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Cinema Made In Italy 2014: Ettore Scola and Roberto Andò films to be shown

Cinema Made In Italy

Preview by Jack Foley

AT A time when Italian cinema appears to be in the best of health following the Golden Globe-winning success of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, Cinema Made In Italy will keep Italy firmly in the spotlight when this annual five day event makes a welcome return to the Ciné Lumière in South Kensington.

This year’s Italian encounter will take place from March 5 – 9 and, once again, lovers of Italian cinema will have a chance to catch the latest cinematic gems Italy has to offer.

As in previous years audiences can look forward to another enthralling programme, as well as a series of lively and thought-provoking Q+A sessions with directors and actors alike.

One of this year’s hot tickets will undoubtedly be How Strange to Be Named Federico! (pictured), Ettore Scola’s affectionate tribute to Federico Fellini, which he came out of retirement to make. Released in Italy in autumn 2013 to mark the 20th anniversary of Fellini’s death, this film is a fascinating trip down memory lane, recalling the years shared by these two Maestros of cinema.

Other highlights in the programme include Roberto Andò’s Viva La Libertà starring Toni Servillo and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi; Matteo Oleotto’s Zoran, My Nephew The Idiot, winner of the Critics’ Week Public’s Prize at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival; and The Fifth Wheel, directed by Giovanni Veronesi, and starring Elio Germano, one of Italy’s finest young actors who won the Best Actor award at the 2010 Cannes International Film Festival for his role in La Nostra Vita.

The full line-up of films is as follows…

Wednesday, March 5

6.30pm – VIVA LA LIBERTÀ (93 mins)
The Secretary of the main opposition party, Enrico Olivieri, is in the midst of a crisis. The opinion polls show him to be losing. One night Olivieri vanishes. The grey eminence Andrea Bottini and his wife Anna try to understand why he disappeared and identify a possible accomplice: the Secretary’s twin brother, Giovanni Ernani, an ingenious philosopher. Andrea decides to meet him and is so fascinated that he dreams of a plan that has the plot of a dangerous gamble…

Followed by a Q+A with Roberto Andò (dir)

8.50pm – THE THIRD HALF (Il Terzo Tempo) (96mins)
A social worker pushes a young charge just released from juvie to try his luck at rugby in The Third Half, an efficient mix of social drama and inspiring sports story. Vincenzo is assigned by a judge to look after Samuel, who’s been given a job at a farm after a stint at a juvenile detention centre. But Samuel isn’t the only one with troubles: Vincenzo used to be a star rugby player and now finds himself a trainer of the same team, which plays at the bottom of their league.

Followed by a Q+A with Enrico Maria Artale (dir)

Thursday, March 6

6.30pm – BORDER (95 mins)
The Syrian war has so far caused 80,000 deaths and 800,000 refugees who have fled to Libya, Turkey and Jordan. This film is based on a true story: Aya and Fatima are two sisters who live in a village in Syria, in the epicentre of the fighting between police and shabiha, the regime’s militia. The only chance to survive for Aya and Fatima is to cross the Turkish border and seek refuge.

Followed by a Q+A with Alessio Cremonini (dir)

8.50pm – THE REFEREE (L’Arbitro) (96 mins)
Atletico Pabarile, the worst team of the Sardinian third league, is humbled like every year by Montecrastu. The return to town of young Matzutzi (Jacopo Cullin), who had emigrated, upsets the balance of the championship and Atletico Pabarile starts winning one match after the other, thanks to the endeavours of its new undisputed champion.

Followed by a Q+A with Jacopo Cullin (actor)

Friday, March 7

6.30pm – THE HUMAN FACTOR (La Variabile Umana) (83 mins)
Inspector Monaco is weary of his job since his wife died three years ago. He no longer wants contact with other people. One night, however, sees the arrival at police headquarters of Monaco’s daughter Linda, arrested for possession of a firearm. Dawn casts light on a new and grim reality, and the Inspector must decide how to face it: as policeman or father. Searching for himself, he will find Linda again.

Followed by a Q+A with Bruno Oliviero (dir) and Giuseppe Battiston (actor)

8.50pm – FIRST SNOWFALL (La Prima Neve) (104 mins)
Dani has never seen the snow. He was born in Togo and arrived in Italy as a refugee from the war in Libya. He is invited to work in the workshop of Pietro, an old carpenter who lives with his grandson Michele, aged ten. The snow will arrive, and there is not much time to collect firewood. It is a necessary time span that allows silences to turn into occasions for understanding. Before the snow, Dani and Michele can learn to listen to each other.

Followed by a Q+A with Giuseppe Battiston (actor)

Saturday, March 8

4pm – OFF ROAD (Fuoristrada) (68 mins)
Pino is a mechanic and a rally car champion who decides to become a woman, naming himself Beatrice. As a transgender, he meets Marianna, a nurse from Romania – Beatrice and Marianna fall in love. Fighting the prejudice of established society, the two of them manage to get married in Rome. In high heels, Beatrice continues to work as a mechanic and to engage in off-road racing.

Followed by a Q+A with Elisa Amoruso (dir)

6.30pm – THOSE HAPPY YEARS (Anni Felici) (101 mins)
Young Darlo, movie camera in hand, captures the events that will forever change his family’s destiny. His father comes from a family of creative intellectuals who have criticised their son’s marriage to Serena, the daughter of a well-to-do business family. Guido’s dream is to become a celebrated artist, while sweet Serena only seems to care about everybody else’s happiness. It will take the progressive Helke to change their lives forever.

Intro only – there will be no Q+A

8.50pm – HOW STRANGE TO BE NAMED FEDERICO! (Che Strano Chiamarsi Federico!) (93 mins)
The film is a tribute and a portrait of Federico Fellini, on the twentieth anniversary of the great director’s death. In addition to Fellini’s incredibly rich cinema, it aims to commemorate a few private and lesser-known aspects of his life. An original film, made out of moments, and scattered impressions that recreate the emotions provoked by a great man: his genius, his famous irony, and his motto that ‘life is a party’.

Intro only – there will be no Q+A

Sunday, March 9

5pm – THE FIFTH WHEEL (L’Ultima Ruota del Carro) (113 mins)
The Fifth Wheel is a pleasant jog through recent Italian history with an honest, average guy. Starring Elio Germano as a humble, honest Everyman who moves from job to job as the country goes from bad to worse, Ernesto Marchetti travels all around Italy during forty years, from black and white TV in the 1960s, to the gloomy colors of the 1970s, the yuppie period of the 1980s and the Berlusconi era of the 1990s constructing a bridge towards the Third Millennium.

Followed by a Q+A with Giovanni Veronesi (dir)

7.30pm – ZORAN, MY NEPHEW THE IDIOT (Zoran, Il Mio Nipote Scemo) (106 mins)
Paolo Bressan, a 40 year old misfit, ‘inherits’ Zoran, his 15 year old nephew, from a distant relative. He finds himself being an uncle, and that to him is just sickening. Only when he notices that Zoran is a true phenomenon at playing darts, he changes his mind. Every year the world darts championship grants a top prize of sixty thousand euros and Paolo has no intention of letting this opportunity go by.

Followed by a Q+A with Matteo Oleotto (dir) and Giuseppe Battiston (actor)