Molto Bello movies from Italy come to the cinematheques

The festival will include a tribute to Lina Wertmuller, who passed away recently and was the first woman to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director.

 ‘THREE FLOORS’ (Tre Piani) is one of the films being screened at Cinema Italia 2022. (photo credit: Italian Cultural Center)
‘THREE FLOORS’ (Tre Piani) is one of the films being screened at Cinema Italia 2022.
(photo credit: Italian Cultural Center)

Italian cinema has always been among the most influential and fun in the world, and cinematheques around the country are featuring an Italian film festival. Cinema Italia 2022 is opening at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on April 4 and the Jerusalem Cinematheque on April 10, and running until late April. It will also take place in cinematheques in Haifa, Herzliya, Holon, Rosh Pina, Sderot and Dimona. It features the best of recent Italian cinema, with 11 new movies by veteran directors and newcomers, as well as classics.

Three Floors, the opening film, is by master director Nanni Moretti, whose movies tend to be moving in an understated way. He is best known for his movie about a family coping with a death in The Son’s Room, but he also made Mia Madre, about a movie director coping with her mother’s illness, and Habemus Papem, an underrated comedy about a newly appointed pope who goes on the lam. His latest film, in which he also acts, is based on Eshkol Nevo’s Three Floors Up, although the film is set completely in Italy and there is no trace of the details, such as a key character’s military background, which grounded the novel in Israel.

The movie combines several storylines about the residents of a different apartment building in Rome, all of whom are dealing with big issues: betrayal, insanity, having caused a death in a car accident. It stars a who’s who of current Italian cinema, with a cast that includes Riccardo Sammarcio (if you’ve seen one Italian movie in the last five years, he was probably in it), Margherita Buy, Alba Rohrwacher (I Am Love, Hungry Hearts) and Alessandro Sperduti.

Gabrielle Mainetti will attend the festival with his latest film, Freaks Out, which is set in Rome in 1943 and tells the story of a circus run by a Jew and the fate of four of the actors in its freak show after the owner disappears.

Paolo Genovese will also be a guest. He is best known for his original film Perfect Strangers, the story of guests revealing everything on their cell phones at a dinner party and has been remade in many countries, including Israel. He will present his latest film, Superheroes, the story of an unlikely love story between a feminist and a physics teacher.

 ‘Love and Anarchy’ is one of the films being screened at Cinema Italia 2022. (credit: Italian Cultural Center) ‘Love and Anarchy’ is one of the films being screened at Cinema Italia 2022. (credit: Italian Cultural Center)

Sergio Castellitto’s latest film, A Bookshop in Paris, stars the director and Berenice Bejo, in the story of a bookseller who lives with his disabled daughter.

Jonas Carpignano’s A Chiara tells the story a 15-year-old girl in Calabria, whose family falls apart when her father abandons them.

Veteran director Pupi Avati’s We Still Talk tells the story of a romance that spans 65 years.

Andrea Segre’s Welcome Venice looks at a conflict between two brothers over the family business, which brings up issues over the administration and future of the Venetian Lagoon.

Mario Martone’s The King of Laughter is a biopic about Neapolitan theater legend Eduardo Scarpetta and stars Toni Servillo.

The festival will include a tribute to Lina Wertmuller, who passed away recently and was the first woman to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director. Her early films will be shown, as well as her best-known movie, Love & Anarchy (1973), the story is of a farmer and an anarchist prostitute who scheme to assassinate Mussolini, and it stars Giancarlo Giannini and Mariangela Melato, with whom she frequently worked. Her provocative films examined the ways in which man’s inhumanity to man manifested itself, and politics and sex are frequently intertwined in her work.

Cinema Italia is being presented for the ninth year by the Italian Cultural Institutes in Tel Aviv and Haifa, Film-Italy and the Cinecittà in Rome.

For details of the programs, visit the websites of individual cinematheques.