Italian Film Festival is back with new movies and old classics

Following last year’s huge success, the Italian Film Festival is back with a special focus on the films from the 71st Venice Film Festival and a selection of new movies, classics, and Asian feature films. Here are five movies we’ll definitely be catching.

Leopardi (Apr 9, 7pm, The Cathay Cineplex)

Directed and co-written by Italian auteur Mario Martone, Leopardi is the opening film for the festival, based on the life of 19th century Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi. As with most arty biopics, there are heavy doses of  family issues, unrequited love and decadence which hastens his death. 

Hungry Hearts (Apr 11, 5pm, The Cathay Cineplex)

An Italian girl meets an American boy, and they fall madly in love, get married and have a baby. Then, she turns out to be slowly losing it and the film turns into a creepy psychological thriller where eventually the baby ends up in a life or death situation. Very dramatic. The movie stars American actor Adam Driver (also known as Hannah Horvath’s boyfriend in Girls!) and Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher, who won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively for this film.

Tales (Apr 11, 2pm, Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore)

After an eight-year hiatus, award-winning Iranian filmmaker Rakshan Banietemad makes a comeback with a seven short film omnibus about working-class life in modern Iran. (She was unable to get a license for this project under the Ahmedinejad regime so stuck to making documentaries.) Expect lots of crying women, brooding men, drug dealers and other sad things.

China is Near (Apr 13, 8pm, Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore)

This 1967 drama film by radical Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio combines gracelessness with humor. In this socio-political comedic satire follows a working class couple comprising an accountant and a secretary plot to marry into the elite class, including a Socialist professor running for political office.

A Special Day (Apr 14, 8pm, Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore)

Set in Rome in 1938, on a day when Adolf Hitler is paying a state visit to Benito Mussolini, a housewife (Sophia Loren) stays home while her fascist husband and the kids leave to join the parade. She meets her neighbor Gabriele, a radio broadcaster recently fired for his unpopular views and for his homosexuality. The film follows their day as they talk, argue and flirt. The film won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Italian Film Festival runs from Apr 8-15, see more details here.