On the "Open Road(s)". An Engaging Discussion with the Directors
Stefano Albertini introduced the evening’s presentation of the “Open Roads: New Italian Cinema” film festival at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò on June 5th. The official “Open Roads” showings will take place at Lincoln Center in the Walter Reade Theater June 6-12, andwill feature many films of new Italian cinema, with popular films such as Ferzan Ozpetek’s Saturno Contro, Gianni Zanasi’s Non Pensarci, and Andrea Porporati’s Il Dolce e L’Amaro with the highly anticipated performance of Luigi Lo Cascio. Other films with their brief synopses that will appear in the festival are available on the Open Roads website. The audience and panel boasted most of the directors from the upcoming film festival including some actors, screenwriters, and producers. The organizer of the entire “Open Roads” presentation, Richard Peña, was present as well.
The first part of the evening at the Casa Italiana was devoted to showing very brief clips to encourage the audience to view the films in full at the festival. Each audience member was handed a flier to find the corresponding day and time that the film was showing. At least one film is sure to please somebody at “Open Roads,” since the films span across so many different genres: from dramas, comedies, mob films, documentaries, and even one that seems to be a murder mystery entwined in the raptures of love.
After the clips finished, the directors were brought up on stage to begin a panel discussion with Antonio Monda. Monda started off the discussion with a request for some commentary on the recent victory of Paolo Sorrentino and Matteo Garrone at the Cannes film festival two weeks ago—each director agreeing that it is indeed a great victory, but Italian cinema still has some way to go before it attains the exalted reputation it once enjoyed. He then posed brilliant and thought-provoking open-ended questions, such as ethics in Italian cinema, if they still exist and if they should still remain an integral part for the director during the production of his/her film. He also brought up one of the biggest issues facing foreign movies trying to break into the American scene: budgets. Not only must foreign film directors be cognizant of how much money they are awarded, but they must also keep in mind the tenuous relationship a film has with the public—for the public drives the demand and subsequent purchases for movies distributed here in America.
All clips from their corresponding full length movies shown at this presentation are da vedere (they are “must-sees”)! As Albertini and Monda left the audience with just a taste of what each film offers, I too will leave the reader with just a brief introduction to the exciting adventure that awaits at the “Open Roads.” In order to truly experience the wonder this film festival has to offer, go and check it out!