Italian Film Festival

Film, Film festivals
Pinocchio 2019
Photograph: Supplied Pinocchio

Time Out says

The 21th local feast of Italian cinema is coming

The Palace Cinemas franchise was started by the Zeccola brothers, who arrived in Melbourne in 1957 and opened cinemas for the purpose of screening Italian films to fellow migrants. In the late 1990s, Palace launched the Italian Film Festival as a showcase of the latest movies from the homeland. 

The festival's 21st edition, sponsored by coffee brand on the rise St Ali, has been announced with IRL seasons nationally (Melbourne to be advised). Opening night film will be a spectacular new live-action version of Pinocchio from director Matteo Garrone (better known for the hard-hitting crime drama Gomorrah). A gothic fantasy for kids and adults alike, this version of the story of a puppet who yearns to be a real boy stars Oscar winner Roberto Benigni as the woodcutter Geppetto. And unlike the version of Pinocchio that Benigni himself directed in 2002, this one has had glowing reviews. 

Another highlight will be Il Traditore (The Traitor), about a Mafia boss-turned-police informer, which swept the Italian Oscars last year. A comedy called I Hate Summer (Odio l'estate) involves three families accidentally booking the same holiday rental. Relocating the Jack London novel to Naples, Martin Eden concerns a sailor who takes up writing. And drama The Goddess of Fortune (La Dea Fortuna) explores longterm relationships over time.

Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malèna, his film of smalltown hypocrisy set in wartime Sicilly starring Monica Bellucci, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and a retrospective screening will close the festival this year. The movie features music by the late Ennio Morricone and is in tribute to the great composer. 

Catch the festival from September 29 at Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinemas, Palace Central – in socially distanced screenings naturally.

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