Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fellini under the stars at Villa Medici, Chris & Don. A Love Story and the new Bond trailer.

Last week I went to see Fellini’s ROMA with an expat friend at the Villa de Medici in the Borghese Park. This Villa is right at the top of the Spanish Steps. The state took it over after the Medici family became extinct and now it’s the home of the French Academy. I wish I had bought my camera. The grounds are so beautiful. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that someone actually lived in this building.

I have seen most of Fellini’s movies but this was my first time seeing ROMA. Not much of a narrative, visually stunning and I have no idea what it all means. His script supervisor was there. She spoke before the movie and talked about what it was like to work with someone who improvised so much. Her job must have been very difficult. Ha

It was such a great venue to see a movie. Sitting outside in the garden, with a nice breeze blowing (I swear it was at least 10 degrees cooler in the park), the crowd was mostly Italian with some French and American viewers. We met some of my expats friend’s co-workers. They all work in the non-profit world on hunger related issues. It was a very fun evening.
Tonight they are showing NORTH BY NORTHWEST and tomorrow night it’s MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER.
Here is more info.

One of my former Italian teachers, Guido Santi from the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles, co-directed a documentary call CHRIS & DON. A Love Story. This film is about the 30-year relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood (Cabaret was based on his work) and the American portrait artist Don Bachardy. I was really moved by this movie. For those stateside that live in the top 25 markets you can see it in your local theatre. Here is the review in the NYT. I am so happy for Guido and Tina. The reviews have been outstanding. They worked on the film for years. Guido is a native of Genoa who lived in Rome for a while. He came to the states to get his masters in film at USC. He teaches film and Italian. He was fantastic teacher very patient. I don’t know how he didn’t just cry after every beginner’s Italian class. It’s tough for documentaries especially a small independent one like this. He’s moving back to Rome at some point so I hope the film gets released here so his fellow Italians can see his work.

The Bond trailer is up. I pray this opens in Italy in Original Language. I want to hear Daniel Craig not someone else. I am so excited for this movie. Remember there was all this controversy of the casting of Craig? Please. I feel he is more similar to the Connery Bond and he’s very good actor. Two years at the Independent Spirit awards a friend and I were talking when out of the corner of my eye I saw Craig. This man drips with charisma. Did I say how excited I am to see this movie!


bleeding espresso said...

What an amazing setting to watch a film! Yes, *please* take your camera next time :)

Milanese Masala said...

I love Fellini's Roma. Wasn't the fashion show great?
Daniel Craig? All I can say is "YUM!"

joanne at frutto della passione said...

I like the direction that Craig's Bond has taken, grittier, scarier. The other Bonds were too suave and debonair. They never really felt dangerous. You know how most young girls fall for the typical bad boy at some point, well Craig's Bond is the adult, thinking woman's bad boy.

erin :: the olive notes said...

I haven't seen ROMA yet either...but maybe I'll have to save it until I'm in Rome again in a park (b/c now seeing it in my living room just doesn't seem to cut it) :)

glamah16 said...

Casion Rolyale has been on cable all week and I always tune in to catch a bit of Daniel. He reminds me of stars from another era. Anyway I had no idea this new movie was a continuation of Casino and the characters. I cant wait. I see Jeffry Wright is in there again. Cnat wait!

fashion survivor said...

I love the scene in Roma when they bulldoze into the ancient house: "They are looking at us!" So sad when all the murals fade...

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

bleeding espresso - It was nice to peak inside a place I have walked past many times.

milanese masala - That fashion was fantastic and creepy as hell (no pun intended) at the end. Yes. Mr. Craig is molto sexy.

joanne - I agree the latter Bond became a little silly which was not the tone of the original novels or earlier movies. The last movie actually had a plot and good acting.

erin - ha. Let me know what you think of it when you see it.

glamah16 - I agree. He seems like a man not a kid. I mean Tom Cruise is damn near 45 and seems to have the maturity of a frat boy.

fashion survivor - that was one of the most poignant scenes in the movie to me. I also loved the highway scene...crazy, chaotic like the bella citta herself.

WineGrrl said...

This makes me want to get on the next plane!

Yvonne said...

I agree with winegrrl. You are really making me want to move my planned summer trip to Italy up by about 11 1/2 months! I've been a Daniel Craig fan since he I saw pre-Bond in a quiet but wild little movie called The Mother in which his genial, but ne'er-do-well handyman character winds up being, um, intimate with his girlfriend's 65+ year-old mother. It's a movie worthy of its own thesis! But he's an amazing actor--who knew the Bond series just needed a great actor and a decent script to soar?--and so yummy that I have barred myself from watching Craig-themed video clips at work. Craig and Jeffrey Wright too? Delish! Also, I haven't seen 'Roma' in years and years, so I need to Netflix it asap. Glad you're having so much fun...

Antonia said...


I saw you post on the "Expat in Italy forum" and I saw you were an alumna of Syracuse and I just graduated from there! I graduated from VPA, but you are a writer so I'm guessing Newhouse or Arts and Sciences. But maybe vpa too if you did film because you write about that too.

I have been reading your blog and have been enjoying it. Its so great that you successfully moved to Italy. You were able to do it because of your EU citizenship correct?

The reason why I am asking is that Syracuse actually gave me this really great grant to fund an internship at this amazing textile company in Como but I am having a some trouble working out the visa. Is there any advice you can give?

I know you probably cant..but its wonderful to see someone following their heart and going to a new place despite the difficulties that come with it and all you have to give up to face the unknown

it was something I really hoped to do and up until recently I thought it was possible, I am so close...who knows maybe a miracle will happen


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm very excited about Daniel Craig as the relatively new bond. I agree - he's the closest to Connery. I've also always been fascinated by Christopher Isherwood. I hope that the movie comes to our indie theater.

I'm so pleased for your friend/teacher!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

winegrrl - thanks for stopping by. I take it from your blog name you like wine. There are many opportunities here to enjoy that pleasure.

yvonne - I saw that movie! I really felt bad for the grandmother. When she and Daniel hooked up she said something about how she thought she would never be touched again except by the undertaker. I wondered where she was going at the end. I thought the movie had a lot to say about how some cultures just discard older people esp. women. Mr. Craig was sexy as hell in that movie. I have been a fan of Jeffrey Wright's since the movie Basquiat.

Antonia - ciao my fellow Orangewoman! Yes I was able to move and work here because of my EU passport. Congrats on your grant. That is a huge deal. I know you have graduated so I guess a student visa is out. What did the grant director say? Can the school help you with the visa process? Or maybe you can get the student visa since it's a research grant? What did the textile company say? How long is the grant for? Did you post this question on Expat in Italy? Someone there might be able to point you in the right direction. Also check the Italian embassy/consulate's website.

I was a foreign affairs major ( Arts & Sciences) so I spent a lot of time at the Maxwell School. One of my closest friends and a former roommate was a VPA grad. She's a creative director in advertising. I thought she and her classmates were crazy talented. It's an excellent program. Congrats again on your grant and good luck with your move to Italy.

jen - I didn't know much about Isherwood until I saw the film. You will love it.