The Italian connection

Now in its third year, the Italian Film Festival is bringing 22 films to

Edinburgh and Glasgow. Gill Harris reckons ll Postiim is just the tip of the iceberg.

Aiming to ,sho\\case a broad cross- section otietii't‘ent Italiair cinema in a nation all too olisessetl \\ iih IIolI}xtoor|. the Italian I-‘ilin l’estiral returns to Seotlantl tor nine tla}s this month. giving l'ilin tans a rare chance to see the \xorks ol such eineniatit talents as (iiannr .-\iiielro. .\Iarcel|o .\Iasti'oianni aiitl .\Iie|iele Soa\ I.

('enti‘al to this _\ear's e\ent is a short i'eli'ospeeti\e till .\lll\\lllltl 'I't'titst. \\ Iltl i'eeentl} t'eeei\etl a posthumous Hest .-\ctor ( )sear nomination tor the imineiisel} popular I.’ I’m/rim I.itt|e \\;t\ kttimtt about the actor outsitle Ital} until the film chaiinetl aiitlrenees across the \\ot'ltl atttl t‘eeet\ etl its It\ e .-\catlenr\ Award nominations (including Best I’iliiri Born in Naples in I953. 'I‘roisi Itecanie Ital} ‘\ Iiiosi popular conrctl} star tluring a career that spannetl rust toiii'teen _\e;n‘s IIis Iit'st. /\’/. t'I/IIIH lt’ /).r' /I( t I‘mtlr. coiiihrnetl his talents as \\ ritei'. tlneetoi' aiul actoi. and lie \tent on to iitake ten more ltltiis. lotii' ol \i. hich lie tlii'eetctl and too ot' \xhieh he \\ rote.

// /’u\t.‘/:u \\;ls I'ioisi‘s linal IIIIII antl. satlI}. his lirst to icceixe international attention. Ile (Ic'l;i}c‘tl treatment tor ltis heart contlition in order to complete this touching tale alioul a simple postman \\ Iio tlisco\ ets the meaning ol' poetr} and lo\ e. hut ti‘agreall} tlictl Ironi a heart attack rust t\\cl‘.c hours alter shooting lmishetl.

lilse\\liei'c. highlights or the t'cstr\.il include the pt'esenee ot' tliieetoi' ( il;tlilll :\tnelro lor his latest liltii. /.iilllt m (t '.-\inelio is central to next Italian cinema. hut also links to the past through the likes ol l’raiieeseo Ix’ossi aittl \iittoiio tle Siea.‘ sa}s the

Festival‘s eo-tlirector Riehai‘tl .\Io\\e. ‘lIe hi'oaehes lllll\L‘l'.\‘ttl eoncei'ns \\'IlllL‘ remaining true to Ills Italian roots. 'l‘oo ot’ten. tilininakei's |ea\ e their country liehintl.‘

Amelio is one ol' the most prestigious Iiilminakers hailing l'rom Ital} in recent )‘L‘ttt‘s. Ilis t'ilms ha\e \xon Iiiiii a stream ot‘()scar nominations and he has picked up the Felix (the liui'opean Film Academy's top anartli three times in the _\ears - I’or' l’ui'lc .I/N’I'It tU/ieu Hours). // [tn/m /)/ Ii’uIiI/Hlii tSIo/eii ('li/lr/re/ii aiitl /.(IIII(’I'Ii'iI. \\hieh screen at the I5esti\al along \\ ith l\\o ot' his earlier \t'oi‘ks. /.tlIIl('I'It (l is an elm- inastei'piece \\ hich t'ocuses on the chaos in Europe \\ Iiieli I'ollims the collapse oI eonununisiii. (‘oncentrating on Ital) antl .-\Iliania. the tilm also manages to incorporate the uni\ersal themes ol tlesire and hope.

()ne more name to look ottl tor is that ol' I’appi ('or'siealo. \\ hose l'iIm lJ/iel‘u is a era/} L‘UlllL‘tl} liasetl on the hapless dreams nomen lia\ e Iai‘gel} about men ('i‘itics reckon that this Mel} and olI-heat three-patter \\ i|| tlo l'oi' Italian cinema \\hat l’etlro .-\lniotlo\ar Iias tlllllL' tor Spanish.

Without doubt. this lestt\al is ileepl) eoniiirittetl to redressing the lack ot' Italian liliii tlistriliutioii in this countr} ()l the t'ilnis screening at the t'esti\al lltls _\ear. l.'.'lIlIUI'(' .lltt/H/ii It} \Ial'lo .\Iartone t\\ ho is also due to \ isit Scotland). has iust seeuietl theatrical distribution in the timed Kingdom.

'It comes in hurslsf sa_\s .\Io\\ e \xhen asketl about Italian ernenia‘s international status. ‘You glet one tilm like 1/ I’m/mu that )oti hope \\ ill open the gates. .-\s long as _\ou can get l'ilnis like that oeeasioiiall}. )ou hope it will keep the profile tip. .\la_\I\e If I’m/Hm \xill he the one that \\III \\Ut'k. It‘s ali'eatl} got he}ontl the ai'tliouse eincmas into the ()tleons antl multiple\es.'

Hut \\hat ot' the Maine ol'thc Italian

l‘illtll I:L‘\ll\ill Ilsellh.’ 'l’tisslltl) retleeling the state and health oI' Italian cinetiia. the IesIl\;lI has taken three )c‘ais to IIIItI its teet.’ reckons .\Io\\e. "Allel'etts IIIL‘ l‘i‘eneh I"IIlil l’esti\al Inl- \\ hieh he is also eo-tlireetoi'l heeame estahlishetl almost iminetliatel}. But \\ e‘te tIeIttttteI} here let gootl,‘ //.’( Ila/rim /r.’m Ital/rid /)(""’Ill\ (1/ I/lt’ (i:’tt\;’tttt lilm Hint/re tl/It/ I‘ll/ii/iouw. Ifrr’i/i/mrg/I. on In /‘/ See lax/tires um/ lmr’ei Itil'tilt'i'tr'//\HIlllll(’\tlI1(/IlI/(’\.

The late Massimo Troisi features in a retrospective at the Italian Film Festival

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The List l9 Apr-2 May I996 21