Saturday, June 09, 2012
OPEN ROADS: NEW ITALIAN CINEMA 2012
THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
OPEN ROADS: NEW ITALIAN CINEMA 2012
June 8 to June 14
THE ARRIVAL OF WANG
Photo Courtesy of Open Roads & The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Photo Courtesy of Open Roads & The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Open Roads: New Italian Cinema will take place from June 8-14. This year’s lineup includes debuts, a return of favorite filmmakers as well as several award winners including TERRAFERMA, Special Jury Prize winner at the 2011 Venice Film Festival and Là-bas: A Criminal Education, Winner of “Lion of the Future” award at the 2011 Venice Film Festival.
A diverse selection of titles also includes comedies such as STEP INTO PARADISE, ESCORT IN LOVE and the return of genre cinema with THE LEGEND OF KASPAR HAUSER starring Vincent Gallo and THE ARRIVAL OF WANG. The 2012 lineup expertly showcases the fact that today’s young Italian filmmakers are embracing classic storytelling and breathing new life into them.
The series will feature directorial debuts by two of Italy’s finest screenwriters, Francesco Bruni whose debut EASY! was voted best film in the “Controcampo Italiano” section of last year’s Venice Film Festival and Ivan Cotroneo’s comedic turn in the director’s chair with KRYPTONITE. Other debuts include filmmaker Pippo Mezzapesa’s ANNALISA and the debut feature by the De Serio brothers, Gianluca and Massimliano, titled SEVEN ACTS OF MERCY and features astonishing performances by lead veteran actor Robert Herlitzka and newcomer Olimpia Melinte.
Such masters as Ermanno Olmi will return this year with THE CARDBOARD VILLAGE, a striking parable about the defense of faith in a world posed to deny it; the new film by Ferzan Ozpetek, MAGNIFICENT PRESENCE, inspired by Antonio Pietrangeli’s Ghosts of Rome and has been brilliantly updated; and one of Italy’s most popular contemporary filmmakers Carlo Verdone, who has returned to the screen with a kind of Odd Couple for the new millennium titled STEP INTO PARADISE.
Another highlight this year includes winner of Best Documentary at the 2011 Golden Globe awards in Italy, Gianfranco Giagni’s film Dante Ferretti: Italian Production Designer. A tribute to one of the greatest artists working today, winner of three Oscars (most recently for the extraordinary look of Hugo) and a key, longtime collaborator of directors ranging from Fellini and Pasolini to Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton and Martin Scorsese.
Open Roads: New Italian Cinema has been organized by The Film Society of Lincoln Center together with Istituto Luce-Cinecittà - Filmitalia and the support of Ministero per i Beni e le Attivitá Culturali (Direzione Generale per il Cinema) in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. Special thanks to the Alexander Bodini Foundation, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimó and Antonio Monda for their generous support.
Take advantage of a special Three Film Package! Buy 1 ticket to 3 different films, and save. Pricing structure for this is - $30 General Public/ $24 Students & Seniors/ $21 Members.
Tickets can be purchased at both the box office and on www.Filmlinc.com .
Prices: $13 General Public/ $9 Students & Seniors/ $8 Members.
All screenings will be held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, located at 165 West 65th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway.
Additional information on the series can be found at: http://filmlinc.com/openroads .
FILMS, DESCRIPTIONS & SCHEDULE
Annalisa/Il paese delle spose infelici
Pippo Mezzapesa, 2011, Italy; 82m
Another standout in a year of several impressive Italian feature film debuts, Annalisa follows the exploits of two young men from Apulia who, judging from their own parents’ lives, don’t seem to have too many auspicious prospects. Veleno is new in town, but manages to strike up a friendship with Zaza, a charismatic, talented soccer player who dreams of playing for Juventus. One day a bit of excitement comes to town: the secretive, somewhat eccentric Annalisa climbs to the roof of the local church and threatens to jump off. Annalisa goes on to form an emotional ménage à trois with Veleno and Zaza, who learn the source of her despair and vow to protect her from it. Mezzapesa brilliantly captures the rhythm of teenage time: events occur unpredictably, haphazardly, with great attention paid to providing the texture and atmosphere of these young lives. The three leads—Nicolas Orzella, Luca Schipani and Aylin Prandi—are uniformly terrific. Director Pippo Mezzapesa in-person!
*WED, JUN 13, 8:15PM
THE ARRIVAL OF WANG
Directors Antonio and Marco Manetti
Photo by Eric Roffman - QPORIT
The Arrival of Wang/L'arrivo di Wang
Antonio & Marco Manetti, 2011, Italy; 80m
A respected Chinese interpreter, Gaia, receives an intriguing if somewhat mysterious phone call from an old client: they need her services as soon as possible, although they can’t say much about the job for which they’re hiring her. Led blindfolded to a secret location, she’s put into darkened room where a soft voice at the other end of a long table says in perfect Chinese, “I am Wang.” But who is Wang, and why are the authorities taking such pains to keep him under wraps? A new generation of Italian filmmakers is rediscovering the pleasures and possibilities of genre filmmaking, and The Arrival of Wang is a proud representative of this trend. The dialog is razor-sharp, and the action moves briskly; just as we become certain that we understand what’s truly happening, brother directors Antonio and Marco Manetti come along and pull the rug out from under our feet, sending us back to square one. With Ennio Fantastichini and Francesca Cuttica. Directors Antonio & Marco Manetti in person at June 10 screening!
*SUN. JUN 10, 7:50PM; WED. JUN 13, 4:15PM
The Cardboard Village/Il villaggio di cartone
Ermanno Olmi, 2011, Italy; 87m
One of the genuine masters of the Italian cinema, Ermanno Olmi (The Tree of Wooden Clogs) returns with this striking parable about the defense of faith in a world posed to deny it. An old church is scheduled for demolition: the paintings have been taken off the walls, the sacred objects put away, and a giant, mechanical arm starts to take down the life-size crucifix that hangs over the altar. Yet, despite seeing the destruction of a place in which he has devoted so much of his life, the old priest (Michael Lonsdale, in a beautiful performance) feels a certain joy, for stripped of all its decorations the building has returned to its true nature as a meeting place for humanity and the Divine, where the poor and the desperate can find a haven. As so often in his work, Olmi—who recently celebrated his 80th birthday—starts with a philosophical or spiritual themes and then fashions a story that gives these themes a powerful, very contemporary relevance.
*FRI. JUN 8, 4PM; TUES. JUN 12, 8:50PM
Dante Ferretti: Italian Production Designer/Dante Ferretti: Scenografo italiano
Gianfranco Giagni, 2010, Italy; 52m
A loving, insightful tribute to one of the greatest artists working in cinema today: Dante Ferretti, winner of three Oscars (most recently for the extraordinary look of Hugo) and a key, longtime collaborator of directors ranging from Fellini and Pasolini to Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton and Martin Scorsese. Ferretti discusses his art, taking us to those places that have inspired his designs as well as sharing and explains his sketches and models. Those interviewed for the film include Leonardo DiCaprio, Terry Gilliam, Giuseppe Tornatore and Martin Scorsese. A valuable introduction to the little-heralded area of production design so crucial for the impact of a film, Dante Ferretti: Italian Production Designer was awarded Best Documentary at the 2011 Golden Globe awards in Italy. Dante Ferretti in person!
*SAT. JUN 9, 5:30PM
Diaz: Don’t Clean Up This Blood
Daniele Vicari, 2012, Italy/Romania/France; 127m
Daniele Vicari’s searing rendition of the events surrounding the horrifying and still controversial police raid at the Diaz Pascoli School in Genoa during the 2001 G8 Summit was one of the most hotly debated films at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. The summit was drawing to an end; although there had been numerous clashes between the police and the many protesters who had descended upon the city, things had been calm for hours. Around midnight, dozens of uniformed police officers arrived at Diaz, a temporary shelter for the many international protesters, as well as a site for various social forums. For the next two hours, the police moved down its hallways, indiscriminately attacking everyone they could find, sending dozens off to the hospital or a detention center. Described as the greatest European human rights tragedy since World War II, the events at Diaz continue to fester in Italian politics—a terrible wound that still has not been healed.
*FRI. JUN 8, 9PM
Francesco Bruni, 2011, Italy; 95m
Voted best film in the “Controcampo Italiano” section of last year’s Venice Film Festival, Easy is the terrific directorial debut by one of Italy’s finest screenwriters, Francesco Bruni (Caterina in the City, The First Beautiful Thing). Fabrizio Bentivoglio is wonderful as Bruno, a formerly talented writer who now ghostwrites celebrity autobiographies. To make ends meet, he also gives boring, listless private lessons to bored, listless students, one of whom, Luca, is on the verge of being expelled. One day, Luca’s mother comes to see Bruno and reveals that Luca is actually his son, born of a tryst when she was a student and Bruno was a schoolteacher. Moreover, she informs Bruno it’s time for him to do some parenting. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Easy chronicles one man’s unusual path to growing up. Director Francesco Bruni in person at June 9 screening!
*FRI. JUN 8, 1:45PM; SAT. JUNE 9, 7:30PM
Escort in Love/Nessuno mi puO’giudicare
Massimiliano Bruno, 2011, Italy; 95m
Alice (Paolo Cortellesi) lives a phenomenally pampered life, surrounded by servants and every gadget imaginable. Then one day, her somewhat shady husband is killed in a car accident, and Alice learns the horrible truth: the family is completely broke, all the opulence based on dubious loans tinged with some underworld connections. Alice must find a way to support herself and her son, but she’s a bit lacking in the marketable skills department, until she discovers the wonderful world of escort services. Although still quite attractive, Alice needs some training in what seems to have become a highly professionalized field in contemporary Italy. So she turns to Eva, a long time pro, and soon she’s off to a new career... and an Italy she barely knew existed. In the best tradition of Italian comedy, Escort in Love offers pointed political criticism in between its explosions of laughter. Actor Raul Bove in person!
*SUN. JUN 10, NOON
Michele Rho, 2011, Italy; 120m
Two brothers, Alessandro and Pietro, live in a small village in the Apennines at the end of the 19th century. When their mother dies, she leaves them with a magnificent bequest: two beautiful horses, from which they can make their livings. Several years later, the brothers are still close, yet it’s clear that each is increasingly eager to pursue his own, very separate dreams. Horses has a welcome, deliberately old fashioned quality: there is a marvelous integration of the stunning natural landscapes and the emotional lives of these characters, and the deliberate comparison between the brothers is never far from the center of narrative attention. Yet the film doesn’t feel mechanical or predictable: even when we can feel the hand of fate in the lives of these characters, we know that at any second the action can hurtle into another direction.
*MON. JUN 11, 8:30PM; TUES. JUN 12, 1:30PM
Kryptonite!/La kryptonite nella borsa
Ivan Cotroneo, 2011, Italy; 99m
Noted screenwriter Ivan Cotroneo (I am Love; Piano, Solo; Paz!) makes an impressive passage to the director’s chair with this sharply observed, bittersweet comedy about a large, colorful Neapolitan family struggling against both changing times and internal tensions. Nine years old in the early Seventies, Peppino sets up the family landscape for us: dad Antonio sells sewing machines when not cheating on his wife Rosaria; his young aunt and uncle, Titina and Salvatore, are enjoying the era’s various revolutions, although not always together; cousin Gennaro wears a cape and thinks he’s Superman. Cotroneo has a terrific sense of the period, which he captures with small but telling details; the world is changing all around his characters, and their anxiety and even befuddlement with this new world is always shown with sympathy—even when it’s laced with humor. The first-rate cast includes Valeria Golino, Luca Zingaretti, Fabrizio Gifuni and Cristina Capotondi. Director Ivan Cotroneo in-person!
*MON. JUN 11, 6:15PM; THURS. JUN 14, 1PM
Là-bas: A Criminal Education/Là-bas
Guido Lombardi, 2011, Italy; 100m
“Down there,” in French “là-bas,” for many Africans is simply a password for Europe, the place that has attracted so many of them in the past decades. One of those caught in web is Yusouf, a talented young artist promised a job by an uncle already established in Italy. Unable at first to find his uncle, Yusouf makes his way to Castel Volturno, about 18 miles from Naples and home to about 20,000 African immigrants, the vast majority clandestine. Discovering the various legal, semi-legal and outright illegal ways these people struggle on day by day, Yusouf also gets to witness the role of the Camorra, Naples’ deadly version of the Mafia, in their use and exploitation. For his first film, Guido Lombardi relied heavily on Kader Alassane, the singer who plays Yusouf and served as Lombardi’s guide into the shadowy world of Africans in Italy. Winner of a “Lion of the Future” award at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. Director Guido Lombardi in person!
*SUN. JUN 10, 10PM
The Legend of Kaspar HAUser/La leggenda di Kaspar HAUser
Davide Manuli, 2012, Italy; 90m
Original, innovative, and often witty, David Manuli’s second film riffs on the famous European legend about Kaspar Houser, the mysterious, “wild boy” who simply appeared on the streets of Nuremberg in 1828. Shot in luscious black-and-white, the film follows this updated Kaspar after he washes up on the beach of an almost deserted Mediterranean island, clad in a track suit and sporting an iPod. Found by the Sheriff (the one and only Vincent Gallo), who thinks the stranger might be some kind of Messiah, Kaspar is initially welcomed into this tiny community. But the Duchess, absolute ruler of the island, feels threatened by this new arrival, and thus sends the Pusher (also the one and only Vincent Gallo) to take care of Kaspar before he becomes a problem. Drawing inspiration and imagery from Westerns, surrealism and sci-fi, The Legend of Kaspar Houser also features an extraordinary, pulsing soundtrack by electronic music composer and sound artist Vitalic. Director Davide Manuli and actor Claudia Gerini in person!
*SAT. JUN 9, 10PM
Director Ferzan Ozpetek
Photo by Eric Roffman - QPORIT &
Magnificent Presence/Magnifica Presenza
Ferzan Ozpetek, 2012, Italy; 105m
The new film by Ferzan Ozpetek (Steam: The Turkish Bath, Facing Windows) is the story of Pietro (Elio Germano), an aspiring actor approaching 30 who’s just moved to Rome. After crashing with a cousin for a while, Pietro finds his own place, a rather extraordinary apartment offered for an extremely reasonable price. Pietro moves in, but begins to notice that each night when he returns some of his things have been moved. It soon becomes clear to him: Pietro is not living alone. A wry, insightful comedy liberally inspired by Antonio Pietrangeli’s Ghosts of Rome (Fantasmi a Roma), Magnificent Presence has been brilliantly updated and filled out with more details about Pietro’s spectral housemates—who include Margherita Buy, Vittoria Puccini and Cem Yimaz, among others. Shocked and upset (not to mention scared) at first, Pietro soon figures out a way of cohabiting with his lodgers--the only group with which, he has to admit, he’s ever truly felt comfortable. Director Ferzan Ozpetek and actor Elio Germano in person at June 8 screening!
*FRI. JUN 8, 6:15PM; MON. JUN 11, 4PM
My Tomorrow/Il mio domaNI
Marina Spada, 2011, Italy; 88m
As she stands before audiences giving her motivational lectures, human resources manager Monica (Claudia Gerini) is the very portrait of success. Yet there is something that simply doesn’t feel quite right. Is it unfinished business with her father, who lives alone in the country? Or her romance with her boss, who seems to be growing more distant? Or is it her nephew, who’s getting more and more lost while his mother looks on helplessly? Director and co-writer Marina Spade creates a terrifically rich character study that avoids clichés and simple explanations for Monica’s situation, offering a portrait of a very contemporary woman who seems capable of having it all until one day she wakes up and realizes that’s not really what she wants. Spada also offers a fascinating look at Milan, a very different kind of Italy that rarely makes it into the movies. Director Marina Spada in person!
*SAT. JUN 9, 3PM
Seven Acts of Mercy/Sette opere di misericordia
Gianluca and Massimliano De Serio, 2011, Italy/Romania; 103m
One of Cravaggio’s greatest masterworks depicts all seven Christian acts of mercy (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc.) in one magnificent painting; the debut feature of the De Serio brothers depicts a reimagining of these acts in the contemporary relationship between an old man and a desperate young woman. Discharged by the hospital, cancer patient Antonio collapses on his way home and is saved by Luminita, adrift and living on the edge of a shanty town. Going back to Antonio’s house, the two enter into an intense, emotional game of cat and mouse, each vying for control while doing all they can to mask their respective vulnerabilities. The De Serios are blessed with two astonishing lead performances—veteran actor Robert Herlitzka and newcomer Olimpia Melinte—who each bring extraordinary complexity to their characters. A haunting work, and an auspicious debut by two young filmmakers already widely praised for their shorts. Directors Gianluca and Massimliano De Serio in person at June 10 screening!
*SUN. JUN 10, 2:30PM; TUES. JUN 12, 4PM
Shun Li and the Poet/Io sono Li
Andrea Segre, 2011, Italy/France; 96m
Many recent European films have chronicled the social and personal consequences of the recent wave of immigration to Europe, but few with the delicacy and insight of Andre Segre’s lovely film. Brought to Italy by a “broker” who she’s slowly paying off while saving money to bring across her son, Shun Li (Zhao Tao, Jia Zhang-ke’s muse in Platform and The World) is sent from her factory job to a bar in Chioggia, a small island in the Veneto lagoon. There she strikes up a friendship with Bepi, a fisherman nicknamed “the Poet,” himself a representative of an earlier immigration to Italy from Eastern Europe. The two come to share a special understanding between them, and their relationship transforms them both. Segre effectively draws us into this “immigrant world,” not simply to expose its unfairness but to reveal the ways in which immigrants create their own special kinds of support systems. Director Andrea Segre in person!
*SAT. JUN 9, 12:30PM
Step Into Paradise/Posti in piedi in paradisO
Carlo Verdone, 2012, Italy; 119m
One of Italy’s most popular contemporary filmmakers (and frequent Open Roads guest) Carlo Verdone returns to the screen with a kind of Odd Couple for the new millennium. Only now it’s not a couple, but three divorced men who decide to share an apartment together in Rome. All three are drifting towards uncertain futures while still stuck in unresolved pasts. One (Verdone) is a record collector lost in a world of classic rock; another (Pier Francesco Favino) is a former film critic reduced to writing gossip columns. The last (Marco Giallini) tries to sell real estate as kind of excuse to meet women. Clearly a response to the economic and spiritual crisis gripping Italy, Step Into Paradise is not surprisingly also hilarious, one of Verdone’s most sharply observed comedies. These housemates may not know how to solve their own problems, but each is full of ideas about how to help the other two. Actors Pierfrancesco Favino and Marco Giallini in person at June 10 screening!
*SUN. JUN 10, 5PM; MON. JUN 11, 1:30PM
Emanuele Crialese, 2011, Italy/France; 88m
Filippo, whose own father was lost at sea years ago, lives with his mother and grandfather on a small island off the coast of Sicily. Still untouched by tourism, the island faces a challenge from the dozens of clandestine immigrants who each week try to make the island their launch pad for getting to Italy. One day when Filippo and his grandfather Ernesto are off fishing, they see a woman and her son about to drown; they save them and bring them to their house—but will they now report them to the authorities, as has been strictly ordered? A lyrical moral tale for our times, this fourth feature by Emanuele Crialese (Respiro, The Golden Door) combines the dreamy, magical-realist quality that runs through the director’s work with a hard-hitting social critique. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. A Cohen Media Group release.
*WED. JUN 13, 2:30PM & 6:15PM
PUBLIC SCREENING SCHEDULE
Friday, June 8
1:45 EASY (SCIALLA), 95 min.
4:00 THE CARDBOARD VILLAGE (IL VILLAGIO DI CARTONE), 87 min.
6:15 MAGNIFICENT PRESENCE (MAGNIFICA PRESENZA), 105 min.
**Director Ferzan Ozpetek and actor Elio Germano
9:00 DIAZ: DON’T CLEAN UP THIS BLOOD, 116 min
**Director/Writer Daniele Vicari in-person
Saturday, June 9
12:30 SHUN LI AND THE POET (IO SONO LI), 87 min.
**Director Andrea Segre
3:00 MY TOMORROW (IL MIO DOMANI), 88 min.
**Director Marina Spada
5:30 DANTE FERRETTI: ITALIAN PRODUCTION DESIGNER (DANTE FERRETTI: SCENOGRAFO ITALIANO), 52 min.
7:30 EASY (SCIALLA), 95 min.
**Director Francesco Bruni
10:00 THE LEGEND OF KASPAR HAUSER (LA LEGGENDA DI KASPAR HAUSER),
**Director Davide Manuli and actor Claudia Gerini
Sunday, June 10
12PM ESCORT IN LOVE (NESSUNO MI PUO’GIUDICARE) 95 min
2:30 SEVEN ACTS OF MERCY (SETTE OPERE DI MISERICORDIA), 103 min.
**Directors the De Serio Brothers
5:00 STEP INTO PARADISE (POSTI IN PIEDI IN PARADISO), 119 min.
**Actors Pierfrancesco Favino and Marco Giallini
7:50 THE ARRIVAL OF WANG (L’ARRIVO DI WANG), 80 min.
**Directors the Manetti Brothers
10:00 LA-BAS: CRIMINAL EDUCATION (LA-BAS: EDUCAZIONE CRIMINALE), 100 min.
**Director Guido Lombardi
Monday, June 11
1:30 STEP INTO PARADISE (POSTI IN PIEDI IN PARADISO), 119 min
4:00 MAGNIFICENT PRESENCE (MAGNIFICA PRESENZA), 105 min.
6:15 KRYPTONITE (La kryptonite nella borsa) 98 min
**Director Ivan Cotroneo
8:30 HORSES (CAVALLI), 120 min.
Tuesday, June 12
1:30 HORSES (CAVALLI) 120 min
4:00 SEVEN ACTS OF MERCY (SETTE OPERE DI MISERICORDIA), 103 min.
8:50 THE CARDBOARD VILLAGE (IL VILLAGIO DI CARTONE), 87 min.
Wednesday, June 13
2:15 TERRAFERMA 88 min
4:15 THE ARRIVAL OF WANG (L’ARRIVO DI WANG), 80 min.
6:15 TERRAFERMA 88 min
8:15 ANNALISA (IL PAESE DELLE SPOSE INFELICI), 82 min.
**Director Pippo Mezzapesa
Thursday, June 14
1:00 KRYPTONITE (La kryptonite nella borsa) 98 min
The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from Royal Bank of Canada, American Airlines, The New York Times, Stella Artois, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts. For more information, visit www.filmlinc.com and follow @filmlinc on Twitter.com