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Alternative Italies: A Cineforum

The cineforum this term offers a series of contemporary Italian productions that offer images of identity. By screening and discussing a range of films from documentaries to box-office hits, we want to question how relationships and families are presented and experienced in Italy today.

The screenings take place at 6pm on Thursday evenings in room H4.03, and each film will have a brief introduction and the chance to discuss your response to the film afterwards.


Week 1 (12 January): Ragazze: la vita trema (dir.: Paola Sangiovanni, 2009) (Italian, no subtitles)

This documentary tracks four women who from different geographical, cultural and social milieu and their lives crossed or just grazed each other in Rome between the end of the sixties and during the seventies, each offering threads of the history of feminism and female identity in Italy. Though it had success at various film festivals, the film has received no distribution so this is a unique opportunity to see a powerful and important film.

Week 3 (26 January): Giorni e nuvole / Days and Clouds (Silvio Soldini, 2007) (Italian with English subtitles)

Elsa (Margherita Buy) and Michele (Antonio Albanese) live in Genova, where they are raising a happy family. The world of the couple is upset when Michele revels that he’d been made redundant some time before, and had been lying to his wife. The news destroys the equilibrium of the couple and the family, who are forced to face big changes and menial work, as well as identity crises and depression over the following weeks and months.

Week 4 (2 February): L’ultimo bacio / The Last Kiss (Gabriele Muccino, 2001) (Italian with English subtitles)

Giulia (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) and Carlo (Stefano Accorsi) have been happy together for three years, but Giulia's announcement that she is pregnant sends him into a secret panic. Terrified at his imminent entry into the adult world of irreversible responsibilities, Carlo finds himself tempted by a bewitching 18 year old girl, Francesca (Martina Stella), whom he meets by chance at a wedding.

Week 5 (FRIDAY 10 February): Toby Dammit (Federico Fellini, 1960) (Italian/English, no subtitles)

In collaboration with the Operazione Paura Italian horror film study day, the cineforum will be screening Fellini’s short film, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and a part of the collection Histoires Extraordinaires / Tre passi nel delirio. The cynical alcoholic and decadent English actor Toby Dammit (Terence Stamp) travels to Rome to make a Catholic Western, but only interested in receiving the Ferrari promised by the production.

Week 7 (23 February): La nostra vita (Daniele Lucchetti, 2010) (Italian with English subtitles)

Claudio (Elio Germano), a construction worker, works on a site in the suburbs of Rome. He is madly in love with his wife who is pregnant with their third child. His world is turned upside down when he finds the remains of an illegal immigrant under the building site and a tragedy hits closer to home, leaving him alone to fight the injustices befalling him. The film ran for Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes festival and picked up a shared best actor award for Germano.

Week 9 (8 March): Mine vaganti / Loose Cannons (Ferzan Ozpetek, 2010) (Italian with English subtitles)

Tommaso (Riccardo Scarmacio) is the youngest son of the Cantones, a large, conservative, Southern-Italian family who have run a pasta-making business since the 1960s. On a trip home from Rome, where he studies literature and lives with his boyfriend, Tommaso decides to come out to his family, but the announcement doesn’t go to plan.

Information on further screenings in term three will be released later.