Friday, October 07, 2005

Italian cinema: strikes and showcases

It would take an extreme optimist to put a positive spin on the cinema situation in Italy. Despite having one of the most remarkable cinema heritages, the country has clearly slipped from its leading role in both auteur and popular cinema. So the news that the government was going to further cut backing next year has led to a strong reaction from a number of bodies in Italy. In parallel with a cut in overall cultural investments, Silvio Berlusconi's government is offering a mere €50 million (down from €84 million). The national film body Anica notes that the French government spending is roughly ten times that amount. Together with entertainment body Agis, they are calling for a strike on October 16 that will see cinemas, theatres and opera houses closed for a day. Actors will also take part.

Editor's note: My thanks to Cinema Minima and Spietati for pointing out that the strike was two days earlier, on Oct. 14. Hope we didn't spoil any movie nights out!

Cinema Italian Style
On a more positive note (and an example of what the money is used for), Italian cinema is being showcased in Hollywood until October 16. The two-week showcase of the best and most challenging in new Italian filmmaking opens with the bittersweet comedy "Manual of Love" from director Giovanni Veronesi, the biggest Italian box office hit of the past year. The series closes with the L.A. Premiere of director Pupi Avati's "So When are the Girls Coming?" (photo) a jazz-themed portrait of the friendship between three "Gen X" Italian youths. The series features recent films from acclaimed directors including Cristina Comencini's emotional drama, "Don't Tell", director Marco Tullio Giordana (BEST OF YOUTH), with his latest "Once You Are Born"... (Quando sei nato no piĆ¹ nasconderti), about the collision between a wealthy Italian family and a boatload of illegal immigrants. There are also works from Ettore Scola, Michele Placido and several classics such work from Vittorio De Sica. For more details, check Cinema Italian Style.

Giovanni Veronesi on Amazon UK
Vittorio De Sica on Amazon UK
Vittorio de Sica on Amazon US
Italian classics on Amazon US

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