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Radmila Djurica


Radmila Djurica is your guide to the festival scenes: Sarajevo, Cannes and many more

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A triumph of Italian Film on Ljubljana’s LIFFE

There is a slight triumph of Italian film on 24th Ljubljana International Film Festival LIFFE. A marvelous Miele directed by Valeria Golino got the the Kingfisher Award. A Visually stunning with great camera work, the angel of death Miele offers necessary drugs for the end, a smart and elegant suicide. The film directs toward very modern topic of today euthanasia.  The fellow Cannes Film Festival selection Miele, debut of Italian actress Valeria Golino screened in the Un Certain Regard category, in Ljubljana sold out every single ticket. Declared as masterpiece virtuoso by now an assisted suicide activist by the magazine Variety who marks that “Golino makes the leap into the director’s chair with consummate assurance.” Jasmine Trinca (The Best of YouthThe Son’s Room) did her best to picture the job and the character of Miele. Trinca plays Irene or Miele, a woman who has devoted herself to helping people with terminal diseases end their lives on their own way. Nevertheless, when a 70-year-old in good health (Carlo Cecchi) decides for the suicide her moral and spiritual questions arise. She is not dead stone cold as it seemed at first and her progressive de-humanization and alienation from other people simply goes away. Her socially useful job has a certain psychosomatic side effects. Just brilliant!

An absolute FIPRESCI Award winner of 24th Ljubljana International Film Festival LIFFE aesthetically lacks of dialogue: the Grand Prix and the Visionary Award in Cannes 2013, Italian film Salvo directed-written by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza. The prize was given due to a magnificent play of different genres: spaghetti western, film noir as a celebration of filmmaking skills. It is the world of Sicilian Mafia seen through film noir at the beginning, with moody and unexpected turns, via its prime genre thriller. The story pictures stunning Salvo- the mafia assassin. He kills Rita’s brother Renato and takes Rita to an abandoned factory where he keeps her to kill. However, love comes up and they end up in spaghetti western runaway style from Mafs.The film as written in Variety “gives the atmospheric picture that does fascinate on a visceral level”. The shadow play in the noir style takes a wonderful extended prologue with not much blood presented in aesthetic low-angle and long shots…and “bang bang I shut you down” style. The shadows of the house promise us a beautiful beach outside and it is for us to see that there is a paradise lost in a beautiful Palermo here. Here there's another side of the story, something beyond the tourist prospects of stunning sighting of Palermo, there are desperate young people with no proper jobs and there's Mafia war. All the mise-en-scene of the house of Rita, the house of shadows serve to wittingly use of the genre and “Daniele Cipri is the Italian master of chiaroscuro,” the authors said. There is no extra glamour involved here, just a picture of gritty life, dust and poverty, something we do not see often in Italian cinema. Impressive work!

In addition to Italian film on 24th Ljubljana International Film Festival LIFFE, there is an Audience Award of Venice 2013 Matteo Oleotto’s Italo-Slovenian co- production Zoran, My Nephew Idiot (Zoran il mio nipote scemo), a witty account of two different worlds mixed together, eccentric and attractive. “Wine is healthy, water is for burials” sings Ernesto in a small Italian wine bar in a Friulian village close to the Slovenian border. And the wine in this film as a real life wine area, does play a role.  The film is little village comedy about family and its importance on a very special kind. Paolo and his 150 kg body floats around the kitchen in the retirement home where he works during the day and daydreams about Gustino’s bar. He’s not a charmer but cynical misanthrope, a forty year old who longs for ex-wife Stefania. One day he gets an official visit and inherits a white porcelain dog named Helmut and trial guardianship of his 16-year old nephew from Slovenia Zoran Spazapan who speaks a strange Italian or better says Slovenian Italian and brings a little bit of Slovenia into his home. He is a kind of nerdy type of boy, bit clumsy and shy, but a brilliant dart player. Therefore, he cooks up a plan to get him to compete in a darts championship in Glasgow for the prize money of 60,000 Euros.  This is a brilliant sarcastic comedy full of optical and dialogue nuance, all the characters learn what really counts in life. The final answer here is love.  The film is a real treat, a kind of mentality drama with sweet and beautiful end that you actually enjoy, not despise as for being very unintentional and not pretentious comedy.  

 

 

 
 

Then of course, Paollo Sorentino’s The Great Beauty (Le Grande Bellezza) film out of competition but equally attractive film homage to Rome portrayed well La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini. Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) was considered as a prime candidate for an award in Cannes, at least a Best Director for Sorrentino or a Best Actor for Toni Servillo. Instead, the film became the most prestigious entry to all film festivals around. “Often astonishing cinematic feast,” and by all mean amusing update on Italian society, offering good all cynical attitude, irresistible charm and bitter lucidity, something common to all Italian films, especially Sorentino’s caliber.

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