Tag Archives: Jeannine Guilyard

Antique organ lives on at Rochester University gallery

North America’s only full-size, fully functional antique Italian organ is located at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York. Built in central Italy in the mid-18th century, this remarkable organ was discovered in Florence around 1980 by a German craftsman who specialized in restoring musical instruments. It was almost taken apart and sold as pieces of home furnishings. Fortunately, the renowned Eastman School of Music, which is part of the University of Rochester, acquired the organ and restored it to its former glory. In 2005, it was installed in the Memorial Art Gallery’s Fountain Court. Featuring 600 pipes and …

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Documentary showcases gifted Sicilian photographers

A visual love letter to the culture and landscape of Sicily, Sergio Gianfalla’s documentary “Sicily in Photographs” features images captured by a few of the island’s most renowned photographers, including Angelo Pitrone, Melania Messina and Mauro D’Agati, plus the stories behind them. The film begins with the photographers talking about what first sparked their interest in the craft and then what fueled their passion to master it. We are then taken through the Sicilian countryside for a firsthand look at the natural landscape that has captured their imaginations through the years. “The calling of the lens around here has been …

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Pasolini’s playground among the Roman ruins

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1962 “Mamma Roma” stars Anna Magnani as the title character, a Roman prostitute determined to change her life and give her son the opportunities she never had. She seizes the opportunity to leave her life on the streets behind when her pimp (Franco Citti) gets married and frees her from his control. Mamma then goes to the small provincial town of Guidonia to fetch her son, Ettore (Ettore Garofolo), and bring him to Rome to embark on their new life together. She buys a pushcart, finds an apartment in a nice neighborhood, and uses her connections to …

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Bellocchio, Rohrwacher, Benigni light up New York fest

This year’s edition of the New York Film Festival had a strong Italian flavor. The festival opened with Jim Jarmusch’s 1986 cult classic, “Down by Law,” which features a young and captivating Roberto Benigni, and closed with the North American premiere of Michael Mann’s “Ferrari,” starring Adam Driver, which tells the story of auto giant Enzo Ferrari’s legendary 1000-mile race across Italy, the Mille Miglia. In between, there were icons of Italian cinema and filmmakers from the new generation, and the screenings were packed. Marco Bellocchio presented his latest film, “Kidnapped” (Rapito), which is based on a true story. Adapted …

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Cavani receives Lifetime Achievement award in Venice

Organizers of the 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival, which ran Aug. 30-Sept. 9, recognized a number of legendary artists. Tributes included a film retrospective dedicated to Gina Lollobrigida, who passed away in January. One very special recognition went to director Liliana Cavani, who was awarded a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. Now 90 years old, Cavani was there to receive her award and later presented her new film, “L’ordine del tempo,” which premiered out of competition. Actress Charlotte Rampling, who starred in Cavani’s 1974 devastating Holocaust drama, “Il portiere di notte” (The Night Porter), presented Cavani with the …

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1950s docudrama reenacts post WWII workplace tragedy

A tragic story based on true events, Giuseppe De Santis’ 1952 “Roma ore 11” (Rome 11:00) follows several young women in post-WWII Rome as they answer a single job listing for a typist. When 200 women are in line on one staircase spanning several floors, a crack leads to the collapse of the entire staircase. Dozens were injured, and one person was killed. The tragedy spoke to the poverty and desperation of so many Italians in the early 1950s before the ’58 industrial boom began. The prolific screenwriter Cesare Zavattini contributed to the script, which was based on testimonials. Filmmaker …

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Filmmaker, musician follow in the footsteps of Kerouac

An independent short film that follows a musician as he follows in the footsteps of iconic beat poet Jack Kerouac is receiving praise on the national film festival circuit. Produced by songwriter and first-time filmmaker Dru DeCaro, “Destination Angels” rides along with DeCaro’s longtime friend and fellow musician Christopher Mansfield, aka Fences, as he embarks on a journey of self-reflection while paying tribute to his literary hero. The adventure begins when Fences receives a call from Jim Sampas, Kerouac’s nephew and head of his estate. The conversation prompts Fences and DeCaro to head north up California’s Route 1, retracing Kerouac’s …

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Rome museum showcases Pasolini’s literary influences

If your summer travel plans include a trip to the Eternal City, there is one lesser-known place you won’t want to miss. The Biblioteca Nazionale di Roma (National Central Library of Rome) is a treasure trove of information on the most important figures of Italian literature. Many contributed to screenplays and wrote books from which films were adapted. Entering the library, you will see an inviting exhibition area called the Spazi900 museum. Upon entering the space, you will find yourself in a whole different world. The Sala Pasolini (Pasolini Rome) is dedicated to the films Pier Paolo Pasolini made based …

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Scarpelli crafts a heartfelt, raw father-son documentary

A fascinating documentary that premiered at the 2020 Visions de Réel festival has recently become available on the streaming platform PROJECTR, which can be accessed for free through your public library or university. “El Father Plays Himself” is a film about the making of a film. Director Mo Scarpelli followed Jorge Thielen Armand through the country’s Amazon jungle as the Venezuelan director shot his film, “La fortaleza.” Inspired by the real-life story of Armand’s eccentric father, Jorge Roque Thielen, the young filmmaker cast his own dad in the lead role. Scarpelli chronicles the tumultuous film set and emotional journey of …

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MoMA retrospective features two dozen Cardinale classics

New York’s Museum of Modern Art paid tribute to actress Claudia Cardinale in February with a retrospective of 23 films, including 17 restorations. The collaboration between MoMA and Cinecittà in Rome drew audiences to the heart of Manhattan to watch a treasure trove of beloved cinema classics. Cardinale’s daughter, Claudia Squitieri, introduced the first film of the series, Luigi Comencini’s 1963 “La ragazza di Bube” (Bebo’s Girl), which was followed by the new documentary, “Un Cardinale donna” by Manuel Maria Perrone. Born in Tunisia in 1938 to Sicilian parents, Cardinale attended elementary school in the ancient city of Carthage. Her …

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