Italian film showing today: L’arbitro / The Referee (Paolo Zucca, 2013)

Italian flagThe Italian film L’arbitro / The Referee (Paolo Zucca, 2013)(93 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 19th February 2018. Review, introduction and discussion will be via Skype by the director himself, Paolo Zucca. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

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L’Arbitro sviluppa diverse trame incrociate, tutte legate al mondo del calcio. Una è quella del ‘principe’ Cruciani, un arbitro professionista più ambizioso che onesto, il cui sogno è quello di dirigere una finale di Champions League. Una è quella della rivalità tra due squadre dell’ultima categoria del calcio dilettantistico in Sardegna: il Montecrastu, capitanato dall’odioso ‘fazendero’ Brai e il Pabarile, sempre ultimo in classifica, fino a quando in paese non ritorna dall’Argentina un giovane emigrato di nome Matzutzi. Una è una bizzarra love story tra Matzutzi e Miranda, la bisbetica figlia di Prospero, l’allenatore cieco (!) del Pabarile. La quarta e ultima trama è legata ai codici arcaici del mondo agropastorale sardo: un giocatore del Montecrastu ruba un agnello a suo cugino, che reagisce con un dispetto, al quale ne segue un altro. E così via fino alle estreme conseguenze. Uno degli aspetti più interessanti del film è il riferimento costante alla simbologia del cristianesimo.

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Several storylines are intertwined in “The Referee”, all of them linked to the world of football. One of the stories is that of ‘Prince’ Cruciani, a professional referee, more ambitious than honest, who dreams of officiating at a Champions League final. Another deals with the rivalry between two low-ranking amateur league teams in Sardinia: Montecrastu, captained by the hateful ‘fazendero’ Brai, and Pabarile, who always come bottom of the league until a young emigrant, Matzutzi, returns to the village from Argentina. Then there is the bizarre love story between Matzutzi and the shrewish Miranda, daughter of Prospero, Pabarile’s blind (!) trainer. Finally a fourth story relates to the archaic customs of rural Sardinia’s farming society. One of the Montecrastu players steals a lamb from his cousin, who then plays a nasty trick to get his own back and so on, the whole thing escalating until it gets totally out of hand. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the recurring references to Christian symbolism. (Translated by Neil Tibbetts).

Next TNS seminar in conjunction with the Department of Film: ‘Transnational Cinema: Milestones in a New(ish) Field of Study’

TNSDeborah Shaw from the University of Portsmouth will be speaking at the next Centre for Transnational Studies seminar, taking place on Wednesday 21st February 2018 from 5-6:30pm in Room 1177, Avenue Campus (Building 65). The seminar is entitled ‘Transnational Cinema: Milestones in a New(ish) Field of Study’ and will be delivered in conjunction with the Department of Film. All staff and students are welcome! Here is the abstract:

This paper aims to present an overview of some key developments in ways of conceptualising the transnational in film studies. It considers the reasons for the late adoption of the transnational in film studies in relation to the social sciences. 2005 sees the beginning of a transnational momentum in our discipline with the following years seeing a number of conceptual and theoretical essays and edited volumes and the founding of a journal, Transnational Cinemas in 2010. The paper outlines the key areas of focus in what I am identifying as the first phase of transnational cinema studies and considers question of scales of value that have been applied to the transnational. Following this, the paper discusses approaches to transnational film theory through an analysis of a selection of definitional essays. The final section of the paper presents an overview of what I am characterising as the second phase of transnational film studies, and considers the expanded reach of the transnational to the many areas that make up the discipline.

Special Italian film event on Saturday 17th February: The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi, 1978)

Italian flagOn Saturday 17th February, there will be a special showing of one of Italy’s great films of the last century in addition to our usual Italian film season. It is taking place at the Union Films cinema of Highfield Campus: L’albero degli zoccoli / The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi, 1978) – English subtitles – 185 min.

> It is a classic and is considered a masterpiece of late Italian neorealism. Martin Scorsese values it so much that he has had it restored and remastered, and this is the version that is being shown next Saturday at the University of Southampton Union Films at 6p.m.
> See the attached leaflet and read this article from the British Film Institute.
> This event has been organized by Roland Matthews who states that the film is set in Treviglio, a town in northern Italy, near Bergamo in Lombardy, and that this town is twinned with Romsey.
> Luciana O’Neill, who has always been a great admirer of Ermanno Olmi, will be introducing the film to us in English.
> When planning the showing of this film, we all decided that it needed to be shown in a real cinema, as opposed to a lecture room, and that it would be better to arrange for the showing to take place on a Saturday, because it is quite a long film.

Italian film showing today: Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot / They call me Jeeg (Gabriele Mainetti, 2015)

Italian flagThe Italian film Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot / They call me Jeeg (Gabriele Mainetti, 2015)(113 minutes, Italian subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 12th February 2018. Review, introduction and discussion by Emanuela Venditti. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

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Enzo è un ladruncolo misantropo di Tor Bella Monaca che un giorno, dopo un furto in centro, viene inseguito dalla polizia. Per nascondersi si tuffa nel Tevere e sfonda un barile pieno di una sostanza radioattiva che gli conferisce, a sua insaputa, dei super-poteri. Quando scopre di essere diventato fortissimo inizia a usare la sua potenza per rubare meglio fino a diventare un super-criminale. Si dovrà scontrare però con lo “Zingaro”, un terrificante ma patetico boss della malavita che cercherà in tutti i modi di trarre vantaggio dai poteri soprannaturali di Enzo. Sarà invece Alessia, una ragazza turbata psicologicamente, a convincere Enzo a sfruttare i suoi super-poteri per erigersi a paladino della giustizia e diventare come il suo super-eroe preferito, Jeeg Robot d’acciaio. È un film di super-eroi che può piacere a tutti!

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Enzo is a misanthropic small-time crook. One day, after a robbery in the city centre of Rome, he is chased by the police and dives into the Tiber to hide. Here he steps into a toxic waste drum that, without his knowledge, gives him super human powers. When he finds out that he has become very strong, he starts using his powers to get better at stealing and soon becomes a super-criminal, but his activities collide with the ones under the control of “Lo Zingaro / The Gipsy”, a terrifying but pathetic gangster who tries to take advantage of Enzo’s powers. Alessia, a traumatized young woman, tries to convince Enzo to use his super-powers to become a champion of justice and emulate her favourite super-hero, Steel Jeeg. This is a superhero film that will appeal to everyone!

Italian film showing today: Le confessioni / The Confessions (Roberto Andò, 2016)

Italian flagLe confessioni / The Confessions (Roberto Andò, 2016)(103 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 5th February 2018. Review, introduction and discussion by Paola Visconti. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

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Il primo film di questa rassegna è un thriller sul mondo della politica internazionale. È ambientato in un albergo di lusso in Germania, dove sta per riunirsi il G8. Fin dall’inizio sappiamo che questo non è un G8 normale, non solo perché i ministri dell’economia dei Paesi più potenti del mondo stanno per adottare una manovra segreta che potrebbe avere conseguenze pesanti per molte nazioni, ma anche perché sono stati invitati tre ospiti insoliti (un monaco, una scrittrice ed un musicista). Quando poi succede qualcosa di tragico e inatteso la tensione aumenta e un clima di angoscia, dubbio e paura si diffonde tra tutti i personaggi. Il monaco però rimane calmo. Il film è molto ben girato, ha delle stupende inquadrature e un messaggio positivo.
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The first film of this season is a political thriller. It is set in a luxury hotel in Germany where the G8 Summit is about to take place. From the moment the leaders of the 8 most powerful nations in the world meet the tension mounts because we know that they are about to discuss a top secret plan that might have dire consequences for some countries, and because three unusual guests have also been invited: a monk, a writer and a musician. When something tragic and unexpected suddenly occurs, the suspense intensifies. Concern, then doubt and fear, spread amongst the G8 members and their guests. The only person to keep calm is the monk. It is a beautifully shot film with a positive message.

New Italian film season starts on Monday 5th February!

Below is our next Italian Film Season programme. We start again on Monday 5th February and we have another wonderful selection of films that cover different genres and subjects. The films worth highlighting are:
Le confessioni / The Confessions (Roberto Andò, 2016): this unusual drama takes place during an imaginary G8 summit, so the characters are all from different countries (the leaders of the 8 member countries and, strangely enough, also a musician, a fiction writer and a monk), and consequently the dialogue is in different languages. This, together with its intriguing plot, makes this thriller drama a most interesting and novel type of film.
L’arbitro / The Referee (Paolo Zucca, 2013): this is a rather charming love story that also covers the very topical subject of corruption in the world of sport. It is beautifully filmed and is unusual for contemporary cinema since it is in black and white. We are lucky because we have managed to contact the director who will be introducing his film to us via Skype from Sardinia.
Profondo rosso / Deep Red (Dario Argento, 1975): Emilio Audissino, our loyal film scholar who has been introducing films to us via Skype for a few years now, has chosen to surprise us all with a “giallo thriller”.

All our films are introduced in Italian by a tutor, a student or a guest speaker and are followed by a brief discussion (in Italian and English). Most of our films have English subtitles but some, the ones marked with an asterisk, have Italian subtitles. A few days before each film showing, we will be sending you an email reminder with a review, in Italian and in English, of each film featured in this Italian film season.

Italian film programme for Spring 2018

Italian film showing today: In guerra per amore (PIF, 2016)

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The Italian film, In guerra per amore / At War for Love (PIF, 2016) (99 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 27th November 2017. Review, introduction and discussion by Connie Coughtrey. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on Vimeo. N.B. This is the last film of the season, so the discussion will take place over nibbles and drinks. You can bring some finger food or something to drink, but it is not a must.

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Questo film copre le diverse emozioni che dovettero affrontare gli italiani durante la Seconda Guerra Mondiale. È informativo ma è allo stesso tempo molto facile da seguire perché ci sono tante scene comiche che si concentrano sui momenti felici di empatia, amicizia e soprattutto amore. Il film fa sì che lo spettatore si metta nei panni dei diversi protagonisti, lasciandoci vedere la situazione dal punto di vista dei diversi politici, soldati e perfino un bambino. Molti perdono parenti, altri sembrano aver dimenticato le vere ragioni per cui decisero di lottare e, malgrado gli sforzi degli americani di cercare di liberare l’Italia, la situazione non migliora. Quando pensano di aver messo fine a una dittatura, con l’ascesa della Mafia ne inizia un’altra. Ma nonostante tutta la tristezza, i protagonisti continuano ad avere speranza e lottano per l’unica cosa che gli sembra aver senso, l’amore.
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This film covers the range of emotions that Italians had to face during the devastating period of World War II. It is both informative and easy to follow thanks to the comical scenes that explain the events in a light-hearted way, showing happy moments of empathy, friendship, and most importantly, love. The audience can easily relate to the different characters, allowing us to view the situation through the eyes of politicians, soldiers and even those of a young child. As a consequence of the war, many lose relatives and others forget what they’re actually fighting for. Regardless of the efforts of the US Army to free Italy from dictatorship, things do not improve and actually give more power to the Mafia. But despite all of the sadness, the characters in the film hold on to their hope, fighting for the one thing that really matters, love.

Italian film showing today: Se Dio vuole (Edoardo Falcone, 2015)

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The Italian film, Se Dio vuole / God Willing (Edoardo Falcone, 2015) (86 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 20th November 2017. Review, introduction and discussion by Laura Nera. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

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Il film di questa settimana è una commedia tipica del cinema italiano degli ultimi 20 anni, con un inaspettato sussulto finale. Tommaso è un cardiochirurgo rispettato e di successo, dal carattere arrogante, ed ateo. Il figlio Andrea riunisce tutta la famiglia per annunciare che vuole farsi prete. Tommaso rifiuta la scelta del figlio ed è sconvolto quando anche la moglie Carla e la figlia Bianca sembrano avvicinarsi alla religione cattolica. Mentre Andrea si trova ad un ritiro religioso, Tommaso decide di indagare per conto suo e mettere allo scoperto il carismatico Don Pietro, che Tommaso pensa sia colui che ha fatto il “lavaggio del cervello” al figlio Andrea e provocato lo sconvolgimento della sua vita e della sua famiglia.

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This week’s film is a comedy typical of the Italian cinema of the last 20 years, with an unexpected twist at the end. Tommaso is a successful, respected but arrogant cardiac surgeon who also happens to be a militant atheist. Tommaso’s only son Andrea one day announces that he wants to become a priest. Tommaso refuses to accept this as his son’s vocation and is horrified when his wife Carla and daughter Bianca also embrace the Catholic religion. While Andrea is on a retreat at a monastery, Tommaso goes undercover to investigate and expose the charismatic Don Pietro, who he believes has “brain-washed” his son and caused upheaval in his family.

Italian film showing today: Smetto quando voglio – Masterclass (Sydney Sibilia, 2017)

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The Italian film, Smetto quando voglio – Masterclass / I Can Quit Whenever I Want – Masterclass (Sydney Sibilia, 2017) (115 minutes, English subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 13th November 2017. Review, introduction and discussion via Skype by Emilio Audissino. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

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Seguito del film Smetto quando voglio (2014), proiettato lo scorso marzo. Pietro, il neurobiologo a capo della ‘banda dei ricercatori’, che aveva tentato di imporsi sul mercato romano delle smart-drug nell’anno precedente, è in prigione. Gli altri complici della fallita impresa criminale sono dispersi: chi rassegnato a un lavoro al disotto della sua preparazione, chi intrappolato in un matrimonio d’interesse, chi sommerso di debiti, chi in riabilitazione. La polizia contatta Pietro e gli offre un accordo: se la sua banda accetta di collaborare sotto copertura per aiutare la polizia a identificare almeno 30 tra le nuove smart-drug in circolazione, tutti otterranno la grazia e avranno la fedina penale ripulita. I ricercatori si rimettono insieme, coadiuvati da tre nuovi colleghi. Essendo un gruppo di menti brillanti, il loro lavoro si svolge con relativa facilità e riescono quasi a raggiungere la quota prefissata, ma c’è una droga che non riescono a identificare: il Sopox. L’indagine li porterà a scoprire uno scenario più grande e serio di quanto si aspettassero.

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The film is the sequel to “I Can Quit Whenever I Want” (2014), screened last March. Pietro, neurobiologist and leader of the ‘gang of scholars’ that had tried to corner Rome’s smart-drug market in the previous year, is in jail. The other accomplices of the failed criminal enterprise are disbanded: some resigned to a menial job; one trapped in a marriage of convenience; others swamped with debts; one in rehab. The Police approach Pietro to offer him a deal: if his gang accepts to work undercover to help the Police identify at least 30 of the new smart-drugs in circulation, they will all receive pardon and a cleaned criminal record. The scholars thus reunite, with the addition of three new members. A pool of brilliant minds, their work proceeds smoothly and they have almost completed their task, but one drug escapes their grasp, the Sopox. The investigation into that will lead to more than they ever expected.

Italian film showing today: Il bell’Antonio (Mauro Bolognini, 1960)

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The Italian film, Il bell’Antonio (Mauro Bolognini, 1960) (105 minutes, Italian subtitles) will be showing in Lecture Theatre B, Avenue Campus, at 6:30pm on Monday 6th November 2017. Review, introduction and discussion by Neil Tibbetts. All welcome! The trailer for this film can be viewed on YouTube.

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Questa settimana vi proponiamo un classico del cinema italiano, con Marcello Mastroianni e Claudia Cardinale nel ruolo dei protagonisti. La sceneggiatura è di Pier Paolo Pasolini. Ambientato in Sicilia, questo film un po’ particolare è liberamente ispirato al romanzo omonimo di Vitaliano Brancati (pubblicato nel 1949) ma la storia è aggiornata al contesto della Sicilia degli anni sessanta. Antonio Magnano è l’obiettivo amoroso di tutte le donne della città perché è ricco e bello. È appena tornato alla casa familiare di Catania da Roma con la prospettiva di sposarsi con la bellissima figlia di una buona famiglia della zona, Barbara Puglisi. Ma Antonio ha un problema personale che renderà il matrimonio un po’ complicato…Un interessante film sulla presunta virilità dell’uomo italiano e su com’è difficile mantenersi all’altezza delle aspettative degli altri.

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This week we are showing a classic of Italian cinema, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Claudia Cardinale. The screenplay is by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Set in Sicily, this rather unusual film is a version of Vitaliano Brancati’s 1949 novel of the same name, adapted for 1960s Sicily. Antonio Magnano is rich and handsome; he is therefore the object of attention of all the women in the city. He has recently returned to his family home in Catania from Rome, with the prospect of marriage to Barbara Puglisi, the beautiful daughter of a well-to-do local family. But Antonio has one problem which will make married life a bit problematic…An interesting portrayal of the supposed virility of the Italian male and of how difficult it can be to live up to expectations.