100+ YEARS OF THE GREAT ITALIAN MOVIEMAKERS

Laura Bispuri
presents her New Film in NYC

Luchino Visconti Films Headed to NYC

A retrospective dedicated to the maestro Luchino Visconti to follow Open Roads: New Italian Cinema

If you plan on being in New York for the next edition of Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, which will be held this year May 31 – June 6, you may want to book the hotel for an extra couple weeks.


Beginning June 8, the Film Society of Lincoln Center along with Istituto Luce Cinecittà will present a complete retrospective of Luchino Visconti’s feature films, including many restorations.


Stay tuned for the complete lineup of films in both series! 


Open Roads: New Italian Cinema

May 31 – June 6

Open Roads: New Italian Cinema is the only screening series to offer North American audiences a diverse and extensive lineup of contemporary Italian films. Co-presented by FSLC and Istituto Luce Cinecittà, this year’s 18th edition again strikes a balance between emerging talents and esteemed veterans, commercial and independent fare, outrageous comedies, gripping dramas, and captivating documentaries, with in-person appearances by many of the filmmakers.


Visconti

June 8-21
Italian nobility, a member of the Italian Communist Party during World War II, openly gay and staunchly Catholic, Luchino Visconti inhabited a complicated, at times paradoxical, role in Italian cinema culture. A leader in the neorealism movement who also worked with international stars like Burt Lancaster, Helmut Berger, Alain Delon, and Dirk Bogarde, Visconti produced an oeuvre of modest and humane dramas as well as decadent, sprawling historical spectacles. Deftly aware of the subtle and rich means of cinematic expression, he imposed the narrative customs of opera and the novel onto film, yet remained sharply attuned to the social and political climates of the 20th century.

Five Italian films are named in the official program of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, including two directed by women.

Netflix announces a new film starring Marco Giallini and Claudio Santamaria.. plus a series directed by Andrea DeSica and Anna Negri.

Vittorio Taviani (pictured left) of the legendary filmmaking duo the Taviani Brothers has died in Rome at the age of 88.

Women in Film

The Trailblazers

From the silent era to today, Italian women have stepped behind the camera to tell their stories. We've partnered with Directed By Women to keep those stories alive by featuring women who gave and continue to give voice to the female experience through cinema.

Francesca Bertini

Francesca Bertini was born Elena Seracini Vitiello in Florence in 1892. She relocated with her family to Naples when she was a child. There, she began working in local theater productions. Then at the age of 16, she moved to Rome to focus on her career as a professional actress. After nearly a decade of working in theater, she landed her first movie role in Baldassarre Negroni’s 1913 production of Histoire d'un pierrot. Bertini plays the role of Pierrot, a young girl led into a life of drinking and gambling by the local wine merchant. A fascinating aspect is the set design, which reflects the typical Italian style of the early 20th century. Bertini is absolutely radiant. The role launched her career as an internationally acclaimed actress. 

Her followup, Assunta Spina, is a 1915 silent film with a melodic soundtrack and stunning shots of the Bay of Naples. Filmmakers Francesca Bertini and Gustavo Serena created a timeless story of love, passion and envy. They also captured images of Naples that are surprising clear for being shot 100 years ago.


In addition to her leading role, Bertini contributed to the script and casting. “It had been my idea to wander around Naples taking ordinary people from the streets. Now everyone’s invented Neorealism! The real Neorealist film is Assunta Spina," recalled 90-year-old Bertini in a 1982 interview. 


Noteworthy is the cinematography, which was done by the senior Vittorio Storaro, father of the renowned cinematographer Vittorio Storaro known for his work on the films of today's great directors Bernardo Bertolucci and Francis Ford Coppola just to name a few.


Assunta Spina is available for purchase through Cineteca Bologna. However, you must have an Italian identification number, codice fiscale, to make the purchase. Otherwise, the film is available to watch on YouTube.

Her last role was Sister Desolata in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1976 epic Novecento (1900). It's been said that Bertolucci worked hard to convince her to come out of retirement for the part. Nine years later, Bertini passed away at the age of 93.

It's important that we keep alive the work of pioneer women in film like Francesca Bertini. Although their works are now considered "old cinema", these filmmakers were the contemporary trailblazers of their time. Their hard work and sacrifices helped pave the way for their contemporary counterparts of today. 

Spotlight on Cineturismo

Basilicata: Land of Cinema

From Italian films to Hollywood blockbusters, the region of Basilicata is in high demand 

due to its stunning natural landscapes and ancient stone structures.

Stream Classic & Contemporary Italian Cinema

1900, Bernardo Bertolucci

Robert De Niro in 1900

Two friends struggle through five decades of dividing forces in Italian society. Originally shot as a six-part series for Italian television, the DVD/Streaming version was edited to 5 hours.

Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino

Call Me By Your Name

Winner of an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Luca Guadagnino's delicate story of young love transports us into the decadence and innocence of his characters.

The Night Porter, Liliana Cavani

Charlotte Rampling

A concentration camp survivor, played by a young Charlotte Rampling, comes face to face with her former abuser and lover after many years in this story of tortured, doomed love.

Lo Scopone Scientifico, Luigi Comencini

An unlucky couple tries to beat a millionairess at cards. Starring three legends- Bette Davis, Silvana Mangano and Alberto Sordi.. Commedia all'Italiana at its best. 

On Exhibit

Dreaming in Color: The Davide Turconi Collection of Early Cinema

Through June 24, 2018 

George Eastman House

Rochester, New York

La Dolce Vitti: The Cinema of Screen Goddess Monica Vitti

Through June 10, 2018

Teatro dei Dioscuri al Quirinale

Rome, Italy