Posts filed under ‘Film’
It’s a day late but I just wanted to let you know about this revolutionary new holiday that was celebrated in Canada on the 26th. It’s called Do Over Day and it was founded by a guy called Reggie (?).
It was initially created for Canadians, considering our polite yet passive-aggressive nature tempered with “a collective deep sense of embarrassment about our many flaws”. But I think it could work on a world-wide level.
The idea behind it is fantastic. Basically, it’s a way of reliving the most significant moments of your lives or going back to undo something you really regretted. As they say on their official website, “Imagine re-enjoying your first kiss, the birth of your first child, or even your first marriage. Picture yourself re-experiencing the fabulous meals you’ve eaten, the exotic lands you’ve visited, the epic raves you cannot recall attending. Conversely, visualize yourself making amends for your life’s imperfect moments – the time you made a pass at your wife’s sister and got caught, or the night driving home from the pub when you accidentally ran over your neighbour’s shihtzu…”. It’s like travelling back in time, righting wrongs, undoing the woulda, coulda, shouldas that burden our daily lives. Now who wouldn’t want a second chance?
There are some videos on the site but I think the best “do over” in cinematic history is in Superman. I’m pretty sure you all remember this scene, when a distraught Man of Steel discovers that he’s too late to save his beloved Lois. I still get goosebumps when I watch this, and not because of Marlon Brando’s giant head floating in the sky:
Sigh! Now that’s love!!
So now I’d really love to hear what you’d like to do over. As for me, I really wish I could go back to the time I tried out for Jeopardy when I was in high school. I would just love the opportunity to tell Alex Trebek what I really think of him.
Ok, so get your regret caps on and start thinking!!
Now, I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. The idea of “love” being forcefed down my throat like a foie gras goose really triggers a gag reflex in me. In fact, to counter all the sappy, chocolate-filled twee, I’m going out to listen to some combat rock tomorrow night. I’m also a big supporter of San Faustino, the patron saint of singletons. You can read all about him at Bleeding Espresso.
BUT, while I was cooking dinner tonight, muttering to myself about the state of the world and the commercialization of love, I happened to hear some music on the news that instantly turned this cynical old broad into mush. It was the the soundtrack to the Academy Award-winning film Cinema Paradiso.
There’s something about that movie that turns me into a blubbering idiot, no matter how many times I watch it. Especially the final scene. Now, if you haven’t seen it (and shame on you if you haven’t!) this is a spoiler alert. In this last scene, successful film director Salvatore is back in Rome after attending the funeral of his mentor and father-figure Alfredo. Salvatore watches the old reel of film that Alfredo left for him and is moved to discover that it’s a montage of all the “risqué” kissing scenes that were cut from the films shown at the Cinema back in the day. It’s practically a collection of the most famous screen kisses from Italian and American cinema. You’d have to be made of stone not to swoon at this scene. So, it’s with this that I reluctantly wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day:
Today I was scanning CNN.com to get the scoop on McCain bailing on the campaign when lo and behold, I spotted a story that I just had to click on: Top Ten Italian Films
I’ve been an Italophile ever since I was a ragazzina and one of the things that stoked my passion was Italian cinema. And no, it wasn’t those erotic comedies with Lino Banfi or Edwige Fenech that many a lonely teenage boy watched Saturday nights on Italcine (those of you from Toronto will know what I’m talking about). No, I’m talking about the good stuff. I’m talking about Giulietta Masina’s heartbreaking turn as Gelsomina in La Strada or the little boy holding his disgraced father’s hand at the end of The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di Biciclette). I even took two courses on Italian Cinema in my last year at McGill. Completely self-indulgent but totally worth it! Watching those movies, which were a celebration of all that was wonderful and dreadful about il Bel Paese, made me love Italy even more and planted a little seed in my brain that ultimately led me to move here.
CNN’s Screening Room compiled a list of the top 10 Italian films with the help of Rome-based film critic Lee Marshall. He put together an interesting combination of old and new works. Here are his picks:
1. ‘La Strada’
(Federico Fellini, 1954)
“It’s about a loose couple of traveling circus performers who go around Italy juggling in the street. It’s also one of the greatest tragic love stories ever filmed.”
(Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)
“A technically, aesthetically and visually rich film, it announced the arrival of Bertolucci as a major director.”
(Luchino Visconti, 1943)
“A drifter gets a job in a remote service station and starts to fall in love with the owner’s wife; the pair plot to kill him. It is considered one of the first films of the Neo-Realism movement”
(Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
“A woman disappears on a Mediterranean island and is never found, which becomes a metaphor for what Antonioni thought was missing in middle-class Italian society. ”
5. ‘A Fistful of Dollars’
(Sergio Leone, 1964)
“The film that announced the Spaghetti Western to the world. It also turned Clint Eastwood’s rugged face and narrowed eyes into an icon. ”
6. ‘The Battle of Algiers’
“One of the first films made anywhere in the world about war; there weren’t any goodies or baddies, just roving cameras following the chaotic day-to-day bomb attacks.”
7. ‘Dear Diary’
(Nanni Moretti, 1993)
“Moretti is a film maverick who first emerged in the mid-1970s, whose films are always in some way autobiographical. He’s probably, the closest thing Italy has to Woody Allen, except his films have a more political slant. ”
“The Italian ‘The Birth of a Nation’ or ‘Metropolis’ — a great silent film that defined Italian silent cinema.”
9. “The Consequences of Love’
(Paolo Sorrentino, 2004)
“One of the best Italian films of the last 10 years. It’s an interesting take on the mafia film and an alternative love story.”
10. ‘Pane, amore e fantasia’
(Luigi Comencini, 1953)
“When we think of Italy, even in a slightly cliched way — spaghetti, sun and the whole cult of love, the feisty women and the men playing lotharios — this film just embodies that vibrant life force and energy. It’s a very funny romantic comedy.”
What do you think of the films in this list? Have you seen any new Italian films that you’ve loved/hated? What are your Top 10 Italian films?