Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 5:56 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:50 pm
Posts: 3541
Location: California/NYC
Image

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema At Lincoln Center 2018

This year's Lincoln Center Italian series, its 18th edition (and my fifth), is another elegant and varied collection. It includes some homages to Italian cinematic greats, the actress Valentina Cortese, filmmaker Marco Ferreri, and the iconic Taviani brothers, Paolo and his late brother Vittorio.

Here are my preview-summaries. I expect to see most of the films and will report on them in more detail later. Already I have been devastated in advance by Boys Cry, mesmerized and turned on by Naples in Veils, horrified and then reassured by the #Me Too-Italian style courtroom drama Nome di Donna, and puzzled and thought-provoked by The Place. There will also be films by Marco Ferreri and the Taviani brothers.


Image

BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Giorgio Ferrero
The title, I assure you, is ironic. This is a film about consumerism. (Venice 2017.) A rather high-toned and intentionally off-putting documentary composed in four parts, with good music and images. It focuses on four men in different worlds and connects them abstractly.

Image

BOYS CRY by Damiano D'Innocenzo, Fabio D'Innocenzo
Twin brothers wrote and directed this film about two best friends still in high school who get drawn into the Italian underground by accident. A "muscular first feature," Boyd van Hoeij said, "A knockout." Well received at the Berlinale, a post-Gomorrah piece on what Jay Weissberg thought an overdone subject of amoral youths. Both have a point. It's stylishly shot, fresh, beautifully acted. These young Italian toughs' criminal lives fill Hobbes' definition: "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Image

CRATER by Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino
About a fairgrounds huckster who grooms his daughter to become a pop diva. Won the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo 2017. By former documentarians and based on fact.

Image

DIVA! by Francesco Patierno
An inventive bio-doc about Italian star Valentina Cortese, Oscar-nominated for her turn in Truffaut's Day for Night, has different actresses play segments of her life, as in Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan film, I'm Not There. Van Hoeij (again) calls it "inventive."

Image

EQUILIBRIUM by Vincenzo Marra
The director's fourth feature follows a priest who returns to his native Campania and gets into a conflict with the Camorra over their waste exploitation, premiered at Venice in its "Days" series. Another documentarian driven to fiction. Shot modestly with non-actors like his successful Land Wind (2004).

Image

FORTUNATA by Sergio Castellitto
A working class hairdresser plans to open her own hair salon, but hooking up with her kid's shrink distracts her. Castellitto (in Muccino's The Last Kiss, Rivette's Va Savoir and Nettlebeck's Mostly Martha, all in 2001) is best known as an adept and prolific actor, a consummate pro. This is his seventh film as director, a field of action where colorful melos like the hyperventilating medical drama Don't Move/Non ti muovere are what often tempt him.

Image

LOOK UP by Fulvio Risuleo
A bizarre trip across the rooftops of Rome. "Only Fulvio Risuleo could make such a bizarre and original movie like Look Up and only Giacomo Ferrara could interpret its leading role". Rolling Stone

Image

MARCO FERRERI: DANGEROUS BUT NECESSARY by Anselma Dell'Olio
Documentary about an important but intentionally low-profile Italian director.

Image

NAPLES IN VEILS/NAPOLI VELATA by Ferzan Ozpetek
At once an immersion in Neopolitan arts and culture and a mystery-shrouded thriller-romance. Enjoyably sensuous and beautiful, with surprisingly vivid sex scenes, lots of atmosphere, a little bit inconclusive and, no doubt intentionally, apolitical.

Image

NOME DI DONNA by Marco Tullio Giordana
An unexpectedly timely sexual harassment drama. The director is known internationally for his involving 2003 generational saga, The Best of Youth. In this one, star Cristiana Capotondi gives a rich performance. A slow-burning courtroom drama where the male abusers, slick and slimy, get theirs in the end of a long, painstaking sequence of events meticulously set out by the director in a style both low-keyed and grand.

Image

THE PLACE by Paolo Genovese
Davide di Donatello-nominated film about a sad-sack mystery man who grants wishes to eleven strangers, in return for carrying out an often extreme and criminal task. Closely based on Christopher Kubasik's US FX cable TV series "The Booth at the End." Genovese's Italian dialogue is simple and natural. His 2014 Blame Freud was in Italian series but I missed it. This one has stars like Alba Rohrwacher, Silvio Muccino, Rocco Papaleo, and the hot young actor Alessandro Borghi, who also has key roles in Fortunata and Naples in Veils - everybody wants him!

Image

PURE HEARTS/CUORI PURI by Roberto De Paolis
This was shown at Cannes 2017 Directors' Fortnight, about a teenage girl in Rome who takes a vow of chastity, then spots a working-class boy eight years older who catches her eye. Touches on themes of class difference and Christian fundamentalism.

Image

RAINBOW - A PRIVATE AFFAIR by Paolo Taviani
Based on Beppe Fenoglio’s 1963 novel set during Italy’s mid-1940's civil war when partisans and fascists were fighting, but this arouses mixed reactions. Is it only a "bland literary adaptation" (according to Variety's Jay Weissberg)- or "a quiet classic," as Deborah Young says in Hollywood Reporter? Perhaps somewhere in between.

Image

SICILIAN GHOST STORY by Antonio Piazza, Fabio Grassadonia
The Cannes 2017 Critics Week opener, based on a true story of the Mafia kidnapping of a youth to silence his father, with touches of Romeo and Juliet and the Brothers Grimm. This sounds like a winner. TRAILER.

Image

STORIES OF LOVE THAT CANNOT BELONG TO THIS WORLD by Francesca Comencini
I reviewed her TV documentary In the Factory/In fabbrica in the 2008 Open Roads. This is something quite different, an adult romantic comedy, based on her own novel, about an academic couple who have to reassess after seven years together. And we will have to reassess Francesca Comencini.

_________________
©Chris Knipp. Blog:
http://chrisknipp.blogspot.com/.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 22 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group