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Italy @ TIFF Cinematheque | Lost and Beautiful: New Italian Cinema

Data:

14/10/2022


Italy @ TIFF Cinematheque | Lost and Beautiful: New Italian Cinema

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TIFF invites you to enjoy 2-for-1 tickets for this series
Use the promo code 241NEWITALIAN when purchasing your tickets

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ENTIRE SELECTION OF FILMS

For links to the individual film pages, click links in the individual film descriptions below

Fresh off Alice Rohrwacher’s TIFF premiere of her short Le Pupille, TIFF Cinematheque presents Lost and Beautiful: New Italian Cinema, a spotlight on internationally celebrated contemporary Italian filmmakers — Alessandro Comodin,  Michelangelo Frammartino,  Pietro Marcello, and Rohrwacher— who have revitalized their national cinema with uncompromising and visionary films. Curated by Andréa Picard and co-presented in partnership with Cinecittà, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the Consulate General of Italy, Toronto. Comodin and Frammartino will attend in person for the pre-film discussion and screening of Roberto Rossellini’s Journey to Italy on October 14 and to present some of their own films later in the series.

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JOURNEY TO ITALY | VIAGGIO IN ITALIA
Roberto Rossellini
2K Restoration

 Pre-screening discussion with directors
Alessandro Comodin and Michelangelo Frammartino

Moderated by
Andréa Picard

Friday, October 14 | 7:30PM

CLICK HERE FOR FILM DETAILS AND TICKETS  

Unanimously selected by our “fab four” of New Italian Cinema as a primary and endless source of inspiration, Roberto Rossellini’s Journey to Italy is a landmark of both Italian and world cinema, often considered one of the greatest films ever made by critics, filmmakers, and audiences alike.  A film of startling beauty, strangeness, and spirituality, its once-convulsing landscapes reflective of inner turmoil and transformation, and the ruins of Pompeii metonyms for disintegration and death, Journey to Italy exudes a sense of unpredictable aliveness, in which the real threatens to overtake its fiction. Endlessly praised by successive generations for its breathtaking modernist spirit, Rossellini’s semi-improvised, neorealist masterpiece is “a film whose poetry is fathomless and wondrous, melancholy and wise” (The Guardian) and “one of the most quietly revolutionary works in the history of cinema” (The New Yorker) - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: mature themes

 

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LOST AND BEAUTIFUL | BELLA E PERDUTA
Pietro Marcello

Saturday, October 15 | 3:15PM

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Weaving together documentary and archival footage, art-historical references, and beguiling fiction, Pietro Marcello’s Lost and Beautiful draws from the true story of Tommaso Cestrone, a humble shepherd who volunteered to serve as caretaker of the abandoned Bourbon palace of Carditello in Campania. Subjected to threats and intimidation from the mafia and frustrating inaction from the Italian government, Tommaso succumbed to a heart attack during the making of Marcello’s film, causing a fissure in the footage from which emerges a fable haunted by memory.

Lost and Beautiful was an official TIFF 2015 selection and the film that announced Marcello as a major talent to North American audiences - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: mature themes

 

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THE ADVENTURES OF GIGI THE LAW
GIGI LA LEGGE
Alessandro Comodin
Canadian Premiere

Q&A with Alessandro Commodin

Moderated by Andréa Picard

Saturday, October 15 | 6:00PM

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Alessandro Comodin returns to the northern Italy of his childhood with his new film, The Adventures of Gigi the Law ― a delightful, moving, and deceptively simple portrait of a small-town policeman. The affable Gigi (played by Comodin’s uncle) spends a better part of his days in his car, desultorily patrolling the quiet, sun-soaked streets, occasionally investigating minor trespasses, his main source of distraction being a new, fetching voice on the other end of his transmitter radio.

Winner of the Jury Prize at this year’s Locarno Film Festival, The Adventures of the Gigi the Law is another of Comodin’s shape-shifters, in which realism and surrealism intersect to profound and alluring effect - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: themes of suicide; mature themes

 

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THE FOUR TIMES | LE QUATTRO VOLTE
Michelangelo Frammartino

Q&A with Michelangelo Frammartino

Moderated by Andréa Picard

Sunday, October 16 | 3:45PM

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 A sleeper hit along the international festival circuit, including at TIFF where it charmed audiences and further announced Michelangelo Frammartino as a unique voice in Italian cinema, Le Quattro Volte has since become a landmark work of animism. Said to be inspired by Pythagoras’s belief in four-fold transmigration ― by which the soul is passed from human to animal to vegetable to mineral until completely purified ― Le Quattro Volte is a genre-defying work of cinematic transcendence. The film, which delves into a world of tantalizing philosophy, unfolds in a gorgeous sequence of long takes, shot with vitality and imagination in the Calabrian village of Alessandria del Carretto. While the film focuses initially on the perspective of an old shepherd ― who will later become a baby goat, a giant tree and, hilariously, a lump of coal ― the heart of Frammartino’s majestic sophomore feature lies in its exploration of the tangible versus the metaphysical. Coasting across the countryside around this isolated hamlet, Le Quattro Volte showcases rural life in its various renditions, shifting from the everyday to the exceptional and includes an impressive bestiary. Humour, pathos, and dazzling camerawork inflect seemingly random sequences, evincing Frammartino’s deft sense of Tati-esque timing. An homage, on the one hand, to the physical beauty of life, this fantastical film is anything but earthbound. Frammartino’s ability to meld the prosaic with the sublime is a mark of extraordinary cinematic dexterity. Le Quattro Volte embodies a certain candour, as authentic at times as any documentary, but Frammartino’s playful and rigorous layering of style, non-verbal sounds, and conceptual themes make for an explosively original film - ANDRÉA PICARD

 

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SCARLET
Pietro Marcello
Ontario Premiere

Saturday, October 22 | 8:30PM

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 Opening this year’s Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival, Pietro Marcello’s much-anticipated first international co-production shot outside of Italy is both a departure from and deepening of the filmmaker’s signature style. Working again with talented writing partner Maurizio Braucci (who co-wrote Lost and Beautiful and Martin Eden) to loosely adapt Russian author Alexander Grin’s Scarlet Sails, Marcello has created a soulful period piece with a contemporary spirit and a stirring ode to human resilience and endeavour. A mix of post-war grit and flights of magical realism, Scarlet takes place in a small village in northern France to which soldier Raphaël (a remarkable Raphaël Thiery) returns, having survived the First World War, to the devastating news that his wife has died and his infant daughter Juliette is being cared for by a tough and benevolent neighbour (Noémie Lvovsky). The film unfolds over twenty years of Juliette’s life as the tender bond between father and daughter strengthens with each obstacle and as the young woman’s aspirations transcend the offerings of their pastoral village - ANDRÉA PICARD

 

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CORPO CELESTE
Alice Rohrwacher
35mm Print

Wednesday, October 26 | 9:00PM

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One of the most remarkable debuts of the last decade, Corpo Celeste announced a major talent in Alice Rohrwacher, whose blend of earthy realism with cosmic mystery (a duality embodied in her film’s title, borrowed from Italian author Anna Maria Ortese) arrives here fully formed. Shot on Super 16mm in wintry tones and handheld immediacy by the great Hélène Louvart (who would go on to shoot all of Rohrwacher’s features), the film chronicles the physical and spiritual awakening of soon-to-be 13-year-old Marta (Yle Vianello), who has recently relocated with her overworked mother and odious sister from Switzerland to Reggio Calabria, on Italy’s southern coast. Curious and headstrong yet shy and often silent, Marta struggles to fit into this cloistered Catholic community as she begins to prepare for her confirmation. Developing a deep suspicion of and disillusionment with the dishonesty of organized religion and the adult world in general, she seeks out grace in the mysteries of the everyday - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: nudity

 

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SUMMER OF GIACOMO | L'ESTATE DI GIACOMO

preceded by

THE HUNTING FEVER | LA FEBBRE DELLA CACCIA

Alessandro Commodin

Friday, October 28 | 6:45PM

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THE HUNTING FEVER First shown at Cannes’ Quinzaine des Réalisateurs where it revealed a bold, new voice in Italian cinema, Alessandro Comodin’s arresting graduation short from the National Film School in Brussels is an experimental documentary portrait of men hunting in the forest. While their elusive prey remains offscreen, the hunters become the subjects of the camera’s gaze, both in the field ― where their day-glo orange and yellow hunting vests create a heightened, almost abstract choreography of bodies in cautious movement and tense waiting ― and in solo portrait compositions that intensely but non-judgmentally scrutinize their faces - ANDRÉA PICARD

SUMMER OF GIACOMO Winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Festival, this sensual, sun-drenched documentary by Alessandro Comodin is as pleasurably languid as a lazy summer afternoon. The Giacomo of the title is a deaf adolescent (whose disability does not keep him from rocking out on the drums) who, in the company of his friend Stefania (Comodin’s sister), spends his summer exploring his environs in northeastern Italy, an Edenic setting of vibrant green brush and a shimmering, crystalline-blue river. Accompanying and hewing closely to his two young subjects over the course of a day, Comodin captures the ephemeral sensations of the season ― the physical vibrations of music, a picnic en plein air, bodies floating in water, sweat beading on skin ― and imbues his deceptively unaffected portrait of youth and friendship with narrative-like surprise and even a touch of the mythological - ANDRÉA PICARD

 

 

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 CROSSING THE LINE | IL PASSAGGIO DELLA LINEA

preceded by

THE SILENCE OF PELESHIAN | IL SILENZIO DI PELESJAN

Pietro Marcello

Sunday, October 30 | 4:00PM

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THE SILENCE OF PELESHIAN Given his deep knowledge of and passion for Soviet cinema, it is hardly surprising that Pietro Marcello made this moving homage to the great Armenian filmmaker Artavazd Peleshian, whose concept of “distance montage” — an associative editing technique that both stems and differentiates itself from the influential theories of Vertov and Eisenstein — has obviously been important to the development of Marcello’s own filmmaking voice. As the reclusive Peleshian only agreed to be filmed on the condition that he not have to utter a single word, Marcello crafted an intriguing mix of documentary and avant-garde techniques that blends his own narration of his trip to Moscow to meet with the master (with echoes of Chris Marker and his film on Medvedkin), excerpts from Peleshian’s films, and archival footage of the filmmaker on set and during his student days at VGIK, the prestigious Pan-Russian Institute of Film. With its intricate interplay between presence and absence and contrapuntal use of music, The Silence of Peleshian is a devoted disciple’s gift to his cinematic mentor - ANDRÉA PICARD

 

CROSSING THE LINE  Taking its title from a Georges Simenon novel, Pietro Marcello’s first major film is a haunting documentary about long distance train travel traversing the length of the Italian peninsula. Contributing to the august structuralist-cinema tradition of train films with his compositional focus on shifting patterns of light and shadow and the streaking colours of the landscapes as glimpsed through the car windows, Marcello also evinces a humanist (and political) focus on the hardships of migration, border crossings, and societal oppression and inequality through his portraits of the train passengers, including a 90-year-old self-identifying “tramp” who declares that “the most important thing is to be alive, the rest doesn’t matter.” Filled with fascinating digressions, temps morts, and the febrile sensations created by its hazy, textured images and atmospheric soundtrack, Crossing the Line is a film of deep compassion and curiosity, attuned to the precariousness of those living on the margins and in the flux of time.

 

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HAPPY TIMES WILL COME SOON
I TEMPI FELICI VERRANNO PRESTO
Alessandro Comodin

Wednesday, November 2 | 6:30PM

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After winning the Locarno Film Festival’s Golden Leopard for his hybrid debut feature Summer of Giacomo, Alessandro Comodin returned with this “beautiful and haunting meditation on the relationships between imagination, desire, and violence.… A dreamlike fable with the weight of documentary reality” (Film Society of Lincoln Center). Happy Times Will Come Soon cryptically intertwines three (or more?) timelines: in some unspecified past, two young fugitives escape from prison and are pursued through the forests of northern Italy; in what appears to be the present, villagers recount a legend about a wolf who falls in love with a white doe; while at an indeterminate point between the two, a beautiful young woman discovers a mysterious portal in the forest that seems to propel her into a real-life version of the local myth.

Happy Times Will Come Soon premiered in Cannes’ Critics Week and was selected by MoMA and Film Society of Lincoln Center for their prestigious New Directors/New Films lineup.

Content advisory: mature themes, may frighten young children

 

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THE WONDERS | LE MERVAGLIE
Alice Rohrwacher

Sunday, November 6 | 3:15PM

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Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, this startling second feature by Alice Rohrwacher is set in the glorious Italian countryside, where Wolfgang (Sam Louwyck), the patriarch of a family of beekeepers, has gone to great lengths to keep the forces of modernity out of the lives of his four young daughters. Determined to preserve his traditional craft and way of life, Wolfgang has designated his eldest child Gelsomina (Maria Alexandra Lungu) as his heir, but Gelsomina’s life is turned upside down when she encounters a television crew shooting a promo for a “Most Traditional Family” contest hosted by a TV glamour queen (the inimitable Monica Bellucci). Entranced by this dazzling new world, Gelsomina secretly enters her family in the contest, while her father struggles to keep his business afloat without “selling out" - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: mature themes, coarse language, may frighten young children

 

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FUTURA
Pietro Marcello | Francesco Munzi | Alice Rohrwacher

Thursday, November 10 | 6:30PM

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A collective endeavour by three of the country’s most exciting filmmakers — Pietro Marcello (2019 TIFF Platform Prize winner Martin Eden), Francesco Munzi (Black Souls), and Alice Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro) — the film brings the trio’s signature curiosity and generosity to its deceptively simple reportage.

Superbly shot in 16mm and teeming with life, Futura captures the ineffable beauty of existence in fleeting yet meaningful encounters, producing a candid and moving portrait of a generation grappling with precarity and unease — albeit balanced by hope and resilience — against the backdrop of Italy’s natural and architectural wonders. The teens speak about their dreams, obstacles, and fears, displaying, at times, charming timidity and surprising forthrightness. As discussions touch on family, politics, social media, limited career choices, queer issues, racism, football (of course!), and the subjects’ conflicted attitudes toward Italy, the film develops an unassuming gravitas and universal resonance - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: images of blood, coarse language

 

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THE GIFT | IL DONO
Michelangelo Frammartino

Tuesday, November 15 | 6:30PM

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Delivering on the promise of its title, Michelangelo Frammartino’s unexpected and multiple award-winning opera prima is indeed a special gift. A gentle, beguiling hymn to a semi-deserted Calabrian countryside and those who stayed behind, Il Dono is a portrait of depopulation in the village of Caulonia (the filmmaker’s ancestral town), which saw a dramatic decrease in inhabitants from roughly 15,000 in the 1950s to just a few hundred people at the time of the film’s making. In mainly long, static, observational takes and with next to no dialogue, Il Dono pieces together the fragments of a place guided by slow rhythms and which could be described as “old world” with traditions, rituals, charm aplenty, and not a few ruins from the relentless ravages of time.  A few protagonists emerge, including an elderly farmer (played by Frammartino’s grandfather), whose encounter with a forgotten cellphone and a faded print-out of a sexually explicit photograph disturbs his routines; and a young, potentially disabled woman who does small jobs, among other more questionable activities and the older women who try to protect her via a spell. Though seemingly simple by design, Il Dono explores the crevices between life and death, nature and civilization, its many untold mysteries left to the viewer’s active imagination - ANDRÉA PICARD

 

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THE MOUTH OF THE WOLF | LA BOCCA DEL LUPO
Pietro Marcello

Friday, November 18 | 7:00PM

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Winner of several international prizes and a watershed in contemporary Italian cinema, Pietro Marcello’s astonishing first feature was a surprise hit. Commissioned by a Jesuit order, this moving, melancholic portrait of an unlikely love story — between a macho, mustachioed Sicilian hoodlum and a transsexual former heroin addict — is also a meditation on the port city of Genoa, whose past glory and present decline provides the ghostly backdrop to the central, Pasolinian narrative. Tinged with the tenebrous tones of the city’s nocturnal underbelly, featuring excerpts from Gaspare Invrea’s eponymous 1892 book and music from Buxtende, The Mouth of the Wolf reaches deep into the recesses of memory to create a hybrid documentary about dreams and decay - ANDRÉA PICARD

 

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HAPPY AS LAZZARO | LAZZARO FELICE
Alice Rohrwacher

Wednesday, November 23 | 6:00PM

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A favourite of both Kelly Reichardt and Bong Joon-ho, Alice Rohrwacher’s third and most ambitious film to date was the deserved winner of the Best Screenplay prize at Cannes. The eponymous hero (wide-eyed, non-professional Adriano Tardiolo) is a blissful and beatific young worker who toils away on an isolated tobacco farm alongside other modern-day peasants, all of them indentured to the imperious Marchesa (Nicoletta Braschi) in a feudal sharecropping scheme (a situation that Rohrwacher, incredibly, drew from a real-life incident). In a classic case of hierarchical oppression, everyone picks on Lazzaro, who is only too happy to help and please, until the day he mysteriously falls to his death — only to reappear unchanged years later, as if he had been frozen in time - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: mature themes, language may offend

 

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THE HOLE | IL BUCO
Michelangelo Frammartino

Thursday, November 24 | 6:00PM

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The highly anticipated follow-up to Le quattro volte, Fammartino’s Il buco has cemented the filmmaker’s reputation as one of today’s most singular and uncompromising voices in Italian cinema. Set and filmed in Pollino National Park between Basilicata and Calabria, Il buco re-enacts the historic 1960s discovery of the Bifurto Abyss, then thought to be the world’s second deepest cave at 700 metres beneath the Earth. Chronicling the unabated curiosity and gestures of the speleologists with a quasi-anthropological approach, Frammartino plunges us into the depths of darkness as parallels are drawn with an elderly shepherd whose end of life draws near and with the cinema ― composed of light and darkness — itself.

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2021 Venice Film Festival and selected as one of the top 10 best films of the year on numerous critics’ lists, Il buco is a rare and visionary work of art that reminds us of cinema’s great potential to convey the unseen with out-of-frame suggestion, the plunging into darkness, and eliciting from us greater imagination and interiority - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: coarse language

 

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MARTIN EDEN
Pietro Marcello

Tuesday, November 29 | 6:30PM

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Winner of the Platform prize at the 2019 Festival, Pietro Marcello’s captivating adaptation of the 1909 novel by Jack London transposes the story of London’s striving autodidact to an unidentified Italian port city. Initially a sailor, Martin (a coruscating and charismatic Luca Marinelli, winner of the Best Actor award in Venice) is inspired to educate, elevate, and remake himself as a writer following a chance encounter and romantic infatuation with the sophisticated, higher-class Elena (Jessica Cressy). As Martin develops and intensely pursues his newfound obsessions, both literary and social, he betrays not only those around him, but also his class-consciousness and humble origins, which gnaw at him from within.

Stunningly shot on Super 16mm, Martin Eden is an epic story of amour fou and shifting ideology with echoes of Rossellini’s search for truth and Visconti’s decadence of decay - ANDRÉA PICARD

Content advisory: violence, language that may offend

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Informazioni

Data: Da Ven 14 Ott 2022 a Mar 29 Nov 2022

Ingresso : A pagamento


Luogo:

TIFF Bell Lightbox | 350 King St W | Toronto ON

2443