100+ YEARS OF THE GREAT ITALIAN MOVIEMAKERS
From the silent era to today, women of Italian origin 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.
Transforming Childhood Memories into a Filmmaking Career
Manuela Filomena was born in a small town in Irpinia called Ariano Irpino, located in the region of Campania. Her bringing up contributed to her choice of professions. “Like most Italian families, Sunday has always been a holiday to share with grandparents, aunts and uncles. Perhaps hearing their stories, sharing the work week, and exchanging ideas unknowingly fed my imagination and pleasure in storytelling,” she told me in a recent interview.
Based on his own life growing up in Naples, Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Hand of God” recounts the heartbreak and growing pains that shaped the man and filmmaker he is today. The story of Fabietto plays out during the mid-1980s as Argentine soccer player Diego Maradona thrills locals as the star of the Napoli soccer team. When tragedy strikes, Fabietto realizes the profound impact of Maradona on his life.
Roman-born actress Fernanda Negri Pouget is a sight to behold (no pun intended) as a blind servant in Mario Caserini and Eleuterio Rodolfi's 1913 “The Last Days of Pompeii.” Her portrayal of Nidia should be part of the film school coursework for aspiring actresses. The film follows various inhabitants of the ill-fated ancient city in the days leading up to the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
Valerio Mastandrea's feature film directorial debut centers on Cesare Secondari (Renato Carpentieri), a retired factory worker who with two of his comrades is preparing to protest the unsafe working conditions that led to the death of a young man. Following the tender friendship between three senior citizens, one dealing with the repercussions of suffering a stroke, they fear they’ve become useless in old age and all the progress they made for the factory workers of their generation faded when they retired.
Directed by Vittorio De Sica, this heart-wrenching story brings together screen legends Marcello Mastroianni and Sophia Loren for one of the most powerful performances of their onscreen love affair. At the start of the film, Antonio must leave his new bride to fight on the Russian front. After a near-death experience, Antonio has a brief episode of amnesia and marries the young Russian woman who saved his life. Though Antonio is listed as missing in action, Giovanna sets out to find him, leading to an explosive reunion.
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