Tag Archives: Matera

City of my soul

I first journeyed to Matera, Italy, in 1985. It’s found in southern Italy in a once impoverished region of Basilicata. The city has been inhabited by man since the paleolithic era and is touted by some as the longest continually lived-in community on Earth. It’s extensive cave-like dwelling districts, the Sassi, are a marvel to behold. Witnessing Matera from across its massive ravine, one comes to appreciate why it’s been known as the underground city. It appears as it has since the time of Christ, so much so that Matera has frequently been used as the background for biblical films, …

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Basilicata filmmakers make environmental statement

  In our ongoing series “Basilicata: Terra di Cinema,” we are focusing today on a new film by two of Basilicata’s most prolific filmmakers: Antonio Andrisani and Pascal Zullino. Since our series began in 2015, this issue of oil drilling has been present among the region’s contemporary filmmakers. So much so, that it would be disrespectful to the filmmakers to overlook it. Through their work, the directors express their concerns over the oil drilling, which began in the region in 1996. Nicknamed “Little Texas,” the drilling site in Basilicata produces a staggering 80,000 barrels a day. This production has led …

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Venice Festival to feature Virtual Reality first

  Cinema history is about to be made at the 73rd edition of the Venice Film Festival coming up in September. The festival just announced the world premiere screening, in a special 40-minute preview, of “Jesus VR – The Story of Christ,” the first Virtual Reality feature-length film ever made. The 90-minute film covers all of Jesus’ life and death, from his baptism to the Last Supper to his crucifixion. Shot in Basilicata’s ancient Sassi district of Matera, the film will be released to the public around Christmastime on all major mobile and premium VR platforms. “I am beyond thrilled to …

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Basilicata filmmakers tell tale of triumph over poverty

  Born in Bernalda, a small town in the province of Matera, Angelo Troiano grew up watching the work of American directors like Francis Ford Coppola, whose grandfather is from the same town. When he was a child, Troiano’s mother took him to the local Cineplex to see cinematic masterpieces. However, he didn’t hear his calling to be a filmmaker until he was well into his teens. In 2008, he started Basiliciak, a small production company funded solely by contributions from supporters. He produced three films with Basiliciak, including the highly acclaimed short film, “AnnA,” which was directed by his friend …

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Musical group turns camera on Matera

  As part of my series, “Basilicata: Terra di Cinema,” I am revisiting an article that I wrote for our printed edition. It was inspired by a music video by the music group, Patchanka Soledada. I’ve written often about the new generation of Italian filmmakers who take their cameras to the streets and offer a real perspective on everyday Italian life. Well, I discovered a wonderful film in which a group of artists have done just that. Musicians turned filmmakers. It’s indie filmmaking at its finest and now it has brought to light one Basilicata town via the internet. Matera-based music group, Patchanka Soledada has created a …

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