Celebrating its 18th edition, the New Italian Cinema festival is back at Vogue Theatre in San Francisco, from November 19 until November 23. The festival is part of the San Francisco Film Society’s Fall Season and will bring together enthusiastic movie lovers, especially interested in the Italian young directors. 
As the Film Society’s program first started in the ‘90s, its fame has grown over time, including the best of Italian and French Cinema. The Italian program, running since 1997, is not only the one with the longest history, but it has also kept the greatest popularity in the city.
 Sophia Loren playing Angela in “Human Voice” 

 Sophia Loren playing Angela in “Human Voice” 

This year’s edition will open with a double special event: Edoardo Ponti, son of producer Carlo Ponti and actress Sophia Loren, will feature his two short films, The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars and Human Voice. The first short movie tells the story of two people, Matteo and Sonia, with the same passion for mountains: after sharing the drama of a heart surgery, they keep the promise of scaling a mountain in the Dolomites, developing a special friendship. 
Human Voice shows an Italian woman, Angela, during her last phone conversation with the man she loves, as he is going to leave her for another woman. The short movie is inspired by Jean Cocteau’s one-woman monologue: Sophia Loren is Angela, whereas the man voice is never heard. Sophia Loren plays the same role as Anna Magnani in Roberto Rossellini’s “L’amore” (1948). The Italian icon has revealed that, seeing Magnani’s performance at the age of 14, prompted her to want to become an actress. 
Following the outstanding performance in the Oscar winner-movie The Great Beauty, Toni Servillo played the role of an Italian politician in Long Live Freedom. The movie has been directed by Roberto Andò, known assistant to Francesco Rosi, Federico Fellini, Michael Cimino, and Francis Ford Coppola. The film, out of competition, is the story of Enrico, a party leader, who disappears just before a panel session. After having discovered the existence of a twin brother just out from a psychiatric clinic, Enrico’s assistant decides the twin will replace the politician in the public scene. Playing both main characters, Servillo proves, once again, his ability to perform different roles, with brilliant expressions and attention to details. 
 Toni Servillo in “Long Live Freedom”  

 Toni Servillo in “Long Live Freedom”  

After hitting the Italian box-office in 2013, Director Paolo Genovese has put together both his humour and his knowledge of the Italian society in Blame Freud: Francesco, a psychologist from Rome, has been left by his wife and needs now to deal with his three grown daughters. The women, going through different paths of life, will end up asking their dad to counsel in the understanding of men. The perfect Italian comedy about life, love, and romance. 
The female side of the Italian cinema makes its appearance in San Francisco thanks to Asia Argento. Coming from a film-making family, the director from Rome made her debut as actress at the age of nine. She has worked with Nanni Moretti, Michele Placido and, later on, with her father, Dario Argento. Her movie, Misunderstood, is the story of a young girl who suffers at the hands of her self-centred and neglectful parents. When her parents divorce, Aria’s story crosses the one of a school friend, Angelica, as well as the relationship with a cat from the neighborhood. Asia Argento shined at dealing with the main character’s sadness, without giving up on moments of humor to leaven the girl’s story. 
The closing night will be dedicated to Paolo Virzì, the Italian writer, director, and producer from Livorno: his latest movie, Human Capital, received Awards in different contests such as David di Donatello, Golden Globe, and Tribeca Film Festival. The story, set on Lake Como, starts when a cyclist is hit off the road by a jeep in the night before Christmas Eve. The drama, inspired by Stephen Amidon’s Connecticut-set novel and made of three parts, tries to explore the Italian social classes and their privileges. A successful way to prove how, many times, financial status and social classes can take people to a low valuation of human life.
The other movies to be streamed are: Controra – House of Shadows (directed by Rossella De Venuto); Per Ulisse (by Giovanni Cioni); Up to the world (by Alessandro Lunardelli) (by Alessandro Rak)(by Antonio Morabito)by Sydney Sibilia)(by Stefano Incerti); Border (by Alessio Cremonini). For information, schedule, and tickets sales, check the San Francisco Film Society website (http://www.sffs.org).
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