Visconti’s mid-70s drama stars Burt Lancaster as a retired American professor whose quiet life in a Roman palazzo is turned upside down when he rents out the upper floor to a vulgar marchesa and her companions, her lover, her daughter, and her daughter’s boyfriend.
With Helmut Berger, Silvana Mangano
An epic tragicomedy from director Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties), Love and Anarchy plumbs the depths of fascist Italy from the perspective of a simple farm boy (Giancarlo Giannini) sent to kill Mussolini. w Lina Polito, Mariangela Melato
Winner: Best Actor, Cannes Film Festival
"One of the screen’s great portrayals of the hell-raising and malaise of young men in their 20s, hit Italy like a comic thunderbolt when it was released there in 1953 — and it struck the American art-house audience in much the same way when it premiered here in 1956. Now it returns, and unlike its five aging-boy protagonists, Fellini’s movie hasn’t lost its first youth." Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
w. Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi
A big hit at last year’s VIFF, this intense thriller shows the moral struggle facing two wealthy brothers and their wives after their teenage children brutally beat a homeless man. Winner of four prizes at the Venice Film Festival.
w. Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Alessandro Gassman, Luigi Lo Cascio
Satirist Sabina Guzzanti’s controversial documentary examines the aftermath of an April 2009 earthquake that devastated the historic city of L’Aquila, the capital of Italy’s wildly beautiful region of Abruzzo. A kind of Italian Michael Moore, Guzzanti shows how the disaster was used by Berlusconi and his cronies for political and financial gain.
Presented by the Circolo Abruzzese
A well-groomed, greedy Polish mercenary aids a Mexican Revolutionary against the repressive government, while butting heads with a young female radical and an American rival. Quentin Tarantino rates this little-seen spaghetti western higher even than Once Upon a Time in the West. Sergio Corbucci (Django) directs, from a story by Franco Solinas (Battle of Algiers), and the glorious score is by the great Ennio Morricone. With Franco Nero and Jack Palance as “Curly”.
In this all-star comedy, the lovers and offspring of Italy’s most popular movie star (and most prolific ladies’ man) gather in his hometown on the 10th anniversary of his passing to piece together the puzzle of his life.
With: Francesco Scianna, Virna Lisi, Marisa Paredes, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
Opening Gala ticket ($25) includes a buffet courtesy of the Italian Cultural Centre, live music, complimentary glass of wine and first look at an exhibition of photographs from the making of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s classic, The Arabian Nights (screening in the festival, Saturday night).
Doors are at 5.45, the film is at 7.15, and check out our special double bill price if you would like to stay for Fellini’s marvellous I Vitelloni, which screens from 9.30.
Boccaccio’s Decameron without sex may seem surprising, but desire, delight and the beauty of youth are everywhere here. A tapestry of colour and the supreme natural beauty of the medieval Italian countryside, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s resplendent work, set in 1348, features ten young Florentines who hide from the plague in a country villa. To pass the time, they tell stories "that seem to vibrate with erotic passions inflamed by the presence of death."New Yorker
See the movie that inspired George Lucas’s original Star Wars. Toshiro Mifune stars as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan’s princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile territory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director’s most beloved films, delivering Kurosawa’s trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity. 35mm print.
$7 Youth Ticket Available
Miguel Gomes’ (Tabu, Our Beloved Month of August) astonishing three-volume, six-hour epic draws inspiration from the tales of Scheherazade (here played by Crista Alfaiate) and once again uses a fascinating combination of reality and fiction to comment on Portugal’s past, present and future. "There’s Bunuelian satire, lo-fi crime, Brechtian allegory, and high fantasy all in the mix. It’s dizzying stuff… a film that’s moving, sad, exciting, fiery, and funny." Indiewire
Three pack ticket offer available
Volume 2 – The Desolate One
The dramatic shifts in tone become even more pronounced with the second film’s slow-tempo opening chapter about an old man on the lam. In “The Tears of the Judge,” a public trial becomes a mockery, with the testimony implicating everyone in attendance. Finally, The Desolate One ends on an exhilarating note, with a supremely entertaining story about a dog named Dixie who’s passed between owners, familiarizing us with the inhabitants of a working-class apartment building.
Volume 3 – The Enchanted One
It’s here that the trilogy is both at its most playful and focused. Having escaped the palace of the king, Scheherazade explores a seaside landscape where she encounters, among others, a “wind genie” and a daft suitor. In this chapter, it’s as if the historical backdrop, the modern world and the disparate modes of storytelling collapse into one another. Movingly and unexpectedly, the last gesture of Arabian Nights is to scale back its scope and provide a disarmingly modest and poignant grace note on which one of contemporary cinema’s new masterpieces can close.
Reporting a potentially lethal crack in the wall of a crowded apartment block, plumber Dima quickly finds himself the victim of a Kafka-esque spiral of corruption and conspiracy. This scathing Russian satire is in a similar vein to Leviathan, another powerful critique of a country that seems to have lost its moral compass. “A distressing moral drama, gripping thriller and scathing sociopolitical portrait of Russia rolled into one.” Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter
Kick off your New Year celebrations with the most outrageously entertaining movie of 2015. Academy Award nominee Wild Tales lives up to its name and then some, packing six absurdly taut, funny and emotionally-charged short films into its running time. The common theme is revenge, and it’s delivered with a wicked sense of humour and not a little venom. “The year’s most fearlessly funny film." Richard Corliss, Time
A true master of allegories, filmmaker Emin Alper made his debut onto the world stage with 2012 Berlinale stunner Beyond the Hill, for which he won the esteemed Caligari Film Prize.
In his second feature Abluka, Alper tells the story of Kadir, a stoic ex-con released on parole for the purposes of acting as an informant to the powers that be. Awarded with the esteemed Special Jury Prize at this years Venice Film Festival, Alper’s Abluka is a starkly photographed, masterfully crafted film that delves deep into dystopia.
Community Partners: DOXA & WIFTV
For decades the men of southeastern Turkey have been emigrating to Germany in search of better opportunity, leaving their wives and children behind. Only after they solidify their financial foundations abroad can the remaining members of their family join them. “Ich Liebe Dich” is a heart felt documentary which closely follows women in Hacilar, a small town in Southeastarn Turkey, as they gather everyday to take German lessons to ultimately prove their language proficiency to the German government in the hopes of joining their husbands.
This feature-length documentary by filmbuff turned filmmaker Cem Kaya, that chronicles the zeitgeist of the most prolific (and bizarre!) era of Yesilcam (or Turkish Hollywood, for the lack of a better phrase), that ‘sweet-spot’ in the 70s when Turkishfilmmakers had to resort to mind-boggling tactics to satisfy the endless demands of the domestic movie-going audience. Miniscule budgets and tight schedules meant the filmmakers of the time had to devise a formula that worked every time – remaking, remixing and ripping off universally acclaimed films like Superman, E.T., The Exorcist, Rambo, James Bond and of course Star Wars, all a la Turca, of course!