The eighth edition of the Cinema Made in Italy festival of film is set to launch next month, and a host of directors are set to attend the London-based season from March 7–11.
A collaboration between Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Italian Cultural Institute and Ciné Lumière in South Kensington, London, the 2018 edition of the celebration of Italian films promises to have something for every taste. There will also be Q&A sessions after all the screenings. Here’s our preview of the films that will be shown, including some glorious animation, a touch of action and some heartbreaking drama.
Cinderella the Cat/Gatta Cenerentola
A grown-up and slightly twisted take on the classic Cinderella story, this animated tale is set in the Naples harbour area and reimagines the heroine of the title as a 17-year-old hipster. Directed by a team of four, the film includes the dark underbelly of Italian crime and is set in a quasi-futuristic ship that is alive with the sound of music, but with the constant threat of violence on the horizon.
Charlotte Rampling stars in this film set in an unnamed Belgian city. Hannah (Rampling) has been effected by a crime that is never fully revealed, but one that has seen her husband imprisoned. Lost in a sea of isolation, the star of such films as Melancholia (2010) and this year’s Red Sparrow turns in a mesmerising performance that earned the top prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
Jasmine Trinca portrays the titular Fortuna (Lucky) whose life, on the surface, appears to be the opposite of her upbeat moniker. Throw in an abusive ex-husband, the opening of a new hairdressing business and a firecracker of a daughter, and you’ll understand something about the drama going on in Lucky’s life. The outskirts of Rome act as the backdrop to the movie, which has been likened to the works of Pasolini when he was in his prime.
Rainbow/Una Questione Privata
Politics in the combustable Northwest of Italy in 1943 are played out alongside a classic love story, as two friends are driven apart by a beautiful woman while opposing the fascist movement gripping the country. Unquestionable morals are shaken by the everyday drama the characters face in the Taviani brothers’ adaptation of the novel A Private Affair.
Stories of Love that Cannot Belong in this World/Amori Che Non Sanno Stare al Mondo
Don’t let the grandiose title put you off, this film, from one of the driving forces behind hit TV show Gomorrah, is a delicate depiction of the struggles faced by couples in later life acknowledging the breakdown of long-term relationships. Modern dating is a tricky subject matter to approach, but this movie cleverly navigates those choppy waters.
Back to Naples as we focus on an idealistic woman who runs a crumbling children’s centre and aims to provide a safe space to the youngsters she looks after. Problems arise when she finds herself in an awkward position as the daughter of a notorious mafia boss turns up on her doorstep.
A Family/Una Famiglia
The very idea of ‘family’ is questioned in Sebastian Riso’s unnerving film about a couple who conceive and sell their own babies to other couples in need. When one of the pair in question decides to have a child of their own, things begin to fall apart and the issues of dealing with such a charged subject matter are brought to the forefront in a country where surrogacy is illegal.
Love and Bullets/Ammore e Malavita
The world of organised crime rears its ugly head in another film set in Naples, but this time we get what has been labelled by some critics as the first proper ‘Mafia Musical!’ The multi-talented Manetti Brothers are the duo responsible for the genre-skipping effort which offers up a heady mix of action, drama and exhilarating music.
Full Screening Programme
Wednesday March 7
6.30 pm – Rainbow/A Private Affair
Intro and Q&A with Paolo Taviani (director)
Thursday March 8
6.15 pm – Stories of Love that cannot belong to this World
Intro and Q&A with Francesca Comencini (director)
Friday March 9
6.30 pm – Hannah
Intro and Q&A with Andrea Pallaoro (director)
8.40 pm – Love and Bullets
Intro and Q&A with Antonio and Marco Manetti (directors)
Saturday March 10
6.30 pm – The Intruder
8.40 pm – Fortunata
Intro and Q&A with Jasmine Trinca (actress)
Sunday March 11
2.00 pm – A Special Day
4.00 pm – Cinderella the Cat
Intro and Q&A with Alessandro Rak (director)
6.30 pm – Una Famiglia
Intro and Q&A with Sebastiano Riso (director)
Ciné Lumière: 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT, +44 (0)20 7871 3515
Tickets: £12/£10 (conc.); £9/£7 (conc.) for films in the ‘Sunday Classics’ section;
£5 for viewers aged 25 and under, if registered for the ’25 and Under £5 Scheme’ on the French Institute website.