Italian Film Festival

Film Archive

We’ve featured many films in the past. Peruse a list of films we’ve featured below.

Lasciati andare (Let Yourself Go)

Info: Italy, 2017, 98 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Francesco Amato

Cast: Tony Servillo, Veronica Echegui, Valentina Carnelutti, Luca Marinelli


  • Thursday January 11, 2018 - 6:30 pm

"Great performances in this Italian screwball comedy." I Love Italian Movies

Elia (Toni Servillo, The Great Beauty) is a Jewish psychoanalyst from a purely Freudian school of thought. Due to his austere and detached manner, he is reputed for immediately generating awe in his patients. Elia lives alone in a flat on the same floor as his ex- wife Giovanna, with whom he is still secretly in love. When his doctor warns him that his weight is putting his health at risk, he enlists Claudia to help get him into shape. A single mother to an undisciplined child, Claudia could use some life coaching. Together, this mismatched pair makes strides in healing both body and soul.

Una giornata particolare (A Special Day )

Info: Italy, 1977, 106 mins, Blu-ray Disc, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Ettore Scola

Cast: Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, John Vernon


  • Thursday January 11, 2018 - 2:15 pm

"This intentionally modest but deeply moving film is a high watermark for all involved… Scola is to be credited for his feminist critique of women under fascism, his modern understated treatment of homosexuality, and his successful examination of fascist politics – through the lens of a seemingly simple, human story that turns into an allegorical tale of immense significance. A Special Day reminds us that the human spirit can prevail even under the most totalitarian regimes. It is a timely reminder that all fascism must be resisted with vigilance, sacrifice, and bravery." Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Senses of CInema

"Funny and humane… an acting tour de force for Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni." Vincent Canby, New York Times

Italian cinema dream team Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni are cast against glamorous type and deliver two of the finest performances of their careers in this moving, quietly subversive drama from Ettore Scola. Though it’s set in Rome on the historic day in 1938 when Benito Mussolini and the city first rolled out the red carpet for Adolf Hitler, the film takes place entirely in a working-class apartment building, where an unexpected friendship blossoms between a pair of people who haven’t joined the festivities: a conservative housewife and mother tending to her domestic duties and a liberal radio broadcaster awaiting deportation. Scola paints an exquisite portrait in muted tones, a story of two individuals helpless in the face of Fascism’s rise.

Nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Actor and Best Foreign Language Film) this is one of Scola’s finest achievements.

Padre Padrone

Info: Italy, 1977, 114 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani

Cast: Omero Antonutti, Fabrizio Forte, Marcella Michelangeli, Nanni Moretti, Saverio Marconi


  • Wednesday January 10, 2018 - 6:30 pm

"Padre Padrone is a work of art, a poetically realized piece of social realism that stands in the same relation to conventional movie entertainments as Picasso’s Guernica to a war bond poster…[it] is an affirmation, a forceful, uncompromised, engrossing and affecting movie with that rare but cherished capacity to thrust us into the lives of others." Charles Champlin, LA Times , 1978

"One of a kind, the movie has an archaic, almost mythological, feel that’s enhanced by its use of elemental Sardinian locations under the blazing Mediterranean sun." J Hoberman, New York Times

“The Tavianis most important work is Padre Padrone (aka Father, Master), based on a memoir by the academic linguist Gavino Ledda about his harsh upbringing as the son of a psychologically and physically abusive peasant farmer in postwar Sardinia, and how he came to create his own life. Taken out of school aged six, Gavino is forced to take care of the family’s sheep in the mountains and at the age of 20 is illiterate. Then family circumstances force him to join the army. There he drops his local dialect, learns to read and write and is inspired to go to university and make a forcible break with an oppressive patriarchal tradition.


Info: Italy, 1976, 317 mins, Blu-ray Disc, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

Cast: Robert De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Burt Lancaster, Donald Sutherland, Sterling Hayden, Dominique Sanda, Alida Valli, Stefania Sandrelli


  • Wednesday January 10, 2018 - 12:30 pm

"As the two boys grow up they are played by DeNiro and Depardieu. DeNiro as the Berlinghieri heir is an effete coward. He despises the fascists as represented by his brutal and murderous foreman, Donald Sutherland, but he’s afraid to fire him. In contrast, Depardieu fights and struggles every inch of the way. De Niro is amazing here. He is so young, so feckless, so light with none of the tendency to weight and ponderousness, perhaps even rigidity, that he exhibits in later roles. He plays against the enigmatic Dominique Sanda, as his wife made wretched by her husband’s cowardice. Depardieu is simply gorgeous: a great tree with roots deep into the heart of the earth. There is not enough room to talk about all the great performances in this movie, though Sutherland, as evil incarnate must be mentioned. 1900 is a marvelous movie, Bertolucci is one of the best directors who has ever lived…If you’ve never seen it, go; it’s just a matter of too much of a good thing." Kathleen Maher, Austin Chronicle

A rare opportunity to see Bertolucci’s massively ambitious political saga, set on a farm in the Po Valley between 1900 and 1945, in its full, five hour plus form. The film chronicles the fortunes of two young men, one the son of a landowner, the other a worker. Morricone store, Storaro cinematography, and performances from Robert De Niro and Gerard Depardieu, Donald Sutherland and Dominique Sanda, Burt Lancaster and Sterling Hayden, all magnificent.

The Music of Silence

Info: Italy, 2017, 115 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: English, Italian with English subtitles

Director: Michael Radford

Cast: Tony Sebastian, Antonio Banderas, Jordi Molla, Luisa Ranieri


  • Tuesday January 9, 2018 - 8:30 pm

Andrea Bocelli gets the biopic treatment in this lush, respectful film from Il Postino director Michael Radford. Bocelli, here lightly disguised as “Amos”, wanted to sing opera for as long as he can remember. But the heavenly voice that was his birthright was accompanied by partial blindness, and his road to fame and fulfillment was not an easy one. Antonio Banderas contributes a scene-stealing (and funny) turn as the maestro who takes the young singer under his tutelage and back on track after a period of doubt and despair. The music, of course, is sublime.

(Note: English language version.)

Orecchie (Ears)

Info: Italy, 2016, 90 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Alessandro Aronadio

Cast: Daniele Parisi, Silvia D’Amico, Rocco Papeleo


  • Tuesday January 9, 2018 - 6:30 pm
  • Thursday January 11, 2018 - 4:30 pm

"Kooky and sincere is a tough combination to pull off, but Ears manages it… Parisi’s wary sizing up of these infuriating characters evokes Buster Keaton or the early characters of Jim Jarmusch. His performance draws the reluctant viewer into a calm center of befuddled irritation. Ears could be a distancing affair, but the main character’s instinct to tentatively listen, learn, and feel in response to the chaos around him lends the movie a deeper quality. At the heart of a highly mannered exercise ultimately lies a surprising optimism and need to connect." Caroline Ely, Film Forward

A man wakes up with a painful ringing in his ear and to a note that reads, “Your friend Luigi is dead! I’m sorry. PS: I took the car…” But who’s Luigi? This is just one of the many questions the unnamed protagonist (Daniele Parisi) must ask himself in this absurd tragicomedy by writer-director Alessandro Aronadio (One Life, Maybe Two). Unfolding in a single day, Ears upsets a hapless man’s routine with a series of hilarious, Kafkaesque situations involving meddlesome nuns, bumbling doctors, and a perplexing array of bureaucratic mishaps. Aronadio’s black-and-white, aspect ratio–shifting second feature is a one-of-a-kind comedy that surprises and delights with unassuming humor and a quirky supporting cast.

La città delle donne (City of Women)

Info: Italy, 1980, 139 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Federico Fellini

Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Prucnal, Bernice Stegers


  • Monday January 8, 2018 - 8:45 pm

"Phenomenal! A gigantic motion-picture spectacle!" New York Times

"It may be a fantasy but it’s not one of male power or desire. Like a feature length version of the harem sequence in 8 1/ 2, Mastroianni and Fellini are both at the mercy of a group of fully functioning humans who were only supposed to fantasies. And like the best work of both men, City of Women is a beguiling drift through a truly stupendous feat of theatrical ingenuity." Elina Alter, Brooklyn Rail

Federico Fellini’s epic 1980 fantasia introduced the start of the Maestro’s delirious late period. A surrealist tour-de-force filmed on soundstages and locations alike, and overflowing with the same sensory (and sensual) invention heretofore found only in the classic movie-musicals (and Fellini’s own oeuvre), La città delle donne [City of Women] taps into the era’s restless youth culture, coalescing into nothing less than Fellini’s post-punk opus.

Marcello Mastroianni appears as Fellini’s alter ego in a semi-reprise of his character from 8 1/2, Snàporaz. As though passing into a dream, the charismatic avatar finds himself initiated into a phantasmagoric world where women—or an idea of women—have taken power, and which is structured like an array of psychosexual set-pieces, culminating in a bravura hot-air balloon that decisively sticks the “anti” up into “climax.”

Veloce come il vento (Italian Race)

Info: Italy, 2016, 118 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Matteo Rovere

Cast: Stefano Accorsi, Matilda De Angelis, Giuseppe Gaiani


  • Monday January 8, 2018 - 6:30 pm

Based on a true story, Italian Race portrays talent and deterioration, competition and toxic love (the love between Loris and Annarella, played by Roberta Mattei) in a way that is both accurate and realistic. The scenes on the track, all of which were filmed live without the use of any special effects, are as good as those you see in big international productions. Once again, the Italian road to genre is paved with emotion and humanity, the action is supported by nuanced and fragile characters, and the driving force of the story is desperation." Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa

After her father dies, responsibility for a younger brother and the family’s debt-plagued auto-racing business falls on the shoulders of 17-year-old Giulia. An aspiring Gran Turismo racer, Giulia reaches out to her older brother, a once-great driver now mired in drug addiction. Based on a true story, Veloce come il vento is an inspiring sports drama with both well-drawn characters and exciting action.

The film is set in Imola, Bologna. Giulia De Martino (played by new face Matilda De Angelis), is 17-years-old, 49 kilos of nerves and dedication, and carries the weight of her family, or what’s left of it, on her shoulders. Her mother has left, and when her father dies, it is up to her to look after her little brother (Giulio Pugnaghi) who never laughs, and the family garage, which has been turning out rally champions for generations. Overwhelmed with debt, Giulia, who’s a promising racing driver herself, must win the GT championships at all costs to save the house she lives in. To do this she must put together a team, whether she likes it or not, with her brother Loris (Stefano Accorsi), a former driver who has become totally unreliable since falling into the spiral of drugs, but has an undeniable talent and instinct for cars that will help the young championess to clinch victory.

Io sono l’amore (I Am Love)

Info: Italy, 2009, 120 mins, Blu-ray Disc, 19+

Language: Italian, English with English subtitles

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Alba Rohrwacher, Gabriele Ferzetti, Marisa Berenson


  • Monday January 8, 2018 - 2:00 pm

While issues of family hierarchy, class and the new world order of industry are whipped up in short order, the story’s essence is Emma facing an empty nest and realizing how suffocating her life has become. Enter the tantalizing young chef Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini). He first reawakens her taste for life with his exquisite culinary creations, and then her passion. That he is opening a restaurant with her son adds another layer of complications." Betsy Sharkey, LA Times

"I Am Love is such a lush, deeply textured banquet of sights and sounds that it deserves more than a movie review." Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

"Soaringly beautiful." Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"Bold, thrilling, and undeniably sensuous melodrama uncannily invokes the pleasures of smell, taste, and touch … Everything dances here: the camera, the colors, Tilda’s eyes, even pollinating bees during a sumptuously shot sex scene." Aaron Hills, Village Voice

Call My By Your Name filmmaker Luca Guadagnino first registered on film lovers’ radar with this opulent family melodrama self-consciously styled after Luchino Visconti’s Senso – but set in Milan at the end of the millennium.

We begin with the Recchi family coming together for a Christmas feast. “The textile business has created their wealth, with the failing patriarch using the occasion to hand the reins over to his son Tancredi (Pippo Delbono) and, in an unsettling slight, to one of his grandchildren, Edo Jr. (Flavio Parenti), as well. Swinton’s Emma is wife and mother to the heirs apparent, a Russian beauty whom Tancredi married years ago and the steady hand that holds the generations together.

Libera Nos (Deliver Us)

Info: Italy, 2016, 90 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Federico Di Giacomo


  • Monday January 8, 2018 - 4:30 pm

Winner: Best Film, Orizzonti section, Venice Film Festival

"Chilling." Jay Weissberg, Variety

"Compelling." Daily Telegraph

This chilling documentary looks at Catholic Church’s surprisingly still common act of performing exorcisms by following Franciscan Father Cataldo Migliazzo, Sicily’s most famous exorcist, as he works to “cure” those who claim to be demonically possessed – troubled souls facing schizophrenia, depression, and other psychological disorders which the act of exorcism not only refuses to address, but can often make worse.

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