i-ItalyNY - 2014-06 - page 20

“The film focuses on the lives
that surrounds GRA (Grande
Raccordo Anulare) Rome’s
43.5-mile highway encircling
the whole city. Inspired in part
by Italo Calvino’s novel
, the film offers moving
portraits of areas drivers pass
through but never see, revealing
a different side of the bustling
city dwellers and a paradoxical
Then we have Alberto Fasulo’s
debut docudrama
won the top prize at the Rome
Film Festival...
“Fasulo is very inventive.
The film follows a former
teacher from Bosnia who
takes a job driving a tractor
trailer (‘tir’) through Europe.
Using professional actors and
result of the country’s unstable
unemployment crisis. On
the other hand the scathing
critique of Italian political
dynamics in Roberto Andò’s
Long Live Freedom
staring Toni
Servillo as a seasoned politician
navigating the decline of his
party by fleeing to Paris and
hiding out at the home of his
Talking of Toni Servillo, he is a
great actor whom Americans
have gotten to know after
The Great Beauty
took home the Academy Award
for Best Foreign Language Film.
Has that victory affected the
way Italian cinema is perceived
in the US?
“Well, it was an extraordinary
victory and it has helped, but
‘one swallow does not a summer
make.’ Just because one good
thing has happened, you cannot
be certain that more good things
will happen and the whole
real truck drivers, Fasulo has
created a striking film about
what life is really like on the
road – including the sounds, the
landscape, and the longing for
company. This film is not a pure
documentary but a hybrid of
reality and fiction.”
Other beautiful and thought-
provoking documentaries
include Vincenzo Marra’s
and Gianni
Happy to Be Different
Both tackle sensitive
social issues. Italy’s often
dysfunctional society is the
focus of many of your films.
“Indeed. Marra, for instance,
examines a superintendent’s
dealings with his larger-
than-life tenants, painting a
tough-minded yet affectionate
portrait of crisis-addled Italy.
And Amelio offers a moving,
enlightening work of oral history
about gay life in Italy from the
fall of Fascism through the early
And several films in this year’s
lineup explore the evolution
of Italy’s political system,
including Daniele Luchetti’s
opening-night selection
Happy Years
“As in the past, one of our aims
is to showcase a variety of films,
ranging from sober dramas
to irreverent comedies. Many
portray Italy as a disenchanted
and melancholic country, given
its current difficulties. But
different directors do this in
different ways.”
Two examples?
“On the one hand, Gianni
Amelio ’s
A Lonely Hero
starring comedian Antonio
Albanese. It tells the story
of a man forced to reinvent
himself in his pursuit of a
job (as a train conductor, a
fishmonger, a tailor, etc.), as a
June-July 2014
Paolo Sorrenti-
nowinning the
Academy Awardwith
The Great Beauty did
help theway Italian
cinema is perceived
in the US. But just
because one good
thing has happened,
you cannot be certain
that morewill
happen. Youmust
work hard at it. There
ismore curiosity and
interest in Italian
cinema, sure, but
it needs to continue
to reinvent itself.
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