It just occurred to me that the bedrock of contemporary cinema rests on Italian exports. It’s the country that exported the DNA in Martin Scorsese, Danny DeVito, and all the Coppolas, and minted films like La Dolce Vita and Cinema Paradiso that defined a generation.
Celebrating all things cinematic and Italorific, Brisbane’s Italian Film Festival is back once again to remind us who the godfathers of cinema really are. There are so many amazing flicks on the program, but we’ve whittled our hit-list down to a nifty nine films: these are the best films to catch at Brisbane's 2018 Italian Film Festival.
Having sought to depict the meaning of life in The Great Beauty and the tribulations of an American papacy in The Young Pope, Paolo Sorrentino now takes aim at the corruption and debauchery of Silvio Berlusconi in Loro. If you’re not aware, Italy’s third longest-serving PM is flypaper for scandal, with an entire Wikipedia page just for his controversies, making his life and times fertile ground for filmic exploration. In Loro we meet the billionaire right in the most hectic thicket of his career as his second marriage hits the rocks. Expect some uncurtailed spending, breathtaking vistas, and some heckin sexy Italians.
Nonnas On The Run
Oh man, if Ferris Bueller grew up to be an Italian nonna…Bored of life in a Roman retirement home, the titular nonnas, Angela and Franca, bust loose and embark on an escape to Venice. What follows is 87 minutes of non-stop shenanigans as the two best friends encourage each other’s every whim and wild idea in a madcap romp around one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world.
Elena Ferrante’s books have changed lives and there’s no two ways about it. She’s an artist of the written word whose works have inspired the careers of countless authors. Yet despite these accolades and wide-reaching praise, Ferrante is but a pseudonym and the real author’s identity is kept completely secret. If you’re hoping this film will unmask her, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, Ferrante Fever examines the genius behind her work and why her novels continue to move us.
My Big Gay Italian Wedding
My Big Gay Italian Wedding follows engaged couple Paolo and Antonio and their plan to tie the knot in Antonio’s home-village. But things aren’t all smooth sailing as the couple contend with conservative parents and the ensuing family tension that turns up at literally every wedding ever. Heart-warming hilarity ensues.
A Fistful of Dollars
The first of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, A Fistful of Dollars was the film that pioneered an entirely new sub-genre and rescued Western films from the bin. Set in a one-horse town, the film depicts two warring factions stirring up a heckin lot of trouble, made all the worse by a duplicitous interloper. The whole thing culminates in a glorious, career-defining shoot out. Let’s see if Clint Eastwood as the Man With No Name can squint his way out of this one.
Naples in Veils
Ok this is a saucy one. Coroner by day and cougar by night, Adriana has a searing hot night of spicy passion with a sexy young dude, Andrea. Things are off to a flying start until he stands her up, and Adriana is mid-level bummed until *plot twist* his dead body turns up on her autopsy table. Things get creepy and psychologically thrilling, while the shadowy city of Naples watches on.
There’s No Place Like Home
Having flocked to the island of Ischia to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary, an extended family (including ex-wives) are suddenly forced to confront unresolved conflicts when a sudden storm leaves them stranded for two days and nights. Drama and romance ensues within the idyllic island crucible as old wounds split open and the hope of a peaceful resolution dwindles.
The Girl In The Fog
Based on his bestselling novel, Donato Carrisi stood at the directorial helm bringing The Girl in the Fog to life. Set in a secluded mountain village, the crime thriller follows an enigmatic detective’s investigation into the disappearance of a 15 year old girl, Anna-Lou. As he digs deeper and deeper, he finds himself embroiled in an entire town of potential murder suspects.
Rounding off the festival is a screening of 1977’s Suspiria. The supernatural horror film follows a string of gruesome murders at an isolated dance academy. Things get creepy, things get witchy, and you have absolutely no chance of sleeping afterwards so bring some Sudoku for the road.