#RomaFF13 | Cate Blanchett hits the red carpet

Cate Blanchett, one of the most intense and refined actresses in contemporary film and a two-time Oscar® winner, will lead off the lineup of Close Encounters for the 13th Rome Film Fest. On Friday, October 19 at 5:30 pm in the Sala Sinopoli (Auditorium Parco della Musica), the Australian star will attend an onstage conversation and talk about her extraordinary career. The winner of two Academy Awards for her roles in The Aviator by Martin Scorsese and Blue Jasmine by Woody Allen, and a seven-time Oscar® nominee since 1999, Cate Blanchett can boast a superb list of film credits for her work with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Wes Anderson, Ron Howard, David Fincher, Steven Soderbergh, Shekhar Kapur and Todd Haynes. At Rome Film Fest, she will also speak about her dedication to social and environmental initiatives: in 2016 the United Nations High Commission for refugees nominated her a Goodwill Ambassador for her humanitarian commitment.  

Cate Blanchett is also the star of Eli Roth’s new film, The House With a Clock in Its Walls, which will screen at 7:30 pm in the Sala Sinopoli. “I wanted this movie to be very scary, and I think that you can have funny and scary at the same time.” the director explained. “Gremlins showed that, and E.T. did as well. This is a story about terrible things happening, and some want to deal with it by moving forward while others want to turn back time so it never can happen. This is a true scary horror film and for younger kids and families.”

At 10 pm, the Sala Sinopoli will host the first Italian film on the Official Selection lineup, Il vizio della Speranza  by Edoardo De Angelis. The director – back behind the camera following the success of Indivisible, which won six David di Donatello and six Silver Ribbon awards – tells a story of vendetta and reconciliation against the backdrop of the Volturno river and the areas it runs through. Maria (Pina Turco, Gomorra – La serie) leads a life bereft of dreams or desires, taking care of her mother and working as a domestic for a bejewelled matron. Accompanied by her pitbull, Maria ferries pregnant women across the river, in what seems to her to be purgatory without end. But this woman, one day, will be visited by hope, in its most powerful and ancestral form, as miraculous as life itself. The cast also features Massimiliano Rossi, Marina Confalone, Cristina Donadio, and Marcello Romolo. The score was composed by Neapolitan musician Enzo Avitabile, who also scored Indivisibili.

Three more films in the Official Selection screening tomorrow:

Ether by Krzysztof Zanussi (8 pm in the Sala Petrassi) is the story of a doctor at the beginning of the 20th century, somewhere in the outskirts of the Russian Empire. He is experimenting with ether to manage pain and manipulate human behavior, yet despite his evilness, it is not too late for his soul to be saved from eternal damnation. At 10:30 pm the same hall will host David Gordon Green’s Halloween. “Stylistically, we used John Carpenter’s film as our creative foundation”, the filmmaker explained. “We are a sequel to that and no one else. The original theme that Carpenter created sits so comfortably with the film. It’s like Jaws; you have that simple back and forth, repetitive nature of a score. You don’t need as much noise, accents and accessories when you have something that is so stripped-down and raw.” At 9:30 pm, the Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna Sala Siae hosts the premiere of Sangre Blanca by Barbara Sarasola-Day. Martina and Manuel cross the border from Bolivia to Argentina as “mules”. After taking refuge in a hotel, Manuel dies with the cocaine capsules inside his body. The pressure of the traffickers corners Martina, who has to deliver the stuff in another city, both what she is carrying and what was left in Manuel’s body. There seems to be no way out. There is only one person she can ask for help, her father, Javier, who, however, has never acknowledged her as his daughter.

During the Rome Film Fest, further screenings will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the round-up of Jews in the Roman ghetto, and the 80th of the racial laws. After the screenings ahead of the fest opening, tomorrow the lineup of special events includes a screening of Who Will Write Our History by Roberta Grossman (Sala Petrassi at 4:30 pm), produced by Nancy Spielberg and based on the book of the same name by Samuel Kassow. The documentary focuses on the activity of historian Emanuel Ringelblum, who secretly created an archive inside the Warsaw ghetto: an archive that would prove to be one of the most important concerning the Holocaust.

Two films in the Riflessi section will be screening tomorrow. At 5 pm, Cinema Hall hosts Il mare della nostra storia by Giovanna Gagliardo. The film makes skilful use of stock footage, firsthand reports and current clips to tell the tumultuous story of Libia, a country that looks across the sea to Italy, with Italy looking back. At 9:30 pm, MAXXI Museum will screen L’anti-scienza – Il caso Ilaria Capua, a documentary by Stefano Pistolini and Massimo Salvucci about a world-famous virologist swept into a fake media scandal that called her out as a virus trafficker. 

At 10 am, in AuditoriumArte, the conference “Cinema – Comunicazione – Diritto d’autore a confronto” gets underway, organized by FERPI. Elisa Greco, Daniele Salvaggio, Federica Carini and Susanna Zirizzotti will be discussing copyright law present and future in the film industry. 

Two retrospectives also get underway tomorrow. This year, they are dedicated to two major film personalities who represent the best of European cinema: Peter Sellers and Maurice Pialat. At 4 pm, in the Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna Sala Siae, there will be a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, starring Peter Sellers, while Maurice Pialat’s Loulou will be screened at 7 pm at MAXXI. Rome Film Fest also pays tribute to the late Brazilian filmmaker Nelson Pereira dos Santos, with a screening of one of his best-known films, Vidas Secas, at 3 pm in Cinema Hall.

The retrospective “Antonella Lualdi. Diva con grazia” continues at Cinema Trevi with screenings of two of the actress’s films: Le signorine dello 04 by Gianni Franciolini at 5 pm, and Gli innamorati by Mauro Bolognini at 7 pm. 

Rome Fest offers four repeat screenings on Friday: Cinema Hall will host The House With a Clock in Its Walls (8 pm) and The Vice of Hope (10:30 pm). At MAXXI, Dons of Disco by Jonathan Sutak will be screened at 5 pm, while the My Cityplex Savoy multiplex will be showing Bad Times at the El Royale by Drew Goddard (7:30 pm) and Ether (10:30 pm).


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