With all the hype around the new Tarantino movie, Once upon a time in Hollywood we couldn’t pass on a chance to talk about Italian movies, after Rick Dalton’s experience in Cinecittà and Italian cinema, especially with him working on one of the most famous Italian movies genre of old Italian cinema: Spaghetti Western.
Not being a cinematography blog, I’m not gonna give you a 10 best Italian films list, cause really that’s something the experts are more apt to do. Plus, let’s be honest so many good movies came out of Italian cinematography as long as cinema was around, that the first Italian cinema festival was also the first International movie festival after the Oscars, the “Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia” with it’s famous Leone d’Oro.
So what am I going to tell you about Italian movies? Well, I definitely won’t talk about what was the Italian comedy movie continuum of the Cinepanettoni, a special Italian genre of movies that comet for Christmas, that are utterly dumb. Slapstick humor, sexist jokes, stereotype galore and so on, it’s the dark side of Italian cinema in my opinion. Even though I’m sure some cinema genius is gonna come up and say that these are some of the most fascinating things ever. Don’t believe them.
Anyway, before anything else, I’d like today watch Italian Cinema in Italian, cause this way you’ll enjoy the acting, but most importantly you’ll start picking up words faster. It’s an old trick you already know.
What would be great would be to make a new guide to Italian cinema, now how can I go on about that? Fortunately, even though the times of famous Italian movie directors like Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, and Bernardo Bertolucci, or the famous Italian movie stars period of Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio de Sica, and Sophia Loren are all long gone, there is still a strong cinematic culture in Italy. One of the best example at the moment would be Pierfrancesco Favino, working with the likes of Ron Howard, Spike Lee and also on the TV Series Marco Polo where he plays Marco Polo’s father. My advice would be to watch some Italian movies with him as well, as you’ll get to see him act in his mother tongue making it a fabulous viewing. Plus that could definitely help you with learning some Italian.
Definitely, one of the most famous Italian movies to come out in the last years was “La Grande Bellezza” by director Paolo Sorrentino, winning an Oscar in 2014 for best foreign film, with main character Jep Gambardella interpreted by one of Italy’s most important actors of this day, Toni Servillo. Unfortunately, he doesn’t act in English but is you get a chance to see him at the theatre as well. He has a fair amount of shows in Milan lately, if anything you’ll learn a lot of Italian that way.
In the end, we couldn’t finish this miniature famous Italian movie list without talking about Luca Guadagnino’s Call me by your name” that shook the whole world to the core with the love story between Elio and Oliver. Good news for you this movie is in English.
Anyway, keep an eye out for Italian cinema as it’s becoming more and more as it was back in the day, and distancing itself as much as possible from the cinepanettone concept that sold like hotcakes, but was lacking in content. Hopefully, before we know it we’ll see greater Italian movies that are bound to be cult pieces.