ITALIAN FILM FESTIVAL
After the specialised horrors of October and before the commerciality of Christmas, the autumn/winter season for independent movies gives one pause for substance and a desire for diversity and profundity. The hub for these places this November will be the Italian Film Festival, hosted by Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre. For a few autumnal days every cinephile in Cardiff will have an exclusive opportunity to view a showcase of Italian films, many of them UK premieres.
The line-up promises diverse and progressive subject matters. The first day will bring showings of Arberia and Simple Women, two contemplative, female-led films. This is balanced out with The Man Who Bought The Moon, a more straightforward comedy on the subject of cultural differences between mainland Italians and Sardinians.
The second day of the festival consists of an intense range of genre films, though it starts with something completely different: Dafne, a family drama about a young woman with Down syndrome caring for her struggling father. It’s followed by a series of experimental animated shorts, a mockumentary response to 2015’s Look Who’s Back with Mussolini in modern Italy, and a historical action movie based on the founding of Rome. The latter film, Romulus And Remus: The First King, appears the most accessible to any sceptical viewers new to Italian cinema. In a similar style to Noah with Russell Crowe or Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur, the film is a gritty retelling of the Italian legend. With sparse dialogue, the language barrier will bring no struggle to a non-Italian speaker and the action style and period design, especially impressive in spite of budget, indicates an obvious crowd-pleaser.
The final day will includes a more traditional romantic comedy about an Italian Muslim, a tragic road story on sex trafficking and an epic biopic on Tomasso Buscetta, the Italian mafia’s Henry Hill, as well as a discussion with industry professionals and the announcement of the winner of the festival’s prizes. All in all, the festival promises a fantastic line-up of modern, progressive stories reflecting on contemporary Italy, all set against the backdrop of the country itself. Che bello!
words FELIX JONES
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Fri 15-Sun 17 Nov. Tickets: TBC. Info: 029 2030 4400 / www.chapter.org