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Loro review – Sorrentino steps into Berlusconi's heart of darkness

Silvio Berlusconi is the role Toni Servillo was born to play – but Paulo Sorrentino’s dreamlike biopic is perhaps too lenient to the grisly plutocrat

His face is waxy and frozen, topped with an ebony hair-transplant and split with a rictus grin, like the Joker. Italy’s grisly premier plutocrat Silvio Berlusconi is the part Toni Servillo was born to play, maybe the part that all his previous roles for director Paolo Sorrentino have been leading up to. There’s a prototypical sliver of Silvio in the exiled mob functionary Titta in Consequences of Love (2004), the enigmatic mandarin Giulio Andreotti in Il Divo (2008) and especially the disillusioned Roman journalist and boulevardier Jep in La Grande Bellezza. Servillo is always good at the fathomless ennui of the lion in winter, the droll and mordant self-knowledge of someone sadly savouring the various status-trappings of age and male power that he has – almost – ceased to care about.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Italian Veterans and Newcomers Unspool at Toronto

  • Variety
Italian Veterans and Newcomers Unspool at Toronto
The Italian contingent at Toronto comprises new works by heavyweights such as Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino and Matteo Garrone alongside emerging talents who’ve already made a splash, including Roberto Minervini and Edoardo De Angelis, and newcomer Laura Luchetti, among a growing group of women directors breaking the country’s gender barrier.

These helmers are all under 50. In different ways their latest works all have political connotations, which range from former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s deep impact on Italy, to immigration and the upheaval being caused by President Trump in the U.S. While rooted in local contexts, they spring from the Italian film community’s increasingly international mindset.

“Loro,” Paolo Sorrentino

Section: Masters

“Loro,” which means “Them,” stars Sorrentino regular Toni Servillo as a grinning Silvio Berlusconi. Servillo previously played Italian pol Giulio Andreotti in the director’s caustic pop opera “Il Divo,” but the tone in this depiction
See full article at Variety »

'Loro' ('Them'): Film Review | Tiff 2018

'Loro' ('Them'): Film Review | Tiff 2018
The Toronto Film Festival unveiled the international cut of Paolo Sorrentino’s visceral, grotesque and graphically vulgar portrait of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Loro (Them.) In Italy, Loro was released last spring in two parts, with Loro 1 lasting 104 minutes and Loro 2 clocking in at 100. Almost an hour has been cut for the 150-minute international version, which will be released by IFC in the U.S. and Canada.

Talented actor Toni Servillo, who impersonated former politician Giulio Andreotti in the director’s 2008 Il Divo, stars as the grotesquely charming S.B. and Elena Sofia Ricci archly portrays his ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Film Review: Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Loro 1’

  • Variety
Film Review: Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Loro 1’
After Paolo Sorrentino’s virtuoso evisceration of Italian politician Giulio Andreotti in “Il Divo,” expectations were sky high that the distinctive director would bring a similar caustic bravura to his treatment of Silvio Berlusconi. Yet “Loro 1,” the first of a two-part kaleidoscopic consideration of the four-time prime minister and the Italy he fostered, is not so much an invigorating acid bath as a subtly written, stylistically more classical look at one of the most divisive European leaders in recent memory. It aims to peer not just into Berlusconi’s monomaniacal soul, but to expose, as with “The Great Beauty,” the apotheosis of vulgarity and craving for attention that’s been the canny politician and media magnate’s lasting imprint on Italian society.

Whether it’s successful depends very much on “Loro 2,” to be released in Italy on May 10, roughly two weeks after this installment. Rumor has it the
See full article at Variety »

Paolo Sorrentino's Silvio Berlusconi project lands at Focus

  • ScreenDaily
Paolo Sorrentino's Silvio Berlusconi project lands at Focus
Pathé to sell Italian-language Loro outside Italy.

Focus Features has acquired Italian rights to Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro (Them) starring Toni Servillo (pictured) as Silvio Berlusconi, the controversial and larger-than-life former prime minister, Mediaset founder and former AC Milan owner.

Universal Pictures Italy will distribute the feature and Indigo Films anticipates a summer start. Pathé is co-producing Loro and will handle sales outside Italy.

Sorrentino, who served on this year’s Cannes competition jury and whose English-language HBO show The Young Pope starring Jude Law is expected to be an Emmys contender, will direct Loro from a screenplay he co-wrote with Umberto Contarello.

It is understood the project will centre on Berlusconi and his entourage. Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima, and Carlotta Calori serve as producers.

Servillo starred in Sorrentino’s foreign-language Oscar winner The Great Beauty and Il Divo, in which he portrayed another Italian prime minister, Giulio Andreotti.

“Given Focus’ commitment to collaborating with global filmmakers
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Paolo Sorrentino's Silvio Berlusconi project lands at Focus Features

  • ScreenDaily
Paolo Sorrentino's Silvio Berlusconi project lands at Focus Features
Pathé to sell Italian-language Loro outside Italy.

Focus Features has acquired Italian rights to Paolo Sorrentino’s Loro (Them) starring Toni Servillo (pictured) as Silvio Berlusconi, the controversial and larger-than-life former prime minister, Mediaset founder and former AC Milan owner.

Universal Pictures Italy will distribute the feature and Indigo Films anticipates a summer start. Pathé is co-producing Loro and will handle sales outside Italy.

Sorrentino, who served on this year’s Cannes competition jury and whose English-language HBO show The Young Pope starring Jude Law is expected to be an Emmys contender, will direct Loro from a screenplay he co-wrote with Umberto Contarello.

It is understood the project will centre on Berlusconi and his entourage. Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima, and Carlotta Calori serve as producers.

Servillo starred in Sorrentino’s foreign-language Oscar winner The Great Beauty and Il Divo, in which he portrayed another Italian prime minister, Giulio Andreotti.

“Given Focus’ commitment to collaborating with global filmmakers
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Paolo Sorrentino Announces Silvio Berlusconi Movie as Footage from ‘The Young Pope’ Arrives

It was sort of inevitable that Paolo Sorrentino would come around to a film about his nation’s former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. A man whose work is most often marked by power and excess — Sorrentino, I mean — he broke onto the international scene with 2008’s Il Divo, a portrait of another controversial Prime Minister, Giulio Andreotti, and he’s soon to premiere a Jude Law-led television drama, The Young Pope, the first first two episodes of which just played in Venice to positive notices. Could we expect that this subject wasn’t on his mind?

Variety have word that the writer-director is moving forward with Loro — that’s Italian for Them, and doubly meaningful when l’oro, as your Ennio Morricone folder on iTunes will tell you, translates to “gold” — which will act as “a depiction of Berlusconi’s world, but not a scathing sterile criticism.” How the
See full article at The Film Stage »

Interview: Gianni Bozzacchi on Cinephile-Oriented Doc “We Weren’t Just Bicycle Thieves. Neorealism”

To all cinephiles! This one is for you!

What a surprise was in store for us when we went to see “We Weren’t Just Bicycle Thieves. Neorealism” on its opening night of its qualifying run for Oscar submission in the documentary category.

The footage!

It took two and a half years to clear it all! The best scenes of Neorealistic cinema illustrate points on how Neorealism changed the lexicon and language of film in the same way that the Renaissance changed the visual language of art with linear perspective and its humanistic point of view.

The commentary!

Speaking about the influence of the Italian post-war Neorealism upon their filmmaking choices are Bertolucci, the Taviani Brothers, Scorsese, Olmi, Umberto Eco, Gabriel Garcia Marquez… the only reason Antonioni and Fellini did not speak was because they were no longer living when the movie was made. The interviews were not “talking heads”; they were conversations in which the great directors expressed their connections with Neorealism as they spoke to Carlo Lizzani.

Carlo Lizzani, the narrator and host of this documentary is an elegant 91 year old man who worked as scriptwriter, assistant director to every Neorealistic director and director in his own right. He starred in movies 1939-1954.

I loved him dancing in "Bitter Rice" (which he cowrote) with the women workers. That was the first Neorealistic movie I saw, dubbed on TV, when I was about eight. It was so puzzling to me, seeing this woman in a rice field with her skirt hiked up in a very provocative way, calling to someone with her words not matching her lips.

I really did not understand what sort of movie I was seeing… Similar to the first time I saw Chantal Akerman’s "Jane Dielman" which was rather Neorealistic too, though a product of the early ‘70s.

The production value!

The room, a fascinating “study” filled with objects of Neorealistic movies where the Lizzani seemed to belong was actually a room built from scratch by production designer Maurizio di Clemente within the walls of the oldest film school in Italy, Centro Sperimentale de Cine. When Lizzani opened windows, they looked out upon landscapes of these great Neorealistic movies. The technology of today was used in service of high art. Opening windows itself was a Neorealistic device.

The book!

You will want to read it all and show it off on your coffee table. Interviews, philosophic discussions, pictures and detailed listings of all the Neorealistic movies are splendidly displayed.

The education!

My view of cinema — both post war Italian cinema and today’s cinema shifted into an informed appreciation of how much Neorealism changed our vision of what a film could be.

Neorealism came to fruition with the rebirth of Italy after the war and lasted to 1954. Actually as Carlo Lizzani explains, it began in 1939 “with the first rumblings of an anti-fascist rebellion… as well as among many intellectuals and cineastes, increasingly unanimous in their refusal of so-called “White Telephone” cinema.”

“Before Neorealism, films were called ‘Bianchi Telefono’ after the white telephones that Hollywood movies showed in the so-called ‘White Telephone’ cinema for the way they featured Hollywood-style living rooms where that status symbol was invariably set center stage. It may have been a typical object in certain Hollywood mansions or Middle-European villa, but hardly in the average Italian home,” says Lizzani.

The interview!

Gianni Bozzacchi, the film’s director, writer and producer is a Renaissance man and his stories are funny, deeply moving and extremely interesting! This is someone you want to talk to for hours.

Watching this labor of love was an experience I will always treasure.

Rarely do we see a film about the art of film…Todd McCarthy’s "Visions of Light" comes to mind but others fade into PBS TV memories. This is a cinematic, highly technological and artistic feat. The Dp was Fabio Olmi the son of Ermanno Olmi.

After the screening, Bozzacchi stayed for a Q+A and the next day I continued to question him in the home of producer Jay Kanter where he was staying. After two and a half hours, I still wanted more. But the issue of condensing it all to a blog was weighing on me.

“Everything was planned and laid out in great detail, scripted and planned to the second so that filming 91 year old Lizanni for two hours a day took exactly 8 days to complete.”

Bozzacchi had previously made movies and in the ‘70s and ‘80s. He worked in Los Angeles with Greg Bautzer, who, for nearly 50 years, was one of the premier entertainment attorneys in Hollywood and with Kirk Kerkorian who needs no introduction. He wrote, directed and produced “I Love N.Y.” which was sold internationally by Walter Manley. It presold widely including to Australia where it played six weeks. But for the U.S. release, Manley edited it, and Bozzacchi moved away from it and took the DGA pseudonym, the credited name Alan Smithee.

Why did you leave filmmaking for so long?

I still remember that film, starring Christopher Plummer, Virna Lisi, Scott Baio, Jennifer O’Neill, but that was my last until “Neorealism”.

In 1986 I saw the industry was changing and I chose to step out in order to watch it as an outsider. What was ‘Show Business” was becoming a 'Business Show’. Marketing led to creating a show which led to creating a sales industry. “

“I decided to change direction and do only what I really wanted to do. I took ten years developing a big project ‘Oh Brave New World: The Renaissance’ for TV. It is now in pre-production. I thought of the Neorealism project and of The Enzo Ferrari story for which I now have a deal with Tribeca and Robert De Niro.

What did you do before you were a filmmaker?

I quit school at 13. From 1966 to 1974, at 20 I entered the jet set and became a photographer.

Elizabeth Taylor was shooting ‘The Comedians’ in Africa by Graham Greene. In Dahomy (today it’s Benin) they rebuilt part of Haiti. In the photo agency I worked no one wanted to go there, so I went. I knew Elizabeth Taylor’s face very well so I photographed her with light; no retouching was needed. After seeing a photo I took of her, Richard Burton said to me, ‘You want to join our family? Elizabeth needs you.’ I only spoke Roman, no English. I worked with her for 14 years and her two kids were my assistants. I also worked on 162 films as a special photographer, reading the scripts and shooting scenes for magazine layouts, working with “the making of the film” format.

It was when I stopped as a photographer in ‘75 that I began to think of producing films like the cult film “ China 9, Liberty 37” directed by Monte Hellman and starring Sam Peckinpah, Warren Oates and Fabio Testi and I wrote a book ExpoXed Memory about my life.

There is a relationship of all my projects to Neorealism, and of Neorealism to the Renaissance. All our projects are ready to go.

What are you doing in L.A.?

We have formed a new company with producer Jay Kanter and other partners who love film rather than the business of film. “We Weren’t Just Bicycle Thieves: Neorealismo” is the first to come out of the gate.

“The Listener” is the next project I will direct. It is based on the semi-autobiographical book, Operation Appia Way, by the Italian politician Giulio Andreotti. Andreotti served as Prime Minister of Italy seven terms since the restoration of democracy in 1946.

Yes he was the subject of Paolo Sorrentino’s film “Il Divo”. The book is about phone tapping, abuse of power and violations of personal privacy as is so often employed in politic, spying, etc. Andreotti had studied to be a priest but became a politician and this is about the birth of wire tapping which took place in the Roman catacombs and tapped the phones of Pope Pius Xii in conversations with Churchill, Churchill and the King of Italy, Mussolini and Hitler, Roosevelt and the Pope. The scenarios alternate between New York and Rome today and flashbacks to past times.

The production coordinator of “Neorealismo”, Julia Eleanora Rei, also has a project on Eleanora Duse and Gabriel D’Annunzio. Known as ‘Duse’, this Italian actress is known for her words of wit and wisdom, ‘The weaker partner in a marriage is the one who loves the most’ and ‘When we grow old, there can only be one regret – not to have given enough of ourselves’. She is also known for her long romantic involvement with the poet and writer, the controversial Gabriele D’Annunzio. They are now targeting a star for the film, although, says Bozzacchi, ‘Today the script is the star’.

What films are most important to you?

Those shown in this documentary, especially "Open City" where the scene of shooting down Anna Magnani still makes me feel angry.

Every week the Neorealistic filmmakers met in a café or restaurant. They did not have lots of money, had only one camera and not much film. But they created a way to tell a story very realistically, hiding the camera and shooting the people as they are.

Cary Grant pleaded De Sica to star in ‘The Bicycle Thief’, but he would have disrupted the Neorealist aspect; he was too recognizable. In the scene where three men stop the thief , other citizens joined in thinking it was real. If they saw it was Cary Grant, the scene never could have happened. The little boy in the film, played by Enzo Staiola, was scared the mob would turn on him.”

It was surprising to see Enzo Staiola in conversation during the movie. He said that ‘De Sica invented this whole story about how he made me cry. When I looked at him in surprise, he said: ‘Don’t worry, it’s just cinema…you’ll understand later’.

They also changed the way to shoot in sequence, called ‘piano sequenza’. Before a film was done in steps, with a storyboard, with cuts, three camera povs. Actors and the camera depended on the director. Now the camera follows the actor as he or she moves. This went from Rossellini to Fellini who always used the system; but Fellini, who shows a new reborn Italy, did not want direct sound. Fellini directs saying, ‘pick up drink’ or ‘turn right’ or ‘look left’ and then afterward he would add the sound. He showed Italy out of war time in ‘La Dolce Vita’.

What happened after ‘Neorealism’?

Pontecorvo was born in the time of Neorealism and he brought it to Algiers (‘Battle of Algiers’). He was going to make a doc there but then decided on fiction. He wrote notes on his hand.

Who were the French, German and U.S. adherents to Neorealism?

Truffaut and Melville, Wim Wenders with ‘American Friend’ and ‘Paris, Texas’, Coppola with ‘Apocalypse Now’. Cassavetes was a producer of Neorealism; he took it to his era. Scorsese did with ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Mean Streets’.

What do we see about Neorealism today?

If you really love movies, with all of today’s technology, you must bring in realism. With the new technology there will be a new wave of new realism. New filmmakers are very straight. Honesty and realism on the screen will come out. We’re at the sea floor now, coming back. Tell me a story that I can feel and see emotion…that is the legacy of Neorealism.

The final scene was great ...

There was a great sense of collaboration on this film.

What made that so related to Neorealism?

Neorealism also had the full participation of everyone. Directors heard and listened to the community. Clint Eastwood does this too. He would be great directing the Ferrari movie…depending on the script of course.

I love you story about the dog being an actor who allowed for transitions and covered discontinuities in film.

What about catering Italian style?

Take a look at the film's trailer Here.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

The Mafia Only Kills in Summer | Review

Il Sciocco: Pif’s Mafia Tinged Broad Comedy Revels in Pedestrian Frivolity

Apparently partially based on a true story, for whatever that statement is worth, The Mafia Only Kills in Summer, the directorial debut of Italian television personality Pierfrancesco Diliberto aka Pif, may certainly appeal to those who enjoy broadly comedic, romantically inclined narratives. Shamelessly simpleminded in scope, this mafia tinged, supposed black comedy never quite plumbs the dark depths of Italy’s underbelly as it seemingly thinks it does. In Italy, Pif is a satirical news personality, and has taken great pains to create a film without the help of Mafia protection taxes, and within the film’s credits, mentions its alliance with a movement whose mission statement publicly denounces the assistance of such illegal organizations. It’s these more obscure elements and revelations that lend Pif’s film a certain weightiness that its narrative never reaches.

Exploring a
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Criterion Collection: The Great Beauty | Blu-ray Review

In Paolo Sorrentino’s lavishly received Italian crime potboiler Il Divo, the stage is set with a world building montage that places us in a blood-bathed Rome ruled by politically backed hit men, and finally settles in, dollies up, and asks it’s leading man, Toni Servillo giving his best dead-eyed Giulio Andreotti impression, to stare straight into the camera and speak directly on how others seem to perceive him. Bizarrely, The Great Beauty begins almost the exact same way, but this version of Rome is not one of physical violence and political intimidation, but one solely focused on aristocratic appearances and the reciprocation of surface relationships.

Servillo, this time living in the skin of a facetiously jaded, secretly sulking part-time journalist and eternal socialite named Jep Gambardella, is found standing in the midst of his own lavish 65th birthday party, once again staring into the camera, memories of what
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Paolo Sorrentino Talks Oscar-Winner 'The Great Beauty' and What's Next (Trailer)

Paolo Sorrentino Talks Oscar-Winner 'The Great Beauty' and What's Next (Trailer)
I first discovered the cinema of Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino in 2008 when I saw "Il Divo" at Cannes, which stars the incandescent Toni Servillo as former Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Even though the biopic did a deep dive into decades of arcane Machiavellian politics in Italy, the movie was utterly accessible because Servillo carried you through. My second encounter with Sorrentino was also at Cannes, with his first English-language film "This Must be the Place," which features a riveting performance from Sean Penn as an aging expat rocker who returns to his roots in America after his father dies. But the movie didn't quite come together--Sorrentino's English has definitely improved since then.When I spoke to the filmmaker about his latest triumph, eventual foreign Oscar-winner "The Great Beauty" (Toh! review here), he did have a translator on hand, but he handled some of answers himself. The movie stars Servillo as
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Paolo Sorrentino On His 'Great Beauty' Oscar Ride and the Future of Italian Film

  • Indiewire
Paolo Sorrentino On His 'Great Beauty' Oscar Ride and the Future of Italian Film
In most recent years few Italian filmmakers have managed to establish themselves beyond the boot-shaped land, but Neapolitan Paolo Sorrentino has gradually managed to bring back Italy’s filmmaking grandeur to worldwide audiences. The Italian director established himself internationally with the movie "Il Divo," that wackily depicted the life of former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. The film piqued Sean Penn’s interest, to the point that the actor decided to star in Sorrentino’s drama, "This Must Be The Place," as a middle-aged wealthy rock star, bored in his retirement, who took on the quest of finding his father's Nazi War criminal tormentor. Sorrentino’s latest film, "The Great Beauty," echoes some of the best Italian classics of the fifties, that denounced the social malaise of their time. "La Grande Bellezza" (the Italian title), recalls Fellini’s savory depictions of Rome in all its sumptuousness, flightiness and gimmick. The circus portrayed by the parties,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Great Beauty | Review

La Dolce Vita: Sorrentino Visits Rome & Fellini in Opus-like Stroke

In Paolo Sorrentino’s lavishly received Italian crime potboiler Il Divo, the stage is set with a world building montage that places us in a blood-bathed Rome ruled by politically backed hit men, and finally settles in, dollies up, and asks it’s leading man, Toni Servillo giving his best dead-eyed Giulio Andreotti impression, to stare straight into the camera and speak directly on how others seem to perceive him. Bizarrely, The Great Beauty begins almost the exact same way, but this version of Rome is not one of physical violence and political intimidation, but one solely focused on aristocratic appearances and the reciprocation of surface relationships.

Servillo, this time living in the skin of a facetiously jaded, secretly sulking part-time journalist and eternal socialite named Jep Gambardella, is found standing in the midst of his own lavish 65th birthday party,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Renowned Italian Filmmaker Sorrentino to Be Honored at This Year's Denver Film Festival

Paolo Sorrentino to receive Starz Denver Film Festival 2013 honor Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino will receive the fifth Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award at the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival. Sorrentino will be handed his award prior to the screening of The Great Beauty / La grande bellezza on November 16, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at the Sie FilmCenter. Sponsored by the Anna & John J. Sie Foundation, the award, which "recognizes the best in contemporary Italian cinema," includes a $10,000 honorarium. Previous recipients of the Maria and Tommaso Maglione Italian Filmmaker Award are Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Massimo Natale, Gianni Di Gregorio, and Federico Bondi. ‘The Great Beauty’ The Starz Denver Film Festival press release describes Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty — clearly influenced by Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita — as follows: Populated by the debauched, disenchanted or simply disinterested elite of Roman society, Sorrentino’s latter-day Babylon revolves around Jep Gambardella
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Viff 2013: Old Coot Rediscovers Joy for Life in Hugely Enjoyable The Great Beauty [Review]

I fell unabashedly in love with director Paolo Sorrentino's style after seeing his take on Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti. Il Divo was stylish, occasionally dark with a streak of comedy that came as a complete surprise (seriously, the cat scene is brilliant). I skipped over This Must Be the Place (the idea of spending any extended period of time with Sean Penn holds zero interest for me) so I was thrilled to finally see another Sorrentino offering, one that includes Toni Servillo (even though he turns up in nearly every Italian movie).

The Great Beauty stars Servillo as Jep Gambardella, an aging magazine writer, one time novelist and eternal party guy. He came to Rome in his youth in hopes of being pop [Continued ...]
See full article at QuietEarth »

Film Review: 'The Great Beauty'

  • CineVue
★★★★★ Pipped to the Palme d'Or post this year by Blue is the Warmest Colour, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza, 2013) is a sparkling return to form for Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, following the disappointment of his bemusing English-language debut This Must Be the Place (2012). Starring regular collaborator Toni Servillo, Sorrentino has crafted a masterful ode to human existence, complete with its dizzying highs and miserable lows. Drunk on the visual majesty of Rome, just as Fellini once was, this is arthouse cinema at its most effortlessly entrancing, with life and art blending into one magnificent whole.

Jep Gambardella (Servillo), a 65-year-old journalist and one-time novelist (whose sole literary endeavour, The Human Apparatus, was published to widespread acclaim during his youthful heyday), is seeing out his days amongst Rome's high society, in what he describes as "the whirl of the high life" - a vortex of rooftop parties and decadent late-night soirées.
See full article at CineVue »

Remembering Ray Harryhausen, Dr. Joyce Brothers and More Reel-Important People We Lost This Month

Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way. Giulio Andreotti (1919-2013) Prime minister of Italy during the years 1972-1973, 1976-1979 and 1989-1992. He is the main subject of the Oscar-nominated biopic Il Divo, in which he's portrayed by Toni Servillo, and he is said to be the inspiration for the character of Don Licio Lucchesi in The Godfather Part III. He also appears as himself in the 1983 Italian comedy Il tassinaro. He died on May 6. BBC News) Jean Bach (1918-2013) Jazz fan-turned-documentary filmmaker who received an Oscar nomination...

Read More
See full article at Movies.com »

Giulio Andreotti obituary

Controversial politician at the heart of power in Italy who was prime minister seven times

Giulio Andreotti, who has died aged 94, was the ultimate insider of Italian political life. For half a century he was at the heart of power. His tenure at the highest echelons of government was unequalled in Europe. From the early 1960s to the early 90s, he was – almost uninterruptedly – either prime minister or a senior minister. Andreotti was in all but six of the 45 governments that ran from May 1947 to April 1992, led seven of them and, at various times, was the minister of defence, foreign affairs (five times), finance, treasury, and interior. He held the post of prime minister for longer than any other postwar Italian politician except Silvio Berlusconi, yet he never led the Christian Democratic party.

His tenacity in remaining at the centre of affairs became a source of fascination in itself. Just
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Cannes 2013 lineup: a programme of heavy-hitters and unexpected gems

From Roman Polanski to James Franco, by way of the Coen brothers and a sneaky encore from Steven Soderbergh, there's plenty to look forward to at this year's festival

More than the first cuckoo, the announcement of the Cannes competition list is the first sign of spring; always an exciting moment and even more so as in recent years Cannes has consolidated its primacy among the film festivals of the world. There look to be no major or startling omissions: Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac is reportedly not ready, although I was disappointed not to see Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave. There are, in fact, no British entries in competition, but Stephen Frears's Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – an HBO project about Ali's opposition to Vietnam – has a Special Screening slot. (A small footnote here: young British film-maker Ana Caro, from the National Film and Television School, has
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The brothel paid for my school fees

Film director Wayne Thallon grew up in Edinburgh, between two very different homes. His mother was the wife of an Italian diplomat, his father a working-class wheeler-dealer who ran a 'massage parlour'

It was perhaps inevitable, given his wildly unconventional upbringing, that Wayne Thallon would one day become a professional storyteller. Though he could as easily have turned to a life of crime. Today, the former civil servant is recounting a specific incident that took place in the sauna-brothel run by his family and inspired the name of his new film, A Spanking in Paradise.

He was only six when he first witnessed his father administer a brutal beating, after catching a man who owed him money, shackled in the dungeon below the sauna. The sauna was one of many in Edinburgh where sex is sold. "He nipped in and took the paddle from their S&M expert and carried
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »
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