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U.S. Premieres & Other Highlights of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Italian Film Series

U.S. Premieres & Other Highlights of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Italian Film Series

The Film Society of Lincoln Center tomorrow launches the 11th edition of their film series, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, with the U.S. premiere of Gianni Di Gregorio’s “The Salt of Life.”

Other highlights include: the U.S. premiere of Giulio Manfredonia’s “Whatsoeverly,” a screening of “1860,” Alessandro Blasseti’s 1934 epic and new works from past Open Roads directors Sergio Castellitto, Roberta Torre, Gabriele Salvatores and Andrea Molaioli.

The series runs from June 1st through June 8.

Film Descriptions for Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 2011
Synopses courtesy of the Film Society of Lincoln Center

Opening Night Film
“The Salt of Life”
Gianni Di Gregorio, 2011, Italy; 90m
Distributed by Zeitgeist Films
In his warm and witty follow-up to his 2010 sleeper hit Mid-August Lunch, writer-director-actor Gianni Di Gregorio has created another sparkling comic ode to the ladies in his life—but this time he plays a middle-aged retiree who has become invisible to all distaff Romans, regardless of age or relation. In The Salt of Life (Gianni e le donne), he contends with an aristocratic, spendthrift mother (again played by Lunch’s great nonagenarian Valeria de Franciscis); a wife who is more patronizing friend than romantic partner; a daughter (played by Di Gregorio’s daughter Teresa) with a slacker boyfriend whom Gianni unwillingly befriends; and a wild young neighbor who sees him merely as a dog walker. Watching his “codger” friends snare beautiful younger women on the sun-kissed cobblestones of Trastevere, Gianni tries his polite, utterly gracious best to generate some kind of extracurricular love life—with both hilarious and poignant results.
Screening on June 1,4

“1860” / I Figli Di Garibaldi
Alessandro Blasetti, 1934, Italy; 82m
Admired by the Neo-Realists, Blasetti’s rousing anthem to Italian unification chronicles the panoramic journey of a Sicilian peasant to Garibaldi’s headquarters. Followed by a panel discussion!
Screening on June 5

Gabriele Salvatores, 2010, Italy; 75m
The director of Mediterraneo assembles from the RAI TV archives a fascinating portrait of Italy in boom times, chronicling a family’s search for a son.
Screening on June 7

“20 Cigarettes” / 20 Sigarette
Aureliano Amadei, 2010, Italy; 94m
A young antiwar activist heads to Iraq to work on a film and quickly finds himself a victim of sectarian violence and, soon, an unlikely hero.
Screening on June 1, 6

“Love & Slaps” / La bellezza del somaro
Sergio Castellitto, 2010, Italy; 96m
In a wry, perceptive update of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, a successful architect (Castellitto) and his wife (Laura Morante) meet their daughter’s new boyfriend.
Screening on June 2, 6

“Unlikely Revolutionaries” / Figli delle stelle
Lucio Pellegrini, 2010, Italy; 102m
After botching a high-profile kidnapping, a group of disillusioned northeasterners are forced to learn how to coexist under absurd and clandestine conditions.
Screening on June 1, 5

“The First Assigment” / Il primo incarico
Giorgia Cecere, 2010, Italy; 90m
A hit at the Venice Film Festival, Cecere’s stunning debut follows a young teacher (wonderful Isabelle Ragonese) whose first posting brings her to a hardscrabble village with wild children and parents to whom she can hardly speak.
Screening on June 6

“Sorelle mai”
Marco Bellocchio, 2010, Italy; 105m
Marco Bellocchio returns to his hometown Bobbio, and to the house in which he shot “Fists in the Pocket”, to narrate the story of the hopes, disappointments and yearnings of his own family. Bellocchio’s daughter Elena stars with other family members Maria Luisa, Letizia and Piergiorgio, as well as professional actors Donatella Finocchiaro and Alba Rochwacher. A personal, intimate project shot over a period of ten years with evocative references to some of his most famous films.
Screening on June 3, 7

“Lost Kisses” / Baci mai dati
Roberta Torre, 2010, Italy; 80m
In this playful satire, the theft of a Madonna statue’s head seems to trigger visions in 13-year-old Manuela, which are quickly exploited by her dysfunctional family.
Screening on June 2, 4

“On the Sea” / Sul mare
Alessandro D’Alatri, 2010; 100m
In a beautiful, stunningly immediate rendering of a love affair’s first flowering, a tour-guide and a student from Genoa strike up a bond.
Screening on June 3, 5

“The Passion” / La Passione
Carlo Mazzacurati, 2010, Italy; 106m
After a leak in his Tuscan apartment destroys a chapel’s fresco, a has-been director agrees to stage some Good Friday celebrations, which quickly turn challenging…
Screening on June 2, 5

“Return to the Aeolian Islands” / Fughe e approdi
Giovanna Taviani, 2011, Italy, 82m
Shining as personal memoir and journey through cinema, Taviani’s touching film takes a beautiful look at the islands that have inspired Rossellini (Stromboli), Antonioni (L’Avventura), the Taviani Brothers (Kaos), and more.
Screening on June 2, 6

“The Solitude of Prime Numbers” / La solitudine dei numeri primi
Saverio Costanzo, 2010, Italy/Germany/France; 118m
A film not easily forgotten, Costanzo’s richly told adaptation of the massive best-seller is set at four crucial moments in the lives of two perennial loners.
Screening on June 1, 3

U.S. Premiere!
“We Believed” / Noi Credevamo
Mario Martone, 2010, Italy/France; 205m
In this engrossing epic reconstruction of Italy’s 19th-century path to independence, three men find themselves plunged into the fearsome double binds of revolution and sacrifice.
Screening on June 4, 8

U.S Premiere!
“Whatsoeverly” / Qualunquemente
Giulio Manfredonia, 2011, Italy; 96m
In this delicious and wildly popular political satire, an unscrupulous entrepreneur returns to his suddenly law-abiding hometown and resolves to enter politics.
Screening on June 3, 7

“The Woman of My Life” / La donna della mia vita
Luca Lucini, 2010, Italy/UK; 96m
Lucini’s sharply observed comedy with a dark underlining follows romantically wounded Leonardo back into the family fold and into new love. With a superb Stefania Sandrelli.
Screening on June 2, 4

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