Great cinema and Italian pleasure at home
We all hope to soon be able to travel again without worries to the land of our dreams of granita, history and grandezza. Until then to the Anticipation An Italian movie night for the heart and soul.
A journey to the most beautiful places of Italy in movies
PALERMO. The leopard
Lucino Visconti has opulently and masterfully staged the novel about the Prince of Salina in the age of Garibaldi’s struggle for Italian freedom. The novel by Giuseppe Tomasi, Duke of Palma and Prince of Lampedusa, who lived as a lawyer in Rome and Palermo after the end of the First World War, found an interested publisher only after his death.
The story is timeless and still touches us today: “If we want everything to stay the way it is, then it is necessary for everything to change.
Gorgeous images of Sicily’s countryside and ball scenes in Palermo’s palaces, starring Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon. In the film, the latter marries the daughter of the small-town mayor of Donnafugata. Thus, it is clear which red wine you could already temper to enjoy this film.
AMALFITANA. Only the sun was witness
Yes, another film with Alain Delon. Patricia Highsmith, the author of the novel “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” saw in him the ideal role for the young Tom Ripley. Sorry, Matt Damon.
Tom Ripley is sent to Europe by the wealthy parents of Philippe Greenleaf to convince the “prodigal son” to give up his dolce vita in Italy and return to the United States of America.
All too tempting is the lifestyle Philippe Greenleaf enjoys on the Amalfi Coast with a well-filled bank account. The penniless Tom Ripley is allowed to give Phillipe a hand on his yacht and participate a little in the sweet life on the Amalfi Coast, but felt the contempt Phillipe has for him.
Excitement, Italian lifestyle and some of the most beautiful landscapes Italy has to offer.
The remake “The talented Mr. Ripley” deviates more from the novel and is a bit lengthy towards the end. BUT, Jude Law and additional footage from Ischia Ponte, Rome and Venice also qualify this film for a good dose of Italy feeling.
ROM. La Grande Bellezza
To this day, we wonder how the film La Grande Bellezza managed to win the Oscar for “Best Foreign Language Film” in Hollywood in 2014. GloriousMe loves this film: it doesn’t follow a linear narrative structure and revels in long takes. The dialogues on roof terraces and in restaurants seem as if the camera had simply been left to run along with the small talk.
A film that flows slowly through Rome like the Tiber, punctuated by vibrant parties in clubs or villa gardens, with an excellent leading man, Toni Servillo, as Jeb Gambardella, who plays a former successful author who reconsiders his past life as part of Rome’s high society.
The shots of Rome at night, mostly deserted, the eccentric characters and the film’s fantastic music, which ranges from Arvo Pärt, Francis Poulenc and Georges Bizet to Tu vuò fà l’americano (which we are already familiar with from The talented Mr. Ripley) make this film worth seeing on its own.
For Rome lovers. Or, as director Paolo Sorrentino said during his acceptance speech for the Golden Globe for “Best Foreign Language Film”: “Thank you to Italy, that’s a crazy country, but beautiful”.
MILAN. I am Love
Architecture fans will be thrilled by the interior shots of Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, the residence of the Recchi family of industrialists. The camera accompanies family celebrations and follows Emma Recchi around the rambling house and in her little escapes down the staff stairwell to meet her lover.
Her lover, her son’s friend, works as a cook and, with his enjoyable meals and his father’s sunny vegetable garden, represents the sensual, warm counter-world to the coldness that prevails in the villa, which is always kept in dark colors.
Tilda Swinton, who worked with director Luca Guadagnino for seven years on all the details of the film, plays the role of Emma Recchi. A very subtle film with fine nuances. Some key scenes were shot at the Cimiero Monumentale di Milano cemetery – let’s not reveal more.
VENICE. Bread and tulips
Much lighter, the comedy Bread and Tulips. Again, a break from convention that is unintentional, because her husband does not notice at first that Rosalba is no longer on board the bus on the way back to Pescara, but has been forgotten at the highway rest stop.
She decides to take an opportunity to travel to Venice, a long-cherished desire, and there she meets Bruno Ganz, in the role of the waiter Fernando, in a restaurant.
We don’t really need to say more: Bruno Ganz, a comedy with a good dash of melancholy and a lot of Venice, but not from the point of view of the Doge’s Palace but from the point of view of a small restaurant and a flower store.
ROM. Il Divo
The Divine. A film about former Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, who participated in 33 Italian governments, was elected Prime Minister of Italy seven times, was indicted 29 times for favoring the Mafia, and was acquitted 29 times.
Fiction, of course, not biography. Not in chronological narrative either – in rapid editing, scenes of mob killings alternate with the actor of Andreotti being protected by heavily armed police officers, whose nerves are stretched to the limit, as he walks to church through nighttime, extinct Rome.
Another cinematic masterpiece by director Paolo Sorrentino, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Even though the beginning of the film is not immediately obvious due to the many fast-paced scenes, hard-hitting music, and many references to Italian politics, the Mafia, and the Red Brigades, if you are not an intimate connoisseur of Italian current events in the years 1970 – 2000, stick with it.
The film is a memorable study of a politician. In addition to brutal scenes, he tells in quiet, impressive scenes how difficult it is to see more than the facade as an outside observer. “Fellini meets Tarantino” … we are sure you will not forget this film and recommend it as well.
VENICE. Peggy Guggenheim. A life for art
Peggy Guggenheim loved Venice and is buried there in the garden of the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation Art Museum, close to the works of art she collected and loved.
Peggy Gugenheim’s father, New York businessman Benjamin Guggenheim had died in the sinking of the Titanc in 1912. Peggy Guggenheim opened an art gallery in London and later in New York before moving to Venice and becoming a patron of the arts, discovering artists such as Jackson Pollock and supporting many others.
She said about herself “I have bad taste” but this statement is rather to be understood as an ironic description of the general art audience. Many works of art acquired by Peggy Guggenheim did not appeal to the artistic taste of the time, but today they are among the most expensive lots at art auctions.
Artists who feared for their existence not only in times of Corona but also in the time of the Second World War supported her with the resolution to acquire a painting every day in wartime.
Patron, art lover, eccentric and independent. Who would call their uncle’s museum a “garage” when it’s the Guggenheim Museum in New York?
FLORENCE. Room with a View
For Anglophile romantics, a lavish and stylish film adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel by director James Ivory. Helena Bonham Carter and Maggie Smith are the female stars of the film.
The story: young Englishwoman travels to Florence with chaperone and meets the impetuous, unconventional George, but decides to marry the rather dull, wealthy Cecil when she returns to England. You can guess how it will turn out.
Perfect city and landscape shots in and around Florence but also gorgeous shots of English garden culture.
Concrete housing developments, parking decks, Chinese clothing factories, garbage dumps – it’s not the Naples we love so much as tourists that’s featured in this film. The impressive film is based on the book of the same name Gomorrah about mafia organizations in Italy, whose author Roberto Saviano has had to live under strict police protection since the book was published.
An intense, touching film that shows why the mafia has an easy time in its recruitment of new members. Gomorrah achieved record box office numbers in Italy when it was released, and the novel on which the film is based is one of Italy’s best-selling novels.
The film stars Toni Servillo, a specialist in the illegal disposal of toxic waste, and many amateur actors. We suffer with them, we rejoice with them, we fear with them, and we are not redeemed at the end with a happy ending.
Some of the performers were sentenced to long prison terms for murder and drug offenses in the years that followed. A great film that we would like to recommend to you.
Nothing to it?
Well, then there’s always the Godfather I through III. The trilogy by Francis Ford Coppola can be seen several times. The scenes are set mostly in the United States of America, but there is still enough of an Italian feel to life, and beautiful Sicily can be seen from time to time.
Culinary preparation for the movie night
Dessert first, because it requires the most preparation. The GloriousMe movie night ends with pine lemon cookies and a deep dark espresso. The cookies are good to bake the day before, the recipe for which can be found in the article on natural lemons.
Gelato di Amaretto
Italy without gelato? Possible, but not quite as tasty. If a rarely used ice machine was still discovered in the basement or attic during the Corona Shutdown cleanup, we recommend Amaratto ice:
450 ml whole milk
95 ml cream
100 g powdered sugar
150 g dextrose
2 egg yolk
100 ml amaretto
Mix milk, cream and dextrose and set in a water bath with the metal mixing bowl and continue stirring, heating gently. Add the powdered sugar and egg yolk and continue to stir continuously until 85 degrees Celsius is reached. The professional recognizes the temperature by the fact that the liquid “draws a rose”.
Immediately remove the liquid from the heat and leave to cool. Stir the amaretto into the cooled milk-sugar-egg mixture and store the mixture in the refrigerator overnight. Shortly before the end of the film, the ice cream machine can be turned on, because the ice cream tastes especially good fresh from the ice cream machine. We would serve an iced amaretto with it.
Alternatively, a good Italian ice cream from the dealer you trust.
Since the film is the main attraction of the evening, we do not recommend a multi-course menu beforehand but a well-made pasta, which never fails to have its effect on the soul. In case it should not be the favorite pasta: Who could give better pasta instructions than Italian grandmothers. In the book Pasta Grannies by Vicky Bennison, you get to meet the grandmothers and get lots of pasta sauce inspiration. There is also a YouTube channel of the same name that shows the Italian grandmothers in action in their kitchens. Rating: Worth seeing.
Of course, all pasta sauces can also be combined with pre-made pasta. Benedetto Cavalieri’s excellent pasta is produced in Puglia, but is also available outside Italy in well-stocked stores. The pasta itself tastes so good that if you are absolutely short of time, a plate of this pasta with a little olive oil and parmesan already makes you happy. Add a classic Chianti or a nice Nebbiolo and the movie can start.
The aperitvo at the beginning of the evening, we have not forgotten, of course. How about a Negroni, the classic drink that derives its name from Count Camillo Negroni, who is said to have first ordered this drink at the bar of the Café Casoni in Florence in 1919.
In the detox phase following the Corona Shutdown, when we all may have enjoyed a little too much in the way of alcoholic beverages, a homemade lemonade is also a great way to set the mood for movie night. By now, you’ve probably asked your greengrocer to bring you Amalfi lemons from the wholesale market next time.
The lemonade is prepared the day before: boil 100 ml of water, 100 g of sugar (or agave syrup) with the whole peel of an Amalfi lemon briefly and let it infuse for a few hours.
Pass the sugar syrup through a sieve, add the juice of 2 lemons and a lime, 500 ml of mineral water and ice cubes and serve immediately.
Of course, if you can’t get Amalfi lemons, you can use any other natural lemon. However, since these have less sweetness and far more acidity, the juice of one and a half lemons is usually enough. You should not do without the lime – its additional flavor component makes the lemonade more interesting.
We wish you a stimulating movie night with anticipation of the real Italy in the hopefully near future.
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