Monday, June 4, 2012

OPENS ROADS 2012, new Italian cinema, opens Friday at the FSLC's Walter Reade

If you imagined that nowhere else in the world is immigration as hot a topic as here in the good ol' USA, wait until you get a load of what this year's OPENS ROADS festival has in store. In nearly every film of the seven TrustMovies has seen in advance of the fest's opening, immigration is either front and center or hanging very noticeably around the exterior of the subject at hand. Even the festival's opening-night attraction -- Ferzan Ozpetek's new and quite enchanting Magnificent Presence (below) -- has a bevy of ghosts interacting with its hero. And, really, couldn't you consider these spectres a kind of extreme immigration problem, stuck as they are between one world and the next?

As usual, Open Roads, offered up by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, is bringing us some old-favorite filmmakers -- like Ozpetek, Olmi, Crialese (a photo from whose Terraferma is shown at top) and Vicari -- along with some, of whom we've never heard but whose work seems extraordinary, like the brothers Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio and their Seven Acts of Mercy, shown below.

Of those seven films, there's not one I'd have missed. One of these made me so angry at Italy and its police, I thought I had lost all love for the country (Vicari's Diaz: Don't Clean Up This Blood (below) -- a brilliant piece of agitprop cinema and one of the most harrowing films I have ever seen) but then that evening we watched the Ozpetek gem, and all the love I usually feel for Italy, its people and films, came flooding back again.

I'll begin my usual Open Roads round-up/checklist tomorrow and will hope to add to this as the days continue and I am able to view more of the series. Should we be lucky enough to have any or many of these movie open theatrically, I'll post my usual, longer review at that time. So consider this your heads-up: Get tickets ASAP, as the films are shown but twice (sometimes only once) and may never hit these shores again. You can peruse the entire Open Roads series by clicking here.

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