Contemporary film on infidelity

by Nickie Wang

Giovanni and Lucia live in Rome and work in the world of creativity, he as a struggling actor, and she as a film editor. But the married couple breaks up while a documentary is being made about them. Giovanni walks out on Lucia and their baby right before the cameras.

Documentarian Eros and buddy Giorgio relentlessly continue filming the couple (a la Pinoy Big Brother assault) despite the unexpected real life domestic crisis.

Step by step, Eros follows Lucia’s everyday courage: her solitude and heartache; her humiliating difficulties as an abandoned wife; and her desperate effort to work under a difficult condition. Meanwhile, other documentarian Giorgio follows the estranged husband and his passionate fling with a sensuous woman he met in a bar.

This is how the story of Riprendimi begins. The title of the movie, which literally means heartache, is a tragicomedy directed by Anna Negri, a renowned Italian filmmaker and screenwriter. Riprendimi’s international title is inspired by Billie Holiday’s song called “Good Morning Heartache,” also a soundtrack to the motion picture.

Women who have gone through the same situation as Lucia would easily relate on the plight of a wife that is desperately asking his man to come back to his arms. Men, on the other hand, would find themselves in the character of Giovanni, who amid having a stable relationship with his family, he still feels empty. Perhaps he misses his freedom as a bachelor and he is not yet ready for a bigger responsibly as he does not even have a stable career.

The film captures the interest of the viewers as it adds fictional elements. Having the couple’s life chronicled by independent documentarians is something that mirrors the life of famous celebrities under the unforgiving lenses of the paparazzi. No ordinary couple that suffers the same troubles would have the same attention unless it is something that would greatly interest the media. This makes the film interesting; truth and fiction are mixed together in perfect harmony. The only downside is that most Italian films rely heavily on dialogues that anyone watching might be lost due language barrier if he or she will not keep an eye on the subtitles. Nonetheless, it’s still an interesting film to watch not only because of its universal theme but also because of its modern way of storytelling.

Riprendimi is going to be screened today at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 4 along with other 14 contemporary Italian films that highlight the 9th edition of Italian Film Festival in Manila.

Dolce Italia

Italian and Filipino films have numerous similarities. They are very dramatic but comedy is usually, if not always, injected along the way.

According to Cristina Moricca, assistant office manager of the Philippine-Italian Association, “Most Italian films are very Filipino, they are bittersweet. They treat drama with a little dose of comedy. And their themes are usually the same as well; Italian films talk about contemporary society and politics.”

Based on the feedback from the 6500 moviegoers that attended the last year’s edition of the annual film fest, comedy is the most requested film genre. And so to grant the appeal of foreign movies aficionados, 11 of the 15 movies on exhibition in this year’s edition of the Italian Film Festival are comedic in nature.

The lineup of critically acclaimed Italian films, which will be exhibited today until Oct. 26, include: comedy films Chiedemi se sono felice (Ask Me if I’m Happy), Tre uomini e una gamba (Three Men and a Leg), Cosi e la vita (Such is Life), Notte prima degli esami (Night Before the Exams), Se fossi in te (If I Were You), Si puo fare (We Can Do That), and Diverso da chi? (Different from Whom); romance comedy Dillo con parole mie (Ginger and Cinnamon); dramady Ovo sodo (Hard Boiled Egg); and thrillers Tenebrae (Unsane), Almost Blue, La syndrome di Stendhal (The Stendhal Syndrome), La ragazza del lago (The Girl by the Lake), and L’abbuffata (The Feast).

For film schedules and other inquiries, contact 633-7851 loc.113 or log on to

Italian language month

Apart from the anticipated film showcase, the Embassy of Italy is announcing the Dolce Italia, Dolce Lingua festival, which is a month-long celebration of Italian culture. Festivities start Oct. 20 and end Nov. 25.

“This festival recalls the music, the love, and the sweetness of our country. It recalls a moment when someone is having a candy, a chocolate, a cup of coffee, or a glass of Martini while in a small round table in a piazza. It mirrors Italian passion for life,” says Emanuela Adesini of the Embassy of Italy.

Special activities in store include “Antonioni, Visconti, Fellini e Pasolini: straddling cinema and Literature,” a lecture by Italian writer and journalist Mario Fortunato followed by the screening of the film The Leopard directed by Luchino Visconti on Oct. 20. at the Shang Cineplex Premiere Theatere.

Jazz lovers will be treated with a performance by a breakthrough duo from New York on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Ayala Museum. Daniela Schachter and Elena Camerin blend their talent into a marriage of Mediterranean rhythm and Italian poetry.

Closing the curtain on the festivity will be a karaoke contest to celebrate and promote the Italian language among Filipino youths via a singing competition at the Claro Recto Hall, UP Diliman on Nov. 25.

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