The Italians at the market
by Camillo de Marco
The Adriana Chiesa Enterprises slate features Maria Sole Tognazzi’s break-up drama The Man Who Loves [trailer], which opened last year’s Rome Film Festival; Paolo Benvenuti’s historical film Puccini e la Fanciulla, presented out of competition at Venice 2008; the road movie Athens-Istanbul by Greece’s Nikos Panayotopoulos; and the restored and partially re-edited version of 1975 cult musical Yuppi Du, directed, produced by and starring Adriano Celentano.
RAI Trade is bringing Matteo Rovere’s Bad Girls [trailer]; Pupi Avati’s Giovanna’s Father, featuring Italian Shooting Star 2009 Alba Rohrwacher (see interview); Maurizio Scaparro’s L'Ultimo Pulcinella [trailer]; and Pinuccio Lovero: Sogno di una Morte di Mezza Estate by Pippo Mezzapesa, a small, Beckett-esque documentary that closed the Critics Week sidebar of last year’s Venice fest.
Also low-budget is the surprise hit of 2008, Mid-August Lunch [trailer], the debut feature by Gianni Di Gregorio, co-screenwriter and assistant director of Gomorrah [trailer, film focus]. The film, produced by Matteo Garrone and his company Archimede, is being sold by UK-Italian Fandango Portobello Sales.
Paola Corvino’s Intramovies is at the Berlinale with another acclaimed feature debut, Federico Bondi’s Mar Nero, recently released at home after picking up awards at Locarno, Villerupt and Denver; Frankie, The Womanizer [trailer], Czech director Jan Prušinovský’s story of a married, women-crazed psychiatrist; WWII title Tobruk by Czech director Václav Marhoul; and Vinko Bresan’s Croatian film Will Not Stop There, about a young Croatian veteran whose life changes after spotting a women he knew from the war in a porn film.
The Minerva Pictures line-up includes Fine Pena Mai by Davide Barletti and Lorenzo Conte and Gianfranco Pannone’s Il Sol dell'Avvenire, a documentary on Red Brigade terrorism of the 1970s that sparked controversy when it was backed by the Ministry of Culture.
Numerous Italian films are also being handled by international companies, such as Galantuomini [trailer] by Edoardo Winspeare (France’s Coach 14) and Michele Soavi’s Il Sangue dei Vinti [trailer] (by the California-based The Little Film Company). The latter, based on the Giampaolo Pansa novel, also sparked controversy for its political content.
The French/Italian co-production in competition, François Ozon’s Ricky [trailer], and Eden Is West [trailer] by Costa Gavras, a French/Greek/Italian title showing out of competition, are being sold respectively by Le Pacte and Pathé. Meanwhile, Germany’s Beta Cinema is offering two feature debuts: Uberto Pasolini’s Machan [trailer] and Marco Pontecorvo’s Pa-Ra-Da [trailer].
Lastly, Celluloid Dreams is handling the latest film by Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores, Come Dio Comanda [trailer], as well as Marco Bellocchio’s Vincere [trailer, film focus], still in post-production.
(Translated from Italian)