Shanghai International Film Festival|Focus on Italy: A road of life and death across the Mediterranean

    The "Global Village" unit is an essential overseas new film country exhibition of the Shanghai International Film Festival every year, and "Focus on Italy" is one of the classic programs of this unit. As an important part of world cinema, the long-standing Italy not only produces classics in film history, but also constantly produces cutting-edge masterpieces. Today, we will introduce the first batch of films in the "Focus on Italy" unit. These latest works have rich and diverse visual content, starting from the Apennine Peninsula in Italy and extending their vision to many parts of the world:

    100 Preludes (2023)

    100 Preludes

    Alessandra Pescetta


    The tortuous musical journey of a cello prodigy

    Many people who have made great achievements in art throughout history believe in the saying "You can't live without madness", and the genius cellist Mara in "100 Preludes" is the same. In order to fully display her talent, she chose to isolate herself from the world and keep company with music at home, but in the end, a concert changed her view of life and music itself. As a work with music as the theme, the film invited Lisa Gerard, who won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score in a Film for "Gladiator", and the famous Italian composer Lorenzo Esposito to create the soundtrack together, presenting the audience with a top-notch vocal feast.

    I am the Captain (2023)

    Io Capitano

    Matteo Garrone


    Italy's best film of the year won numerous awards

    In order to reach the Europe he longed for, a poor African boy crossed the Sahara Desert on foot and sailed across the Mediterranean Sea. This was a road of life and death full of blood and tears, and also a rite of passage. Director Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah, The Real Show), who has twice won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, won more than a dozen official and independent awards at the Venice Film Festival, including the Silver Lion for Best Director and the Marcello Mastroianni Newcomer Award (Saydo Sarr), and won a big victory at the Italian Film David Awards, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best International Film.

    Adagio (2023)


    Stefano Sollima


    A doomsday chase

    Manuel is taken advantage of by someone to attend a party. When he realizes he has been cheated, he flees the scene. A life-threatening chase ensues, with the police, relatives, and ex-convicts appearing one after another. It is hard to tell good from evil. Pierfrancesco Favino and Toni Servillo, two David Award winners, act together, and their performances are unforgettable. The raging wildfires and the frequent failures of power facilities are perfect metaphors for dangerous environments and imbalanced order. The film was shortlisted for the main competition unit of the 80th Venice Film Festival.

    Commander (2023)


    Edoardo De Angelis


    Venice Film Festival actor plays legendary Italian naval commander

    As the opening film of the 80th Venice Film Festival, the "Italian" blockbuster "Commander" gave a convincing answer. The film is led by Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino, who won the Venice Film Festival Best Actor Award for "Our Father", and tells a moving story that actually happened in history. Favino plays the Italian naval commander Salvatore Todaro, who commanded the submarine "Cappellini" to sink the enemy's ships during World War II, but ordered the rescue of the other side's crew. He exudes the brilliance of humanity. It is also worth mentioning that the set design team spent several months to build the "Cappellini" submarine set in proportion, which not only made the filming more powerful and showed the tension of the screen, but also won an independent award for the best set design at the Venice Film Festival.

    The Ocean is the Real Continent (2023)

    Oceans are the Real Continents

    Tommaso Santambrogio


    Sound and black and white aesthetics create the Cuban version of "Roma"

    A couple about to separate warms each other; an old woman is immersed in the past years of love; a pair of playmates dream of immigrating to the United States and becoming professional baseball players. In the inland city of San Antonio de los Baños in Cuba, time seems to stand still, and the emotional world composed of three groups of characters flows and unfolds here. Italian director Tommaso Santambogio expresses his thoughts on love and separation in Cuban society in this film. The three groups of characters in the film are not only the director's sincere thoughts on the past (old woman), present (lovers), and future (playmates), but also his reproduction of the picture of Cuban society. The director uses the sound of waves to highlight the relationship between land and sea, and uses black and white images to subvert people's perception of colorful Cuba. The film was shortlisted for the parallel unit of "Venice Day" at the 80th Venice Film Festival.

    The Last Time We Were Kids (2023)

    The Last Time We Were Children

    Claudio Bisio


    A tragicomedy of the cruelty of war from a child's perspective

    In Rome, Italy in 1943, four children from different family backgrounds played war games in the midst of war and formed "the greatest friendship in history". One day in October, Riccardo, who came from a wealthy Jewish family, was taken to the Jewish ghetto by the German army. The remaining three friends learned of Italo's whereabouts through his father, who was a cadre of the National Fascist Party, and decided to travel across Italy to "rescue their friends". This film is adapted from the best-selling anti-war novel of the same name. It shows the devastation of World War II on Italy and its people through the form of a children's adventure comedy and the innocent perspective of children. It is more realistic and thought-provoking at a time when global conflicts are raging.

    Happiness (2023)


    Micaela Ramazzotti


    The actress directed and acted in a film focusing on sick families

    In addition to her daily work, Desiree has to deal with selfish parents and a sick brother. Her inability to refuse her family's needs has gradually swallowed up her own life. Desiree tries to find a trace of happiness in the trivialities. The film is partly based on real events, which brings great penetration and stimulates emotional resonance with the audience to the greatest extent. Micaela Ramazzotti, a well-known Italian actress and David Award winner, is a director who is good at acting. She showed her creative talent in this feature film debut, which she wrote, directed and acted in. She was nominated for the David Award for Best Actress and New Director, and won the Audience Award in the Venice Film Festival's Horizons Supplementary Unit.

    Another Ending (2024)

    Another End

    Piero Messina


    A science fiction love story in the style of "Goodbye, Love"

    In his first feature film Waiting, which he collaborated with Juliette Binoche and was shortlisted for the main competition unit of the Venice Film Festival, Piero Messina touched on the themes of death and sadness. Now he wants to go further - after the death of a loved one, how should we face separation and how should we deal with the memories of each other? In his new film Another Ending, which was shortlisted for the main competition unit of the Berlin International Film Festival, the answer given by the male protagonist Sal is to resort to a new technology called "Another Ending" to revive his girlfriend's consciousness briefly, but this is in the body of another woman. In this process, does the happiness or comfort regained make love eternal or gradually disappear? Maybe it is worth thinking about.

    Tickets for this year's film festival will go on sale on the Tao Piaopiao platform at 12 noon on June 7.

    Note: If the film list changes, please refer to the actual schedule.


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