The New Italian Cinema film festival November 11 – 18, 2012 honors Italian actress Valeria Golino in her directorial debut and shows a few of her films in which she acted, opening with Kryptonite! (2011) and her personal appearance. Kryptonite! director Ivan Cotroneo is expected in the audience. The opening film looks like a heartwarming growing pains story where in 1970s Naples she plays a Mom to a sweet and nerdy boy. Peppino is a tesoro (treasure) whose protective uncle thinks of himself as Superman, whose only weakness is the evil mineral kryptonite (crypto ney tay).
American audiences will remember Golino in another story about family love overcoming industrial-grade nerdity as the love interest for Tom Cruise in Rain Man. That’s with Dustin Hoffman as an institutionalized idiot savant taken by his good looking brother, who hustles to import Italian luxury cars. Golino has come a long way since hustled Lamborghinis, attending the premiere of Kryptonite! in Rome with the film’s chartreuse Lancia.
She’s appeared as the love interest in Italian independent films, including a Mrs. Robinson style teacher and a free spirited woman on a Mediterranean island who gets accused of insanity when the islanders finally get fed up with her antics. Golino will give a peak at her directorial debut as well, a film about a woman who helps the terminally ill die. One day she gets a request from a healthy person.
La Kryptonite nella Borsa (The kryptonite in the purse)
Valeria Golino as Rosaria
Cristiana Caputondi as the hip uncle’s swinging girlfriend
Luca Zingaretti as the papa
Libero de Rienzo as the hip uncle
Luigi Catani as Peppino
Lucia Ragni as Nonna
Vincenzo Nemolato as Gennaro, Superman
Monica Nappo as Assunta
Mossimiliano Masso as the suitor
Fabrizio Gifuni as the psychiatrist
This quirky, warm and droll family comedy about love, set in 1970s Naples, features Valeria Golino as a still-young Mom to a misfit bambino with heavy glasses, Peppino. Although the family voices concerns about the newborn being so brutto (ugly), it’s a beautiful and engaging film architecturally and in the literary sense. It’s fun and features memorable 1970s clothes juxtaposed against the timeless beauty of the architecture. We’re talking rust colored, polyester bell bottoms; geometric print polyester shirts with open collars; sweaters in tan and blue; short dresses, blazers and coats; blue eye shadow. One may still see plaid in one’s dreams.
Indigo Films also puts a great new version of These Boots are Made for Walkin’ over the closing titles, by L. Hazlewood.
Will good win out for only-child Peppino and his extended family as they negotiate the sexual experimentation of the time? He’s always the innocent odd man out and only gets taken places or given gifts to distract him or get him out of the way during romantic encounters. Shall the perilous times prove no match for the immortal Gennaro in sideburns, tights and a cape, dressed as Superman? He’s another happy solo individual and kindred spirit, a spindly yet disarming young man with a nose to rival Ringo Starr’s. The film is full of funny and socially awkward loveables, including sad-eyed Monica Nappo as Assunta, a poor spinster who walks to the beach all the time because it’s free. More importantly, no nice clothes are required, swimsuits making rich and poor look the same.
Meanwhile Peppino’s affectionate and warm, balding father drives a tiny chartreuse Lancia to work at the sewing machine factory. That’s it on the red carpet in Rome at the film’s premiere, pictured above. Papa’s hardly a babe magnet either. Nevertheless he’s having an affair with the tobacconist’s daughter to whom he gives a ride to work. When the warm and happy wife finds out she mysteriously and suddenly takes to her bed and leaves the care of Peppino to the rest of the extended Italian family. Peppino begins to experience the still-mortifying hip and swinging life of the 1970s along with his young aunt and uncle, who have no choice but to take the boy along.
The festival also presents another family story with the documentary about a controversial grandma who used to rule the world of knitwear in post-war Europe. Duccio Chiarini’s Hit the Road, Nonna (2012). The director is expected.
Another directorial debut by an Italian actress will be The Cherry on the Cake, in French, by Laura Morante. Closing Night: Cherry on the Cake by Laura Morante, 2012, France, 85 minutes. Sunday, Nov. 18 at 6:30 and 9:15 p.m. It’s possible the screenwriter Daniele Costantini will be in attendance, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Film tickets $11 for SFFS members, $13 general, $12 seniors, students and persons with disabilities; Opening Night film and party $20 for SFFS members, $25 general. Fall Season Cinevisa $450. Box office opens October 3 for members and October 5 for the general public online at www.sffs.org.
CineVoucher pack $105 SFFS members/$125 non-members for ten films
Memberships range from $60 to $900
Landmark Embarcadero Center Cinema is at One Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level, San Francisco, CA 94111. (415) 267-4893. Easy walk from Embarcadero BART. No bike racks but there are parking meters.
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