Around this time of the year, I have the opportunity and pleasure to dive into familiar dialects, expressions, places, and traditions that wake my senses and memories. During the film festival, Cinema Italian Style, I get to see all the classic and new movies that depict stories and characters wrapped in the historical or contemporary fabric of Italian society. It’s a fantastic way to see how the Italian movie industry is carrying on with its glorious cinematic past and a chance to see first-hand how my motherland is portrayed in films.
Among the impeccable selection of great movies, Cinema Italian Style always features the film picked as Italy’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar category. This year, the selected movie to represent Italy is Caesar Must Die, already a winner of the top prize at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival. The movie is inspired by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and was shot entirely in the maximum-security prison of Rebibbia with the characters being played by real life inmates. The result is visually amazing (despite the scarcity of props or the bare-bone costumes) and emotional; through enacting the timeless tale of betrayal and downfall, the inmates’ feelings are raw and as real as they can get. At the premiere held at the Egyptian Theatre, directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani spoke about the process of making this film and the ambivalent task of directing former criminals in scenes where vengeance and anger prevail.
This weekend, I can’t wait to see The Entrepreneur, Magnifica Presenza, Il Cuore Grande delle Ragazze, and I Primi della Lista at the Aero theatre in Santa Monica. Don’t miss the chance to spend some time Italian-style!