LORO
2018, IFC Films, 150 min, Italy/France, Dir: Paolo Sorrentino

Director Paolo Sorrentino reunites with his THE GREAT BEAUTY star Toni Servillo to peer behind the curtain of recent Italian politics. Billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi (Servillo) was first elected to lead the Italian government in 1994 and his lengthy, corruption-ridden tenure has resulted in a tax-fraud conviction, so there’s more than enough material for a juicy biopic. But as the title - which translates as “them” - suggests, this film is less focused on the ex-prime minister than on his sycophantic retinue. Released in two parts in Italy, the film won four Nastro d’Argento awards including Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Elena Sofia Ricci). “Sorrentino’s mastery of the unexpected visual shock is deliciously in evidence from the moment the title appears.” - Jay Weissberg, Variety.


HOLDING HANDS
LA TENEREZZA
2017, Rai Com, 103 min, Italy, Dir: Gianni Amelio

Renato Carpentieri won the Italian Golden Globes Best Actor award as retired lawyer Lorenzo, a self-centered grouch with a heart of gold. His health failing and estranged from his family, Lorenzo grows close to the new family next door - but the neighboring household is not as happy as it seems, and catastrophe awaits. Amelio’s adaptation of Lorenzo Moreno’s prize-winning novel The Temptation to Be Happy is both a powerfully acted character study and an evocative portrait of middle-class Naples.


ONE KISS
UN BACIO
2016, TLA Releasing, 102 min, Italy, Dir: Ivan Cotroneo

With its themes of homophobia and bullying in school, this coming-of-age drama about three teen outcasts could not be more timely. Withdrawn basketball player Antonio (Leonardo Pazzagli), promiscuous Blu (Valentina Romani) and flamboyantly gay Lorenzo (Rimau Ritzberger Grillo) band together against the taunts of schoolmates - until a kiss shatters their unity.


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