The annual Lavazza Italian Film Festival launches at the Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas from Thursday with Marina, an entertaining biopic that tells the true story of singer, songwriter and accordionist, Rocco Granata. Read our review of Marina here.
The Festival’s 15th annual outing will bring a dash of Mediterranean romance to Adelaide with 33 show-stopping new features and documentaries and one glamourous classic. 50 years after its first release, the Sophia Loren/Marcello Mastroianni classic Marriage Italian Style has been beautifully restored and will close the Festival on 22 October.
Before then however, the Festival promises to showcase the charisma of Italy’s most engaging actors, from Kim Rossi Stuart, Raoul Bova, Monica Bellucci and Claudio Santamaria to Giovanna Mezzorgiorno, Valeria Golino, Margherita Buy and Sergio Rubini.
Highlights of the 2014 line-up include:
A LONELY HERO (L’INTREPIDO)
Starring: Antonio Albanese, Livia Rossi, Gabriele Rendina & Ginevra Antona
Amelio’s deadpan parable follows a small everyday hero from Milan who throws himself at a wide array of “substitute” jobs with a deep moral consistency as he reinvents himself with each new day.
DARKER THAN MIDNIGHT (PIÙ BUIO DI MEZZANOTTE)
Starring: Davide Capone, Vincenzo Amato, Lucia Sardo & Micaela Ramazzotti
With his effeminate looks, Davide is different from other teenage boys. Fleeing a brutish home life, his intuition leads him to take refuge in Villa Bellini, a park in Catania. Villa Bellini is a world in itself, populated by the marginalized, to which the rest of the city turns a blind eye. But one day the past encroaches on the present and Davide has to face the most difficult choice of his tender years. Based in part on the life of drag artist Davide Cordova, this evocative drama screened in Critics’ Week at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
THE FIFTH WHEEL (L’ULTIMA RUOTA DEL CARRO)
Starring: Elio Germano, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ricky Memphis & Sergio Rubini
Veronesi’s irresistible romantic comedy journeys through four decades of recent Italian history on the back of a good-hearted, honest middle-class guy who always finds himself a step behind.
I CAN QUIT WHENEVER I WANT (SMETTO QUANDO VOGLIO)
Starring: Edoardo Leo, Valeria Solarino, Valeria Aprea & Paolo Calabresi
A band of brilliant under-employed academics turn to a life of crime in order to survive in this biting parody on the plight of the Italian middle-class in the aftermath of the economic crisis.
THE MAFIA ONLY KILLS IN SUMMER (LA MAFIA UCCIDE SOLO D’ESTATE)
Starring: Cristiana Capotondi, Pif & Alex Bisconti
In Pierfrancesco “Pif” Diliberto’s irreverent feature debut, a young boy’s obsession with the Mafia surpasses even his passion for the beautiful schoolmate who remains his main love interest until adulthood.
QUIET BLISS (IN GRAZIA DI DIO)
Starring: Celeste Casciaro, Laura Licchetta, Anna Bocadamo & Barbara De Matteis
Three generations of women seek refuge in their family’s Salento olive grove after their small textile business collapses in this warm and vibrant drama, set against the radiant southern Italian landscape.
The first documentary to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Rosi’s latest film reveals the sheer diversity of life bubbling around the margins of the 43.5-mile highway that encircles Rome.
SONG OF NAPOLI (SONG’E NAPULE)
Starring: Alessandro Roja, Giampaolo Morelli & Serena Rossi
The charismatic Alessandro Roja plays Paco, a nerdy and exceptionally talented piano player, who after resorting to a low-level job with the Naples police force is reluctantly enlisted on a dangerous top-priority case to go undercover as “Pino Dynamite” – a member of Lollo Love’s pop-music band in order to capture a Camorra boss known as “The Ghost”.
THE SOUTH IS NOTHING (IL SUD È NIENTE)
Starring: Miriam Karlkvist, Vinicio Marchioni, Valentina Lodovini & Andrea Bellisario
A teenage tomboy who hasn’t spoken a word since the death of her beloved brother runs away from home and finds herself on a quest to learn the truth about her lost sibling and, ultimately, herself.
THOSE HAPPY YEARS (ANNI FELICI)
Starring: Kim Rossi Stuart, Micaela Ramazzotti & Martina Gedeck
Luchetti’s warm-hearted, bittersweet autobiographical account of his childhood as a budding filmmaker witnessing his parents’ tumultuous relationship.