Contemporary and classic Italian films and even a couple of Thai movies will be presented in the Moviemov Italian Film Festival from June 8 to 12 at SFX the Emporium cinema.
The program features an Italian Showcase of recent films, a special screening, a retrospective of classics by Mario Monicelli and a tribute to Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang.
And for the first time, the Italian Film Festival in Bangkok will have a juried competition for the new crop of Italian films. Thai theater and film director Ekachai Uekrongtham, Chulalongkorn University cinema professor Elio De Carolis and the Thai Film Archive's Chalida Uabumrungjit will award the Moviemov Plate to the film that best represents Italy abroad.
In addition to SFX the Emporium, screenings will also be at Chulalongkorn University and at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya. See the Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce website for the full schedule or download the brochure PDF.
- Manuale d'am3re (Manual of Love 3, a.k.a. The Ages of Love), directed by Giovanni Veronesi (2011) – The third entry in this series of romantic comedies as an anthology of four love stories. Robert De Niro plays a divorced university professor who woos Monica Bellucci. Shot in Tuscany and Rome, the cast also features Laura Chiatti, Riccardo Scamarcio, Valeria Solarino and Donatella Finocchiaro.
- Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons), directed by Ferzan Ozpetek (2010) – A large traditional Italian family is upset by the sudden news that the youngest son is gay. Riccardo Scamarcio stars.
- Una vita tranquilla (A Quiet Life), directed by Claudio Cupellini (2010) – Toni Servillo is a former mafia hitman who has left the life of crime for 15 years and built a new identity in Germany only to have his criminal past catch up with him.
- La scuola è finita (School's Out), directed by Valerio Jalongo (2010) – A drug-dealing student is given a chance at redemption by a pair of teachers.
- La doppia ora (The Double Hour), directed by Giuseppe Capotondi (2009) – Romantic sparks fly and then turn tragic when an Eastern European waitress meets an Italian ex-policeman on a speed date.
- Dieci inverni (Ten Winters), directed by Valerio Mieli (2009) – The director's debut feature follows a relationship over 10 years that begins with glances between a young man and woman on a Venice water taxi and undergoes many changes.
- Io sono l’amore (I Am Love), directed by Luca Guadagnino (2009) – Tilda Swinton gives a widely acclaimed performance in this drama about an Italian family wracked by turmoil.
- Valzer (The Waltz, directed by Salvatore Maira (2007) – A man and a hotel maid meet in this award-winning drama that is shot in one continuous 90-minute take.
Regarded as one of the masters of commedia all'Italiana, Mario Monicelli directed films that have been described as a perfect mirror of Italian society during the 1950s and 1960s. Among his best-regarded work is 1959's La Grande Guerra (The Great War). Monicelli died last year at the age of 95. In all, seven of his classic movies from the 1950s to the 1990s will be shown. Here's the line-up:
- Guardie e Ladri (Cops and Robbers), 1951 – Comedian Toto stars as a thief who has eluded the law for years. The latest lawman to give pursuit is Aldo Fabrizi, a detective who's given three months to bring the robber to justice – a job that becomes complicated when the thief ingratiates himself into the detective's family circle.
- I Soliti Ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street), 1958 – This jewel-heist comedy stars Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni. They are heading a caper that involves digging a tunnel from an apartment into a neighboring business, but plans go awry when their tunnel comes up in the wrong place.
- La Grande Guerra (The Great War), 1959 – Alberto Sordi and Vittorio Gassman are mismatched army buddies who are drafted into service during World War I and serve in the trenches on the Austro-Hungarian frontlines. Produced by Dino DeLaurentis, this is Monicelli's best-regarded film. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
- Amici Miei (My Friends), 1975 – Four middle-aged Florentines engage in idle pranks in a continuous attempt to prolong their childhood. This hit comedy spawned two sequels.
- Un Borghese Piccolo Piccolo (An Average Little Man), 1977 – When his only son is killed in an armed robbery, a meek middle-aged man (Alberto Sordi) takes justice into his own hands. Shelly Winters also stars.
- Il Marchese del Grillo (The Marquis of Grillo), 1981 – Alberto Sordi portrays the larger-than-life title character, a womanizing man who is always inventing stories and cracking all types of jokes.
- Parenti Serpenti (Dearest Relatives, Poisonous Relations), 1992 – A large family reunites in their ancestral home for Christmas, as they do every year. But this year the elderly mother and father spring a surprise on their sons – one of them will inherit the family home if they agree to care for their aging parents.
Tribute to Pen-ek Ratanaruang
One of Thailand's most-popular directors on the international scene, Pen-ek Ratanaruang has selected two of his movies to be shown. He'll receive the Best Thai Director 2011 Award presented by Ciak magazine in the Ciak d’Oro ceremony in Rome. Here's the line-up:
- Ploy, 2007 – A jet-lagged Thai-American couple (Pornwat Sarasin and soap actress Lalida Panyopas) check into a Bangkok hotel after a long-haul flight from the U.S. and their tenuous marriage is tested when the husband invites a young woman (Apinya Sakuljaroensuk) up to their room. Meanwhile, the hotel's bartender (Ananda Everingham) is engaged in a playful tryst with a maid (Porntip Papanai). Ploy premiered in the Directors' Fortnight program at the Cannes Film Festival. Pen-ek will present the film along with Goffredo Bettini, artistic director of Moviemov, and Piera Detassis, artistic director of the International Rome Film Festival and director of Ciak Magazine.
- Last Life in the Universe, 2003 – Tadanobu Asano stars in this quirk-filled black comedy as an eccentric, suicide-obsessed librarian living in Bangkok, hiding from his secret past. Violent circumstances lead him to take up with a young Thai woman (Sinitta Boonyasak) at her ramshackle house by the sea. Last Life is one of a pair of pan-Asian co-productions Pen-ek did with Asano and cinematographer Christopher Doyle (the other is 2006's Invisible Waves). The cast also includes cult Japanese actor Riki Takeuchi and a cameo by filmmaker Takashi Miike. Asano received the Upstream Prize for Best Actor at the 2003 Venice Film Festival.