Italian Film Night #1
Caterina in the Big City
Thursday, February 13, 6:00pm
(Caterina va in città)
Garden Room, Edgehill Mansion
This comedy-drama, directed by Paolo Virzì and released in 2003, stars Sergio Castellitto, Margherita Buy and Alice Teghil. It’s the story of Caterina, a shy but open-minded teenager who moves to Rome with her parents, leaving the provincial seaside town where she has grown up. Life in the city proves bewildering as Caterina gamely tries to navigate the social cliques at her new private school, an increasingly strained home life, two very different suitors,and the city of Rome itself. A funny, lively coming-of-age story that addresses Italy’s political and social divisions as well as giving viewers a taste of life in Rome.
Italian Film Night #2
Pronzo di Ferragosto
Wednesday, March 5, 6:00pm
(Italian with English subtitles, 75 minutes)
Albertus Magnus, room 102
Pranzo di Ferragosto is a wonderful, gentle comedy with a cast of mostly very old characters. It won many European film awards when it came out in 2008. It follows Gianni, a man in his late 50s, who lives with his elderly (but still sharp) mother in an aging apartment in Rome. Financial difficulties force Gianni to agree, reluctantly, to take care of the building manager’s mother overnight during the holiday of Ferragosto. One thing leads to another, and soon Gianni is trying valiantly to feed and house not two but four very different, and not-always-compliant, elderly women.
Italian Film Night #3
Il Divo (The Divo:The Spectacular Life of Giulio Andreotti)
Friday, April 4, 6:00pm
(Italian with English subtitles, 110 minutes)
Edgehill Garden Room
Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2008, Il Divo is writer/director Paolo Sorrentino's highly stylized satire of Italy's culture of political corruption that takes an insidious form beneath the stoic poker face of Italy's seven-time Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti (played by Toni Servillo). At once hyperbolic and incredibly restrained, the narrative follows closely the day-to-day habits of a wicked politician who glides through the marbled corridors of power as if he were a ghost whose diabolical deeds are at all times invisible. Sorrentino's ever-moving camera captures the story's politically-charged violence and murders, overseen at a distance by Andreotti, with an air of cinematic verve that is electrifying.
Italian Film Night #4
La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)
Wednesday, April 30, 6:15pm
(in Italian with English subtitles, 142 minutes)
Edgehill Garden Room
Winner of the 2013 Academy for Best Foreign Film, “Paolo Sorrentino's La Grande Bellezza is a compelling tragicomedy of Italy's leisured classes in the tradition of Antonioni's La Notte or Fellini's La Dolce Vita. It is a pure sensual overload of richness and strangeness and sadness, a film sometimes on the point of swooning with dissolute langour, savouring its own ennui like a truffle. But more often it's defiantly rocking out, keeping the party going as the night sky pales, with all the vigour of well-preserved, middle-aged rich people who can do hedonism better than the young. It is set in Rome, populated by the formerly beautiful and the currently damned, and featuring someone who doesn't quite fall into either category. – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian