' appreciation of their city's history in the realm of cinema. Andrisani went on to explain what I also sensed in the film. Aside from the theme of petroleum, the story is about a man, an elderly man trying to realize his dream to work in cinema even if he seems to be out of time. He said that he doesn't want the film to be a journalistic report on oil drilling. Instead, he wants to make viewers aware of the problems rather than neglecting them and pretending they don't exist. With this film, he wants to encourage people to develop a critical conscience about the issues that are important to him. 

Prior to meeting with Antonio Andrisani in the Sassi of Matera, I caught up with Pascal Zullino in the seaside town of Maratea on the other side of Basilicata. There, he was presenting the trailer for the film at the Giornate del Cinema Lucano, an annual film festival which highlights projects being made by the new generation of filmmakers in Basilicata. We were backstage at the festival and there was a ton of noise and distraction, so we just got through one question. Even so, I appreciated having his point-of-view. Zullino keeps a low profile, but he is one of the great talents of this new generation of Lucani filmmakers. I gave him my interpretation of the film being more of an ode to chasing a dream. He described Il Vangelo secondo Mattei as a "comedy tone, which tells a strong truth." The film speaks to how prepared we are to defend the environment upon which we walk daily. He described it as a movie about the ransom of the world, a land that is in a continual cycle of exploitation and abuse. He went on to say, "The history of oil is an ancient history, but our thinking (in the film) is not focusing on the problem from the point-of-view of the damage it's causing to the earth or the wealth it's creating. Instead, how man has created the situation and what he should do now to defend the land he occupies." 

In achieving this, they created a film inside a film in which actor Flavio Bucci plays an aging Christ, a Christ that never died. Add two bickering directors, a nagging wife and a few genius cameos by Riccardo Zinna, Mimmo Calopresti, Andrea Osvárt, Walter Nicoletti and Marco Caldron.. among others, and you get a highly entertaining, socially conscious contemporary masterpiece set against the ancient land and structures of the majestic, eternal region of Basilicata. 

In the end, it's safe to say that regardless of which continent you're living on, the world is in dire need of us inhabitants to, in Antonio Andrisani's words, "develop a critical conscience about the issues." Cinema is a powerful platform to communicate that message.

Neapolitan actor Riccardo Zinna 
Alessandro Masi of the Los Angeles-based FlexyMovies, is handling international sales and distribution including North America, where the film has already won the Audience Award at the Sugar Land Film Festival in Texas and is now being presented to buyers at the American Film Market in Santa Monica. 

Check out the trailer..

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Her Latest Film is Headed to Rochester, New York: A Conversation with Laura Morante

Born on August 21, 1956 in Tuscany, actress Laura Morante brings an effortless passion to her work and is known for delivering intense dramatic performances that make her characters unforgettable.  

Morante started out as a dancer and attributes her success in acting to the self-discipline and love of rehearsal she found in dancing. She began her acting career in theater before making her screen debut in Giuseppe Bertolucci's 1981 Oggetti Smarrit (Lost and Found). The film that brought her recognition outside Italy was Nanni Moretti’s 2001 La stanza del figlio (The Son's Room). Morante's character deals with the devastating loss of a child, and her sensitivity to the feelings of her character was apparent as she went through so many of the painful stages of mourning a loved one. 

Since she started out as a dancer, Morante found common ground with her character, Yolanda, in John Malkovich's The Dancer Upstairs. Although she has also worked in French cinema, The Dancer Upstairs was her first high-profile film outside Italy and made her an international star. “She had a very communicative face. I didn’t want someone with an innocent face. I wanted someone with a history,” said Malkovich of his choice to cast Morante in the part of Yolanda. She acted opposite Academy Award winner, Javier Bardem and the pair had strong chemistry and brilliantly carried scenes in a nostalgic, artistic manner.

In recent years, she’s gone beyond the boundaries of acting to find further success in directing and screenwriting. She made her directorial debut with the Italy/France coproduction Ciliegine (The Cherry on the Cake). Morante also stars in the romantic comedy of a middle-aged woman about to give up on love. 

I spoke with Laura Morante at Lincoln Center's 2016 edition of Open Roads: New Italian Cinema when she was presenting her second directorial effort, Assolo (Solo).  Although she has an exotic, intellectual air about her, I found her to be delightful and down-to-earth with a wicked sense of humor. There was so much laughter during our interview, at times it was hard to hear our voices when I was transcribing the recording.

Directors such as Nanni Moretti and John Malkovich have given a certain sensuality to the characters they created for you. However, the character you created for yourself is anything but sensual. 
I'm not sure that that’s always the case being represented as sexy. You can certainly say that about John Malkovich but I wouldn’t say that Nanni Moretti represents me as being sexy but I could be wrong. In France, they definitely tend to portray me as the lover and the sensual part whereas in Italy I usually play the part of the wife.. the betrayed wife!  When I showed the script for Solo to the first producer, a woman, she looked at me and said, What are you, some kind of a masochist? Why did you write a character like this? And I said because I thought it was a very interesting story, I thought it was very amusing. I thought to talk about a character like this, not in terms of her sex life but a character with various difficulties, who had problems.. and I wanted to narrate her journey towards self-esteem. I think that a character that has to overcome hurdles and obstacles in life has a much more interesting story to tell. If you’re talking about someone where everything is going fine with their life, then there’s not a story. There’s nothing there and it’s over before it’s begun. So there was some humor involved but there was a very complex trajectory to this character and I thought it was a story worth telling.

Marco Giallini’s character was repulsive. Where did that character come from and why did you think he’d be the actor to portray him?
He’s such a nice man. He said why did you write such a character for me? I can never really tell you where my characters come from but in the case of Marco, I think that even though he played this terrible person, he has an irresistible charm about him and I think that character in a sense is saved by him. When you see it in the theaters, the audience always laughs during his scenes. So he redeems his character, he saves his character.

I noticed the music was very strong. It was almost like a separate protagonist. There is  the Tango, the ending music and also jazzy, whimsical almost Woody Allen-esque melodies. Tell me your thoughts on music and the role you wanted it to play in this film. 
Nicola Piovani did the music like my first movie. The jazz is all mine. I love jazz. Piovani doesn’t necessarily share my taste for jazz. He actually scolds me about that. Why do you insist on jazz? One of the things that I did tell him though was that I wanted to have this sort of disconnect, this slippage between the music and the scenes. So if it’s a sad scene, I didn’t want to have sad music. If it’s a funny scene, I didn’t want to have funny music. He pretty much followed what I wanted to do but not in every single case. In terms of the Tango, he wrote the Tango for the dream sequence. But all the other Tangos are the classical Tangos. So Piovani is a great musician for cinema and a great friend. But in the end, he always does what he wants to do. 

I’d like to talk about the last scene and your character’s connection with the driver.
That scene with the cab driver is actually based on something that happened to me. Many years ago, I was in Paris. I was trying to escape from a really horrible evening. I took a taxi. There were few times back then that I took a taxi because I didn’t have any money. I was very very sad. As I was sitting in my taxi, another taxi pulled up alongside us. I looked in and there was another young girl like myself who looked just as sad as me. I looked at her. She looked at me. She smiled, I smiled. We sort of gave each other a little wave and it’s been a moment that I’ve never really forgotten. It’s as if we were saying, look at us. We’re both in the same situation. And there was this sudden moment of empathy. There was this kind of spontaneous emotion. And I think in that last scene, this is something the film has been leading us up to. Flavia looks over and she sees this very sad woman in the cab next to her. She herself doesn’t realize she’s being observed. Then the radio comes on and we don’t know if the concert is real or imagined but it’s everything we have hoped for since the beginning of the film: that Flavia would finally complete this journey toward self-acceptance. It goes back to a dream that she has. She is part of a chorus and she suddenly realizes that none of the others are going to sing and that she has to sing by herself and she’s not able to do that. The whole narrative arc of the film leads us to this moment to this final scene where the musicians are prepared to go on and Flavia is running the courage to perform to sing that solo and there is an exchange of glances between her and the cab driver is a way of saying, yes I can, yes we can.

Having worked four decades in cinema, knowing what you know today, what advice would you give your younger self?
Well my daughter is an actress. She’s in my film. She plays the part of the son’s girlfriend. And it took her a while to admit to herself that she wanted to be an actress. And the one thing that I said to her was that in my opinion, it’s a mistake to take the world of cinema too seriously but not to take the craft serious enough. And it’s a mistake that we all admit to. There’s too much focus on the career and not enough focus on the craft of acting. I think the mistake that I made at the start was of a different sort. My mistake was that it took me too long to love what I was doing. I didn’t initially like being an actress, and I only learned to love it later. My initial dreams were to do something else. I loved to dance, I loved writing and I sort of saw acting as, okay this is something that I can do. But the time had passed for me to become a dancer. I didn’t think I had enough talent to do that. There were too many writers in my family, so I didn’t have that ambition. So the one thing that I regret is that I didn’t love acting enough in the beginning. So as a result, it’s something that I only learned to really enjoy later. 

So you must have enjoyed your role in The Dancer Upstairs then..
I don’t really dance in the movie but it was really interesting because I first met John Malkovich at a celebration of Bertolucci to which we were both invited, both of us having worked with him on films. Then I ran into him again when we were both part of a film jury and at the time, I did not know that he was working on a screenplay for The Dancer Upstairs. Then we were talking and I told him that I was a ballerina and that I had been to dance school, and that I had come from a very political family. This sort of gave him the inspiration. He handed me a script and said, 'Read this.' However, it wasn’t all that easy. The Spanish producer did not want me in the film. I’m really grateful to John because he insisted on having me for this. It was two years before John could have the cast that he wanted Bardem, Botto and me. I love his perseverance and I love his loyalty. 

Do you enjoy acting in English? It seems effortless for you.
In fact, I acted in English many times. In the beginning, it was easier for me to act in English or French because I was shy, so I didn’t really like to hear myself speaking in Italian because I understood my own words too well. And also because my family is a very literary family and so I have a kind of respect for words and writing and in Italian. So my judgement is very severe! When I speak English or French, I don’t understand. So it’s much easier. 

What inspired you to make the transition from acting to directing and what is it like directing yourself? 
I wanted to take responsibility for my own choices, for my own behavior. I didn’t want to direct the first time. I wrote the script with Daniele Costantini and we sold the screenplay to a French producer. He said, 'Now you write the screenplay' because it was only a treatment.. 'but it has to take place in France because it’s a French movie.' Because the treatment took place in Rome, we changed everything and at the end when he approved the screenplay, he said, 'So now let’s look for a French director' but we couldn’t find one. Some were working. Some wouldn’t do a movie that they hadn’t written. So it was very complicated. At one point, he said to me, 'Don’t you want to try to do it yourself?' I said, 'Well it’s not my work. I don’t know how to do it.' He said, 'Let’s try.' And so I accepted. Since I enjoy it, the second time was easier for me to say 'ok, I’ll be the director.'

See Laura Morante in Solo at the Little Theatre in Rochester on October 25 as part of the Rochester Italian Film Series. Click here for more information and follow the series on FacebookThe Dancer Upstairs and The Son's Room are both available through Amazon.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Interview: Director Andrea Pallaoro on presenting his new film at the Chicago Film Festival

Director Andrea Pallaoro’s second feature film has been described as “the intimate portrait of a woman going through an identity crisis.” Hannah, starring British actress Charlotte Rampling, premiered in September at the 74th Venice Film Festival, earning a Best Actress prize for Rampling, and is now headed to the Chicago Film Festival.

Pallaoro made his cinematic debut in the Orizzonti section of the 2013 Venice Film Festival with Medeas, an emotionally heavy drama, which follows members of a family with deep-rooted problems struggling to coexist together under the same roof. It’s a deeply personal film for the spectator because it deals with issues of discontentment, fear, loss of love, disappointment, savoring fleeting moments of joy and living with severe emotional desperation- emotions and situations that we could easily find ourselves in during the course of our lives.. but how we handle these emotions and how the characters handle them are where the film becomes personal. The characters are not judged by their creators and are not presented as bad guys because we see their sides of the story and in some respect, can therefore empathize with their tortured souls. So it’s easy for us to cast judgement while watching them. There are a couple unexpected twists at the beginning of the film and then the ending is a devastating shock. It’s not a joyful, lighthearted film. Instead it’s thought-provoking and sadly reflective of society.

A scene from Medeas
I spoke with Andrea Pallaoro over the phone. I had a lot of questions about his motivation and process of creating his complicated, layered characters. He was articulate and generous with his answers, also revealing that Hannah is the first film of a trilogy he is making. We talked a bit about the second installment, another character driven story in which a female character takes the lead, of course with an interesting twist, which seems to be Pallaoro’s signature style.

In the two works you’ve made, I’ve noticed a parallel in the deep introspections of the female characters. Can you speak to creating these two powerful characters?
I’ve always been very interested in female characters. I find their complexities very interesting. That being said, I’m also very interested in characters that are often misunderstood, characters that are going through a complex, internal struggle with themselves. In the case of Hannah, Hannah is a woman trapped by her own sense of loyalty and devotion towards her husband. She is paralyzed by her insecurities and dependencies. She’s a woman who is struggling to understand who she is, to understand her identity. It’s a film that really explores the inner torment of the denial of this woman.

Where did the inspiration behind Hannah come from?
Almost always, the inspiration comes from things I see or observe or even things I’m exposed to through the media, and this happened in the same way. But what really started my own inspiration and my own journey with this character, was a single question: What happens after 40 or 50 years, after a life with someone, when you find out information about this person that changes everything? That is a question that both scares me and fascinates me. And that is the situation that Hannah has found herself in.

Charlotte Rampling as Hannah
During the Venice Film Festival, I learned that Charlotte Rampling is very beloved in Italy. She was awarded Best Actress for her portrayal of Hannah. Did you have her in mind when writing this character?
Yes, absolutely. I wrote the film for Charlotte, from the very first word. It has always been a dream of mine to collaborate with Charlotte. I fell in love with her when I was maybe 14 or 15-years-old when I first saw her in The Damned by Luchino Visconti. And since then, I’ve followed her through her performances and interpretations of different characters and fell more and more in love with her. So when we found out she wanted to be part of this film, I was absolutely thrilled. I went to meet her in Paris. That meeting marked the beginning of a very important, significant and powerful friendship for me and a great collaboration of course. It was wonderful to have Charlotte there and to share this experience with her, to have her there so that we could release this film into the world for the first time together. And that is something that I will treasure forever.

Let’s talk about Medeas. My first question is about the period or year in which the film is set. That’s something I couldn’t quite figure out.
Yeah, that’s a very good question actually because it is meant to be in a temporal kind of situation, a timeless situation. In my explorations of California- the California desert, I found communities that felt very much outside of time.

Why did you want to tell this story?
I read about an actual story that happened in 2012 and that news clip really resonated with me and pushed me to start a larger research on these actions. For me, it was very important not to vilify or judge these characters but to try to understand their desperation and motivation even in horrific acts like this one. So it was my own need and desire to do that without judging them personally that led me to develop this story and this character study.

The film has an unexpected, strong ending. What were the reactions to the ending when you presented the film around the world?
The audience reaction was different from screening to screening, even person to person. But I also felt grateful for the general response that I got, that they were able to penetrate the internal worlds of these characters, to understand them and to even recognize themselves in the characters. And I feel that is the thing I aspire to the most in cinema- giving the spectator the ability to understand themselves through just observing these characters.

Can you talk to me about your process of writing? Where do you begin to create such a diverse cast of characters? You’re creating men, women and children. How do you get into the heads of these characters and make them so authentic?
For Medeas and for Hannah, I collaborated with my friend and writing partner Orlando Tirado. What we do is once we identify a subject and a character we want to follow, we start accumulating and gathering images that we both want to see realized cinematically and that are meaningful to us. And once we have a certain amount of these images, of the observations of these characters, we start assembling them together and in the process of placing one next to the other, we discover other images and so forth. For me, what is important in the writing process is that the story, the narrative is never suffocating the characters themselves. And by that, I mean that I want the characters, the exploration of the characters, to lead the narrative and not the other way around where it’s the narrative that leads me to the characters. Because in that way, I feel like that characters are in prison, they’re trapped by the story

Do you have any future projects in the wings?
Yes, I do. I have a project that I can’t wait to start making. It’s called Monica and it is part of a trilogy that started with “Hannah.” It’s a trilogy that focuses on female characters. In Monica, we follow a transgender woman as she returns home after being absent for over 35 years to take care of her dying mother who has Alzheimer’s. And it was actually her mother who threw her out of the house when she was a 17-year-old boy. It’s going to be a film that explores themes of abandonment and the consequences of abandonment.

Andrea Pallaoro will present his film Hannah at the Chicago Film Festival. Please find below the complete schedule of Italian screenings for the Chicago Film Festival. Medeas is available through Amazon.

The complete Lineup of Italian Films at the 2017 Chicago Film Festival

Dir. Andrea Pallaoro
When her husband is imprisoned, Hannah (Charlotte Rampling) is left alone with her thoughts as she tries to make sense of his crimes and cope with her newfound loneliness. Saddled with grief, she watches as the life she knew slowly slips from her grasp. Anchored by a quietly ferocious performance from the always captivating Rampling, Hannah is an intimate exploration of character and alienation in the face of family tragedy.
TUE 10/17 6:15 PM
WED 10/18 8:30 PM
THUR 10/19 2:30 PM
Italy | U.S. | France | Germany
Young Romani Pio lived at the margins of Carpignano’s acclaimed refugee drama Mediterranea—he’s now the focal point of the director’s powerful coming-of-age drama set in the slums of an Italian coastal town. Determined to live up to the outlaw reputation of the older brother he idolizes, the 14-year-old seeks to prove himself a full-grown hustler. An empathetic portrait of a boy, on the cusp of adulthood, who must decide what kind of man he wants to be. Italian with subtitles. 120 min.
SUN 10/15 5:15 PM
MON 10/16 8:45 PM
On the outskirts of Rome, a hairdresser with dreams of opening her own salon strikes
up an ill-advised affair with her daughter’s therapist. Jasmine Trinca won the acting prize in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section for her winning portrayal of a working-class single mother determined to live life on her own terms and who is unafraid to make mistakes. Italian with subtitles. 103 min
FRI 10/13 5:45 PM
SUN 10/15 2:45 PM
MON 10/16 1:00 PM
In a small Sicilian village on the edge of the forest, Giuseppe, a boy of 13, vanishes. Luna, a classmate who loves him, refuses to accept his disappearance. Rebelling against the code of silence and collusion that surrounds them, Luna plunges into the criminal underworld that has swallowed him up. Only their indestructible love can save them both. With its heady fusion of gothic fantasy and Mafia thriller, Sicilian Ghost Story is a unique, atmospheric fable of innocence lost. Italian with subtitles. 120 min.
SUN 10/15 7:30 PM
MON 10/16 5:30 PM
THUR 10/19 3:00 PM
More than 50 years after it became an international sensation, Italian master Antonioni’s English-language debut remains an enthralling mystery. David Hemmings
stars as a high-fashion photographer in ’60s London whose camera might have captured a murder during a shoot with an enigmatic beauty (Vanessa Redgrave). From its intoxicating color palette to its dazzling cinematography, Blow-Up remains an art cinema landmark and a sublime time capsule of its countercultural moment. With Vanessa Redgrave in person. 111 min.
TUE 10/17 5:30 PM
Italy | France | Brazil | U.S.
The new film by Guadagnino (I Am Love) is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love. It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa, flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). After Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar arrives, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire. English, Italian, French with subtitles. 130 min.
WED 10/25 8:00 PM

In Conversation with Director Cecilia Pignocchi

Filmmakers Arthur Couvat and  Cecilia Pignocchi It’s unusual for a first-time filmmaker to be recognized by a high-profile, international fi...