OPEN ROADS series of new Italian films showing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center over the past decade or more, 2014 marks the first time that I will not be able to properly cover this fine festival. The intrusions of life have meant that suddenly I had to bow out of seeing more than the first press screening of the opening night film, THOSE HAPPY YEARS (Anni felici) from the popular and accomplished writer /director Daniele Luchetti (shown below, of Ginger and Cinnamon and My Brother Is an Only Child).
I don't know that the story told here is a personal one, but it certainly could be, as the film is narrated by the older son of the
Samuel Garofalo, at right), a character whose age range during the course of the film would easily fit that of Signore Luchetti's back a few decades, and who is himself a budding filmmaker. In fact, Dario receives the gift of his first video camera during the film.
Kim Rossi Stuart, above), a semi-successful "modern" artist with more ambition than apparent talent, is also a heavy-duty narcissist who cheats repeatedly on his wife but can't conceive of her being able to do the same thing to him.
Micaela Rammazotti (above, right), who made such an award-winning stir internationally a few years back in Paolo Virzi's family chronicle, The First Beautiful Thing. She learns and grows during the course of the film -- just as does Dad, and even the kids (especially Dario) -- coming to grips with an attraction to her hubby's agent (a very smart and interesting performance from Germany's Martina Gedeck, of The Wall, shown below, center right).
here, and see as many of these movies as time and money permit. After all, it's hard to go too far wrong where Italy and cinema are concerned.