Highlights | Rome Film Fest   

#RomaFF13 | October 25, Oscar®-winning filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore onstage for a Close Encounter

Rome Film Fest celebrates one of Italy’s best-loved and most acclaimed filmmakers: tomorrow, Thursday, October 25 at 6 pm (Sala Petrassi, Auditorium Parco della Musica), Giuseppe Tornatore takes the stage for a Close Encounter. The Sicilian director has created cinema that is universal, starting from an absolutely personal style, and telling stories that have often had international resonance, such as his Oscar®-winning film Cinema Paradiso, Oscar®-nominee for The Starmaker, Malèna, Baarìa, The Legend of 1900, The Unknown Woman, The Best Offer and Correspondence. Tornatore will be sharing with audiences his fondness for the noir genre, be it on the screen or in literature.

Three films from the Official Selection will premiere on Thursday:

At 8 pm, Sala Petrassi hosts the premiere of the two-part documentary Corleone, il potere e il sangue and Corleone, la caduta by Mosco Levi Boucault. “I decided to retrace Salvatore Riina’s path. And only Riina’s, to provide a narrative unity from his bloody rise to power through his fall,” the director explains. “Riina as described by the protagonists who stood up against him (the prosecutor Ayala, the policeman Accordino) and those who flanked him (his hit-men Brusca, Marchese, Anzelmo, Mutolo). From inside and outside. And through those who flanked him, to give an idea of what it means to be a mafioso, what the mafia is.”

At 7:30 pm, Sala Sinopoli hosts the premiere of Monsters and Men by Reinaldo Marcus Green. In Brooklyn, an unarmed black man is killed after a confrontation with the police. The episode becomes the starting point for a complex investigation, which involves a police district and a neighborhood in which the community is very tight. Also involved in the affair is an eyewitness who filmed the aggression with his smartphone, a police official and a young student who is a rising baseball star. Through their eyes, we will come to a deeper understanding of a community unsettled by racial tensions, which is fighting for a better future. 

Last up in the Official Selection on Thursday, Las niñas bien by Alejandra Márquez Abella premieres at 9:30 pm in the Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna Sala Siae. Sofía and Fernando are a middle-to-upper class couple, and have everything one can desire: money, beautiful homes, servants. Fernando inherited his father’s entire fortune, amassed thanks to his uncle Javier’s help. But one evening, at dinner, Javier announces that he has decided to retire. Storm clouds are gathering on the horizon: a serious economic crisis is about to strike Mexico. Initially Sofia and Fernando’s world seems to remain intact, but cracks soon begin to appear in their lacquered lives, while the economic and social order seems to collapse around them. Sofía will be forced to salvage appearances, but her fall will be inevitable. 

On the Everybody’s Talking About It slate, Thursday’s film is Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back by Tom Edmunds (Sala Sinopoli at 10 pm). William is a young writer deeply dissatisfied with his life. After several failed suicide attempts, he decides to hire Leslie, a professional hitman about to retire, to have him put him out of his misery. Having signed the contract, William expects to be dead within a week, but overnight his life changes: he finds a publisher for his book, he falls in love with the girl of his dreams, and she with him, and dying is no longer an appealing option. But for Leslie, that contract is ironclad; William has one week to escape the killer he has paid himself. 

MAXXI Museum will host two films from the Riflessi section.

At 7:30 pm, Giosetta Fioroni will introduce the screening of the documentary devoted to her by director Gabriele Raimondi: Giosetta Fioroni – Pop Sentimentale. The artist is the last exponent of the Piazza del Popolo school, the only woman in the group that represented the Italian response to Pop Art. Fioroni’s reminiscences take us back in time, to relive a period of Italian art and culture. Giosetta talks about Mario Schifano, Federico Fellini and Marcel Duchamp. But first and foremost, about her memories of her beloved partner, author Goffredo Parise, with whom she lightly and lucidly weathered the social and ideological conflicts of those years.

Next up at MAXXI, at 9:30 pm, the documentary Womanity looks at the “positive force” that women exert on society: in their families, communities and the workplace, as well as in politics. A positive force and positive action unleashed despite the many obstacles that women still encounter today for a variety of reasons, be they religious, political or cultural. Director Barbara Cupisti will be introducing the film. The screening of Womanity will be preceded by the short film Con te o senza di te, winner of the “Cuori al buio” competition organized by Fondazione Cinema per Roma as part of the project promoted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers’ Department for Equal Opportunities aimed at preventing and halting violence against women. The video art and computer generated images by Gianluca Abbate and Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri, the voiceover by Pino Calabrese, and the text taken from news stories are all skillfully combined in this three-minute short directed by Angela Prudenzi to convey to viewers the perception of danger, the emotional dysfunctions and the indignation for the helpless victims in a sort of compressed, visionary puzzle made up of a fractured fairy tale, hallucinations, the fragility of innocence and the irreversibility of evil. The winning short was chosen over more than fifty entries, by a jury comprised of Roberto Andò and Ida Dominijanni, chaired by Maria Pia Calzone.

Starting at 9:15 am, MAXXI is also the venue for the talk “The Meeting of Film and Poetry”, at which Davide Rondoni, Gennaro Nunziante, Iaia Forte, Maria Pia Ammirati, Simona Marchini and Antonio Monda will discuss these two art forms that have fed into each other at many times. Just summon up the names of Pasolini, Bertolucci, Ferreri, Benigni, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Wenders, and Scorsese, and the influence of poetic visions on films and film styles becomes clear. Yet poetry has also inspired a host of other writers and directors for the screen. As the bicentenary of the publication of Giacomo Leopardi’s poem “The Infinite” approaches, Rome Film Fest has put together a tribute that takes several forms: a conversation between directors and poets on the relationship between film and poetry and the “premiere” of a short film devoted to Leopardi’s masterpiece, produced by Rai-Teche. This initiative has ties to “Infinito200-una poesia”, a project created by the Center for Contemporary Poetry at the University of Bologna, Fondazione Claudi and Ce.S.Ma., which sponsors many occasions, in Italy and abroad, to celebrate and pay homage to that twenty-year-old poet who murmured “Infinito”.

On July 3, 2017, after twenty years of being privately owned, Cinecittà film studios and post-production laboratories came back under public management. Rome Film Fest has decided to celebrate the first anniversary of Istituto Luce Cinecittà’s going public with the screening of some of the most famous films made at the studios. After Once Upon a Time in America and Bellissima, Thursday’s film is  by Federico Fellini, at 3 pm in the Cinema Hall.

For the third year in a row, Rome Film Fest symbolically breaks down the walls between city and penitentiary and returns to Rebibbia Prison. From October 24 to 26, inmates and the general public alike can get their fill of a lineup of screenings and talks at the Auditorium of Rebibbia Prison’s New Annex, thanks to a collaboration between Fondazione Cinema per Roma, Enrico Maria Salerno Historical Archives, and the DAMS at Roma Tre University. The event is promoted by the Department of Penitentiary Administration and the warden of Rebibbia Prison. After La stoffa dei sogni by Giovanni Cabiddu, on October 25 at 4:30, the screening of Trek Point by Tommaso Cavallini will see the director, producer Giordano Baffari and the cast on hand for the event at Rebibbia. Before the screening, the band I Nomadi, who scored the film, will perform tracks from the film and their own repertoire.

The retrospectives curated by Mario Sesti, this year dedicated to two major exponents of European film, Maurice Pialat and Peter Sellers, are well under way. Thursday’s tribute to the French filmmaker is a 5:30 pm screening at MAXXI of his 1974 film La gueule ouverte, while the comic genius of British actor Peter Sellers will be on view at Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna Sala Siae at 3 pm, in The Ladykillers by Alexander Mackendrick, followed by Being There by Hal Ashby at 5 pm. The Sellers tribute continues at Casa del Cinema at 9 pm, with The Mouse That Roared by Jack Arnold. At the same venue, prior to this last film, there will be a 6 pm screening of Who Framed Roger Rabbit by Robert Zemeckis, from the Films of Our Lives lineup.

Cinema Trevi theatre follows up its showcases devoted to Antonella Lualdi and Roberto De Leonardis with a tribute on Thursday to filmmaker Luigi Magni, screening his films La Tosca (at 5 pm), La via dei babbuini (at 7 pm) and In nome del popolo sovrano (at 9 pm). The showcase “Luigi Magni, il cantore di Roma” runs through October 28 and pays homage to Magni’s wife Lucia Mirisola, set and costume designer always at her husband’s side; Mirisola died in 2017. 

For the second year in a row, Rome Film Fest continues its collaboration with Teatro Palladium, the historic Roman theater in the Garbatella neighborhood now owned by Roma Tre University. The Palladium is hosting a number of screenings of films on the fest lineup. Tomorrow, starting at 8:30, audiences can catch two documentaries, Le Vietnam sera libre by Cecilia Mangini and Paolo Pisanelli, followed by Linfa, directed by Carlotta Cerquetti. 

After the success of last year’s initiative, this year as well the 13th Rome Film Fest features screenings of films from its lineup at the Gemelli – MediCinema movie theater at Rome’s Policlinico Gemelli hospital, in collaboration with Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS. After L’uomo che comprò la luna by Paolo Zucca, tomorrow’s film is the musical Il flauto magico di Piazza Vittorio (at 4 pm), reserved for patients at the hospital, family members, and Gemelli physicians and staff. Film co-director Gianfranco Cabiddu will be on hand to introduce the film.

Numerous repeat screenings are scheduled at various venues on Thursday. MAXXI will be hosting Mere Pyaare Prime Minister (My Dear Prime Minister) by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra at 3 pm, and Hermanos by Pablo Gonzaléz at 12 noon. The latter film will also be screened at My Cityplex Savoy at 6 pm, preceded by Green Book by Peter Farrelly (at 3:30 pm). My Cityplex Savoy also hosts The Girl in the Spider’s Web by Fede Álvarez at 8 pm and Stan & Ollie by Jon S. Baird at 10:30 pm. Fest audiences can also catch these same two titles at the Sala Sinopoli: The Girl in the Spider’s Web at 5 pm and Stan & Ollie at 3 pm.

The Cinema Hall offers three reruns: Green Book (at 6 pm), Monsters and Men by Reinaldo Marcus Green (at 8:30) and Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back (at 10:30 pm. Lastly, Sala Petrassi will host a repeat screening of the Special Event Vero dal vivo. Francesco De Gregori at 4 pm.

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