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for immediate release - Istituto Di Cultura
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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New Italian Cinema Returns for 13th Triumphant Year in San Francisco at Landmark's
Embardadero Center Cinema, November 15 - 22
Eight-Day Series Features In-Person Tribute to Marco Risi, Seven New Films from
Emerging Italian Filmmakers and the West Coast Premiere of Vincere, Italy’s Most
Exported Film of the Year
10/8/2009
The San Francisco Film Society, New Italian Cinema Events of Florence, Italy and the
Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco present New Italian Cinema, November 15–22
at Landmark’s Embarcadero Center Cinema. The eight-day festival is dedicated to
celebrating the rich cinematic tradition of Italy and bringing to Bay Area audiences the
country’s newest directors and films. The mainstay of New Italian Cinema is the
competitive section featuring seven films by emerging directors. NIC opens with a threefilm tribute to director Marco Risi, one of Italy’s most celebrated filmmakers and closes
with Marco Bellocchio’s latest tour de force, Vincere, an operatic take on the true story
of Mussolini's first wife and their secret child.
“The 2009 New Italian Cinema festival offers yet another provocative, yet often lighthearted, lineup of recent works by up-and-coming directors,” said Film Society
programmer Rod Armstrong. “This year’s edition covers issues of local politics, fatherson relationships, romantic conundrums and mafia depredations. Our Opening and
Closing Night films, including Marco Bellocchio’s latest masterpiece Vincere, offer rich
historical and sociological context to life in Italy, from the Mussolini era to events from
the more recent past.”
The New Italian Cinema Events (NICE) organization in Florence—working with
selection committee members Rod Armstrong and journalists Deborah Young and
Barbara Corsi—chose the best Italian entries from the year’s major European film
festivals to present in the 2009 New Italian Cinema competition. Most filmmakers are
expected at the Embarcadero for Q&As with the audiences. The NICE City of Florence
Award will be decided by audience ballot and announced at the Closing Night Award
presentation following the 5:45 pm screening of Vincere, Sunday, November 22.
Sunday, November 15 Opening Night
6:00 pm Fortapàsc West Coast Premiere
Director Marco Risi in person
Marco Risi (Italy 2008)
On September 23, 1985, Neapolitan journalist Giancarlo Siani was murdered for his
reporting on the local crime organization known as the Camorra. Risi’s fast-paced, coolly
observational drama pays tribute to Siani’s life and reportage by detailing the events
leading up to his death. The writer begins to garner notoriety while covering the rise of
brash mobster Valentino Gionta (Massimiliano Gallo) and the ensuing war for power he
initiates among vying clans. Over time, Siani (Libero de Rienzo) uncovers cops taking
bribes and politicians receiving kickbacks, little realizing how his articles make him a
target. With an intent focus on the story of one remarkable man, Fortapàsc (which refers
to a section of Naples nicknamed “Fort Apache” for its violence) memorably evinces the
tragically widespread depredations caused by the Camorra. Written by Marco Risi, Jim
Carington, Andrea Purgatori. Photographed by Marco Onorato. With Libero de Rienzo,
Valentina Lodovini, Massimiliano Gallo, Michele Riondino, Ernesto Mahieux. 108 min.
In Italian with English subtitles. Distributed by Rai Cinema.
8:00 Opening Night Party with complimentary Italian beer, wine and appetizers, One
Embarcadero Center, Lobby Level (the former B. Dalton space).
9:00 pm Fortapàsc
Monday, November 16 Marco Risi in Retrospect
Experience the broad range of Risi’s talent, from gritty drama to female-focused farce.
6:15 pm Three Wives
Director Marco Risi in person
Marco Risi (Tre mogli, Italy 2001)
In Risi’s farcical road-trip movie, three women from different socioeconomic classes
chase their respective husbands across Argentina, where the men have fled after they rob
an Italian bank. Beginning their quest in Buenos Aires, the three wives are at odds; sleek
and wealthy Beatrice (Francesca d’Aloja) is annoyed by the mousy and anxious Bianca
(Iaia Forte), while both find the younger Billie (Silke Klein) a bit uncouth. Various
amusingly outlandish situations ensue as the bickering trio chase their constantly
vanishing hubbies through the vast country. Over time and distance, though, the women
eventually form bonds of friendship. Stunningly shot in several Argentinean locales, and
delivering a memorable supporting appearance by Spanish telenovela superstar Loles
León, Three Wives is an entertaining tale about female empowerment. Written by Marco
Risi, Silvia Napolitano. Photographed by Italo Petriccione. With Francesca d’Aloja, Iaia
Forte, Silke Klein 105 min. In Italian with English subtitles. Distributed by Rai Cinema.
7:00 pm Meet the Directors: A Conversation
Italian Cultural Institute, 425 Washington Street
A roundtable conversation with visiting filmmakers Marco Risi, Maria Grazia Cucinotta,
Marco Bellocchio and Alessandro Baricco, moderated by Gavriel Moses, associate
professor of Italian and Film Studies at UC Berkeley. Free with a reservation by calling
415-788-7142 or emailing [email protected]
9:00 pm Boys on the Outside
Director Marco Risi in person
Marco Risi (Ragazzi fuori, Italy 1990)
This hard-hitting story of crime and joblessness among Palermo youth follows the lives
of several kids leaving a juvenile reformatory and attempting to reenter society. Natale
(Francesco Benigno), hoping to land a construction job with his brother, finds himself
drawn back into a life of crime among his hoodlum pals. Mario, known as Mary
(Alessandro di Sanzo), returns to prostitution because he’s too effeminate to get a job.
Claudio (Maurizio Prollo) is hired as a mechanic only to be caught up by a violent event
from his past. Featuring stunning performances by several nonprofessional actors who
heartbreakingly introduce themselves at the finale, Boys on the Outside is a remarkable
film about troubled youth. Written by Marco Risi, Aurelio Grimaldi. Photographed by
Franco Fraticelli. With Francesco Benigno, Maurizio Prollo, Alessandro di Sanzo,
Roberto Mariano. 110 min. In Italian with English subtitles. Distributed by Cecchi Gori.
Tuesday, November 17 City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:00 pm The Sicilian Girl
Director Marco Amenta in person
Marco Amenta (La siciliana ribelle, Italy 2008)
In 1991, 17-year-old Rita Atria visits a tireless anti-Mafia judge to denounce the
organization responsible for the murders of her father and brother. Using meticulously
recorded information from years of diary-keeping, Rita’s testimony is the linchpin for
securing convictions of numerous figures in the Sicilian mob. Rita is a deep and
impetuous heroine, motivated by rage and grief, and Veronica d’Agostino’s remarkable
performance conveys all of the character’s complexities. In addition to the film’s nuanced
characters, cowriter/director Amenta (who addressed the same true story in a 1997
documentary) vividly documents Sicilian village life and its desecration through cycles of
crime and retribution. Written by Marco Amenta, Sergio Donati, Gianni Romoli.
Photographed by Luca Bigazzi. With Veronica d’Agostino, Gérard Jugnot, Miriana Faja.
110 min. In Italian with English subtitles. Distributed by Roissy Films.
Preceded on November 17 only by the short Lorenzo Vacirca (Italy 2009). A man of
little means struggles to make a living while nourishing his dream of buying a fancy car.
Directed by Nico Bonomolo, 13 min.
9:00 pm Ex North American Premiere
Director Fausto Brizzi in person
Fausto Brizzi (Italy 2009)
Juggling multiple storylines with aplomb, this mostly comic study of the vagaries of
romantic entanglement focuses on six different couples and the ups and downs of their
relationships. From a divorce attorney going through a brutal break-up with his wife, to a
French youngster smitten with his Italian girlfriend, to a handsome cop stalking his
former lover, cowriter/director Brizzi presents a wide variety of idiosyncratic characters
looking for love. With a grand assembly of noteworthy actors including Alessandro
Gassman, Cécile Cassel and Silvio Orlando, this charming film suggests that there is an
ex in everyone’s past who can’t—or won’t—be forgotten. Reminiscent of the best British
romantic comedies, Brizzi’s film is a valentine delight to couples of all kinds—especially
those who are no longer together. Written by Fausto Brizzi, Massimiliano Bruno, Marco
Martani. Photographed by Marcello Montarso. With Claudio Bisio, Alessandro Gassman,
Cécile Cassel, Nancy Brilli, Cristiana Capotondi. 120 min. In Italian with English
subtitles. Distributed by Rai Cinema.
Wednesday, November 18 City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:30 pm PA-RA-DA
Director Marco Pontecorvo in person
Marco Pontecorvo (Italy/France/Romania 2008)
In this heartwarming true story, a French street clown named Miloud Oukili (Jalil
Lespert) travels to Bucharest in 1992, three years after the overthrow of the Ceausescu
dictatorship, to offer some cheer to local orphanages. When he discovers untold
quantities of homeless children living in the streets, Miloud teaches the kids his trade so
that they can earn money. To gain their trust, he spends time in the sewers where they
live, tries to keep them sober and offers them the tools through which they can find selfrespect. Touching and politically engaged, and featuring nonprofessional actors in most
of the children’s roles, PA-RA-DA shows how through caring human relations an
international humanitarian organization is formed. Since its incipience, the PA-RA-DA
association has worked in Somalia, Kosovo, Honduras and other parts of the world.
Written by Marco Pontecorvo, Roberto Tiraboschi. Photographed by Vincenzo Carpineta.
With Jalil Lespert, Evita Ciri, Gabriel Rauta, 100 min. In French and Romanian with
English subtitles. Distributed by Beta Cinema.
9:15 pm The House in the Clouds North American Premiere
Director Claudio Giovannesi in person
Claudio Giovannesi (La casa sulle nuvole, Italy 2009)
Two brothers of different temperaments attempt to come to terms with their irresponsible
and self-absorbed parents in this intimate family drama. Lorenzo (Emanuele Bosi) is a
free-spirited jazz musician while Michele (Adriano Giannini) has a more staid life as a
dog breeder. When the siblings discover that their father has sold the family home in
Marrakesh, they travel there to rectify the situation. They discover that their dad is much
the same as before, full of outlandish ideas including opening tourist hotels in Senegal
and operating balloon trips in the Sahara. Featuring a diverse, groovy soundtrack (some
of it composed by director Giovannesi) and picturesque Moroccan locales, this is a
nuanced drama about parenting, brotherhood and the benefits and perils of being a
dreamer. Written by Francesco Apice, Matteo Berdini, Claudio Giovannesi, Filippo
Gravino. Photographed by Tommaso Borgstrom. With Emanuele Bosi, Adriano Giannini,
Emilio Bonucci. 96 min. In Italian with English subtitles. Distributed by Rai Cinema.
Thursday, November 19 City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:15 pm Ex see 11/17
9:15 pm The Sicilian Girl see 11/17
Friday, November 20 City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:30 pm Lecture 21 West Coast Premiere
Director Alessandro Baricco in person
Alessandro Baricco (Lezione 21, Italy 2008)
This visually stylish, adventurous film offers an impressionistic recreation of a lecture on
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Mondrian Kilroy (John Hurt) is convinced that the Ninth
is overrated, and in order to prove it he conjures a snowy netherworld where a 19thcentury music teacher named Anton Peters (Noah Taylor) is forced to defend the work to
an eccentric group of villagers. Interspersed with Peters’ efforts are scenes in which
Kilroy’s former students, including the lovely Marta (Leonor Watling), reminisce about
their professor’s pedagogy. Covering topics including the Austrian music scene,
Beethoven’s age and deafness, and in-depth discussions of the Ninth’s score, Lecture 21
confidently joins other innovative films about music such as The Red Violin (1998),
Farinelli (1994) and 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993). Written by Alessandro
Baricco. Photographed by Gherardo Gossi. With Noah Taylor, John Hurt, Leonor
Watling, Clive Russell, Tim Barlow. 92 min. In English. Distributed by Fandango
Portobello Sales.
9:15 pm Sea Purple North America Premiere
Director Donatella Maiorca and actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta in person
Donatella Maiorca (Viola di mare, Italy 2009)
Growing up in 19th-century Sicily, rebellious Angela (Valeria Solarino) finds herself
attracted to her best friend Sara (Isabella Ragonese). As deep friendship turns to romantic
passion, Angela’s strict father (a quarry boss) demands that the relationship cease and
that she marry one of his workers. Refusing, Angela is locked in a cellar until her father
determines a solution satisfactory to them both. Adapted from Giacomo Pilati’s novel
based on a true story, this beautiful and seductive film dramatically portrays a historical
case of gender-bending. The stunning Maria Grazia Cucinotta (who coproduced the film)
is memorable in the supporting role of Agnese. Written by Donatella Maiorca, Donatella
Diamanti, Pina Mandolfo. Photographed by Roberta Allegrini. With Valeria Solarino,
Isabella Ragonese, Maria Grazia Cucinotta. 105 min. In Italian with English subtitles.
Distributed by Italian Dreams Factory.
Saturday, November 21 City of Florence Award Competition Films
1:00 pm Lecture 21 see 11/20
3:45 pm The House in the Clouds see 11/18
6:30 pm Sea Purple see 11/20
9:15 pm Different from Whom? North America Premiere
Director Umberto Carteni in person
Umberto Carteni (Diverso da chi?, Italy 2009)
Umberto Carteni’s comedic debut concerns a gay man whose life is complicated when he
runs for office in a right-wing town. In an unnamed Italian city, the incumbent
conservative mayor builds walls to stop crime. Piero (Italian sex symbol Luca Argentero,
star of Lessons in Chocolate, NIC 2007) is more interested in building community—for
gays and lesbians, in particular. When he is paired with running mate Adele, a more
family-focused politician, conflict is predictably set in motion. As opposites start
attracting, however, Piero’s career ambitions—and his long-term relationship with Remo
(Filippo Nigro)—are threatened. Punctuated by bouncy R&B tunes and featuring the
talented and beautiful Claudia Gerini (also seen in Fausto Brizzi’s Ex) as Adele,
Different from Whom? is a delightful farce about sexuality and politics that playfully
satirizes all identities along both continuums. Written by Fabio Bonifacci. Photographed
by Marcello Montarso. With Luca Argentero, Claudia Gerini, Filippo Nigro. 102 min. In
Italian with English subttiles. Distributed by Cattleya.
Sunday, November 22
City of Florence Award Competition Films
12:00 pm Different from Whom? See 11/21
2:45 pm PA-RA-DA see11/18
Closing Night
5:45 pm Vincere West Coast Premiere
Marco Bellocchio (Italy 2009)
Marco Bellocchio’s latest masterpiece details the life of Ida Dalser (Giovanna
Mezzogiorno), the mother of notorious womanizer Benito Mussolini’s only
acknowledged illegitimate child. The couple begin their relationship in Milan in 1914;
Ida owns a beauty salon and Benito is an impassioned socialist union organizer and the
editor of Avanti. Only a year later, however, he marries someone else, rewrites his leftwing past and repudiates his former lover and their son. Ida, obsessed to the point of
madness yet tragically aware of what she’s doing, fights to be acknowledged and as a
result is forcibly interned until death. With a stunning performance by Mezzogiorno as a
woman grossly wronged, Bellocchio conceives Vincere as a grand opera gracefully
employing historic newsreel footage, inventive montage techniques and an extraordinary
score to give the film a surging symphonic stature. Written by Marco Bellocchio, Daniela
Ceselli. Photographed by Daniele Ciprì. With Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Filippo Timi,
Fausto Russo Alesi, Corinne Castelli. 128 min. In Italian with English subtitles.
Distributed by IFC Films.
8:00 Closing Night Party in celebration of the City of Florence Awards with
complimentary Italian beer and wine and delicious appetizers, One Embarcadero Center,
Lobby Level (the former B. Dalton space).
9:00 pm Vincere
Film tickets $10 year-round SFFS/IIC members, $12.50 general, $11 seniors, students
and persons with disabilities; Fall Season CineVoucher 10-Packs $90 SFFS/IIC
members, $115 general; Opening Night film and party $15 SFFS/IIC members, $20
general; Closing Night film and party $15 SFFS/IIC members, $20 general; Tickets
available online at www.sffs.org, by calling 925.866.9559 or by faxing 925-866-9597.
Box office opens October 6 for SFFS/IIC members and October 13 for the general public.
Full schedule and information: www.sffs.org.
New Italian Cinema is presented in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, San
Francisco under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy and with sponsorship from
the Italian Film Commission, Los Angeles; Moretti Beer; Hewlett-Packard; Ministero dei
Beni Culturali; Comune di Firenze; Mediateca Regionale Toscana; Landmark Theatres;
Embarcadero Center and Angela Caputi. Support for the Opening and Closing Night
parties is provided by Fuzio Universal Bistro, Moretti Beer and Siena Imports with
additional support for the Closing Night party provided by Ciao Bella Gelato.
For screeners and interviews contact [email protected]
For photos and press materials visit: http://download.sffs.org/press/
SFFS FALL SEASON
October 22–25: Cinema by the Bay
Celebrating the passion, innovation and diversity of Bay Area filmmaking
October 29–November 4: French Cinema Now
The most significant new work from one of the world’s most renowned filmmaking
countries
November 6–8: Taiwan Film Days
A multifaceted look into the vibrant Taiwanese film culture and industry
November 11–15: San Francisco International Animation Festival
The boldest and most exciting animated films from around the world
November 15–22: New Italian Cinema
Celebrating the rich cinematic tradition of Italy and its newest generation of filmmakers
December 12–13: KinoTek: Catherine Galasso
Presenting Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice, a live multimedia
performance
San Francisco Film Society is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to celebrating film
and the moving image in all its glorious forms. SFFS year-round programs and events are
concentrated in four core areas: Celebrating Internationalism, Inspiring Bay Area Youth,
Showcasing Bay Area Film Culture and Exploring New Digital Media. The Film Society
shows the best of world cinema year-round on its SFFS Screen at the Sundance Kabuki
Cinemas; presents the longest-running film festival in the Americas, the SF International
(April 22–May 6, 2010); publishes a daily online magazine, sf360.org, featuring broadranging news and features on Bay Area film and media; annually reaches more than
8,000 students ages 6–18 with its acclaimed media literacy programs; and provides
crucial support to the Bay Area filmmaking community through SFFS Filmmaker
Services including FilmHouse Residencies, Fiscal Sponsorship, the SFFS/Kenneth Rainin
Foundation Filmmaking Grants, the Herbert Family Filmmaking Grants, the Hearst
Screening Grant, the Djerassi/SFFS Screenwriting Fellowship, SFFS Film Arts Forums
and professional-level filmmaker classes.
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