Italian Film Festival

Top Picks

Trailer Icon 03 Perfect Strangers (Opening Night)
Fueled by a fiendishly clever screenplay and an all-star cast, Perfect Strangers gathers a group of good friends around the dining table-three thirty something couples and a bachelor-where one suggests they make all SMSs and phone calls public across the course of the night. The reason: to prove they have nothing to hide. What seems like an innocent experiment results in some eyeopening disclosures-even a swapping of phones in a desperate concealment attempt-that shows how performance dominates our public lives.
As Genovese says, “Smartphones have become a fundamental object, perhaps the only one that we always carry with us-our ‘black box’.” Never has the time been so ripe to offer such a cinematic take on a classic morality conundrum.
????? Film Dude
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An excellent ‘dramedy’ about two very different women who go on a road-trip of Thelma and Louise proportions. Beatrice and Donatella meet in a psychiatric institution. While Beatrice is a brash, unhinged chatterbox; the institute’s newcomer, Donatella, is fragile and withdrawn. Still, Beatrice seeks out friendship with this punkish introvert and, during day release at a nursery, they board a bus and commence their girls-only adventure.
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A prison drama that follows the story of young and conflicted Daphne who, after being criminally convicted for robbery, must adapt to a new lifestyle in a juvenile prison. In prison Daphne is mainly ostracised by the other girls but she soon finds comfort through her secret relationship with Josh, whom she meets across a fence in the separate male ward. Their relationship is not allowed in the prison so they exchange clandestine letters, brief glances and conversations through the fence that separates them. Through her romantic relationship with Josh and her new life in prison Daphne is finally able to discover herself, but can her relationship with Josh survive beyond prison life?
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Giulia De Martino is 17 years old and already carries the weight of her family on her shoulders. Her mother has left, and when her father dies, it is up to her to look after her little brother, and the family garage, which has been turning out rally champions for generations. Overwhelmed with debt, Giulia, who is a promising racing driver herself, must win the GT championships at any cost. She reaches out to her older brother Loris, a former champion driver who has fallen into the spiral of drugs. Based on a true story, Italian Race portrays talent and deterioration, competition and toxic love in a way that is both accurate and realistic.
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It’s 1995 in Ostia, on the Roman seaside. Twenty something Vittorio and Cesare are lifelong friends, almost brothers. They take drugs, drink and get into fights with other misfits like them. At home Cesare has a prematurely aged mother. Vittorio instead seems to have no one in the world, and when he meets Linda he sees in her a chance to build a normal life. He decides to find work and tries to enlist Cesare, who in the meantime has fallen in love with Vivian, a loner like him but full of desire to build a future.
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Giulia’s world is an ancient one, suspended in time and built on rigour and sacred texts, which fiercely excludes anyone who doesn’t belong to it. Libero’s world is that which is inhabited by everyone else: by those who make mistakes, those who make do as they seek other prospects, and those who love unconditionally. When Giulia meets Libero, she discovers there may be another destiny awaiting her, one she can choose for herself. Theirs is a pure and inevitable love story, as the two young people embark on an intense period in their lives together, a choice that leads to Giulia being completely cut off from the religious world she belongs to.
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One of the Big Three of Italian film releases from 1960, Rocco and His Brothers is a cataclysmic family saga charting the desperate attempts of impoverished Southerners to seek a better future in the Industrial North of Milan. The stories of the five fratelli as they fall victim to corrupt forces are elegantly steered to an explosive finale that is sure to still leave audiences reeling.
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Set in the heady summer of 1975, with the Communist Party seemingly on the verge of taking power through the upcoming general election, controversial Italian director, poet and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini is editing his most audacious film yet, the now notorious “Salò, or the 120 days of Sodom” when the negative is stolen from the film laboratory. Pasolini, a well-known communist who is openly gay, is also in the midst of writing a book condemning Italy’s political elite; and he is seeing a young man, Pino Pelosi, from the working class suburbs of Rome that are renown for organised crime. When Pasolini arranges a meeting to retrieve the negative, little does he know that he is walking into a trap that has many authors.
One of the most mysterious and controversial crimes in Italian history, the murder of Pasolini is treated as a thriller, highlighting the monstrosity of those who physically murdered Pasolini, those who ordered the crime, and those who covered it up.
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Trailer Icon 03 Roman Holiday (Closing Night)
Living a life of privilege and boredom, Princess Ann skips out on her royal duties to enjoy some time as an everyday girl. As luck would have it, she falls into the arms of journalist Joe Bradley who, upon learning her identity, sees an opportunity for an exclusive. But he doesn’t bet on romance. Amid the laughs and screwball antics, Ann and Joe take in all the sights of Rome-from the Trevi Fountain to the Colosseum-in “a regal and highly illegal scoot-around” on the back of a Vespa.
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