In collaboration with the Naples Film Festival.
The following films were selected specifically for Casa Italiana by a special jury made up of graduate and Ph.D. students of the NYU Department of Italian Studies:
Così in terra [As It Is on Earth] by Pier Lorenzo Pisano (Ita, 2018, 13')
Roberto Citran, one of the most talented actors in contemporary Italian cinema, portrays a forlorn priest of a small Southern Italian village who is forced to celebrate mass outdoors after the old town church collapses in an earthquake. The story follows his struggle to help an old woman who feels she no longer has a reason to live, a task that tests his faith. Così in terra is a powerful tale of human desperation and the need to believe that there can be purpose in every event, even the most devastating one.
Senza corpo [Bodyless] by Stefano Cioffi (Ita, 2018, 16')
Senza corpo portrays the struggle to define one’s own identity and sexuality in a disconnected society that has been seduced by the idea that the internet and social media can create a surrogate life of happiness. The main character Daniela is truly a mirror of our ages: estranged to her own family and unable to accept who and what she really is. This is a strong short movie that fills a need by addressing the silent desperation of ordinary young people.
Il nostro limite [The Window] by Adriano Morelli (Ita, 2017, 10')
Sometimes happiness is just outside a man’s window, and still too far.… Two young boys are in love, but a family filled with prejudice and the rules of a bigoted society won’t allow that. Year after year, one single mistake, made mostly out of a fear of being judged, becomes a deep and excruciating regret, as shown by this melancholic short movie directed by Adriano Morelli. A vibrating mix of human portraits, visual metaphors and amazing music.
L’aria rossa [The Red Air] by Andrea Bonelli (Ita, 2018, 10')
In a future where education is programmed by machines, a young girl discovers that humanity is way more important than just notions instilled in people’s brains. Using George Orwell’s 1984 dystopian future as a reference, Bonelli tells a story of courage and pacific rebellion. The social commentary of this work needs to be seen as a warning for future generations: learning should always be an emotional experience; otherwise it’s just dates without meaning.
Denise by Rossella Inglese (Ita, 2017, 15')
Life in Rome’s suburbia can be truly tough, especially for a young girl who has no one to help her. The physical and psychological degradation of the teenaged protagonist is captured by a camera into which the characters gaze directly - a testament to our modern voyeuristic lens, lustful, always ready to judge and condemn, but rarely willing to understand or help. Denise has the ability to make the viewer feel uncomfortable, which perhaps is exactly how we should feel in the face of the abuse of media exposition.
Manicure by Francesco Natale (Ita, 2017, 6')
Through a simple, ordinary conversation between two friends - a woman and her manicurist - this short movie talks about painful secrets hidden behind domestic walls. The warmth of the atmosphere and the truth of the situation make this story believable, melancholic, intimate. Another example of how dialogue and human connection can help people overcome their fears.
Quando i pesci cantavano [When the Fish Sang] by Giuseppe Schifani (Ita, 2017, 15')
The importance of tradition and oral culture are shown in this poetic short movie through live action and animation. Three generations are portrayed with enormous grace and kindness, especially the grandfather teaching his grandson what it means to be a fisherman today, something that in some ways deals with the hope for a better world. Giuseppe Schifani designs a romantic tale about the endless pursuit of love and the significance of roots.
The short films will be preceded by the screening of Cinema Mater Dei (Ita, 2017, 7'), a documentary short film made by high school students of the Alfonso Casanova Istituto Statale di Istruzione Superiore. Through some ordinary people’s recollections this non-fiction brief documentary show how theaters have proved to be a fundamental place for viewers back in the years, when going to movies was something special, was like entering a place where dreams could meet reality. The memory of masterpieces like Gone with the Wind or Ben Hur matches with the joy of being among others, sharing a social event capable of elevate people’s spirits and minds. Cinema Mater Dei is made of faces, of words that bring love to what cinema still means: a chance to daydream.
Total duration: 92 minutes
All films are in ITALIAN with ENGLISH SUBTITLES.