Cinema Italia: Bianca (Nanni Moretti, 1984)

Sunday 24 september 2023, Cinema Italia: BIANCA (1984) * Directed by Nanni Moretti * 96 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30. After the film, please engage in sharing comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening!

Nanni Moretti, director and main actor in many of his movies, in Bianca explores the genre of crime. But it is a Moretti’s film, so it’s not a real crime film, but a film with his alter ego Michele Apicella — here at its debut — travels from romantic comedy to political, engaged film, in a surrealist humorous way, with a touch of grotesque here and there.

Most of the plot happens inside a school, where portraits of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are juxtaposed to Dino Zoff, the Italian national hero of football, as well as Descartes, Pythagoras, and Kant.

If you have never seen a Nanni Moretti’s movie, Bianca is for you. If you have seen his classics like Caro Diario, you will understand with Bianca when everything started. If you watched Il sol dell’avvenire and you did not understand anything, come and watch Bianca as well.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Cinema Italia: The Mafia Kills Only in Summer (Pierfrancesco Diliberto, 2013)

Sunday 9 july 2023, THE MAFIA KILLS ONLY IN SUMMER [LA MAFIA UCCIDE SOLO D’ESTATE] * Directed Pierfrancesco Diliberto (Pif) * 90 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:30, film starts at 21:00. After the film, please engage and share comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening!

Mafia! You may have seen it in “The Godfather”, in “Goodfellas”, in “The Sopranos”, and you may think that you have seen it all, that you know what it looks like. But if you did, you would be wrong.

The real Mafia, in this case Sicilian “Cosa Nostra”, in this movie is told through the eyes of two children who turn young adults in the Palermo of the 1980s. Together they will experience the mafia phenomenon as it was lived in real lives in Sicily: an intricate relationship of things said and not said, of politics and common people, of journalists investigating, of absences at funerals, of the tireless work of judges and their ultimate sacrifice.

The key take away of this story on the Mafia war against the Italian State is not how strong crime is, but how noble the fight against it is, and how normal and extraordinary were the people who laid down their lives to defeat this cancer that has now spread, silently, all over Europe. In the end, you will want to learn and remember the names of the heroes of these real stories, from Rocco Chinnici to Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

A story that will make you laugh, will make you cry, will make you see a world of sweetness, of love, and of grief transpiring from the eyes of the child who tells it. Be careful, though: this movie will be shown in July – and Mafia only kills in Summer.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Cinema Italia: Perfect Strangers (Paolo Genovese, 2016)

Sunday 4 june 2023, Perfect Strangers [Perfetti sconosciuti] * Directed by Paolo Genovese * 96 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:30, film starts at 21:00. After the film, please engage and share comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening!
Before the film * Selection of trailers of the 24 remakes made all over the world

We all have our secrets. The problem is, we keep them inside our smartphones. What happens if, during a dinner among friends, we let everybody listen to calls, read our messages, and so on?

Perfect Strangers is the film that has more remakes than any other in the entire history of cinema: from Spain (Perfectos desconocidos) to Greece (Τέλειοι ξένοι), from China, India until, recently, to Iceland (Villibráð). Why? Because it tells a truly universal story of our times: how our most intimate aspects of our lives changed forever because of the pervasiveness of smartphones in all aspects of our lives, including Romantic relationships, marriages (they may coincide or not), and — of course — sexual desires.

Beware: if you are in a happy, stable, relationship, you may want NOT to watch this!

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Cinema Italia: The Country Boy (Franco Castellano and Giuseppe Moccia, 1984)

Sunday 7 may 2023, THE COUNTRY BOY [IL RAGAZZO DI CAMPAGNA] * Directed by Franco Castellano and Giuseppe Moccia * 92 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30. After the film, please engage and share comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening!
BEFORE THE FILM * Video * Punx Creatività e Rabbia Punk Milano 1984 (by Elisabetta “Betty 23” Altomare)

According to the UN, more than half of the population of the world is urbanized. This film tells the story of a young man from a rural area coming to Milan in the 1980s, where the local government was suffocating alternatives and protests (as seen in the video before the film). Edonism, consumerism started to become mainstream, and eventually it was that version of Milan which became the cradle of berlusconism, and the deep transformation of Italy, for the worse.
The Cradle Boy is a gentle, poetic film, with a touch of humour, and a couple of surrealist moments. It’s an absolute cult film in Italy, starring the comedian Renato Pozzetto in his best role ever.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Cinema Italia: Comrade Don Camillo (Luigi Comencini, 1965)

Sunday 2nd april 2023, Il compagno Don Camillo (1965), Comrade Don Camillo * Directed by Luigi Comencini * 109 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30. After the film, please engage and share comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening!

Also known in English as ‘Don Camillo in Moscow’, this feature film was originally released in Italian, French and Russian. Based on the novels of Giovannino Guareschi, the priest Don Camillo iconically represents the point of view of the popular classes supporting the Democrazia Cristiana party in the aftermath of WW2, while his opponent, Peppone, the mayor of a small town in the Northern part of the country, is the champion of the Partito Comunista Italiano. If Pier Paolo Pasolini incarnates the tragic, Dionysian approach to Catholicism in Italy, Guareschi represents its comic, lightweight approach. The archival documentary film La Rabbia (The Anger, 1963) directed in the first half by Pasolini and in the second half by Guareschi, immortalizes this reading, and the respect that the one tributes to the other.

There are five feature films, released between 1952 and 1965 as French-Italian co-productions, inspired by the novels and drawings by Guareschi. The two actors, Fernandel (Don Camillo) and Gino Cervi (Peppone) resemble the drawings in an astonishing way. This feature film is the last of the series, and it’s directed — unlike the previous ones — by Luigi Comencini, one of the most relevant director of Italian neorealism: in particular, he directed Vittorio De Sica and Gina Lollobrigida (Pane, amore e fantasia, 1953), Alberto Sordi (Tutti a casa, 1960), and in the almost forgotten jewel Italian Secret Service (original title in English, 1968), starring Nino Manfredi and Françoise Prévost.

Comrade Don Camillo brings the stereotypical division of post-WW2 Italy into a surrealistic perception. The film goes even beyond that, as it narrates a story of hetero cis male friendship, nonetheless not without ambiguities, and the complex relation of the Italian communists with Russia, after the death of his most important leader, Palmiro Togliatti who passed away in Yalta, the 21st of August 1964.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Cinema Italia: The Seduction of Mimi (Lina Wertmüller, 1972)

Sunday 5th March 2023, The Seduction of Mimi [Mimì metallurgico ferito nell’onore] * Directed by Lina Wertmüller * 125 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30. After the film, please engage and share comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening!

Mimì (Giancarlo Giannini) is a man raised in Sicily, where you have to compromise with the mafia to have a job. Far from being a classic hero, he expresses almost hyper-realistically the prototype of toxic masculinity from the South. He moves to Turin so to stay loyal to his principles, vaguely revolutionary.
Fiore (Mariangela Melato) is a working class woman from Milan who is hoping to find her way in life. The meeting-contrast between the two comrades is iconically depicting the differences between North and South, the contradictions of the Left, the role of the Partito Comunista Italiano. In the background, an Italy under siege of violence by terrorism in the streets of industrial and university cities like Milan or Turin.
Lina Wertmüller was the first female director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director ever. Her gentle touch, expressed by the colours and music of the soundtrack, results in a unique dreamy palette that became her cinematic signature.
This film screens as the female protagonist a fascinating Mariangela Melato, who passed ten years ago. She incarnated a new model of Italian female beauty, in contrast with Sofia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida. Fiore is one of her most famous interpretation.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Cinema Italia: Not Of This World (Giuseppe Piccioni, 1999)

Sunday 5th February 2023, Cinema Italia: Fuori dal mondo [Not Of This World] (1999) * Directed by Giuseppe Piccioni * 100 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30. After the film, please engage in sharing comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening.

What does it mean to become a nun in Italy by the end of the 20th century? Caterina has taken temporary vows and is walking in a park. One day she meets a man who gives her an abandoned baby. This encounter will change her life forever. Giuseppe Piccioni introduces us to a secret world of the Roman Catholic Church with a gentle touch and a sharp eye. We are invited to think about the relationship between individual choices and the society we decide to live in.
Far from being only an unusual portrait of Italy — with a soundtrack by Ludovico Einaudi –, this feature film has a universal message about the reasons why we are in this world and what our purpose is in life. Not Of This World is a forgotten jewel of Italian cinema, almost neglected in Italy because of the topic, which is, in many ways, still taboo in the country.
Winner of 5 David di Donatello, including best actress to Margherita Buy, in one of her more complex roles ever.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Cinema Italia: Caos calmo (Alessandro Grimaldi, 2008)

Sunday 3rd December 2022, Cinema Italia: Caos calmo [Quiet Chaos]. Directed by Alessandro Grimaldi, 2008 * 104 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30. After the film, please engage in sharing comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening!

What may happen to a grown-up man, when a tragedy strikes him, unexpectedly and without any reason? In the case of the protagonist of this film, Pietro Paladini, interpreted by Nanni Moretti, he enters a state of ‘quiet chaos’, a kind of suspension that makes him retreat from social contact. Unlike what others would have done, Pietro Paladini does not fight back against this quiet chaos but embraces it. Instead of talking, he listens. And waits. This film tells the life journey of Pietro and his encounters with many people, the most diverse, from his brother to a foreigner, Steiner, interpreted by Roman Polański. It is a story of death and rebirth. It is a hymn to the possibility of changing the world for the better, even when the world seems to work against you.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net