Friday, April 22, 2016

Laura Morante to present "Assolo" and "Se Dio vuole" at the 16th Edition of Open Roads: New Italian Cinema

It’s just been announced that Laura Morante will present her directorial effort, "Assolo" as well as "Se Dio vuole" in which she acted at the 16th edition of Open Roads: New Italian Cinema, the annual film series hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which showcases contemporary Italian cinema. Morante will present her films along with a whole batch of talented contemporary filmmakers. See the complete lineup here.

Laura Morante

She's been called the First Lady of Italian Cinema.  Born on August 21, 1956 in Tuscany, actress Laura Morante brings an effortless passion to her work and is known for delivering intense dramatic performances that make her characters unforgettable.  She’s also proved that she could do a good comedy with movies like Carlo Verdone’s “L'amore è eterno finché esiste” (Love is Eternal While it Lasts).

With Laura Morante in New York
Morante started out as a dancer and attributes her success in acting to the self-discipline and love of rehearsal she found in dancing. Having worked on many films with directors from all over the world, she has also been a collaborative partner, demanding in her projects a high level of substance and quality. She is attracted to roles that deal with issues of devastating loss and impossible love such as Gianni Amelio’s "Colpire al Cuore" and Nanni Moretti’s "La Stanza del Figlio".
Morante started her acting career in theater before making her screen debut in Giuseppe Bertolucci's 1981 "Oggetti Smarrit" (Lost and Found). Since the very beginning of her acting career, she has taken on lead roles that call on her innate ability to empathize deeply with her characters and portray characters that are naturally dramatic, yet show a human side with a sharp sense of humor.  This was especially apparent in "La stanza del figlio" (The Son's Room).  Morante's performance in that film was intense to say the least.  Her character deals with the loss of a child, and her sensitivity to the feelings of her character was apparent as she went through so many of the painful stages of mourning a loved one. The film is truly a contemporary classic and much of that is due to Morante's powerful performance.
"The Dancer Upstairs"
Since she started out as a dance, Laura Morante found common ground with her character, Yolanda, in John Malkovich's "The Dancer Upstairs". Although she has also worked in French cinema, "The Dancer Upstairs" was her first high-profile film outside Italy and really made her an international star.  “She had a very communicative face. I didn’t want someone with an innocent face. I wanted someone with a history,” said Malkovich of his choice to cast Morante in the part of Yolanda. She acted opposite Academy Award winner, Javier Bardem and the pair had strong chemistry and brilliantly carried scenes in a nostalgic, artistic manner that really makes you feel like you are watching two living legends. Together, they just ignite the screen with a simple, understated intensity rarely seen in modern cinema. Morante credits her father for her love of acting and the arts. "My father was a criminal lawyer but had an extraordinary passion for theater. He successfully directed the experimental theater in Grossetto and was asked by Pasolini to play the role of San Giuseppe in "Vangelo secondo San Matteo" (The Gospel According to St. Matthew).  My brother, Giacomo played the role of San Giovanni."

"Assolo" is Morante’s second film in the director’s chair. Her first was the 2012 “Ciliegine” (The Cherry on the Cake). “Assolo” has been described as a story about female self-esteem and neurosis. It is a comedy entrenched in the world of women that includes just about everything from their children to their work to their psychoanalysts to their lovers to their pets. But in the end, said Morante in a recent interview with Trovacinema, "the true love story of the film is that between the star and the dog." Morante leads the ensemble cast, which includes Marco Giallini, Carolina Crescentini, Donatella Finocchiaro and Angela Finocchiaro. 

Morante will present her film "Assolo" on Friday, June 3 at 6:15pm and "Se Dio vuole" with Edoardo Falcone on Saturday, June 4, 6:30pm. Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 12. A pre-sale to Film Society members will begin Tuesday, May 10. 

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