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 Italian Film Series‌

Lasciati - Wednesday, October 4
With a beard and glasses à la Sigmund Freud, Toni Servillo (La grande bellezzaLe confessioni) is Dr. Elia Venezia, a psychoanalyst separated from his wife yet still living in the same apartment building as her.

Dr. Venezia lives a comfortable and rather self-centered existence, until a health scare forces him to the doctor. Instructed to lose some weight, he befriends a vivacious Spanish personal trainer, Claudia, a single mother who happens to have an unhinged criminal ex-boyfriend. As Claudia drags Elia around Rome, a series of mishaps ensue, breathing new energy into his tired and predictable life.

Winner of the 2017 Italian Golden Globe for Best Comedy, Lasciati andare is a return to the classic cinematic commedia all’italianawith a contemporary twist that will be surely make you laugh out loud and— pardon the pun— let yourself go!

Poveri ma ricchi - Wednesday, October 11
The Tucci’s are a poor family living in the outskirts just south of Rome. Then one day the unthinkable happens: the family wins a lottery of 100 million Euros. They do their best to keep their sudden windfall a secret, but as things go, a secret like this can’t usually be kept for too long, and their only solution now is to leave their home before they’re overwhelmed by all of their so-called friends and acquaintances.  

In the middle of the night they decide to pack and leave – destination Milan, the city of the elite (or so thinks Mrs. Tucci) and all things sophisticated.

 They will soon realize, however, that those with money neither are happy nor are civilized. 

 A wonderful comedy full of laughable characters and scenarios, Poveri ma ricchi also asks the viewer to reflect on what one has, what one could have, and what one can also lose in the process.

Scialla - Wednesday, October 18 in Cox 126
Luca is a restless 15-year-old who grew up without a father and is in search of guidance. Bruno is a childless professor who left teaching to escape to a boring routine of tutoring private students. As for Bruno, he never gave direction to others, not even to himself; but his boring monotonous life undergoes a sudden shock when the man discovers that Luca is his son.  The rebellious student and the melancholy professor find themselves forced to live together, and while the father has difficulty understanding how to get along with a spirited teenager intolerant of rules and studying, they eventually come to understand each other.

Scialla! has a tender heart that beats loud and clear, subtly depicting the present yet inevitable changes in the structure of Italian life, societal appearances, and the concept of an Italian family.

Dir. Bruni. 2011 - 95 min.

Non è un paese per giovani - Wednesday, October 25
Every year around one hundred thousand young people leave Italy and flee overseas. Among the new emigrants there are a lot of hopeful youth seeking stability and overall happiness. Sandro and Luciano are two of them who realize, much like others of their generation, that starting up a new business in Italy is a hopeless dream.

However, there is a place instead where – according to Sandro and Luciano – everything is possible, if not magical: Cuba. Yet not all that glitters is gold.

This is a story of an overlooked generation in search of an identity; some of whom will find the road of life and others that will forever be lost.

Che vuoi che sia? - Wednesday, November 29
Anna and Claudio are pushing back the decision to have a baby until the time they will be financially better off. Their hopes lie in Claudio’s new website idea, but the crowdfunding needed to launch the website doesn’t bring in the needed money.  No one on the Internet seems to understand the value of his idea.  One evening after a party, Claudio jokingly posts a video daring the "people of the Internet” to offer a donation in exchange for a compromising video of himself and Anna. Unexpectedly the joke is a huge online success.

 What will they do when faced with the proposal that will allow them to finally realize their dreams?

 "[Director] Leo's work makes one recall the heyday of Italian comedy." - LA REPUBBLICA

Dir. Leo. 2016 - 95 min.

Sangue del mio sangue - Wednesday, December 6
Federico, a young man-at-arms, wants to clear the name of his brother, a priest seduced by a nun, Sister Benedetta. With this aim in mind, he goes to the Bobbio prison convent, where Sister Benedetta is incarcerated, after being accused of witchcraft. She bewitches Federico in turn. She is then sentenced to life and…

In the same place, many centuries later...

Federico, a state inspector, knocks on the door of the historic convent, which had been transformed into a prison before falling into disuse. He discovers that the building is inhabited by a mysterious count, who only goes out at night…

A strong contender for the Golden Lion at the 72nd Biennale di Venezia, this interpolated film will surely enchant some and vex others in ways similar to La grande bellezza.

This feature marks the end of the UM Italian Film Festival Fall Series Selection.

Dir. Bellocchio. 2015 - 106 min.

All films will be shown at 7PM in Whitten Learning Center 140. All films are in Italian with English subtitles.