Film Fest Gent shines its spotlight on Italy during the 44th edition
Ravishing actress Claudia Cardinale adorns the official campaign visual of Film Fest Gent 2017. “We believe she represents the Cinema italiano we want to celebrate during this edition,” says Patrick Duynslaegher, artistic director of Film Fest Gent. “Coincidentally, she is also the face of the Cannes Film Festival. We had already chosen our campaign visual when Cannes announced theirs. We remain convinced of our choice, because Claudia Cardinale - who was born in Tunisia - embodies the best of Italian cinema with her dark, sensual, southern beauty and her unforgettable performances”.
She has worked with some of the greatest Italian directors: Fellini (Otto e Mezzo), Visconti (Rocco e i suoi fratelli; Il Gattopardo; Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa), Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West / C’era una volta in West), Mauro Bolognini (Il Bell’Antonio). Sporadically, she also worked in Hollywood (Circus World by Henry Hathaway; The Pink Panther by Blake Edwards; The Professionals by Richard Brooks), which made her, together with Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigada, one of the greatest international Italian stars from the fifties, sixties and seventies.
In a special selection titled ‘Focus on Italy’ we present the best of the new Italian cinema and look back at the glorious past of one of the most historically important film countries in the world.
Patrick Duynslaegher: “With ‘neorealist cinema’ Italy launched the most influential movement in history. Because of Italy’s incredibly rich and varied film patrimony, we chose to emphasise one important aspect of Italian cinema in the retrospective part of the film festival, which will certainly resonate with modern audiences in these turbulent and uncertain times: the politically charged, socially engaged, but also aesthetically remarkable cinema which flourished mostly in the seventies. Italian cinema was very ideologically motivated, soaked with social commentary and controversy. It put forward the larger questions which still dominate the country: the chasm between North and South, the mafia, corruption, the power of the church, its (unresolved) fascist past, the extremism of left-wing and right-wing parties, terrorism, the ‘strategy of tension’ which was meant to prepare the country for a reactionary coup, the repressive Christian-democratic regime, the disastrous consequences of consumer culture”.
Some titles of films in which one or more of these themes appear: Il Caso Mattei (1972) by Francesco Rosi; Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (1970) by Elio Petri; Rocco e i suoi fratelli (1963) by Luchino Visconti; Il Conformista (1970) and Novecento (1976) by Bernardo Bertolucci; Porcile (1969) by Pier Paolo Pasolini; Una Giornata particolare (1977) by Ettore Scola.
The complete festival programme will be announced on the 21st of September. The 44th edition of Film Fest Gent will take place from the 10th until the 20th of October at Kinepolis Gent, Studio Skoop, Sphinx, Vooruit, KASKcinema and Capitole Gent.