I Vitelloni

Five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the local pool hall. Federico Fellini’s second solo directorial effort (originally released in the U.S. as The Young and the Passionate) is a semiautobiographical masterpiece of sharply drawn character sketches: Skirt chaser Fausto, forced to marry a girl he has impregnated; Alberto, the perpetual child; Leopoldo, a writer thirsting for fame; and Moraldo, the only member of the group troubled by a moral conscience. An international success and recipient of an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay, I vitelloni compassionately details a year in the life of a group of small-town layabouts struggling to find meaning in their lives.

Natural Resistance

Ten years after Mondovino, his analysis of the increasingly standardised wine production in France, wine expert Jonathan Nossiter picks up the thread again and shows what it means to be rooted in the soil you’re working on. During walks through the vineyards and relaxed gatherings with a group of alternative Italian wine growers, he trades experiences and arguments. What looks like a bucolic paradise, where intelligent people produce wine according to time-honoured and organic methods, is actually revealed to be a battleground. The DOC association, which is supposed to look after the interest of independent vintners, promotes winemakers who produce vast amounts in a standardised quality; and the agricultural industry with its hygiene regulations excludes traditional methods of production. The only thing saving the landscape from being totally destroyed is affluent foreigners using the old vineyards as summer holiday homes. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]