When Melbournians think Italian we think of the famed Lygon Street restaurant strip, tasty pizza, and great coffee — but little do we think of fantastic films. The Italian Film Festival 2014, which launches Wednesday, sets out to change all of that.
Over four weeks, the festival will screen dozens of movies in various venues throughout Melbourne, showcasing the best films that Italy has to offer. The Plus Ones plan to take their pizza and hot coffee on the go and settle into a few dark theatres for some fine film festival viewing.
The Plus Ones’ Top 5 Picks
Outlined below is a small sample of the numerous must-see films and jam-packed events of the Italian Film Festival 2014:
- The Wonders – Winner of the prestigious 2014 Cannes Grand Prize of the Jury, The Wonders is an intriguing family drama set in a private family-run kingdom that is turned upside-down during one remarkable summer. The film stars the alluring Italian actress Monica Bellucci. (Multiple screening times and venues)
- Off Road – Take a seat to watch the heart-warming documentary Off Road. An untraditional love story between transsexual mechanic Beatrice, previously Pino, and Marianna, who along with her son from a previous marriage live as a loving, if unconventional, family unit in the Italian suburbs. (Multiple screening times and venues)
- The Art of Happiness – For some breathtaking adult animation, take a seat for Alexander Rak’s poignant film the Art of Happiness. Through the eyes of raging taxi driver Sergio and his diverse passengers, audiences experience the frustrations, hopes and dreams of Naples’ commuters, culminating in some universal life lessons. (Multiple screening times and venues)
- Pop-Italy: Song’e Napule – For a bit of good food along with your film, head to Pop-Italy: Song’e Napule for an evening of live entertainment, a delicious salami tasting plate, and a screening of the endearing comedy Song of Napoli. (Wed. 24 September)
- Closing Night Event: Marriage Italian Style – To end the festival in style, join the closing night celebrations with a good dosage of fine Italian wine, Connoisseur ice cream and live entertainment. A screening of the 1966 Sophia Lorren classic Marriage Italian Style will finish off the night and the end the festival with some pizzazz. (Sun. 12 October)
Numerous other events also warrant a mention, including Sun-Kissed Soap: The Taste of You (Thurs. 2 Oct) plus fantastic films such as the 2014 Italian Golden Globe winner I Can Quit Whenever I Want, an ode to action-packed crime dramas such as Breaking Bad. There really is something for every kind of Italian aficionado.
The festival runs from 17 September to 12 October. All event, screening times and booking information can be found on the Italian Film Festival 2014 website.
Tali Caspi is a mildly obsessive film buff, creative writer and urban explorer interested in all things arty, odd and interesting. Follow her musings on Twitter @thestoryroom.