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"Habemus Papam" and Daniele Luchetti Tribute at SF Film Society's New Italian Cinema Festival

By Indiewire Staff | Indiewire October 14, 2011 at 5:26AM

The San Francisco Film Society and New Italian Cinema Events of Florence, Italy will present an eight-day festival devoted to bringing Italy's newest directors and films to the Bay Area.
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The San Francisco Film Society and New Italian Cinema Events of Florence, Italy will present an eight-day festival devoted to bringing Italy's newest directors and films to the Bay Area.

"The Bay Area affinity for Italian cinema continues to grow and this year´s selection of films is sure to bring an edifying response from our audience," said SFFS programmer Rod Armstrong.

A three-film tribute to Daniele Luchetti will open the Festival, followed by eight features by up-and-coming directors in the City of Florence competition. Nanni Moretti's "Habemus Papam" will close the festival, along with a Closing Night reception at Fior d'Italia.

Full lineup (film synopses courtesy of SFFS):

Sunday, November 13 Opening Night
1:00 pm "A Quiet Life"
Claudio Cupellini Director expected
Buried secrets and a criminal past lead the proprietor of a swank hotel in Germany to desperate acts in this powerful drama from the director of Lessons in Chocolate (NIC 2008). When Diego and Eduardo, two young hotheads visiting from Italy on shady business, arrive at Rosario's establishment, it is soon evident that they want more from him than just a place to lie low. Married to a German woman and with a young child, Rosario (Toni Servillo, unforgettable once again) pretends that he's just extending a courtesy to his countrymen, but the motivations behind their visit become increasingly fraught on all sides until the hotelier is forced to protect the new life he's built -- at all costs. Una vita tranquilla, Italy/France/Germany 2010, 103 min. Written by Filippo Gravino, Guido Iuculano, Claudio Cupellini. Photographed by Gergely Pohárnok. With Toni Servillo, Marco d'Amore, Francesco di Leva, Juliane Köhler. In Italian, German and Neapolitan with subtitles.
3:45 pm "The First Assignment"
Giorgia Cecere Director expected
In 1950s Puglia, headstrong young Nena (Isabella Ragonese, also seen in Our Life and One Life, Maybe Two) is sent to a mountain village many miles away for her first teacher placement. Unhappily leaving her wealthy boyfriend behind, she faces a scruffy set of undereducated pupils and a group of locals suspicious of outsiders. She socializes little and faces gossip and accusations that she is unfit to instruct. Debuting director Cecere takes the time to depict the daily life of the villagers as Nena accustoms herself to the place's traditions and pace. With a style that tells the story visually rather than verbally, this is a moving portrait of an independent woman attempting to overcome the restrictions placed on her. Il primo incarico, Italy 2010, 90 min. Written by Giorgia Cecere, Li Xiang-yang, Pierpaolo Pirone. Photographed by Gianni Troilo. With Isabella Ragonese, Francesco Chiarello, Alberto Boll, Miriana Protopapa, Rita Schirinz. In Italian with subtitles.
6:30 pm "Our Life" Daniele Luchetti Tribute
Director expected
Part one of three film sample of wide-ranging work of this multiple award-winning director
A construction worker, married with two kids, faces a devastating blow in this powerful character portrait. Desperately needing money to support his family, the genial, if casually xenophobic, Claudio (Elio Germano, in a performance that won him the best actor prize at Cannes) manipulates his boss for a promotion and borrows money from a loan shark to finance his own project. With a compact script and a camera style that evokes remarkable intimacy, Luchetti deftly details the complications and disasters of Claudio's life while also offering a compelling social critique of building standards and immigrant labor in present-day Rome. Besides Germano, Our Life also features notable performances by Italian cinema luminaries Raoul Bova and Luca Zingaretti. La nostra vita, Italy/France 2010, 98 min. Written by Sandro Petraglia, Stefano Rulli, Daniele Luchetti. Photographed by Claudio Collepiccolo. With Elio Germano, Raoul Bova, Isabella Ragonese, Luca Zingaretti, Stefania Montorsi. In Italian with subtitles.
9:30 pm "Our Life"

Monday, November 14 Daniele Luchetti Tribute
Parts two and three of three film sample of wide-ranging work of this multiple award-winning director
6:30 pm "It's Happening Tomorrow"
In the director's own words, "It's Happening Tomorrow [SFIFF 1989] is a fable from the Maremma region of Tuscany and a philosophical Western. I tried in my first film to find an as-yet-unseen setting for Italian cinema, an original story and, in some cases, new actors; but above all a new spirit: characters treated not with the traditional cynicism, but with affection that is given to all the figures in the story without discrimination, with realism tempered by irony and by a sense of wonder. The film is meant to be a eulogy to ingenuity, to optimism, and to those -- educated people and philosophers, cowboys and brigands -- who have plunged into the future with the desire to discover." Domani accadrà, Italy 1988, 87 min. Written by Daniele Luchetti, Franco Bernini, Angelo Pasquini. Photographed by Franco di Giacomo. With Paolo Hendel, Giovanni Guidelli, Margherita Buy, Claudio Bigagli. In Italian with subtitles.
9:00 pm "Ginger and Cinnamon"
Stefania is a slightly neurotic thirtysomething who has just broken up with her boyfriend. When her precocious 14-year-old niece Martina shows up on her doorstep begging to go on a virginity-losing vacation, the Greek island of Ios seems just the ticket for them both. Little do they know that Stefania's ex, Andrea, is also headed to the same idyllic getaway for a summer job. As various farcical circumstances ensue, Martina falls hard for Andrea without being aware who he is while Stefania is pursued by a young suitor who longs for an older woman. Playfully examining the battles between genders and generations in a stunningly photogenic setting, Ginger and Cinnamon offers all the ingredients necessary for a piquant cinematic treat. Dillo con parole mie, Italy 2003, 103 min. Written by Ivan Cotroneo, Stefania Montorsi, Daniele Luchetti. Photographed by Paolo Carnera. With Stefania Montorsi, Giampaolo Morelli, Martina Merlino, Alberto Cucca. In Italian with subtitles. Distributed by Film Movement.

Tuesday, November 15
City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:30 pm "20 Cigarettes"
Aureliano Amadei Director expected
A young political activist and aspiring documentarian is confronted by the realities of armed conflict in this intense autobiographical film. Though against the Iraq war, 28-year-old Aureliano agrees to serve as assistant director for a documentary about Italy's role in the country. Upon arriving, the most pressing need seems to be finding a place to smoke, but when a tour through a nearby town results in bloodshed and loss, the young cameraman must confront his own culpability in the war machine. 20 Cigarettes is powerful and impassioned filmmaking. Venti sigarette, Italy 2010, 94 min. Written by Gianni Romoli, Francesco Trento, Volfango de Biasi, Aureliano Amadei. Photographed by Vittorio Omodei Zorini. With Vinicio Marchioni, Carolina Crescentini, Giorgio Colangeli, Orsetta de Rossi. Preceded on November 15 by Vodka Tonic (Ivano Fachin, 9 min, 2011). A Manhattan businessman reflects on past loves and his present predicament. In Italian with subtitles.
9:15 pm "One Life, Maybe Two"
Alessandro Aronadio Director expected
Young, semi-slacker Matteo is at the point in life where a number of options and life pathways remain open. Rushing to the hospital with an injured friend one night, he accidentally rear-ends a police car. But what if he hadn't? Playing with weighty issues of fate and destiny and the violent impulse, this imaginative film dramatizes the different circumstances for its protagonist as determined by a pivotal moment. Referencing the French New Wave (The 400 Blows especially), director Aronadio has made a serious and provocative work depicting the narrowing of options facing today's youth in Italy. Due vite per caso, Italy 2010, 88 min. Written by Alessandro Aronadio, Marco Bosonetto. Photographed by Mario Amura. With Lorenzo Balducci, Isabella Ragonese, Ivan Franek, Riccardo Cicogna. In Italian with subtitles.

Wednesday, November 16
City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:30 pm "The Jewel" North American Premiere
Andrea Molaioli Director expected
Based on the real-life bankruptcy of the Italian company Parmalat, Molaioli's film reunites him with the protean Toni Servillo (The Girl by the Lake, NIC 2008) to dramatize a particular instance of corporate corruption. In 1992, dairy company Leda decides it needs to diversify. CFO Ernesto Botta suggests going public in order to raise cash, but mismanagement, backroom dealings and widespread financial finagling lead to disaster. Even as the business unravels and it becomes obvious who will be the scapegoat, Botta remains loyal and unflappable. With a wide range of hooded glances and a particular rhythm of speech, Servillo inhabits yet another character unable to extricate himself from a devastating predicament. Il gioiellino, Italy/France 2011, 110 min. Written by Andrea Molaioli, Ludovica Rampoldi, Gabriele Romagnoli. Photographed by Luca Bigazzi. With Toni Servillo, Remo Girone, Sarah Felberbaum, Lino Guanciale. In Italian with subtitles.
9:15 pm "This World Is for You"
International Premiere
Francesco Falaschi Director expected
In the life-altering summer of 2009, handsome, amiable Matteo faces impending oral exams, a father ill with leukemia and a girlfriend going abroad to study wine. His friends are equally at loose ends -- one contemplates the seminary while another goes to rehab. Amid these challenges and circumstances, Matteo is conflicted between pursuing pragmatic employment or fulfilling his dream to establish a floating movie palace for cinephiles. Set on the scenic Tuscan coast, This World Is for You is a playful, fast-paced film about a young man trying to find his place in an environment rife with possibilities but slightly bereft of actual opportunities. Questo mondo è per te, Italy 2011, 82 min. Written by Filippo Bologna, Francesco Falaschi, Stefano Ruzzante. Photographed by Gianni Giannelli. With Matteo Petrini, Eugenia Costantini, Fabrizia Sacchi, Massimiliano Bruno. In Italian with subtitles.

Thursday, November 17
City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:30 pm "The Father and the Foreigner"
North American Premiere
Ricky Tognazzi
Two men from different backgrounds who both have disabled children meet and bond in this constantly surprising dramatic thriller. Diego (Alessandro Gassman from Steam) is a businessman who uses work excuses to distance himself from his handicapped son, while Walid (Amr Waked) is a mysterious Syrian who lavishes affection on his disfigured infant. In the process of showing Diego not to fear his child, Walid also involves his new friend in increasingly dangerous circumstances. From quick trips to Syria to meetings with possibly shady strangers, the connection between the two men shifts and deepens in unexpected ways. Il padre e lo straniero, Italy 2010, 110 min. Written by Giancarlo de Cataldo, Graziano Diana, Simona Izzo, Ricky Tognazzi. Photographed by Giovanni Canevari. With Alessandro Gassman, Amr Waked, Ksenia Rappoport, Nadine Labaki. In Italian with subtitles.
9:15 pm "Some Say No" International Premiere
Giambattista Avellino Director expected
Three friends in different fields band together to fight the system of nepotism that rewards those with the right connections in this lively, Florence-set social satire. Journalist Max, doctor Irma and law professor Samuele all see their job opportunities fizzle when less qualified people are selected for positions in their respective workplaces. Bonding over their misfortunes at a high school reunion dinner, they decide to take revenge in a variety of outrageous ways. From dosing a conference participant with LSD to dognapping, the trio risk their jobs and imprisonment trying to expose the graft that is rife in Italian society. Amusing and trenchant, with an adept and comically gifted cast, the film offers lighthearted hilarity with serious intent. C'è chi dice no, Italy 2011, 95 min. Written by Fabio Bonifacci, Giambattista Avellino. Photographed by Roberto Forza. With Luca Argentero, Paola Cortellesi, Myriam Catania, Paolo Ruffini. In Italian with subtitles.

Friday, November 18
City of Florence Award Competition Films
6:30 pm "A Quiet Life" see 11/13
9:30 pm "20 Cigarettes" see 11/15

Saturday, November 19
City of Florence Award Competition Films
1:00 pm "The Jewel" see 11/16
4:00 pm "One Life, Maybe Two" see 11/15
6:30 pm "The First Assignment" see 11/13
9:30 pm "Some Say No" see 11/17

Sunday, November 20
City of Florence Award Competition Films
12:30 pm "The Father and the Foreigner" see 11/17
3:30 pm "This World is for You" see 11/16
6:30 pm "Habemus Papam" Closing Night
Nanni Moretti
A pope on the lam forms the crux of this charming film about faith, psychiatry and the transformative power of volleyball. At the Vatican it's time to select a new leader, and the conclave of cardinals selects a surprising choice named Melville. When it comes time to address and bless the public throng in Saint Peter's Square, however, the candidate panics, and officials are forced to bring in a noted psychiatrist to stave off a crisis. The situation deteriorates further when the pope escapes from the Vatican and begins exploring life on the outside. Sending up another powerful institution -- the Church -- as he did the Italian government in The Caiman, Moretti has crafted a light but resonant social comedy. Italy/France 2011, 102 min. Written by Nanni Moretti, Francesco Piccolo, Federica Pontremoli. Photographed by Alessandro Pesci. With Michel Piccoli, Jerzy Stuhr, Renato Scarpa, Franco Graziosi. In Italian with subtitles. Distributed by IFC/Sundance Selects.
9:00 pm Closing Night Party at Fior d'Italia, 2237 Mason Street (Francisco/Chestnut) featuring tasty Northern Italian bites and beverages provided by Birra Moretti and Siena Imports.
9:15 pm Habemus Papam

This article is related to: World Cinema







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