Crime Novel (Romanzo
Bravo to the Film
Society of Lincoln Center for continuously striving
to bring diverse and under-appreciated motion
pictures from around the globe to New York City.
For the next week,
FSoLC presents it’s sixth (and let us pray
annual) Open Roads: New Italian Cinema showcase
which features a handful of the most tantalizing
films Italy has to offer.
Italian films have
all but been ignored lately along the festival
circuit and very few are released here annually.
Foreign films in general have a difficult time
getting wide distribution--mostly due to US audience’s
idiotic disdain for reading subtitles. (read:
In the recent past,
Italy has produced quite a few runaway hits such
as the sweet Il Postino and the polarizing
Life is Beautiful (La Vita e’
Bella), but in the last few years Italian
movies have all but disappeared from U.S. theatres.
And that’s a terrible shame because there
has been an exciting renaissance of sorts in current
Italian cinema. The brilliant Best of Youth
(La Meglio Gioventu’) is a
terrific example of the amazing work being done
in this new millennium. These new and wonderful
films go a long way towards eradicating the blemish
buffoonish Roberto Benigni left on America.
Open Roads boasts
some of the best directors working at the top
of their craft. The list includes: Michele Placido,
Carlo Verdone, Ferzan Ozpetek and Gabriele Salvatores
(Oscar winner for Mediterraneo). The
series also features some of most powerful acting
from some of Italy’s best thespians including:
Angela Baraldi (who is actually a rock singer),
Stefano Accorsi, Claudio Santamaria, Pierfrancesco
Favino, Jasmine Trinca, Barbora Borbulova, Alessio
Boni and Kim Rossi Stuart (who also directs his
first feature and, if there is any justice in
world cinema, will be a household name one day
The fest opens
with a comedy that has become a huge hit in Italy:
My Best Enemy (Il mio migliore nemico).
The program also includes: the Donatello (Italian
Oscar) winner Sacred Heart; Massimo Andrei’s
Mater Natura, set in Naples and Michele
Placido’s epic Crime Novel (Romanzo
Criminale), which is simply a masterpiece.
What accounts for
the creative eruption of quality? Perhaps the
Burlesconi regime (which is now over!) Although
Film Society’s Program Director Richard
Peña has a different notion: "Defined
by neither a political position nor an aesthetic
approach, this generation has been unified by
a spirit of independence, of breaking away from
old models and genres. Some of this independence
has been forced on them, as the collapse of the
old structures of the Italian cinema has required
filmmakers to really make it on their own. But
this spirit is also indicative of the myriad backgrounds,
experiences, and influences this new generation
brings to their films."
Regardless of the
reasons, I’ll bet the master, Fellini, is
watching proudly and smiling right now...wherever
he may be...
OPEN ROADS: NEW
ITALIAN CINEMA: at the Walter Reade Theater thru
Tickets for OPEN
ROADS: NEW ITALIAN CINEMA screenings are available
at the Walter Reade Theater box office and online
at www.filmlinc.com. Ticket prices are $10 for
adults, $7 for students, $6 for FSLC members,
and $5 for seniors for weekday matinees before
6 p.m. For more information, log on to www.filmlinc.com
or call (212) 875-5600.