By: Marta Pignatone
When we think about Italian cinema, we often jump to classic famous moments in international cinema. Our mind flies to films like Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce vita” and its famous kiss scene at Trevi Fountain. We think of Italy as a magical, romantic place and old Italian films played into our collective imagination to create and keep this narrative alive.
While older directors like Fellini, Vittorio De Sica, and Luchino Visconti filled us with dreams of taking fountain baths, drinking wine late at night in a piazza, and finding passionate lovers, new directors are carefully crafting a new image of Italians in their movies.
One of the modern masterpieces to come out of Italy is “Twice Born,” directed by Sergio Castellitto. It is a story of love, pain, addiction, and war. The film is perfect, deep, and painful at the same time. The film brings in international influences with actors like Penelope Cruz, a Spanish actress, and Emile Hirsch, an American actor playing major roles.
“The Pursuit of Happyness” represents a different, but equally beautiful kind of story. It was created by an Italian director, Gabriele Muccino, but the story doesn’t take place in Italy and doesn’t feature an Italian character. It’s just the pursuit of finding something meaningful in life, and that’s something all humans around the world can relate to. The amazing production and the international cast did a fantastic job in carrying out Muccino’s vision.
Another movie you shouldn’t miss if you’re dreaming of Italy is “La Grande Bellezza,” also known as “The Great Beauty.” The story, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, takes us to hectic Rome, a city full of beauty, chaos, and contradictions. This film reveals the secrets of rich, Italian nightlife, full of politicians, actors, and international celebrities, yet at the same time, makes you fall deeper in love with Rome.
Despite the changes instories, places, and characters in Italian cinema, it is still here, helping us dreamyear after year.