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#RomaFF13 | Tributes and Restored Films

TRIBUTES

Tribute to Adriana Asti
DONNA FABIA
by Marco Tullio Giordana, Italy, 2018, 37’
Cast: Adriana Asti, Andreapietro Anselm
The marchioness Fabia Fabroni complains to don Sigismondo, the family priest, about the general decadence of society and its mores. As they wait for supper to be served, Donna Fabia tells him about the humble prayer she addressed to God asking him to pardon the derelicts who offended her. Inspired by the poem “Offerta a Dio (La preghiera)” by Carlo Porta.

Tribute to Flavio Bucci
FLAVIO! TRIBUTO A FLAVIO BUCCI
by Riccardo Zinna, Italy, 2018, 80’
The story of the man and the artist, in a journey on the road through places and people who had an influence on his personal and artistic life. A star in a league of his own who shunned the trappings of stardom, he interpreted an infinite number of character types, co-produced Nanni Moretti’s first film, married a real princess, and dubbed Travolta, Depardieu and Stallone. Flavio’s story has to be told!

Tribute to Carlo Vanzina
SAPORE DI MARE | TIME FOR LOVING
by Carlo Vanzina, Italy, 1983, 92’
Cast: Jerry Calà, Christian De Sica, Marina Suma, Virna Lisi, Karina Huff, Isabella Ferrari
Just a few months after his untimely passing, the Rome Film Fest pays tribute to Carlo Vanzina, the cult director of Italyn-style comedy of the ‘80s and ‘90s, with his brother Enrico, with whom over the years he wrote the screenplays for dozens of box-office hits. On this occasion, one of their greatest successes, Time for Loving, will screen thirty-five years after it was first released. At Forte dei Marmi, in a summer of the 1960s, the stories of several different characters cross paths. There is the wealthy Carraro family from Northern Italy, with the exuberant brothers Luca and Felicino. Then from Naples comes the Pinardi family, with the naive siblings Marina and Paolo. There is Gianni from Genoa, the beautiful and inexperienced Selvaggia, the mature and attractive Adriana, bourgeois and bored; and finally the two inseparable aristocratic Pucci brothers, Maurizio, known as Ciccio; Cecco the photographer… Time for Loving has become a cult film, with its soundtrack of hits from the 1960s, its stock characters and character actors who remain indelibly impressed in the memory of audiences, revitalizing the 1950s vacation-movie genre. We are left with the memorable heart-wrenching finale, the last glance between Jerry Calà and Marina Suma, which echoes a “celestial nostalgia” for the passing of youth, for lost opportunities, for a love that will never be.

ONSTAGE CONVERSATION | THE VANZINA BROTHERS HOLD UP A MIRROR TO ITALY

Two best-selling authors who also capture the changing social scene in their books, Chiara Gamberale and Diego De Silva, will take the stage to dialogue with film critic Alberto Crespi and author Paolo Di Paolo about the Vanzina brothers’ ample filmography. They will choose their favorite scenes and discuss on whether, for better or worse, in their entertaining if at times irritating way, the Vanzinas’ films hold up a mirror to some of Italy’s (oft inconvenient) truths. On the same day, as part of the “It All Happens on the Red Carpet” events, via Condotti will pay homage to the late filmmaker with a photography exhibition that shows him on the set and at home and features posters from his famous films. The exhibition has been organized with the help of the director’s brother Enrico Vanzina, and Medusa Film.

Tribute to Vittorio Gassman

“SONO GASSMAN!” VITTORIO RE DELLA COMMEDIA
by Fabrizio Corallo, Italy, 2018, 90’
Eighteen years after his death, Vittorio Gassman’s remarkable career as an actor onscreen and onstage is re-evoked in this film tribute that looks at the golden years of the “Italian-style” comedies in Italian cinema. Reminiscences by colleagues and family are combined with film clips and recordings of stage performances and TV shows to create this portrait of an exuberant entertainer but also a man, with his more hidden, vulnerable side.

Tribute to Nelson Pereira dos Santos
VIDAS SECAS | BARREN LIVES
by Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Brazil, 1963, 103’
Cast: Átila Iório, Maria Ribeiro, Orlando Macedo, Joffre Soares, Gilvan Lima, Genivaldo Lima
The Rome Film Fest pays tribute to Nelson Pereira dos Santos, the Brazilian director who recently passed away, presenting one of his most famous films. Vidas Secas is one of the key films from the Brazilian Cinéma Nôvo movement, which arose during the presidency of Joao Goulart (1961-64), and included authors such as Pereira dos Santos and Glauber Rocha. The Cinéma Nôvo movement was characterized by its close ties to the culture of Brazil, by its militancy, its search for new themes and languages that sought to make cinema a tool for political action. By casting light on the underdevelopment, the poverty, violence and reality of Brazil, borrowing and developing the third-worldist rhetoric through a provocative “aesthetic of hunger”, Cinéma Nôvo wanted to make the public “conscious of its own misery” (Rocha), and cultivate a critical and revolutionary awareness within the people. Vidas secas, set in the Brazilian Nordeste plagued by a dramatic drought, where a family of farmers wanders desperately to escape hunger and thirst, follows these principles, using raw realism to depict a swath of humanity suffering from appalling poverty but still filled with pride and dignity, and denouncing the ills of the agrarian situation under the Goulart government.

On the 100th Anniversary of World War I (2014-2018)
LA GRANDE GUERRA | THE GREAT WAR
by Mario Monicelli, Italy, France, 1959, 135’
Cast: Vittorio Gassman, Alberto Sordi, Silvana Mangano, Folco Lulli, Romolo Valli, Bernard Blier
One hundred years after the end of World War I, the Rome Film Fest commemorates the date screening La grande guerra (The Great War) by Mario Monicelli, winner of the Golden Lion in 1959 ex-aequo with Roberto Rossellini’s General Della Rovere. Monicelli’s was one of the first Italian films to address a theme that until then was considered taboo: the massacres in the conflict that raged from 1914 to 1918. He did so with a sweeping perspective balanced between the realism of tragedy and the jeering cynicism of comedy, between epic and anti-rhetoric. He observed the war from the trenches, recounting both amusing and bitter anecdotes, speaking in a range of dialects – at a time when a unitary language was just beginning to spread in Italy – and focusing on characters who are types, personalities, parodies and human beings at the same time. Like the two protagonists, Giovanni from Milan and Oreste from Rome (played respectively by Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi), two infantrymen who are always trying to lie low, two lazy and cowardly opportunists who are captured by the Austrians and die as heroes, finding redemption in a burst of pride, in a display of personal dignity. Monicelli’s film reveals battlefields for what they are, dirty and muddy butcheries, and expresses a caustic and at the same time heartfelt rejection of a war that was as bloodthirsty and absurd as are all wars.

A TRIBUTE TO THE CINECITTÀ FUTURA

On July 3, 2017, after being privately owned for twenty years, the Cinecittà film studios and post-production laboratories returned under public management. With this acquisition, Istituto Luce Cinecittà became the most important Italian player to combine activities of general interest (historical archives, promotion of Italian films abroad, distribution of first and second Italian films, film library, etc.) with the industrial operations at the historical studios founded in 1937.

Cinecittà is where Italy’s film classics were made, at the dawn of Italian cinema, followed by the era of ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’, the international triumphs of Fellini and Sergio Leone, just to name two of our film legends; and Cinecittà hosted mega-productions such as Scorsese’s Gangs of New York or Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Today the studios’ credits include films and TV series such as The Name of the Rose, directed by Giacomo Battiato, The Pope by Ferdinando Meirelles, and The New Pope by Paolo Sorrentino.

Significant investments in modernizing the historic studios, building new infrastructure and welcoming new media (including video games) and new digital technologies have once again placed Cinecittà on the cutting edge of international film production, perfectly equipped to meet the toughest of demands. Therefore, we wish to celebrate the first anniversary of Cinecittà’s return to the public management with the screenings of some of the most iconic films ever made within its walls. I wish to thank MiBAC’s Directorate-General for Cinema and Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia for having accompanied us on this brief journey into our history, and we thank the Leone family for allowing the us to screen Sergio Leone’s masterpiece, C’era una volta in America (Once Upon a Time in America).

(Roberto Cicutto – Istituto Cinecittà Luce President and CEO).

C’ERA UNA VOLTA IN AMERICA | ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA
by Sergio Leone, Italy, United States, Canada, 1984, 229’
Cast: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young
It took nine months to shoot Sergio Leone’s masterpiece. At the Cinecittà studios, set designer Carlo Simi reconstructed the Lower East Side, New York’s historic Jewish quarter, and the backdrop to the raids by the street kids’ gang headed by Max and Noodles in the Roaring Twenties.


by Federico Fellini, Italy, France, 1963, 138’
Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo, Claudia Cardinale, Rossella Falk, Barbara Steele, Guido Alberti
“Fellini was only happy when he was holed up in Cinecittà inventing his own world. And when he couldn’t do it, he missed it,” Goffredo Fofi remarked. An indissoluble bond linked the director, who was from Rimini, to Cinecittà. In , the sets by Piero Gherardi, mounted in Studio 5, give a concrete form to Fellini’s private, dream-like, surreal universe, and that of his alter ego Guido Anselmi, played by Marcello Mastroianni.

BELLISSIMA
by Luchino Visconti, Italy, 1951, 114’
Cast: Anna Magnani, Walter Chiari, Tina Apicella, Gastone Renzelli, Alessandro Blasetti, Corrado Mantoni
Cinecittà seen as a dream factory that also conjures up illusions and bitter disappointments. The frantic pursuit of success, which most Italians longed for at the time, offers Visconti the occasion to craft a ruthless, grotesque portrayal of cinema’s false myths, halfway between melodrama and neo-realism.

 

RESTORED FILMS

L’AMORE MOLESTO | NASTY LOVE
by Mario Martone, Italy, 1995, 104’
Cast: Anna Bonaiuto, Angela Luce, Peppe Lanzetta, Licia Maglietta, Gianni Cajafa, Lina Polito
The Rome Film Fest brings back a film that is a perfect example of cross-pollination between film and literature, L’amore molesto (Nasty Love), the second film by Mario Martone, based on Elena Ferrante’s first novel. From a book written in the first person – like all of Ferrante’s novels – and in the intimate form of a diary that switches back and forth between the present and the past and focuses on a woman’s body and on maternity as a form of identity, Martone creates a film that is instinctual, material, and carnal. A film that probes the inner life by means of the outer life, penetrating the soul of a character through her body, skin and clothing. At the same time, it is a portrait of the city of both Martone and Ferrante, as seen in its mazes of alleyways and subterranean pathways: a city teeming with life, chaotic, raucous, and unsettling. The protagonist of both the novel and the film is Delia, a spinsterish forty-year-old who returns to Naples after many years, for the funeral of her mother Amalia who drowned, a possible suicide. Delia tries to find out about the last days of her life to shed light on this mysterious death. As she delves into her mother’s remote past, memories of Amalia’s youth emerge: a sensual, exuberant, joyous woman oppressed by a jealous husband and an array of other bullying male figures. Delia is on a voyage of self-discovery that will lead her to unearth secrets, lies, traumas, guilt complexes, and abuse long denied. By identifying with her mother, she finds herself. L’amore molesto by Mario Martone is being re-released in Italy on the occasion of a 2K restoration by Lucky Red in collaboration with 64 Biz and Augustus Color. The restored version of the film features interventions by Martone and the cinematographer to present the scenes from the past in black and white, as per the original screenplay.

ITALIANI BRAVA GENTE | ATTACK AND RETREAT
by Giuseppe De Santis, Italy, Soviet Union, 1964, 146’
Cast: Arthur Kennedy, Zhanna Prokhorenko, Raffaele Pisu, Tatyana Samoylova, Andrea Checchi, Riccardo Cucciolla
The Rome Film Fest presents Attack and Retreat, by Giuseppe De Santis, one of the most important filmmakers of neorealist cinema, in the copy restored by Genoma Films in collaboration with Cineteca Nazionale.
The film tells the story of the Italian campaign in Russia, the Italian participation in the German offensive against the Soviet Union in 1941, which ended with the Italian defeat in 1943. The historical events are told through the odyssey of an Italian regiment composed of soldiers from various regional and social backgrounds, sent to the Soviet Union to back up the German troops. The journey towards the Eastern Front is accompanied by joyful optimism, soon to be broken by a reality that is far different from what they hoped for, by the extreme weather conditions, by the violence of the Nazis, and the increasingly strained relationship between the Germans and the Italians. Collective History merges with the small individual stories of the men in the regiment.
De Santis built his narrative on several voices, episodes, tableaux and on a gallery of expressive characters. With Attack and Retreat he pursued his idea of cinema as an art that reinterprets genres, styles and the forms of popular art and culture in an ideological and educational key, that opens the doors to the themes of worker and farmer internationalism and to the values of solidarity and brotherhood.

SAN MICHELE AVEVA UN GALLO | ST. MICHAEL HAD A ROOSTER
by Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, Italy, 1972, 90’
Cast: Giulio Brogi, Daniele Dublino, Renato Cestiè, Vito Cipolla, Virginia Ciuffini, Renato Scarpa
The Rome Film Fest pays tribute to Vittorio Taviani, who recently passed away, with one of the masterpieces he directed with his brother Paolo, in the version restored by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Cineteca Nazionale. This film by the Taviani brothers, “utopian, exaggerated” (as Lino Miccichè defined them), the “subversives” (borrowing the title from another film of theirs) of Italyn cinema, will be introduced at the Rome Film Fest by Martin Scorsese, who will celebrate their work on this occasion.
In 1870, bourgeois anarchist Giulio Maineri organizes a revolt in a small town, but the plan fails and Maineri gets a life sentence. Ten years later, as he is being transferred to another prison, Maineri meets a group of incarcerated young rebels, who reject and make fun of his utopian idealism, preferring a more rational, concrete and pragmatic revolutionary strategy. Maineri is devastated as he is forced to face reality and History. He feels useless, and seeing that his ideals have become irrelevant, commits suicide.
A rigorous and austere reinterpretation of the events of 1968 and the years that followed, San Michele aveva un gallo is a film about the dialectical contrast between Utopia and History, between imagination and reality, between past and present: it is a funeral dirge for the figure of the romantic revolutionary and the dream of a failed and lost revolution.

IL TEMPO SI È FERMATO | TIME STOOD STILL
by Ermanno Olmi, Italy, 1963, 83’
Cast: Natale Rossi, Roberto Seveso, Paolo Quadrubbi
The Rome Film Fest pays tribute to Ermanno Olmi, who recently passed away, screening Il tempo si è fermato (Time Stood Still) in the version restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. After making his debut directing industrial documentaries for the Edisonvolta Film Department, Olmi transformed one of his many documentaries into his first feature film, Time Stood Still. Released in 1963, the film tells the story, in rigorous style, of the creation of a human bond, on the backdrop of the majestic solitude of the mountains, in a silence broken only by the gusting wind and the short sentences spoken by the two main characters, in a world far removed from the din of modernity. On Mount Adamello, in the Lombardia region, during the winter break in the construction of a dam, guardians Natale and Salvetti must watch over the construction site; the latter returns to the valley were his wife has given birth and is replaced by Roberto, a young student. The young man is boisterous and extroverted, and at the beginning, the taciturn Natale can barely tolerate him, but after some initial quarreling, a bond of fondness and solidarity arises between them. Time Stood Still is a parable of the relationship between man and nature, a film that – as would be true of Olmi’s later films – finds the sacred in real life. A cinematic work that ponders on time, which, like in the Confessions of Saint Augustine, is perceived as an extension of the soul: “O human soul, whether present time can be long; for to thee is it given to perceive and to measure periods of time”.

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