Italians battling it out
by Camillo de Marco
- A massive turnout for Italian cinema, among films in competition for the Audience Award and those present in the various festival sections
With an ever more popular and "conveniently schizophrenic" selection, as described by its artistic director, the Rome Film Festival makes room for Italian movies that are openly market-oriented, such as the comedies that will open and close the festival (read article), as well as those that are unashamedly Rossellinian like Biagio by Pasquale Scimeca.
In the running for the Golden Marc'Aurelio, awarded this year by the audience by electronic vote, Scimeca tells the tale of Brother Biagio Conte, a lay missioner - very popular in Sicily -, a young man who like many, in the midst of an existential crisis, abandons everything and everyone, to find meaning in his life, and decides, wearing only the clothes on his back, to undertake a journey that will bring him from Palermo to Assisi.
In competition (in the section called Cinema d'oggi), alongside Biagio are two more Italian movies. La foresta di ghiaccio by Claudio Noce sees the appearance of a cast of characters with the likes of Emir Kusturica, accompanied by Ksenia Rappoport, Adriano Giannini and Domenico Diele. Following his debut in 2009 with Good Morning Aman [+see also:
film profile], screened at numerous international festivals, Noce takes on a thriller, which develops beneath the seeming tranquility of a small Alpine village, where a young repairman comes to fix a breakdown at the high altitude power plant.
The third Italian film in competition is I milionari [+see also:
film profile], created by a very interesting and eclectic author, Alessandro Piva. Based on the eponymous novel written by Public Prosecutor Luigi Alberto Cannavale with Giacomo Gensini, the movie brings to the big screen the rise and fall of a Neapolitan criminal clan through the story of a boss and his family, torn between the desire for a middle class life and the inner drive for power and domination. Starring Francesco Scianna and Valentina Lodovini.
Long-awaited is Buoni a nulla by Gianni Di Gregorio (Gala section), director of the explosive debut (at 60 years of age) Mid-August Lunch [+see also:
film profile] and screenwriter of Gomorrah [+see also:
interview: Domenico Procacci
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile]. Another light comedy that tackles important issues, in this case the daily harassment at the office and at home of a kind and vulnerable man, played by the self-same director. Accompanying him are Marco Marzocca and Valentina Lodovini.
Another movie in the same section is Tre tocchi by Marco Risi. In this low budget film with upcoming actors six stories about young actors with a shared passion for football, facing success and failure, are woven together. In "Gala" we also find a documentary, Giulio Cesare-Compagni di scuola, by Antonello Sarno.
Devoted entirely to Italian cinema; the Prospettive Italia section has selected Fino a qui tutto bene, the new movie by Roan Johnson, ayoung director who made a name for himself in2011 with I primi della lista. Index zero has been described by the director himself, the young Lorenzo Sportiello, as a "humanist sci-fi film", while Last Summer, a first work by Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli, was written by the director with the collaboration of famous Japanese writer Banana Yoshimoto and of cartoonist Igort, and stars an international cast: Japanese Rinko Kikuchi, Dutch Yorick Van Wageningen, English Lucy Griffiths, Danish Laura Sofia Bach and American Daniel Ball.
In the same festival section we might also see the documentaries Due volte delta by Elisabetta Sgarbi, Largo Baracche by Gaetano Di Vaio, Looking for Kadija by Francesco G. Raganato, Meno male è lunedì by Filippo Vendemmiati and Roma Termini by Bartolomeo Pampaloni. Finally, worth noting are the Italian "events" 27 aprile 1914-Racconto di un evento by Luca Viotto, Ne ho fatte di tutti i colori by Marco Spagnoli, Ore 12 by Toni D’Angelo, L’orologio di Monaco by Mauro Caputo and Viaggio nell’animo dei figli della Shoa by Beppe Tufarulo.
(Translated from Italian)