Comedy and horror at the Taormina Film Fest
by Vittoria Scarpa
18/06/2012 - A new editorial director (the film critic Mario Sesti), a new general manager (Italy's most famous PR woman, Tiziana Rocca), a "miracle" programme born in less than a month and a half (due to funding which wasn't arriving) dedicated to comedy and horror films, strong emotions and pop music. Today saw the presentation in Rome of the 58th edition of the Taormina Film Fest, which will have a pre-opening on June 22 in Messina with an event involving the Castellittos, an "arthouse family", and will take place until the 28th, with previews and special screenings in Taormina's evocative Teatro Antico.
This year's is a fully updated edition, directed at a genre that is normally neglected in festival programmes: comedy. ''There are no serious comedy festivals, and yet it's the only genre that manages to bring together the under 20s and the over 50s'', Mario Sesti stated. A range of films will therefore be on offer, from teenage comedy The First Time by America's Jon Kasdan and Turn Me On, Dammit! [trailer] by Norway's Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, to the callous seducers of Love Lasts Three Years [trailer] by France's Frédéric Beigbeder, the romantic gridlock of another French film, Adieu Berthe - L'enterrement de mémé [trailer] by Bruno Podalydès, and the mix of horror and comedy in Grabbers [trailer] directed by Jon Wright (UK, Ireland).
Horror is in fact the other theme the festival has chosen to pursue this year, to come back to "cinema as primeval entertainment, which is also made up of fear", again according to its director: the films showing include the European remake of a classic of the genre, The Thing by Holland's Matthijs van Heijningen Jr., and The Ghostmaker, an old-style horror film directed by Italy's Mauro Borrelli, who has already worked with Tim Burton. The several guests expected at the festival, which will be inaugurated on the 23rd by Paola Cortellesi, will have Sophia Loren as its patroness and will close on the 28th with Carlo Verdone, include Terry Gilliam, Nadine Labaki and 80s iconic actress Kelly LeBrock. A special evening will also be dedicated to singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla, who recently passed away, and to his strong and mysterious relationship with cinema (he played parts for the Taviani brothers and Fellini).
The Taormina FF also has a Pre-views - Work in Progress section, where the next season of Italian films will be presented by their authors: Fausto Brizzi, Michele Placido, Marco Risi, Massimiliano Bruno and Pupi Avati. Special attention will be paid to Sicilian film-makers and to films featuring Taormina, amongst which a new film with Catherine Spaak, L'altro piatto della bilancia. This year's focus is dedicated to Russia.
To download the full programme, click here.
(Translated from Italian)