Pitt Hosts Italian Film Festival Feb. 6-21

Issue Date: 
February 2, 2009


The University of Pittsburgh School of Arts and Sciences will host a Feb. 6-to -21 film festival titled New Italian Cinema 2000-08: History, Family, Violence, at Bellefield Auditorium.

The festival will focus on how contemporary Italian filmmakers address issues of national history and current political debates through the cinematic medium.

“The filmmakers draw upon rich cinematic traditions in several genres, including melodrama, comedy, and the political thriller,” said Giuseppina Mecchia, a professor of French and Italian in Pitt’s Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures and director of the Cultural Studies Program. “The filmmakers also are attuned to more recent esthetic forms, such as ultraviolence. The idea is to assess whether and how these movies represent contemporary Italian culture and what shifts they signal in the cinematic form.”

Prior to each film’s showing, a Pitt cinema scholar will give a brief introduction. Each of the following will introduce one of the films: Scott Bishop, graduate student in the Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures; Lina Insana, assistant professor of Italian in French and Italian Languages and Literatures; Marcia Landy, Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies; Mecchia; and Francesca Savoia, a professor of Italian in French and Italian Languages and Literatures.

One final festival offering will held in the early spring, on a date to be determined: a screening of the 2008 film Gomorrah, directed by Matteo Garrone. This final festival presentation, at the Regent Square Theatre, will be cosponsored by Pittsburgh Filmmakers.

Admission is free, except for Gomorra. All movies begin at 7 p.m. and have English subtitles.

The festival schedule follows.

Feb. 6

Good Morning, Night (Buongiorno, Notte, 2003), directed by Marco Bellocchio. The 1978 kidnapping and murder of Aldo Moro, president of Democrazia Cristiana, the most important political party in Italy at the time.

Feb. 7

The Hundred Steps (I Cento Passi, 2000), directed by Marco Tullio Giordana. The title is the distance between the houses of young left-wing activist Peppino Impastato, who denounced the Mafia, and Mafia boss Tano Badalamenti.

Feb. 13

Blood. Death Does Not Exist (Sangue. La morte non esiste, 2006), directed by Libero De Rienzo. The story involves a brother and a sister in modern Italy. The brother is estranged from the rest of the family, and the sister is the link that keeps him tied to his parents and the world.

Feb. 14

My Brother Is an Only Child (Mio fratello è figlio unico, 2007), directed by Daniele Luchetti. Two brothers come of age in a small Italian town in the 1960s and ’70s.

Feb. 20

The Best of Youth (La Meglio Gioventù, 2003), Part I, directed by Marco Tullio Giordana. Spanning four decades, from the chaotic 1960s to the present, the film follows two Italian brothers through some of the most tumultuous events in recent Italian history.

Feb. 21

The Best of Youth, Part II.

Date to be determined, Regent Square Theatre, 1035 S. Braddock Ave., Swissvale. Gomorrah (Gomorra, 2008), directed by Matteo Garrone. An inside look at Italy’s modern-day crime families.

The Italian film festival is sponsored by Pitt’s Film Studies and Cultural Studies programs, Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, European Union Center of Excellence, and Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures. For more information, visit www.filmstudies.pitt.edu/events or contact Giuseppina Mecchia at 412-624-5222 or mecchia@pitt.edu.