Cinema Italia: While There’s War There’s Hope (Alberto Sordi, 1974)

Sunday 26 May 2024, While There’s War There’s Hope [Finché c’è guerra c’è speranza] (1974) * Directed by Alberto Sordi * 116 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.

The story revolves around Pietro Chiocca (played by Alberto Sordi), who decides to switch his job to earn more money by selling weapons to war-torn countries in the southern part of the world. His success leads him down a path of immorality and indifference towards his family. This satirical comedy depicts the consequences of working solely for money and the media’s influence on one’s fate. The film addresses various themes such as anti-militarism, anti-colonialism, hypocrisy, and the significance of morality.

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: Lamerica (Gianni Amelio, 1994)

Sunday 28 April 2024, LAMERICA [THEAMERICA] (1994) * Directed by Gianni Amelio * 116 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.

In 1991 a ship with 10-20 thousand Albanians came to Bari. They were escaping extreme poverty and a chaotic situation in their country, after the fall of the dictatorship. This film draws from that episode, and tells the story of two different generations of Italians in Albania through the eyes of the two protagonists, whose identities between the two countries make us think about what it means to belong to a nationality in general and how fragile is our social status when society around us suddenly collapses. The film also invites us to ask ourselves about the effects of migration in a foreign country which is more a dream than a reality.

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 Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)

Sunday 24 March 2024, The Battle of Algiers [La battaglia di Algeri] (1966) * Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo * 121 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.

Known as one of the most important and influential films of all time, “The Battle of Algiers” is set and shot in Algeria’s capital. It shows the main events that marked the beginning of the Algerian War, which led to Algeria’s independence from France.

Through an intense and cruel fictional realism, almost simulating the style of a newsreel, Pontecorvo’s film confronts and interrogates the spectator about all the aspects and consequences of colonialism: control and exploitation of people and resources, violence and discrimination, insurgency and counterinsurgency, terrorism, military colonial control through torture and illegal executions.

How far would you push yourself for the self-determination of your people’s group? Driven by an excellent cast of non-professional actors, raw and powerful imagery and an incredible soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, “The Battle of Algiers” hasn’t aged a bit since its release in 1966, still depicting through cinema what’s still going on in some parts of the world.

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: Good morning, night (Marco Bellocchio, 2003)

Sunday 25 February 2024, Good morning, night [Buongiorno, notte] (2003) * Directed by Marco Bellocchio * 106 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.

The kidnapping of Aldo Moro, the politician who succeeded in forming a government with the Christian Democrats (West side of the Iron Curtain) and the Communist Party (Eastern bloc) together, was a turning point not only in the history of Italy but in Europe at least. In the 1970s, going beyond the political division East-West was almost beyond imagination. One leitmotif we are invited to reflect upon is the generation gap between the old Communists who fought fascists during WW2 and the new generation of people in their 20s, who in the 1970s want to achieve a proletarian revolution in Western Europe.

How can we influence politics with our actions? The power of media, and in particular the mainstream news of television but also entertainment, in contrast with the power of books, is an element of reflection in Buongiorno, notte. We may share the same language (in the film: Italian) but if language is shared only on the surface, communication ultimately is impossible. The use of music, especially when extra-diegetic (i.e. heard by the public, not by the characters), is an element wisely used by the director to underline emotions and comment by himself what is happening on the screen; you will recognize the motif of Pink Floyd.

Bellocchio, who last year came back to the topic of kidnapping with Rapito (kidnapped), 21 years ago proposed a very audacious feature film. First, the topic was filmed previously in 1986, starring an outstanding Gian Maria Volonté — we should say that Roberto Herlitzka in Bellocchio’s film is extraordinary as well. Also, because Bellocchio’s angle is original, as the protagonist is a young woman, Chiara, who is part of the big history but in a sense stays at its margins. Her sacrifice, in terms of personal life, is illustrated by the black-and-white dreamy sequences that comment the film with a poetic touch. Finally, Buongiorno, notte also has an element of meta-cinema, reflecting on the responsibility of making films in the early years of the 21st century respecting history but taking liberties with history as well.

The film invites us to reflect on what are we ready to sacrifice in our normal life for our principles, and for staying loyal to our ethics. What is the value of life in front of imminent death? What does it mean to live 55 days in an apartment without ever going out? What is the difference between Christianity and Communism? What are we repeating in our lives, and what we are really choosing by ourselves? Do we have the courage to dream?

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: Pasqualino Settebellezze (Lina Wertmüller, 1975)

Sunday 28 January 2024, Seven Beauties [Pasqualino Settebellezze] (1975) * Directed by Lina Wertmüller * 115min * 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!

Pasqualino Frafuso, know as Settebellezze (Seven Beauties) navigates and survives life adversities thanks to his charisma. The film spans from the 1930 till the end of WWII, goes back and forth through time, and the protagonist’s choices and relative consequences show how life events (both on a small and a bigger scale) could change one’s life and core beliefs in order to survive, but at what cost?
Jumping from drama to comedy, and back again at the first one passing by the grotesque as a genre, this film shows how someone’s life pillars might shake and then shutter just to keep going and stay alive, especially regarding the theme of self-respect.
The film is a historical drama in a highly dense timeframe, but we are aware of what’s going on just from what touches directly our protagonist’s life, which invites drawing a parallelism with us today and with what we perceive, what we are aware of that’s happening in “our” countries and around the world and how those events directly affect us.

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: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)

Sunday 17 Dcember 2023, Cinema Italia: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion [INDAGINE SU UN CITTADINO AL DI SOPRA DI OGNI SOSPETTO] (19709) * Directed by Elio Petri * 115min * 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!

This unique thriller tells the story of a Roman police inspector known as “Il Dottore” (The Doctor, starring Gian Maria Volonté at his best) who has to investigate a crime in which he is involved. The moves of the inspector transform the thriller into a sharp critique of the Italian government in the 1960s and, more in general, on the oxymoronic relation between the state power and its abuse by people who should carry public responsibility over their shoulders. The system is inescapable, but, at the same time, we cannot avoid to have one — or not? The chaos produced by The Doctor’s behaviour is an invitation to reflect on our current world situation and our place in it. What kind of society do we want to live in? In the first film of an ideal trilogy on the concept of nevrosis, Elio Petri, the director of this feature film, decides to start from Power. The film had a great success internationally at its time and it became a classic, as it has something to say even after over half a century from its release.

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 Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)

Sunday 26 November 2023, THE CONFORMIST [IL CONFORMISTA] (1970) * Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci * 108min * 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!

Marcello Clerici (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is a member of the secret police in Mussolini’s Fascist Italy. He and his new bride, Giulia (Stefania Sandrelli), travel to Paris for their honeymoon, where Marcello also plans to assassinate his former college professor Luca Quadri (Enzo Tarascio), an outspoken anti-Fascist living in exile. But when Marcello meets the professor’s young wife, Anna (Dominique Sanda), both his romantic and his political loyalties are tested.

In his perhaps most appreciated film, Bertolucci depicts the psychology of Fascism through a series of hypnotic shots using lush colors, striking contrasts, and stylized lighting. A surrealistic environment constellated by political and moral symbolism helps us recall a brutal, but still sought-after, ideology.

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: Blown to the heart (Gianni Amelio, 1982)

Sunday 29 October 2023, BLOWN TO THE HEART [COLPIRE AL CUORE] (1982) * Directed by Gianni Amelio * 105min * 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!

Dario is a university professor who wants to live a quiet life, dealing with research and being a good husband. What is happening in Italy does not concern him. His son, Emilio, does not confront with him, so he tries to connect with him at the university, listening to his father reading poetry in French. He becomes intrigued by politics, thanks to a friend of his father’s, Giulia. Then, a terrorist act attributed to the Red Brigades changes the perception by Emilio forever.

Considered a masterpiece in the depicting the psychology of its characters, Gianni Amelio’s Colpire al Cuore shows a turbolent moment of the Italian recent history (early 80s) through the lenses of the conflict father-son. Notwithstanding the political background, Amelio puts intimacy and emotional transformations at the heart of his poetic view of cinema.

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