Sunday, January 29, 2012

Portland International Film Festival 2012 - Italian Movies

Italian movies at the 2012 Portland International Film Festival:

*ITALY *

*CORPO CELESTE *

Alice Rohrwacher

After a decade in Switzerland, 13-year-old Marta moves back to her family's impoverished hometown in Calabria in southern Italy. Although Marta was born there, the local customs seem strange to her, a feeling of dislocation and confusion that only increases after she enrolls in her local church's confirmation class. Rohrwacher’s sensitive and perceptive debut feature ironically pits a young girl’s crisis of faith and adolescence against a community struggling for survival and the ancient traditions of the Catholic Church facing waning influence. “In Italy nowadays, there's a feeling that people don’t ask themselves questions, and the idea of community is not there anymore. The Church doesn’t think about faith. Its
main concern is to organize people’s lives.”—Alice Rohrwacher. “The big payoffs arrive in a couple of small, understated moments of grace. Thanks to restrained build-up and direction, they certainly feel well-earned.”—Variety. (100 mins.)

First Feature.

*2/23 6:15pm Lloyd Mall 6 2/25 6:00pm Cinema 21 *

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco.

*HABEMUS PAPAM *

Nanni Moretti

Moretti’s new film (translated as “We Have a Pope”) is a gentle satire centered around papal succession in the Catholic Church: what if a newly elected pontiff got cold feet, in the time between the Conclave of Cardinals’ election (declaring him infallible) and the announcement of “Habemus Papam” to the public in St. Peter’s Square, ensnaring the clergy in a doctrinal loophole of suspended succession? Call a shrink, of course.
The result is a winning blend of witty farce (emphatically not anti-clerical and filmed at the Vatican) with a deeply affecting portrait of a man elected to an office that carries crushing human responsibilities.
Writer/director/star Moretti is the skeptical psychiatrist, Jerzy Stuhr is the Vatican PR spokesman in furious spin mode, and Michel Piccoli shines as the indecisive Pope-elect. Winner of the Best Film Prize at the Italian Critics Awards. (102 mins.)

Filmography: Dear Diary (93), April (98), The Son’s Room (01), Il Camino
(06).

*2/15 6:00pm Lake Twin Cinema 2/17 6:00pm Cinema 21 *

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco, and the Portland-Bologna Sister City Association.

*THE SALT OF LIFE *

Gianni Di Gregorio

Writer/director/star Gianni Di Gregorio follows up his acclaimed Mid-August Lunch with another gentle comedy of manners and melancholy. Rome retiree Gianni has time on his hands, but none of the women in his life do—his wife works, his daughter is busy with university, his mother has a full social calendar, and his party-girl neighbor just has too much drama in her life.
Gianni’s friend Alfonso thinks he should have an affair, which Gianni pursues half-heartedly with comically inept results. In the end, his big-hearted desire and lively imagination prove that the wanting may be as good as the getting. Throughout Gianni’s misadventures, the motif of food—from morning coffee to bistro lunches and family dinners—bears testament to filmmaker Di Gregorio’s dedication to capturing the comedy and tragedy woven through daily life. “Gentle, hilarious, and charming.” —The Guardian, London. (90 mins.)

Filmography: Mid-August Lunch (08), screenplay Gomorrah (08).

*2/10 6:00pm Lake Twin Cinema 2/12 5:45pm Cinemagic *

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco.

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