2013 Italian Film Festival
Everyone’s favourite film fest is back!
The Lavazza Italian Film Festival hits Sydney for its 14th year running this month, bringing with it a range of quality films and all the humour, emotion and passion we have come to expect from Italy’s best film-makers.
While the festival is not taking place at Palace Leichhardt this year due to renovations, you won’t have to travel far for your Italian film fix with screenings happening at Paddington and Cremorne.
Kicking off the festival is Opening Night Film, The Great Beauty, starring Toni Servillo as Jep, a famous journo and man-about-town, while the stunning Sabrina Ferilli embodies the role of Jep’s sultry love interest – an exotic dancer named Ramona. A favourite at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and cinematic feast for the senses, The Great Beauty is an evocative tale told in the style of classic directors Rossellini and Fellini, and a beautiful homage to Rome, where this dramedy unfolds.
Speaking of Rome, and in keeping with the spirit of the opening night’s film, the festival will close with a screening of 1972 poetic comedy-drama, Fellini’s Roma, which also pays its respects to the Eternal City, as it depicts director Federico Fellini’s move from Rimini to Rome in his youth.
Opening Night Gala: Wednesday 9th October.
The Lavazza Film Festival takes place at Palace Verona and Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, as well as Hayden Orpheum, Cremorne, from October 9th to November 3rd. For bookings call MCA on 1300 306 776 (9.30am-5.30pm weekdays, 9.30am-11.30am Saturdays) or visit www.palacecinemas.com.au (single tickets only). If you’re not the kind of person who plans ahead, you can also purchase tickets directly from the cinema box offices from 11am to 8.30pm daily, until sold out.
For more information visit www.italianfilmfestival.com.au.
We have 10 double in-season passes to the Lavazza Italian Film Festival to giveaway, for a session of your choice (excluding Opening Night Gala).
Please see our Giveaways page for details on how to enter.
Festival guest star comes to town
Festival organisers are excited to announce that stunning French starlet, Clara Ponsot, will be attending the festival as a special international guest to promote her first ever Italian-speaking role in the intense love story, Cosimo and Nicole…
Fast becoming one of Europe’s hottest young stars, Ponsot’s first Italian cinematic offering is a touching story that explores themes of immigration, politics and love as it crosses genres; managing to be romantic, dramatic and just a little bit thrilling all at the same time.
Telling the tale of an impulsive Frenchwoman, Nicole (Ponsot), who embarks on a torrid affair with Cosimo (played by festival regular Riccardo Scamarcio) during the dramatic Genoa G8 riots, Cosimo and Nicole will sweep audiences up in the immediate uncontrollable passion of these young lovers.
We watch as the free-spirited couple begin building their relationship and a life together, working in the rock n roll industry, when a sudden disastrous on-site accident turns things upside down, forcing them to questions their morals and loyalty to one another.
After attending Opening Night at Palace Verona, Sydney, Ponsot will also be available for a Q&A following the October 10th, 6.30pm session of Cosimo and Nicole.
The Red and The Blue
The aforementioned Italian heart-throb, Riccardo Scamarcio, also stars in drama The Red and The Blue this year, which takes a look at life in the public education system and the less affluent side of Italy.
Based on a book by real-life teacher Marco Lodoli, the film follows idealistic teacher, Professor Prezioso (Scamarcio), as he tries his best with the difficult task of educating the youth of today, and to make a difference in the lives of his students, who themselves are struggling with growing up and the various tragedies of their personal lives. Described as a “charming and bittersweet portrait of those drawn to the noble profession of teaching,” the film rather successfully portrays the challenges of modern-day teaching.
Roberto Herlitzka is brilliant as Professor Fiorito, a disillusioned but brilliant veteran educator who at first mocks Prezioso for his enthusiasm, but whom ultimately brings some unexpected humour to this stylish piece of cinema that leads to some surprise conclusions.
The Worst Week of My Life
One of the funniest offerings at this year’s festival, The Worst Week of My Life is based on the British sitcom of the same name and was a box office hit in Italy.
We meet our leading man, Paolo, just seven days before his marriage to the woman of his dreams. But, as the title suggests, this nightmarish week is one he will never forget, filled with a series of disasters including dead family pets, a comatose grandparent and a psychotic ex-girlfriend.
Will they make it to the wedding day? Not without a casualty, or two.
This film’s silly sense of humour makes it plenty of fun to watch and the stupidity of the hopeless protagonist makes for some utterly ridiculous laugh-out-loud moments. However, the standout character by far is Paolo’s new father-in-law, Giorgio, who manages to be quite hilarious without even trying.
A slow-burning film about human connection, The Interval takes place over a single day when 17-year-old Toto is forced by the local Camorra boss to guard 15-year-old Veronica in an abandoned warehouse for reasons that are only revealed towards the end of the movie.
The pair’s dilapidated surroundings reflect the despair of these helpless teenagers in the face of the omnipresent criminal force that rules the streets of Napoli. Newcomers Alessio Gallo and Francesca Riso give convincing performances, while Carmine Paternoster does an amazing job at being overtly creepy and menacing, even for the short time he takes to the screen as local Camorra boss, Bernardino.
The Perfect Family
This bizarre comedy starring an enormously talented ensemble cast follows Leone, a very wealthy, but very lonely man who decides to create his own perfect family Christmas by hiring actors to follow a script and play the various parts of his make-believe family. But all is not as it seems.
The actors struggle with Leone’s constant (and often terrifying) mood swings that seem to come out of nowhere and force them to improvise. The unexpected arrival of a car-wrecked woman named Alicia, also throws a spanner in the works with rather hilarious results. It’s quite a strange feeling to watch this quirky film and try to work out what’s real and what is not, and you might be surprised by where it all ends up, but the conclusion is actually rather touching. Don’t miss it.