Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The decline of Italian cinema


The death of the legendary Italian director, Michelangelo Antonioni, got me thinking about the state of Italian cinema. I’ve been translating Italian films for the past 7 years so I’ve seen just about every film that was released during those years and I must say, I have come across very few good or memorable films. When I see the sort of crap that’s being spewed out in Italy nowadays on TV and on the big screen, I wonder if the forefathers of Italian cinema are turning in their graves. What I find mind-boggling is the fact that a country, a culture that produced some of the most amazing films in cinematic history is now producing some of the worst trash I’ve ever seen. Totally lacking in quality, originality, substance, etc. So very sad but true. But just to be fair, here are a few "recent" films that I enjoyed and would actually recommend.

My Name is Tanino
Le conseguenze dell'amore
L'amico di famiglia
N (Io e Napoleone)
La meglio gioventu'
Arrivederci amore, ciao
Non ti muovere
L'imbalsamatore
Primo amore
Mio cognato
Io non ho paura
Liberi

***Update: I've added a few more titles:
Non pensarci
La giusta distanza
Il dolce e l'amaro
Lascia perdere Johnny

6 comments:

Calabrisella said...

I know what you mean... it is really sad to witness...i recently watched Il Cartaio ... horrible horrible film...
i do not recommend it....

ci vediamo

bacini

Farfallina - Roam 2 Rome said...

I agree with Calabrisella, there have been few Italian films I like! So, to avoid loosing my italian I have no choice but to pull out my Roberto Benigni film that has gotten old already :(

But I just love popping a film in the DVD...
Language Options: Italian
Subtitles: None

Thanks for the list :) I'll add the titles to my Netflix list and hope I can find them :)

KC said...

My Italian husband and I talk about this fairly often. He refuses to watch anything Italian that's come out in the last 15-20 years or so. Honestly, I think it's better to avoid them too. We did see Le consequenze dell'amore, and we both loved it. Thanks for that list, we haven't seen any of the others on it but maybe we'll give them a chance.

Michellanea said...

I so agree! Most modern Italian films are so overacted and pretentiously produced (bizarre camera angles or maneuvers meant to look "artsy"). Sadly though it's about impossible to walk into a video store here and rent a Fellini or De Sica film. I was looking for a film by Luigi Comencini and I was sent to some dusty old film library in the Milan where films could be checked out by residents of that neighborhood only - and only to view there. Kind of sad that there's a dearth of "cool" video stores here that carry at least the classics from the big directors. And I'm in a major Italian city not some small town!

Kataroma said...

And Ingmar Bergman died on (I think) the same day. We seem to be losing cinema greats right and left.

Maybe one of us should start a "cool" video store here - like Kim's in NYC.

cupcake said...

Did you guys like "La finestra di fronte?" I loved that movie. But I guess I sort of expect great drama in Italian films. I also liked "L'ultimo bacio," and loved loved LOVED "La meglio gioventù."