Taviani Brothers to be honored at Cinema Italian Style 2012

Cinema Italian Style 2012, showcasing classic Italian films and contemporary productions, starts Tuesday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Playing Tuesday night is “Two Women” (1960, Vittorio De Sica) starring Sophia Loren. The legendary Italian actress won a Best Actress Oscar for her work – the first awarded for a non-English performance. The screening is dedicated to Loren’s husband, producer Carlo Ponti (1912-2007).

On Wednesday, I look forward to seeing Italy’s official entry for the 2012 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: “Caesar Must Die,” a drama about inmates in an Italian prison who are staging Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”

Also that night, the directors of “Caesar Must Die,” Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, will receive this year’s Cinema Italian Style Award. I’ll be attending with my documentary filmmaker friend Michael Reano, who is visiting from Minneapolis, and it should be a great time. “Caesar Must Die” has been generating much buzz; the film won the Golden Bear at 2012 Berlin International Film Festival.

The style prize is awarded to a person who has promoted exchange between the Italian and international film industry. Previous recipients include George Clooney, Penelope Cruz, Terry Gilliam, Vittorio Storaro, Milena Canonero, John Turturro and Douglas Kirkland.

In addition to the Taviani brothers, several Italian filmmakers and stars will attend screenings at this year’s festival: Ivan Cotroneo, Michele Riondino, Carolina Crescentini, Claudia Potenza and Andrea Bosca.

Cinema Italian Style runs Nov. 13-18 at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres. There is also a special documentary night at the Italian Cultural Institute in Los Angeles. (All films in Italian with English subtitles.)

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Honey, your April horoscope is here …

Fate reigns supreme in film noir, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love us some zodiac fun. Hope your April is devoid of tiresome fools and fretting over taxes, and instead marked by spring’s sensual delights and adorable bunnies bearing baskets of treats. And happy birthday, Aries and Taurus! A special shout-out to Aries bad asses Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy and Gregory Peck (April 5), Francis Ford Coppola and Russell Crowe (April 7), Julie Christie and Sarah Michelle Gellar (April 14), Maria Bello (April 18) and Taurus mega-talents Jack Nicholson (April 22), Al Pacino (April 25) and Penelope Cruz (April 28).

Bette Davis

Aries (March 21-April 20): Just when you thought strong-willed Aries was aptly personified by Joan Crawford (March 26), along comes Bette Davis (April 5) to give Joan a run for her money. An actress, a fighter and a thinker, Davis was always ahead of her time. One off-screen example: When she co-founded and ran the Hollywood Canteen, a nightclub for WWII servicemen, she insisted that the venue be racially integrated, pointing out that in combat, “The black soldiers take the bullets the same as the whites.” This month, follow in her determined footsteps and, on the creative front, adhere to this Davis maxim: “Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” Meanwhile, live it up! Be spontaneous, sexy and silly, and don’t waste time on guilt.

Taurus (April 21-May 21): It might be high time for a spring shopping spree. But before you whip out your wallet, consider the singular beauty of a big fat bank balance; it is a sight to behold. Perhaps you could get by on last year’s haul or restrict yourself to one frugal purchase. Don’t forget to tap your crafty, ever-so-slightly conniving side to dream up a few clever April Fools’ jokes. You shouldn’t deny your adoring fans the chance to enjoy your terrific flair for fun. Be bold with your man the week of the 18th. Come to think of it, why wait till then? [Read more...]

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