Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 5:37 pm 
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November 11-15, 2015 the SF Film Society presents New Italian Cinema, a program of 12 films, at the Vogue Theatre, San Francisco

Full details on the SFFS's website here. The ones I will review or have reviewed are marked with an asterisk. Click on titles of those to find the reviews.
The films and festival blurbs are:

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Wondrous Boccaccio/Maraviglioso Boccaccio (Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani 2015)
Opening Night film
In this lively adaptation of The Decameron, a group of young women and men hope to escape the Black Plague by journeying to the countryside where they tell one another stories, most of which center around the theme of forbidden love. The resulting concoction of multiple narratives, starring several well-known Italian actors such as Kim Rossi Stuart and Riccardo Scamarcio, is a splendid reminder of the joys of storytelling and the verdant delights of Tuscany.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

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*Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)
Following up his universally heralded The Great Beauty (NIC 2013), Paolo Sorrentino returns again to contemplate life, love, aging and man’s continued search for happiness in this English-language tale starring Michael Caine as retired orchestra conductor Fred Ballinger and Harvey Keitel as film director Mick Boyle. The resulting film is a visual treat as the camera roams the nooks and crannies of its resort locale whose guests have come to contemplate beauty in its myriad forms.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

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*God Willing/Se Dio vuole (Edoardo Falcone 2015)
2015 Davide di Donatello Award for Best New Director
A young man’s religious awakening becomes the fulcrum for familial upheaval in this playful comedy-drama. When Andrea tells his parents he has something to tell them, they believe he’s going to come out as gay; instead, he confesses that he wants to be a priest, a far more shocking revelation to his arrogant, atheist father.
Thursday, November 12, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

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Cloro (Chlorine) (Lamberto Sanfelice 2015)
Delicately tracking how traumatic change can lead to newfound maturity and presenting a memorably defined sense of place, Cloro tells the story of 17-year-old synchronized swimmer Jenny who is uprooted by family misfortunes. Director Lamberto Sanfelice’s potent debut is told with care and precision, features a terrific performance by lead actor Sara Serraiocco and employs an intimate style reminiscent of the Dardenne brothers.
Thursday, November 12, 2015, 8:30 p.m.

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Mediterranea (Jonas Carpignano 2015)
SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant Winner
Putting a personal face on the plethora of stories about African immigrants trying to make it to European shores, Mediterranea details the perilous journey of a young man named Ayiva from Burkina Faso to the southwestern Italian town of Rosarno. Told in vérité style and based on the real-life experiences of lead actor Koudous Seihon, the film offers a profoundly humanist reality to counteract the dismissive political rhetoric surrounding immigration.
Friday, November 13, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
US theatrical release (NYC) Nov. 20.

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*My Name Is Maya/Mi chiamo Maya (Marco Careri 2015 )
In this vibrant portrait of urban street life and adolescent angst, two sisters lose their mother in a car accident. Faced with separate foster care situations that will put them in different countries, the girls run away, pursued by a caring social worker named Cecilia. Encountering a colorful cross-section of Roman citizens, including a handsome fire-eater and a dissolute tattoo artist, the siblings reckon with their circumstances.
Friday, November 13, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

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Italo/Italo barocco (Alessio Scarso 2015)
Director expected
Based on a true story and a real dog, Italo focuses on a friendly golden retriever who displays an aversion to leashes and fences and prefers to roam the streets unguided, even though the Sicilian town he’s chosen has recently placed on a ban on strays. Displaying all the waggish charms of small-town life, Alessia Scarso’s touching film is sure to be beloved by connoisseurs of canine cinema.
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 1:00 p.m.

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* I, Harlequin/Io, Arlecchino (Matteo Bini, Giorgio Pasotti 2015)
Director expected
A successful talk show host named Paolo steps into his father’s performing shoes in this rich and heartwarming film set in the world of commedia dell’arte that playfully reinvents that theatrical tradition for the 21st century. Learning to play the part of the mischievous servant known as Harlequin when his dad can no longer play the character due to health problems, the telegenic TV star gains a new respect for his old man’s life and work.
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 3:45 p.m.

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*Partly Cloudy with Sunny Spells/Tempo instabile con probabili schiarite (Ute Leonhardt, Marco Valerio Pugini 2015)
Director expected
Satirizing small-town life and politics while telling the touchingly comic story of friends at an impasse, this film follows two founders of a manufacturing cooperative who discover oil on their factory’s property. Noted Italian actors Luca Zingaretti and Pasquale Petrolo shine as the two co-op leaders while John Turturro brings an effortless comedic polish to his role as a consulting mining engineer from the US who arrives with dollar signs in his eyes.
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 9:30 p.m.

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Leopardi/Il giovane favoloso ("The Wunderkind") (Mario Martone 2014)
Filmed in the actual house, library and streets where 19th-century Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi (played in an unforgettable performance by Elio Germano) lived, Mario Martone’s sumptuous period piece offers a scintillating depiction of the life and times of a young writer whose frail body could not keep pace with his intellect. Like Martone’s previous film, the historical epic We Believed (NIC 2013), Leopardi brings the past to life with sumptuous visuals and a propulsive narrative. See Variety review by Jay Weissberg here.
Sunday, November 15, 2015, 12:30 p.m.

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*Mia Madre ("My Mother") (Nanni Moretti 2015)
In Nanni Moretti’s latest moving and comedic work, a filmmaker named Margherita is directing a social-realist drama about a factory sit-in when her mother’s illness leads her to confront her own past. Compellingly delineating the burdens of balancing artistic and familial life, with a radiant central performance by Margherita Buy, Mia Madre also features John Turturro as an over-the-top Hollywood actor named Barry Huggins and Moretti himself as Margherita’s brother Giovanni.
Sunday, November 15, 2015, 6:15 p.m.

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©Chris Knipp. Blog: http://chrisknipp.blogspot.com/.


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