Most directors whose features you are watching in cinemas today started out making short films. It’s a fact that short narratives and documentaries are the stuff future filmmaker build their craft on and the Ca 'Foscari Short Film Festival recognizes that through and through. In their press release for the upcoming ninth edition of the event, which will run from March 20th to the 23rd, the following statement made me realize just how much they believe in the learning power of the ‘Short”.Read More
In a 2014 article in The Guardian, Pakistani-American comedian Aizzah Fatima described one of her first auditions. “One of the roles I auditioned for was ‘Terrorist No 2’s girlfriend,” she admitted tongue in cheek.
Of course, that’s the destiny of most actors who don’t fulfill the blue-eyed-blond-hair requirements of playing your average “as good as apple pie” American. Yet time and time again, while our leaders fight it and even try to build up walls to prevent it, the very greatness of our good ol’ U.S. of A. lies in its immigrant population as well as its indigenous tribes. And the culture that is most often exported and celebrated around the world as “American” is a mixture of African, tribal, native and otherwise ethic music, dance and art. And that’s never vanilla in flavor now, is it?!Read More
Back in the fascist era of the 30s, an Italian Youth Center was opened in Trastevere, these days considered a cool, but also touristic side of Rome. Then a more popular neighborhood, which also consisted of housing projects. Architect Luigi Moretti was in charge of the structure and what is today the WeGil was inaugurated in 1937. Imposing and clearly fascist look and feel, the structure was supposed to house equipment to train Italian youths for sports but also battle. WeGil therefore has a strange, complicated background to contend with and the feel within the structure is at once one of awe and discomfort.Read More
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Actually, this edition of the Festival de Cannes turned out to be a missed opportunity, for media and juries alike to truly take charge of the #TimesUp movement and make of it a lasting course instead of a passing trend. Yes, there were stairs filled with women in pretty dresses, there were hotlines that we could call if we felt threatened or harassed, but ultimately the big prizes went to the big boys. As they have for every edition of the festival, except once, in 1993 when Jane Campion made history as the first and only woman to win the Palme d’Or.
Yet personally, I loved Cannes more than ever this year. I had a soft place to fall, in the form of a wonderful group of friends I spent my free time with, eating dinners we cooked together and drinking our morning coffee back at our cozy apartment with one breathtaking view. I mean, just look at the Disney fireworks for 'SOLO: A Star Wars Story' display from our terrace!Read More
One of the freshest and most romantic films I watched in Cannes was Gianni Zanasi’s ‘Lucia’s Grace’ which screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section. On Thursday night it was awarded the Label Europa Cinema prize and personally, I was elated. Zanasi’s film is another one of those modern Italian cinematic gems that have brought me home. Quite literally.
I moved back to my birth country five years ago because its newest wave of movies and filmmakers made me once again proud of being Italian. And Zanasi’s film also features as Lucia one of the most exciting young actresses in indie cinema today, Alba Rohrwacher, whom we can definitely claim as Italian but who is so much bigger and better than that label alone. Her wit, the way she can take the most basic of characters and build around them grand nuances and subtle mannerisms make her so cool that she may as well read the phone book on the big screen. And I’ll pay to watch that.Read More