All posts tagged film


Published December 19, 2013 by Tony



Celebrated to the last Art Show in Venice, “Music Life” is a documentary dedicated to Enzo Avitabile and directed by acclaimed director Jonathan Demme.
The video’s exciting images that highlight the high musical level of the musician, mixed with scenes of daily life, have been projected last week in almost all Italian movies. Through the poetic music of the Neapolitan artist, the director has created a story that follows his desire to save the world, giving to the documentary a clear political significance. In perfect communion with the sensitivity of Demme, the Avitabile’s songs, always open to contamination and differences, exhibit solidarity for the oppressed and an empathy for the margins. A video to watch.

For the uninitiated, Enzo Avitabile is a famous saxophonist, musician and songwriter from Naples, perhaps best known in Italy for the song “Soul Express”, but who has had a background in all respect. He grows in the neighborhood of Naples called Marianella, studying the saxophone, and starting to perform at 7-8 years in Americans locals of Naples, and later graduating in flute at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella. In 1979 his participation in the second Pino Daniele’s self-titled album, and in 1980 he gave his contribution to another important Pino Daniele’s album called “Nero a metà”. In 1982 he released his first album, “Avitabile” , which already showed his black music style, and in which one song was dedicated to the deceased friend Mario Musella (“The Showmen”‘s singer). In 1983 he released his second album, with the song “Gospel mio” sung by Richie Havens. 1986 is the year of release of one of his best-known works, “SOS Brothers”, which contains the historic “Soul Express” and “Black Out”, whose remix version won a prize in Ibiza for the best dance song of the year. In 1988 he published “Alto Voltaggio”, in which he reiterate the presence of his love for funk, with a collaboration with Afrika Bambaataa, that will bring to the creation of the album “Street Happiness”. In devising his music the singer-songwriter has never been affected by commercial logic. In 1994 he released “Easy” where he puts in music the poem ” ‘A livella” by Toto, and where in “Leave me or love me” he sang with Randy Crawford. On that time, the record company EMI saddled him with the label of “artist unmanageable”, because he refused to participate in the Festival of Sanremo. In the same year he participated to the Pistoia Blues Festival. Since 2004, his records’ covers have been signed by the anthropologist Marino Niola. In 2009 he won the Italian Targa Tenco for the best record in Neapolitan dialect, with the album “Napoletana” released the same year.

First public exhibition

Last year, in the television show “Sottovoce ” by Gigi Marzullo , Enzo said:

<< As a boy, my dreams were simple: learn to play the saxophone and meet the artists who I listened thanks to the jukebox . >>
<< The word is already music, and I like to get there with the music where the words do not come, and vice versa. There is a mantra in our Neapolitan dialect. I hope to make music but to also say something, conveying my thoughts through the music.>>
<< Naples and Marianella are the ‘Mother home’ to me, when I am back in Naples there are certain conditions, fundamental states of consciousness, which in my opinion are to be linked to certain things, because for me the (cultural) contamination is very important, but I think it is fundamental the recovery of our cultural identity. >>
<<Mine can be defined as ‘World Music’, but I wanted to borrow from the greats artists of the past the ability to move inside any form, to go over the same shape, to create new forms, which do not really have a form… this seems to be a pun, but it is a return to pure music, one that goes beyond labels.>>
<< I can define myself a loner among people, like all of us. ‘Chi nun cunosce ‘o scuro nu po’ capì a luce, nisciuno s’ape ‘a nato, ognuno è sulo’. If loneliness is introspection and constant contact with our interior, it becomes something that you live even in the tumult of everyday life, but if it becomes marginalization, it becomes a different thing. No longer a choice but a condition. >>
<< I am a street intellectual and I like if the street generates intellectuals. I am a man of everyday, but a thinking being. >>
<< The music joins and saved the world. So many times, like John Lennon, Jim Hendrix, James Brown, Bob Marley, Giovanni Pergolesi or Stravinsky have did. >>

 together Pino Daniele

The last Avitabile’s record, released last year, is titled “Black Tarantella”, which like the previous one has won the Targa Tenco, while the song “Gerardo nuvola ‘e Povere”, won the Amnesty Award Italy. As he says, is a particular recording that gets nothing to do with the words Black or Tarantella, but wants to be a tribute to the allegorical synonymy of recent years. Tarantella is the symbol of the Made in Italy, our original sound of the south, but we Neapolitans use this term to also mean something different, as we sometimes use the term black (meaning a lack of a way out) to indicate a hope, a chance. With this record I wanted to simply explore the double meaning of words and music.

together James Brown

together Tina Turner

togehter Africa Bambaataa

(Meeting with Africa Bambaataa in the Bronx, then they came to Marianella and together they made a video for the district Scampia)

Caesar Must Die

Published September 26, 2012 by Tony


After long and complex discussions, the selection committee, established at ANICA on behalf of the Academy Award, has selected the Italian film that will compete at the Oscars in America. This is the movie ” Cesare deve morire” (Caesar Must Die) directed by the veteran and venerable duo of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani and that was selected over a short list of nine other films announced by ANICA. Thus, the film, that already won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, will fly to Hollywood hoping to be in the final, among the five competitors, for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Since 1998, after the triumph of Roberto Benigni, only in 2005 an Italian film reached the final.
Cesare deve morire” is unusual because the cast includes no professional actors, using actual prison inmates. In fact, the movie tells the story of some inmates, at a high-security prison in Rome, preparing for a public performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. In this film, Taviani brothers explore the complex relationship between life and art where during the preparation of comedy the actors themselves and viewers – many of them mafiosi serving life sentences for murder and drug-related crimes –  frequently comment and talk about their feelings.  Interesting the sentence an inmate confides to another : <Ever since I discovered art, this jail cell has truly become a prison>.
The Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney, who reviewed this film in Berlin, said: <a stimulating marriage between theater and harsh reality>.
Good luck!


GLBT Film Festival

Published April 29, 2012 by Tony

Turin International Film Festival on Homosexual Themes


[Click on to see the beautiful Festival trailer]

In 1981 Ottavio Mai and Giovanni Minerba decided to stage their own rebellion against mainstream movies where homosexual “characters” were always relegated to marginal roles and/or to offensive stereotypes. Their opposition took the form of their first film, shot in video, “Dalla vita di Piero”, well received at ‘Festival Cinema Giovani di Torino’ (Turin’s festival for young film-makers), and then presentedWe Were Here at several international festivals. So the seed of the “Torino International Film Festival on Homosexual Themes” (GLBT Film Festival), entitled “Da Sodoma a Hollywood” (From Sodom to Hollywood), was planted and now arrived at its 27th edition. This year the festival was held April 10 to 25, and in this edition, among other events, different “focus themes” and ‘in-depth-examinations’ as “The Last Taboo” the hot topic of relationship between homosexuality and sports, and the topic “Forever Young“, which includes a series of films by young directors who are investigating the issue of sexual identity through the adolescents world and their hard coming out, as “Eu Não Quero Voltar Sozinho”,  “Uniformadas” by irene Zoe Alameda or the well-known “Tomboy” directed by Céline Sciamma, Hua Wei Meithat through a light and charming touch, talks about the drama of sex childhood confusion.
Despite the exiguous budget and the refusal of the local region (right-side politic orientation) to subsidize the initiative, this year have been screened 140 films during the festival.
The section “Gay in pantofole” (gay in slippers), has been opened by a documentary that throbs of humanity. A Danish film by Nola Grace Gaardmand shot in the Philippines and entitled  “Home for The Golden Gays”, a refuge for elderly homosexuals alone and abandoned. A blend of moving stories and lives on the edge.
The festival also adhered to the day against

bullying (GLSEN, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network) with two events. “Man in the Mirror” by Joel Schumacher, a short-film shot in schools, where the director of ‘Batman Forever’Romeos deals with the issue of bullying of gays or anyone thought to be homosexual. How far will someone go to prove that he is not different? And with “Private Romeo” by Alan Brown, a sort of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ all male story among academy military’s cadets. Reading “Romeo and Juliet” soon becomes an obsession for eight cadets of the Military Academy, and as in Shakespeare’s tragedy, the consequences will be dramatic. Deep and original, suspenseful and tense, the film is strengthened by brilliant acting from the cast.
In continuity with the previous edition, several movies against the problem of homophobia which ranged from the homophobia lived in weekendrepressive countries like Iran to the most insidious one of Western societies. The documentaries, in fact, have been the eye of denunciation of the festival, projecting films like:  “I am a woman now“, focused on the first changes of sex in the early 60′;  “Call Me Kuchu“, a charge to the homophobe and violent Ugandan’s reality. The mentioned “Man In the Mirror” by Joel Schumacher, then  “We Were Here” by David Weissman, that takes a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco on early 80’s, exploring how the City’s inhabitants were affected by, and how they responded to, that calamitous epidemic. Another valuableKeep the lights on documentary is “Becoming Chaz” directed by Fenton Bailey e Randy Barbato, which chronicles Chassity Bono (Sonny & Cher’s daughter) female-to-male transition.
In the section Called “Midnight Madness” we can fid the film “All About Evil“, directed by Joshua Grannell, a tribute to the American B-movies.
To be mentioned, among others: “Hua Wei Mei” (Bad Romance), by skoonheidFrançois Chang, the story of 7 young men and women and their three stories involved with heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual affairs happening in Beijing. Despite the appearance of homosexual freedom advanced in the film, it has been declared illegal in China because the presence of gay love. The movie “Romeos” directed by German filmmaker Sabine Bernardi, that forgoes stereotypes and conventions to offer an honest and humorous examination of the most basic of human conditions by a transgendered person. Besides, “Depois Do Almoco” by Rodrigo Diaz Diaz and “Lesbian Romance (Open Eyes)” by Shamin Sarif.
ParadaThere was also a section about the best GLBT film, awarded at international festivals such as “Sundance” and “Berlin”. Among the most famous, the revelation of the movie “Weekend” by Andrew Haigh, “Keep the lights on” by Ira Sachs (who won the Teddy Award 2012), and “Skoonheid” by Olivier Hermanus, that won the Queer Palm at Cannes Festival.



A novela das 8”  by Odilon Rocha, film set in Brazil in the 80s, where  a group of people live under the fierce repression of the military dictatorship. Rocha’s first film as director won the prize for the best screenplay at the Rio International Film Festival in 2011.  “Trans” by Chris Arnold (U.S. 2012), as best documentary; best short Prize for “The Lesson” by Paul Metz (Japan 2011). Special Mention for “Down Here” by Diogo Costa Amarante (Portugal 2011), that won the Festival Internacional de Cinema Gay e Lésbico de Barcelona. Prizes awarded by the Audience to: “Parada” (The Parade) by Sđrjan Dragojević, (Serbia/Slovenia/Croatia 2011); “ Call Me Kuchu“ (U.S. 2012). And as best Short Film: “Tsuyako” by Mitsuyo Miyazaki (Japan 2011).



Published September 18, 2011 by Tony




“The unforeseen  is the only hope” (Eugenio Montale)

This movie is a short
Director: Marco Gandolfo
Producer: Marco Gandolfo
Production Company: Pesto connection
Language: Italian

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