There was a time when the Italian film industry was an example of what movies should look like, a time when Cinecittà made the history of world cinema.
Last year, the celebrations for Paolo Sorrentino’s Academy Award-winning The Great Beauty reminded us of that golden age, and today we proudly praise the selection of Paolo Virzi’s Human Capital as Italy’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film 2015.
As the director himself underlines, “It is difficult for Italian cinema to reach a large audience overseas, due to the language barrier that is overcome only by an educated and curious elite willing to watch subtitled movies. Also, the main topics have changed over time and contemporary films don’t show the Italian stereotype anymore. Yet, recently the general public has shown greater interest towards Italian productions. This is a good sign.”
Human Capital, based on the novel by Stephen Amidon, is a dark comedy set in contemporary northern Italy dealing with the economic crisis and its social effects. “It depicts a country plunged into a severe economic insecurity trying to turn the page, and a generational conflict between parents and children who refuse their authority,” Virzì explains.
It was presented in Los Angeles on the occasion of the 10th edition of Cinema Italian Style – the annual showcase of Italian movies promoted by Luce Cinecittà and American Cinemathéque, in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission and the Italian Cultural Institute, under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Culture. The screening was attended by many celebrities and representatives of the movie industry as well as of the local institutions.
Among them were Roberto Ciccutto, CEO and President of Luce Cinecittà; Consul General of Italy in Los Angeles, Antonio Verde; Franca Sozzani, Chief Editor of Vogue Italia; Trade Commissioner Carlo Bocchi; Paolo Del Brocco, CEO RAI Cinema; and singer Eros Ramazzotti.
Hosted November 13 through 18 by the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica and featuring a special selection of last year’s best Italian films, Cinema Italian Style 2014 was introduced by a press conference at the Mr C Hotel in Beverly Hills, with the participation of director Paolo Virzì, actors Matilde Gioli and Francesco Scianna, and renowned filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore. The Italian delegation was welcomed by Consul General Antonio Verde and CIS artistic director Laura Delli Colli.
Following the success of 3D-restored The Last Emperor by Bernando Bertolucci, launched in 2013 in partnership with AFI Film Festival, a digitally restored version of Giuseppe Tornatore’s masterpiece Cinema Paradiso premiered on November 10 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, presented by American actor Danny DeVito.
The restoration was made possible thanks to the support of Italian stylists Dolce&Gabbana in association with Luce Cinecittà and Cineteca di Bologna, and the worldwide preview was intended to honor the 25th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning film produced by Franco Cristaldi.
“For 90 years, we have been the keepers of Italian memory, and we do this by spreading our historical and contemporary heritage incorporating new technologies,” commented Luce Cinecittà CEO Roberto Ciccutto.
After the L.A. debut, Cinema Italian Style 2014 also reached Seattle November 14 through 20, thanks to the collaboration with the Seattle International Film Festival.