31 October 2012

Film review: Another Woman (1988) by Woody Allen, ***


Woody Allen's 17th film. Gena Rowland plays Marion, an academic who rents a flat in which to write a book on philosophy and becomes intrigued by conversations she overhears from a psychologist's office next door. One patient, Hope (Mia Farrow), has a particular effect on Marion forcing her to re-think many of her assumptions about her own life: her unhappy marriage; her feelings for another man (Gene Hackman); and her relationships with her best friend (Sandy Dennis) and brother (Harris Yulin).


It's convoluted film. Allen tries to put too much meat on his plate. Several stories are intertwined and it was easy to get lost trying to make sense out of them. One does get some stimulating psychological thrusts here and there. The problematic protagonist is a warning against spending a life concentrating too much on oneself. But then again she is also a victim of men spending too much time on themselves. The viewer is left with no way out. Maybe there is no way out.

Buy your European DVD here

In the US you can order it here

27 October 2012

Film review: Sideways (2004) by Alexander Payne, *****


Comedy drama which follows Miles (Paul Giamatti), an unsuccessful novelist, and Jack (Thomas Haden Church), an equally unsuccessful actor who is about to get married. They decide to take a trip to California in an attempt to sow their wild oats. There they explore the nature of their failures and question their relationships. Jack has an affair with Stephanie (Sandra Oh)  and wonders whether he should call off the marriage. Miles, recently divorced himself, questions whether or not he made the right decision while Maya (Virginia Madsen) plays a few games with him.


An excellent movie that is only marginally about wine. Yes we go through California's wine country and learn a lot about many different kinds of wine, and especially Pinot Noir.

But the movie by Alexander Payne is more about what we can do with ourselves and our lives with the hand we are dealt at birth and by chance. I identify very much with Miles, a not-so-good-looking but deep thinking fellow who is deeply passionate about what he loves, be it his lost ex-wife or Pinot Noir. But it is the Jacks of the world who have more fun: not so deep, not so careful, just happy go lucky types. The last scene of the movie leaves a door open to hope however: while Jack sinks unenthusiastically into his marriage, Miles finds the true love of his life.

You can buy the DVD here

In the US you can buy it here:

22 October 2012

Proiezione fotogafica: BLEEDING BLOSSOMS di Shades of Women

L'associazione Shades of Women propone per il secondo anno una interessante serie di proiezioni di reportage di fotografe in giro per il mondo, a documentare il dramma di molti popoli in guerra. Puoi leggere qui un'intervista con Ilaria Prili, fotografa ed organizzatrice di questa serie di eventi.

Nadia Shira Cohen - Arab spring
Her personal website is www.nadiashiracohen.com

Rena Effendi - Georgia conflict
Her personal website is www.refendi.com

Simona Ghizzoni - Just to let you know that I’m alive
She works for Contrasto.

Sofie Amalie Klougart - Going to war.
Her personal website is www.sofieamalieklougart.dk

Benedicte Kurzen - Nigeria, a nation lost to the gods.
Her personal website is http://benedictekurzen.com

Ilvy Njiokiktjien and Elles van Gelder - Afrikaner blood.
Her personal website is http://www.imagesbyilvy.com

Lana Slezic - Forsaken
Her personal website is http://www.lanaslezic.com

Here is a link to the next event of this series that I attended.

Interessantissima proiezione di drammatici documentari di guerra e rivoluzione al Teatro Due di Roma, in Vicolo due Macelli. Sala piena, fotografia di alto livello. Da consigliare la prossima proiezione del 5 novembre.

Teatro Due Roma

teatro stabile d’essai

Vicolo due Macelli, 37 (M Piazza di Spagna)
Tel. 06/6788.259 – fax 06/6793.349

09 October 2012

Film review: Lust, Caution (2007) by Ang Lee, ****


After Brokeback Mountain andThe Hulk, multitalented director Ang Lee returns to Asia with this Mandarin-language erotic drama. Lust, Caution pairs celebrated actor Tony Leung (2046) with gifted newcomer Tang Wei. In 1938, China is occupied by the Japanese, but it's not only the country's neighbours who are hated by the loyal Chinese. The nation's resistance also centres on those who willingly collaborate with Japan. Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei) is part of an acting group, but their sights are set beyond the stage: they want to use their abilities to attack Mr. Yee (Leung), a known traitor. Wong poses as a businessman's wife, and she begins to lure Mr. Yee in, but they're separated before she has her chance. Three years later, they meet again in Shanghai, and a heated affair begins. As Wong grows closer to Mr. Yee, there is doubt that she can aid in her lover's downfall.

At times, Lust, Caution evokes memories of Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love. Both are heat-filled period films that feature Leung, but while the earlier picture focused on a love that was never consummated, Lust, Caution allows its lovers to realise their passion as often as one could imagine. Despite this, it never allows the sex to get in the way of the plot or the images. Director of photography Rodrigo Prieto has worked with directors as diverse and impressive as Oliver Stone, Julie Taymor, Spike Lee, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and he continues this fine tradition with his second pairing with Lee after Brokeback Mountain. Here Prieto has a head start thanks to beautiful costumes and beautiful people, but this is another film that is simply gorgeous to look at.

04 October 2012

Book review/Recensione: Non dire nulla (2012), di Paola Viola, *****


Paola Viola spent a few months in Kenya for an NGO (Una Mano per un Sorriso - For Children). Paola started taking pictures not so long ago, but in this first collection of B&W images she displays rare talent and high sensitivity. Paola tells us about the daily life of a part of Kenya that tourists never see, and that we should all know. From her trip, she takes back strong emotions, which she relays to us through her pictures and her short text in English and Italian.


Paola Viola ha passato alcuni mesi in Kenya per conto di una ONLUS (Una Mano per un Sorriso - For Children). Paola non fotografa da molto tempo, ma questa prima collezione di immagini (tutte in bianco e nero) dimostra un talento innato ed una spiccata sensibilità. Paola racconta la vita di tutti i giorni di una parte del Kenya che i turisti non vedono mai, ma che dovremmo tutti conoscere. Ciò che ci riporta dal suo soggiorno, con le immagini forti ma anche con brevi e puntuali testi di accompagnamento, sono emozioni preziose.

Compra il libro su Amazon.it