By Peter Gray
Presenting some of the finest cinema Italy has to offer, the 2013 Lavazza Italian Film Festival promises to be another stellar year. Once again hosted by Palace Cinemas, this year’s Brisbane leg of the festival will commence on Thursday night the 3rd October, running through til Tuesday the 22nd October. The opening night screening of ‘The Great Beauty’, the story of an aging writer who bitterly recollects his lost youth, perfectly encapsulates the grandeur of the festival with the official after party featuring live entertainment, cocktails courtesy of Lavazza Espresso, and drinks supplied by Brown Brothers and Peroni.
Over the course of the festival, a plethora of cinema Italiano will be yours to feast on as the program prepares you for laughter, tears, shocks, and reflection. ‘Cosimo and Nicole’ is a hybrid romance come political drama as the titular duo has their senses awakened when an illegal immigrant is killed in a shocking accident. The mixture of these two genres may seem like an odd combination but the lead performances, particularly Clara Ponsot as Nicole, captivate you enough to make it work. Ponsot will also be a special guest at the festival, attending a Q&A following a screening of ‘Cosimo and Nicole’ on Saturday October 5th. Based on the British sitcom of the same name, ‘The Worst Week of my Life’ promises to deliver pure joy to its audience as it recalls the classic comedy of Peter Sellers and brings to mind the similarly themed ‘Meet the Parents’. With everything that can go wrong in the lead up to a wedding proving to be the running theme, ‘Worst Week…’ could potentially be the best outing for anyone wanting a solid laugh. Made with a delicate tenacity ‘The Red and the Blue’ is a charming drama telling of the interconnecting tales of students, teachers and their respective love lives in an Italian High School. A film that boasts individual personalities yet keeps a choral uniformity, this colourful feature is sure to be one of the festivals most relatable. Having its Australian premiere at the festival, the award winning drama ‘The Interval’ boasts stellar performances from newcomers Alessio Gallo and Francesco Riso as two teenagers resentfully thrown together by a crime boss. As they explore the sprawling landscape that is their playground, their sense of whimsy is tainted by the haunting realisation of what their fate holds. A captivating viewing, ‘The Interval’ truly shines as one of the standouts in this year’s program. For those wanting something different the documentary ‘The Human Cargo’ offers a slice of little known history, detailing the 1991 event of cargo ship Vlora arriving into the Italian port of Bari with 20,000 Albanian refugees on board. With life on the boat a struggle for survival and the promise of freedom in Italy seemingly unattainable upon their arrival, Daniele Vicari’s effective documentary is a timely reminder of how much we take for granted within our lifestyle.
With the majority of the films playing this year unlikely to see a mainstream release, the 2013 Lavazza Italian Film Festival is a perfect opportunity to experience cinema unlike any other. For more information on where the films are playing, session times and prices please visit the Palace Cinema website (http://www.palacecinemas.com.au) or the official site of the Italian Film Festival (http://www.italianfilmfestival.com.au). Book your tickets now!