Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gente di Roma

Gente di Roma
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Gente di Roma
Directed by Ettore Scola
Written by Ettore Scola
Paola Scola
Silvia Scola
Music by Armando Trovajoli
Cinematography Franco Di Giacomo
Editing by Raimondo Crociani
Release date(s) October 31, 2003
April 7, 2004
Running time 100 Min
Country Italy
Language Italian
IMDb profile
Gente di Roma is a 2003 Italian mix of comedy and documentary film directed by Ettore Scola. It is close to Federico Fellini's Roma.

The film is dedicated to Alberto Sordi, who Scola wanted to close the film, as a noble man, but he could not film him because he died.

Scola's daughters helped to co-write the script.

[edit] Plot
Rome 2003, the camera follows citizens of Rome. Night, in a flat, a woman prepares her husband's lunch. The man takes a bus, but the camera follow another bus ... a woman cleans the mayor's office... A man interviews passengers on a bus about immigration...... the owner of a bar is racist person... a survivor woman of Holocaust remembers the Ghetto deportation... deportation that is filmed by a director... Stefania Sandrelli plays with her grand daughter in a park a man tries to seduce the bus night life... sunrise at Piazza Navona, a noble man and a tramp are sitten togheter.

Caterina in the Big City

Caterina va in città (English title: Caterina in the Big City) is an Italian movie directed by Paolo Virzì and written by Virzì and Francesco Bruni.

Caterina (Alice Teghil) is the 12-year-old only child of Giancarlo Iacovoni (Sergio Castellitto), an aspiring novelist and teacher of accounting at a country school in an area north of Rome that one character describes as "hillbilly country."

Iacovoni relocates his daughter Caterina and his timid, long-suffering wife Agata (Margherita Buy) to Rome after finally secured a long-coveted teaching position.

Once settled in the Italian capital, Caterina enrolls in a fast-track high school. Caterina immediately finds herself pulled between two competing student cliques: a leftist bohemian contingent headed by Margherita Rossi Chaillet and a right-leaning group headed by Daniela Germano.

Margherita's mother is a noted intellectual and political writer. Daniela's father is a government minister who married into a wealthy family.

Margherita instantly adopts Caterina as her new best friend. The two girls attend rallies, visit graves of poets, and listen to Nick Cave records.

Caterina eventually has a disagreement with Margherita and begins to gravitate toward Daniela's group. Daniela invites Caterina to join her at a wedding, where Caterina observes a group of ex-fascists pay homage to Daniela's father Manlio.

Meanwhile, Caterina's father is trying to capitalize on his daughter's connections. When Caterina is friends with Margherita, Giancarlo asks his daughter to give Margherita a copy of his manuscript to pass along to her mother, a highly placed editor. Once Caterina becomes friends with Daniela, Giancarlo pays a visit to Daniela's father's office to solicit favors. Eventually her father becomes enraged on a talk show and becomes a laughing stock without control of his anger. He loses his teaching job after hitting a child who was mocking him of his behavior on the talk show. After failing to get help by the prime minister he slowly becomes more and more miserable. Caterina then finds out that Daniela and her friends do not like her and "Tried to make her civilised." She then lashes out at Daniel and runs away from home only then taking comfort with her neighbor, a young Australian about her age. He has been watching their family and describes them as a soap opera and that she is his favorite character. She then return home but her family is still in misery. Her father then begins shouting in a rank about all that matters in the world is tightly knit groups. This is one of the first moment in the movie when Caterina's mother actually shows her stress and distaste when she smashed plates on the floor. Caterinas father remians in his miserable life only working on his bike until after he finishes it, he finds out that his wife wants to leave him though is unable because she does not think he could make it on his own, let alone remain sane. He then rides off on his bike and is never heard of again which "Doesn't bother our family more, we like to think he's in a place that's making him happy." She re-establishes her friendship with Margherita and re-joins her group. She then is going away on holiday and the young Australian boy whom she had become friends with explains that he is going back to Australia because his parents are getting back together. She then tells him that if they ever meet again she would like to be his girl friend and abruptly kisses him, embarrassed she runs back to her mothers car wanting to speed off. The movie ends with her playing with her second cousin on the beach.

Buongiorno, notte (Good Morning, Night)

Buongiorno, notte (Good Morning, Night) is an Italian film released in 2003 and directed by Marco Bellocchio. The title of the feature film, Good Morning, Night, is taken from a poem by Emily Dickinson.

[edit] Plot
A small group comprising members of the Red Brigades rent an apartment. They kidnap Aldo Moro, former prime minister of Italy and leader of the Democrazia Cristiana (Christian democracy) party. Moro writes many letters to politicians, Pope Paul VI, and his family, but the Italian government refuses to negotiate. A female member of the group suffers doubts about the plan.

Bellocchio had in 1995 already directed a documentary about the Red Brigades and the kidnapping of Aldo Moro. It was entitled Sogni infranti (Broken Dreams).

Il Mio Miglior Nemico

Carlo Verdoneís My Best Enemy is a tragic-comic road movie, whose plotline rests on a chance encounter. Achille is the CEO of a major hotel chain owned by his wife, Gigliola, and brotherin- law, Guglielmo. He seems to have everything a man could desire: a rewarding position, sound marriage and beautiful home. However, as his silver wedding anniversary draws near, Achille meetsóor bumps intoóOrfeo. Orfeo lives in a working-class neighborhood of Rome. Like his friends, he lacks ambition, and manages to keep himself afl oat by means of small unskilled jobs. By a twist of fate, Orfeoís mother, Annarita, happens to be working for the same hotel chain thatís owned by Achilleís family. The story begins to unfold when Achille fi res Annarita for theft. Orfeo is convinced that his mother has been wrongly accused, and decides to take his revenge. This ambitious fi lm was shot in Rome, Sabaudia, Lake Como, Geneva and Istanbul.

Achille De Bellis è un ricco manager di una grande catena alberghiera. Possiede una bella casa, ha realizzato un ottimo matrimonio con Gigliola e ha tutto ciò che un uomo possa desiderare. Un giorno licenzia per il furto di un computer la madre di Orfeo , Annarita, una depressa cronica. Il figlio della donna, Orfeo, un ventiquattrenne cameriere sempre alle prese con la madre malata, decide, convinto dell'innocenza della madre, di rovinare la vita ad Achille. Alla festa del venticinquesimo anniversario di matrimonio di Achille con la moglie Gigliola, Orfeo irrompe sul palco dell'orchestra e mostra alla moglie le foto di Achille con l'amante, la moglie di suo cognato e datore di lavoro. In un solo colpo Achille perde così la famiglia, il lavoro e l'affetto della figlia Cecilia. Achille e Orfeo, dopo moltissime peripezie, si mettono in viaggio insieme per trovare Cecilia, che è anche la fidanzata di Orfeo. Dopo l'ennesimo litigio, Achille decide di andarla a cercare a Istanbul, mentre Orfeo si reca a Ginevra. Orfeo ha la meglio e riesce a trovare Cecilia in un bar della città elvetica, dove la giovane è cameriera. Così, per far piacere ad Achille, i due si recano in Turchia, facendo credere ad Achille che è stato lui a ritrovare sua figlia.

Vers le Sud (Heading South)

The new film from French filmmaker Laurent Cantet examines the subculture of rich, older Anglo-Saxon women who come to the paradise that is Haiti to enjoy the sun, the beach and the handsome young locals who are their ‘companions’ for the time of their stay. Legba (Ménothy César) is one of the handsome locals and he is the object of desire of not one but three women: Brenda (Karen Young), Ellen (Charlotte Rampling) and Sue (Louise Portal). The three are regulars on Haiti and pretend to be friends but underneath their happy holiday appearance they all are insanely jealous of one another when one of them finds a physical validation for their existence with their young black God at the expense of the others.

The appeal of youngster like Legba is easily explained. In one of the film’s numerous direct-to-camera moments, Brenda reveals that with Legba she had her first orgasm. She was 45, three times Legba’s age. Initially she frowned on this difference but only to shrug it off two seconds later with a “It doesn’t matter, everything is different here.” Cantet’s film is set in the 1970s but does not obsess over period detail; if anything his subtle approach underlines the fact that the story could have taken place thirty years ago as well as now. The 1970s feel is further enforced by cinematographer Pierre Milon’s approach that strips the film of any cinematic value in favour of a look similar to a 1970s TV-series.

In the end, for the female friends as well as the viewers, paradise will reveal itself as just another normal world that just happens to be dressed up with white beaches and palm trees. The locals are as poor as the tourists are rich and their dallying with each other on the beach and in bed does nothing but enforce their two classes. As one of the police officers wryly notes after a local has been found dead and one of the women is worried; “Do not be afraid, a tourist here never dies.” Three pitch perfect performances from Portal, Young and Rampling and a loose structure allow for these themes to gradually surface, though at times Cantet’s leisurely pace is perhaps a bit too holiday-like. In a telling moment at the end of the film Brenda says of Legba: “Maybe I didn’t love him, but I certainly loved the way he looked at me.” Which is similar to the way I felt about the film: I did not love it, but it certainly offered an interesting diversion for the time it lasted.

Grbavica (Esma's Secret)

Writer-director Jasmila Žbanić’s Grbavica (Esma's Secret), an Official Competition entry here in Berlin, tells the apparently simple story of mother Esma and daughter Sara, who try to get by in the Grbavica neighbourhood of Sarajevo despite a chronic lack of money (Esma works two jobs), Sara’s teenage insecurities and tantrums and the constant reminders of the war that surround them, even though fighting ended years ago. Spearheaded by two first-class performances by Mirjana Karanović (Kusturica's Underground, Zivot je cudo) as Esma and Luna Mijović as her rebellious daughter, the drama is a low-key approach to one of the gravest yet little-discussed problems of war: its far-reaching aftermath.

Esma has always told her 12-year-old daughter that her father died as a shaheed or hero during the war. But when Sara - who was born during that war - asks for a certificate of her father’s status as a shaheed because it will get her a discount on an upcoming school excursion, her mother has problems coming up with the right papers. Instead Esma works in a shoe factory by day and in a disco by night to come up with the required cash and still comes up short. At the disco she meets a bouncer (Leon Lucev) with whom she becomes romantically entangled, much to the chagrin of Sara, who has her own love-hate relationship (not necessarily in that order) with a boy from her class who inherited a gun from his father who was also a shaheed. The gun will play an important role in the film’s third act, which revolves around Esme's secret which I will not reveal here.

Žbanić’s film, though featuring two males in supporting roles, is a feminine film through and through - which does not mean it cannot be appreciated by men. The female duo of Karanović and Mijović portrays the fates of not just their characters but of scores of women in Grbavica and throughout the states of former Yugoslavia. Žbanić also has a wonderful eye for detail that uncovers many of the aspects of life in former Yugoslavia that are considered normal there but are shocking for anyone who has not lived in a country where there has been a war recently. When the bouncer takes Esma home, he asks her if he has not seen her somewhere before? At the body investigation sessions perhaps, every time when a new mass grave is opened and people come in droves in the hope of reclaiming the body of a loved one? Grbavica is there to remind is that a war keeps affecting people’s lives long after the guns have been put down, and even then, guns can resurface in various forms.


Three very different women from former Yugoslavia try to get by in Zurich in Das Fräulein (Fraulein) from Swiss director of Yugoslav-origins Andrea Stacka. Featuring outstanding performances from the protagonists and a keen eye for detail, the film continues to expand the cinematic exploration of the heritage of the Balkan Wars from a female point of view after Berlinale-winner Grbavica (which also starred Mirjana Karanovic). Being less overly melodramatic and more cinematic in its language than Grbavica but lacking the prestige of a Golden Bear (though it did win the Golden Leopard in Locarno), Das Fräulein should stand about an equal chance of finding niche distribution in arthouses across the continent.

In the pre-title sequence, Balkan folk music plays, as a hand is seen pruning branches from a bare tree. The message is clear: the branches can be removed to stimulate growth and fruition in the future, but the roots stay where they are. Ruza (Karanovic) runs a canteen in Zurich and leads the classical example of an orderly but lonely life -- without heartbreak but also without passion. She is originally from Belgrade but arrived in Switzerland before the Balkan Wars. In her kitchen works the elderly Mila (Ljubica Jovic), who is from the Croatian coast and is married and has her children and husband in Zurich. She saves all her money for a house they are constructing back home. Into their lives comes the force of nature Ana (Marija Skaricic), a young girl who lived through the siege of Sarajevo and who seems to want to live each moment as if it were here last.

Stacka, who also wrote the screenplay for Das Fräulein, uses this basic premise to weave together a tapestry of three women who are all on foreign ground and have experiences in common though the country they were born in does no longer exist as one unity. In the film’s strongest scene, Ruza and Ana -- who on the surface seem to be two polar opposites in character, age and experience -- have punch together in a mountaintop café. Here Stacka hits all the rights notes, cleverly using apparently innocent dialogue to not only advance the plot and reveal character but also to talk about the story’s more buried themes of nationalism and homesickness at the same time. Elsewhere, Stacka uses surprising shots and mise-en-scene to drive home her points: a single-take overhead shot of a dancing woman is beyond delirious, but illustrates her ecstasy as well as anything.

Though some symbolism involving a casino and a late plot contrivance that influences the film’s outcome do seem to lead the story into the arena of melodrama, on the whole Das Fräulein is thankfully devoid of tear-inducing material. Instead, it touches on some themes that are much more abstract but therefore perhaps also more satisfying when visualised (as they are here): immigrant life, regrets, living between two cultures and surviving wars, love, family and other catastrophes.