CENTER FOR ITALIAN STUDIES and FILM STUDIES PROGRAM
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15
7:45 pm - Welcoming RemarksNicola M. Gentili, Director of the Film Programming, International House
Millicent Marcus, Director, Center for Italian Studies
8:00 pm - Film ScreeningLONTANO IN FONDO AGLI OCCHI (Pictures Deep in one's eyes)
by Giuseppe Rocca, Italy, 2000, Color, 95 minutes, Italian with English subtitles
In an impoverished Italy in 1954, at Christmas time in Naples, in a family dominated by female characters (and by a priest), a child anxiously awaits the return of his father. Fearing he has lost his mother's love, the child projects his desires onto Rafilina, the fifteen-year old family maid. She is in love with Carmine Russo, a layabout, who spends his days at the billiards table. One evening, unseen, the child is present at an argument between them. Carmine assaults Rafilina and the child tries to defend her. He swears to avenge her. In the child's school, Sister Agnella di Cristo Re has two aims in life: the curing of the body, with herbal extracts, and the guiding of the soul, warning pupils against the traps placed by enemies of mankind in the coming apocalypse. From the nun's medicine room, the child secrets the poisonous oleander powder and mixes it into the aniseed that Rafilina normally takes to Carmine when they meet ...
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16
8:00 pm - Film ScreeningGOSTANZA DA LIBBIANO (GOSTANZA OF LIBBIANO)
by Paolo Benvenuti, Italy, 2000, B/W, 92 minutes, Italian with English subtitles
In 1594, Gostanza da Libbiano, an elderly Tuscan peasant woman who has always practiced the art of healing, arouses the suspicions of the Church authorities and is arrested and falsely accused of witchcraft. Subjected to prolonged torture, she stops proclaiming her innocence and accepts the status of 'witch'. By virtue of the intensity of the images evoked in her 'confession', Gostanza manipulates and provokes her inquisitors and, strengthened by her new identity, she seems willing to accept her terrible fate. The arrival of the Grand Inquisitor prompts an intensification of the situation and as he questions each of her alleged offenses, Gostanza vigorously defends her identity as witch. So begins a verbal duel between the codified religious imaginary and that of popular and peasant culture.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17
6:50 pm - Welcoming RemarksNicola M. Gentili, Director of the Film Programming, International House
7:00 pm - Panel DiscussionMillicent Marcus, University of Pennsylvania
Antonio Monda, New York University
Francesco Bruni, Italian Screenwriter
Roberta Torre, Film Director
8:00 pm - Film ScreeningTANO DA MORIRE (TO DIE FOR TANO)
by Roberta Torre, Italy, 1997, Color, 80 minutes, Italian with English subtitles
A Mafia man of honor of the Passo Rigano clan, Tano Guarrasi, was famous
for his violent, passionate character and for his four sisters, all doomed
to spinsterhood because of his terrible jealousy. Tano was killed by a
Corleonesi clan hit man during the bloody 1988 Mafia war, his death making
brief headlines during those somber days. One of Tano's sisters. Franca
Guarrasi, a buxom woman as indomitable as her brother, had always been
the object of much gossip due to her carefree attitude and a marked preference
for high profile companions. Well into her forties, she decided to
get married after Tano's death. Legend has it that Tano's determination
to safeguard his sister's virginity continued far beyond the tomb and that
he returned for her on her wedding day. On such stories the legend of Tano
Guarrasi has been built ...
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18
3:00 pm - Film ScreeningTRE STORIE (THREE STORIES)
by Piergiorgio Gay and Roberto San Pietro, Italy, 1998, Color, 85 minutes,
Italian with English subtitles
Paolo decides to join a community for drug addicts. His friend, Wolf,
has joined the community to escape prison. Those staying at the community
have duties such as cleaning, cooking and gardening. When they leave the
community, they have difficulty finding work. Paolo eventually takes up
photography. Giovanni and Marina, who also lived in the community, get
married and find jobs. But Giovanni's health deteriorates and he dies.
Marina manages to keep off drugs but has lost her curiosity and enthusiasm.
Paolo is thinking of giving up everything and traveling round the world.
8:00 pm - Film ScreeningLA BELLA VITA (LIVING IT UP)
by Paolo Virzì, Italy, 1994, Color, 97 minutes, Italian with English subtitles
Bruno and Mirella get married in 1989 and life in the little town of Piombino seems to be a bed of roses. After a while Bruno loses his job, while Brunella takes up with a local TV idol, Gerry Fumo. When she realizes that Bruno can't stand being on the dole, she repents and wants to leave Gerry. It is too late: Bruno has found out everything and asks her to leave. Eventually Bruno and Mirella reconcile, but they soon realize that their love story has ended. Mirella goes back to her parents' house and begins to work in a kindergarten, while Bruno finds a job at the local beach. The two begin to exchange a tender correspondence.
ALL EVENTS TAKE PLACE AT THE INTERNATIONAL
HOUSE, 3701 CHESTNUT STREET,