Cartoons, historical memory and current affairs
Gianluca Giannelli is proud, and he has reason to be: “his” section of the Rome Film Festival, Alice in the City, aimed at younger viewers, has grown up over the years and today boasts a line-up full of debut works and young talents, as well as big-name actors and established directors (Sam Garbarski with Distant Neighbourhood, based on a Japanese manga book) who prefer the not-so-easy encounter with school kid audiences to the more “high-profile” sections.
This year’s opening title is Audrey Estrougo’s political musical Leila, in which songs from the 60s and 70s provide a soundtrack to the complicated love between two students, against a backdrop of demonstrations for the rights of the “sans papiers” (illegal immigrants). Of course, because “Alice” doesn’t just mean light-hearted films and cartoons, but also historical memory and – often – current affairs: from the stereoscopic little fairies of Iginio Straffi’s Winx Club 3D: Magic Adventure to the violent French suburbs in Turk’s Head [+see also:
film profile], a jigsaw of stories by debut director Pascal Elbé.
Europe is, as always, well represented: although, surprisingly, the presence of Scandinavian films is not as strong as usual, the only title being Danish director Kaspar Munk’s Hold Me Tight [+see also:
Italy is represented by Massimo Natale’s L’estate di Martino [+see also:
film profile] (“Martino’s Summer”), which uses the gentler tones of a modern fairytale to portray the much more violent colours of the tragic Italian summer of 1980 (which saw the shooting down of the DC9 plane in the skies over Ustica and the terrorist attack in Bologna train station).
Other interesting films hail from Belgium (Hans Van Nuffel’s Oxygen [+see also:
film profile]) and Ireland (Paul Fraser’s My Brothers and Ian Power’s The Runway): but Giannelli believes that Spain is the country to watch closely, as shown by the pair of titles in this year’s line-up: Paul Freixas’s Heroes and Christian Molina’s Italian co-production I Want to Be a Soldier (also produced by Valeria Marini).
(Translated from Italian)
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