In recognition of the Year of Italian Culture, a 7-month film series is set to launch in New York City. “8 Decades of Italian Cinema,” will feature a collection of films giving testimony to the diverse generations of filmmaking in Italy. The film series is presented by the Istituto Luce Cinecittå along with several of the same organizers of the annual film festival, "Open Roads: New Italian Cinema.
What sets this selection apart from other series and film festivals is the span of films that will be screened. Antonio Monda, a crusader in promoting Italian cinema beyond its borders, describes the series as "a homage to the greatness of Italian cinema, from Neorealism to contemporary filmmakers such as Paolo Sorrentino. A journey into the soul of a nation." The series will feature a wide variety of Italy's most beloved films of all-time including, Luchino Visconti's 1948, "Terra Trema", Giuseppe De Santis' 1949, "Riso Amaro" (Bitter Rice), Vittorio De Sica's 1952 "Umberto D", Bernardo Bertolucci's 1964 "Prima della rivoluzione" (Before the Revolution), Ermanno Olmi's 1978, "L'Albero degli zoccoli" (Tree of Wooden Clogs), The Taviani Brother's 1982, "La Notte di San Lorenzo" (Night of the Shooting Stars), Federico Fellini's 1983, "E la nave va" (And the Ship Sails On), Gianni Amelio's 1994, "L'america", Paolo Sorrentino's 2004, "Le conseguenze dell'amore" (The Consequences of Love) and Marco Bellocchio's 2012, "Bella addormentata" (Dormant Beauty).
Roberto Rossellini's neorealism epic, "Roma città aperta" (Rome Open City) will kick off Opening Night on Friday. Credited with starting the neorealism film movement, "Roma città aperta" was released in 1945 after Rossellini took his cameras to the street when war ravaged Cinecittà was out of commission. Staring Italian cinema icons, Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi, the film is set in Nazi occupied Italy and tells the story of people dealing with the tragedy of war. It is a character driven film that shows how people of all walks of life come together to find hope in the darkest of days when there really seems to be no hope at all.
“8 Decades of Italian Cinema,” will run from April to November at Dan Talbot's Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in Manhattan.