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Curtain up! It’s time for the 3rd edition of Cinema Italian Style, the annual festival that brings you the best of new Italian film. This year, like last year, we’re remaining virtual, with a full program of films and filmmaker Q&As to stream from the comfort of your home.
Cinema Italian Style is co-presented by Luce Cinecittà and the Seattle International Film Festival, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture – Cinema Department and the Italian Cultural Institutes of San Francisco and Los Angeles, under the auspices of the Consulates General of Italy in San Francisco and Los Angeles, in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency of Los Angeles and the American Cinematheque.
THE INNER CAGE (Ariaferma)
Dir: Leonardo Di Costanzo
Italy | 2021 | 117 min
Cast: Silvio Orlando, Toni Servillo, Fabrizio Ferracane, Salvatore Striano, Roberto De Francesco, Pietro Giuliano
An old prison built in the 19th century, located in a remote and unspecified part of Italian territory, is being decommissioned. As a result of bureaucratic holdups the transfers have been blocked and a dozen inmates are left, along with a few guards, waiting to be sent to new destinations. In a suspended atmosphere, the rules that keep them separate are slackened and new forms of relationship emerge among the remaining men.
LIKE A CAT ON A HIGHWAY 2 (Come un gatto in tangenziale 2)
Dir: Riccardo Milani
Italy | 2021 | 110 min
Cast: Paola Cortellesi, Antonio Albanese, Claudio Amendola, Sonia Bergamasco, Luca Argentero, Sarah Felberbaum
The second chapter of the blockbuster comedy LIKE A CAT ON A HIGHWAY sees the return of Paola Cortellesi and Antonio Albanese as foul-mouthed, tattooed Monica and radical chic intellectual Giovanni, three years after the end of their relationship. When Monica ends up in jail because her twin stepsisters (Alessandra and Valentina Giudicessa) hid stolen goods in the oil drums of “Pizza e Samosa,” she calls her ex for help. Giovanni succeeds in replacing the detention with community service in the parish of San Basilio led by Don Davide (Luca Argentero), who is as handsome as he is pious. So Monica and Giovanni’s lives are intertwined again, but when they organize a lunch in Coccia di Morto with the whole family, the unthinkable happens… An unmissable comic delight that reunites two of Italy’s best-known and loved comedic actors.
THE HOLE (Il buco)
Dir: Michelangelo Frammartino
Italy | 2021 | 93 min
Cast: Paolo Cossi, Jacopo Elia, Denise Trombin, Nicola Lanza
During the economic boom of the 1960s, Europe’s highest building rises in prosperous northern Italy. At the other end of the country, young speleologists explore Europe’s deepest cave in the untouched Calabrian hinterland, reaching the bottom of the Bifurto Abyss 700 meters below for the first time. The intruders’ venture goes unnoticed by the inhabitants of a small neighboring village – but not by the old shepherd of the Pollino plateau, whose solitary life begins to interweave with the group’s journey. Another work of near-wordless beauty that touches on the mystical from visionary director Michelangelo Frammartino (LE QUATTRO VOLTE), this film plumbs unknown depths of life and nature through two parallel voyages to the interior.
THE MACALUSO SISTERS (Le sorelle Macaluso)
Dir: Emma Dante
Italy | 2020 | 94 min
Cast: Alissa Maria Orlando, Susanna Piraino, Anita Pomario, Eleonora De Luca, Viola Pusatieri, Donatella Finocchiaro
Maria, Pinuccia, Lia, Katia and Antonella are five sisters who live in an apartment in Palermo. They make a living by renting doves for ceremonies. On an ordinary day at the beach, tragedy strikes, upending their relationships for the rest of their lives. “Dante sets a firm seal upon her cross-disciplinary emergence as a director of unusually vivid empathy.” – Variety
Dir: Francesco Lettieri
Italy | 2021 | 105 min
Cast: Andrea Carpenzano, Daniele Del Plavignano, Ludovica Martino, Enrico Borello, Riccardo De Filippis
Nic – better known as Lovely Boy – is the rising star of Rome’s trap scene, boasting pure talent, numerous face tattoos and utter disinterest for the rest of the world. While his beginnings point him towards a dazzling musical ascent, he risks falling into a dangerous spiral of self-destruction.
BLUE EYES (Occhi blu)
Dir: Michela Cescon
Italy/France | 2021 | 86 min
Cast: Valeria Golino, Jean Hugues Anglade, Ivano De Matteo, Matteo Olivetti, Ludovica Skofic, Teresa Romagnoli
Rome. A solo bank and jewelry store robber always manages to escape the cops on a new maxi scooter. The crimes are the talk of the town, and the police commissioner on the case doesn’t know which way to turn. He asks for help from a Parisian friend known as The French, famed for having solved apparently impossible cases, who understands that the culprit behind these robberies is an unassuming blue-eyed woman no one would suspect: a math genius named Valeria, who knows Roman traffic like the back of her hand and aims to prove her worth through theft. Fascinated by her, The French will play a kind of chess game with Valeria, until he’ll be forced into a desperate gamble with the threat of arrest.
EZIO BOSSO: THE THINGS THAT REMAIN (Le cose che restano)
Dir: Giorgio Verdelli
Italy | 2021 | 104 min | Documentary
Cast: Ezio Bosso, Carlo Conti, Silvio Orlando
Ezio Bosso’s unusual career has always been shaped by the love of his art, which for him is both a discipline and a raison d’être. Bosso reveals his real self In this film, taking us into his world and his imagination as if through a diary. With multilayered narration weaving together image and sound, his words alternate with his second voice, music. Friends, family and collaborators like Gabriele Salvatores, Silvio Orlando and Paolo Fresu help to paint an accurate and detailed picture of the man. The previously unreleased THE THINGS THAT REMAIN is a final message from Bosso to the world; as he himself declared: “everyone will tell their own story and I can only hint at mine.”
Dir: Pietro Marcello, Francesco Munzi, Alice Rohrwacher
Italy | 2021 | 105 min | Documentary
FUTURA is a truly collective work that explores what boys and girls from 15 to 20 think about the future through a series of interviews filmed during a long journey across Italy. It is a portrait of the country, as seen through the eyes of a group of teens who talk about the places they live in, their dreams, expectations, desires and fears.
THE IMAGE MACHINE OF ALFREDO C. (La macchina delle immagini di Alfredo C.)
Dir: Roland Sejko
Italy | 2021 | 76 min | Documentary
Cast: Pietro De Silva
As Fascist Italy occupies Albania in April 1939, thousands of Italian workers, settlers and technicians are transferred to the country. When Albania is liberated in November 1944, the new Communist government closes the borders and places dozens of conditions on Italy for the repatriation of its citizens. A year later, 27,000 Italian veterans and civilians are still held in Albania. Among them is a cameraman, Alfredo C. As part of the Fascist propaganda effort, he had been traveling around Albania shooting film for five years. For almost two decades before that, he had immortalized the great machine of the Italian regime. Now, being the only cameraman around, Alfredo has been asked to work on behalf of Communist propaganda. Shut in his storeroom, surrounded by thousands of reels of film, Alfredo watches what he has shot again on an old Moviola. It is his film that we are watching. And perhaps, not his alone.