Italian Film Days
Anita Ekberg dives into Fontana di Trevi in front of a startled Marcello Mastroianni. Antonio and his son search for the former’s bicycle in a Rome ravaged by poverty. The passengers of a leaving train make the mistake of peeking out of the windows, only to be wantonly slapped in the face by a bunch of perennial teenagers. Just before a movie theater is reduced to rubble, Salvatore bursts into tears watching the present Alfredo has kept for him. All the scrapbooks in the world would not be large enough to contain the unique moments that Italian cinema has given us. For decades Italy had been the leading cinematic nation in Europe, until its sudden decline in the early nineties.
However, something has been stirring in our neighboring country lately. As new directors emerge, and festivals and distributors begin once again to express keen interest in material from Italy, Italian cinema seems ready to conquer the world one more time. The “Italian Days” section features some of the best Italian movies of the year, all notable examples of this innovative wave. Three years after the explosive “Human Capital”, Paolo Virzi follows two women on the road to freedom in “Like Crazy”. In “The Wait” Piero Messina transforms Juliette Binoche into a matronly Mediterranean figure, managing to portray her grief. A romance blooms behind prison walls in Claudio Giovannesi’s “Fiore”. Two conjoined sisters face a difficult dilemma in Edoardo De Angelis’ “Indivisibili”. Roberto Ando combines mystery with metaphysics in “The Confessions”. Finally, Stefano Sollima’s “Suburra” is a fascinating story of corruption, set in an always rainy Rome.
Can these movies measure up to Italy’s rich cinematic past? Let’s find out together in the movie theaters of the festival. Giannis Basileiou