Thursday, May 23, 2013

OPEN ROADS 2013: Current Italian cinema arrives–bracing & beautiful. And horrifying

We're posting a little early this year, as the Film Society of Lincoln Center's annual Open Roads series of new Italian cinema, co-organized by Istituto Luce Cinecittà, does not officially begin until Thursday, June 6. To bring you proper coverage of all twelve of the films in this year's series, however, TrustMovies thinks he'd better start now -- in order to give each its due.

The 2013 program, which is said to offer more of what the FSLC calls the "regionalist trend" -- this has been apparent in the Open Roads selections for literally years now -- features films set in Sardegna and Sicily, as well as elsewhere around "the boot." The program also brings back Bellocchio's brilliant and enormously empathetic Dormant Beauty (above), one of this legendary filmmaker's best, which had its New York premier earlier this year during the FSLC's Film Comment Selects. The series opens with Every Blessed Day (shown at top), the new film from the always worthwhile Paolo Virzi

So far, I've seen nine of the dozen films on display, and the best -- the most original and provocative by far -- is the new work from famed cinematographer/editor/writer/director Daniele Cipri (this is the first film he's done without his longtime partner, Franco Maresco), It Was the Son, shown above and below.

Of the nine movies I've seen, if the overall quality seems just slightly lower than that of other years, there has also not been a clunker in the bunch. Each is worth seeing for a number of reasons, not least of which is its entertainment value. (And I haven't even mentioned, Nina -- below -- the most gloriously beautiful of the films, with cinematography that puts color, light, architecture and space to use in some incredible new ways.)

So click here and take a good, long look at the entire series, then make your choices. If you see three films or more, you can save big money, so once you've decided, click here and then click on the FSLC's Discount Package. You're unlikely to get this much -- or this good -- a view of Italian cinema, art, culture and mores anywhere else. (Until Open Roads 2014, that is...)

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