Cinema Italian Style 2016 kicks off this week

Cinema Italian Style 2016


November 17 – 22, 2016, at the Egyptian and Aero Theatres

Join us for the 12th edition of Cinema Italian Style! Our annual series begins at the Egyptian with Italy’s official Oscar submission, FIRE AT SEA, before moving to the Aero for five nights of Italian double features – all making their Los Angeles premieres. The 2016 series is dedicated to director Dino Risi (whose centennial will be celebrated at MoMA in December).

See the Cinema Italian Style website for information on the food, fashion and other components of this week of Italian culture in Los Angeles.

Watch the trailer >>


6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028

Thursday, November 17 – 5:45 PM – Egyptian Theatre – OPENING NIGHT!

"Gianfranco Rosi’s beautiful, mysterious and moving film is a documentary that looks like a neorealist classic."

– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian



2016, Kino Lorber, 108 min. Dir. Gianfranco Rosi.

Co-presented with AFI FEST

Italy’s Official Oscar Submission!

This Golden Bear winner at the Berlin International Film Festival is set on Lampedusa, midway between Libya and Sicily. In recent years, the little island has been deluged by a wave of African refugees, and the humanitarian crisis is filtered here through the lives of such bystanders as 12-year-old Samuele Pucillo, whose limited awareness of the newcomers’ plight reflects that of most people outside of frontline rescue personnel.

In Italian with English subtitles.

Join us after the feature at 8:00 PM for part of the inaugural “World Cinema Masters in Conversation” section at AFI FEST, as director Gianfranco Rosi sits down with Venice Film Festival Director Alberto Barbera for an in-depth conversation about FIRE AT SEA.

Tickets are available only at


1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Friday, November 18 – 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre – DOUBLE FEATURE




2016, TLA Releasing, 102 min. Dir. Ivan Cotroneo.

Los Angeles Premiere!

With its themes of homophobia and bullying in school, this coming-of-age drama about three teen outcasts could not be more timely. Withdrawn basketball player Antonio (Leonardo Pazzagli), promiscuous Blu (Valentina Romani) and flamboyantly gay Lorenzo (Rimau Ritzberger Grillo) band together against the taunts of schoolmates – until a kiss shatters their unity.

In Italian with English subtitles.

Program begins with Italian short "Manhunt" (2016, 5 min. Dir. Brando Bartoleschi).

Introduction by ONE KISS director Ivan Cotroneo.

more info »
"This is straight-ahead mob action, a vision of crows pecking each other to death when they’re not feasting on the corpse of ‘Bunga Bunga’ Italy. It’s carried off with a great deal of flair."

– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


2015, Netflix, 130 min. Dir. Stefano Sollima.

Los Angeles Premiere!

An ambitious plan to turn waterfront property in a Roman suburb into an Italian version of Las Vegas brings together a motley assortment of Mafiosi and political bigwigs in director Stefano Sollima’s crackling crime thriller. As Berlusconi’s government crumbles and Pope Benedict XVI abdicates, everything seems up for grabs; hard-boiled performances (from a cast including Pierfrancesco Favino, Claudio Amendola, Alessandro Borghi and Greta Scarano) along with several bravura sequences underline the noirish moral vacuum.

In Italian with English subtitles.

more info »

Saturday, November 19 – 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre – DOUBLE FEATURE




2016, True Colors, 97 min. Dir. Paolo Genovese.

Los Angeles Premiere!

At one time or another, we’ve all been to a dinner that was interrupted by someone’s phone – but what if everyone there got to hear the call? That’s the ingenious premise behind this David di Donatello winner for Best Film, where seven friends gather and play a party game in which the secrets (and tensions) escalate. Kasia Smutniak, Alba Rohrwacher, Marco Giallini and Valerio Mastandrea are among the talented ensemble cast. With its finger firmly on the pulse of the universal fear of exposure, PERFECT STRANGERS has become a sensation in Italy and has been sold internationally.

In Italian with English subtitles.

Program begins with the Italian short “How To Save Your Darling” (2016, 6 min. Dir. Leopoldo Caggiano).

Introduction by PERFECT STRANGERS actress Kasia Smutniak and INDIVISIBLE director Edoardo De Angelis.

more info »
“Side-stepping what could have been a cheap, morbid peek into the lives of two beautiful teenagers who were born joined at the hip, INDIVISIBLE strikes out on its own path, sounding an exhilarating note of freedom."

– Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter



2016, True Colors, 100 min. Dir. Edoardo De Angelis.

Los Angeles Premiere!

Winner of four awards at the Venice Film Festival, this unusual drama follows sisters Daisy and Viola (Angela and Marianna Fortuna), who really are "indivisible" – they were born as Siamese twins. Blessed with fine voices, the two are hired out by their parents as singers until a doctor tells them they could be separated.

In Italian with English subtitles.

more info »

Sunday, November 20 – 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre – DOUBLE FEATURE




2015, Uncork’d Entertainment, 112 min. Dir. Gabriele Mainetti.

Los Angeles Premiere!

Gabriele Mainetti’s feature directorial debut gives a distinctive Italian twist to the superhero movie. On the run through the slums of Rome, small-time crook Enzo (Claudio Santamaria) winds up in the Tiber River, where contact with toxic waste gives him extraordinary powers. Though Enzo is content to use his new strength to break into ATMs, an attractive young woman (Ilenia Pastorelli) and a maniacal crime boss (Luca Marinelli) have different ideas. Winner of seven David di Donatello awards.

In Italian with English subtitles.

Program begins with the Italian short “Ningyo” (2016, 8 min. Dir. Gabriele Mainetti).

Introduction by THEY CALL ME JEEG director Gabriele Mainetti and FIORE director Claudio Giovannesi.

more info »
“Very smoothly directed by Claudio Giovannesi (ALI BLUE EYES), making his third feature, the movie provides a magnetic showcase for newcomer Daphne Scoccia (who appears in every scene).”

– Ben Kenigsberg, Variety


2016, Rai Com, 109 min. Dir. Claudio Giovannesi.

Los Angeles Premiere!

Already in a group home, Daphne Bonori (Daphne Scoccia) is sent to a juvenile prison after she’s arrested for theft. On the men’s side of the prison, Josh (Josciua Algeri) also is serving time; though separated by bars, the two fall in love.

In Italian with English subtitles.

more info »

Monday, November 21 – 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre – DOUBLE FEATURE

"SUMMERTIME contains a coming-out drama of moving complexity. The film flows effortlessly between ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ drama – and part of its message is that the moment you’ve made that distinction, you’ve fallen into the trap of the old bigotry.”

– Owen Gleiberman, Variety



2016, Rai Com, 103 min. Dir. Gabriele Muccino.

Los Angeles Premiere!

This engaging drama from director Gabriele Muccino (THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS) follows former classmates Marco (Brando Pacitto) and Maria (Matilda Lutz) as they travel from Rome to San Francisco, where a mutual friend has arranged for them to stay with a gay couple (Taylor Frey and Joseph Haro).

In English.

Introduction by SUMMERTIME director Gabriele Muccino.

more info »



2015, True Colors, 103 min. Dir. Massimiliano Bruno.

Los Angeles Premiere!

Better known for comedy, director Massimiliano Bruno also proves adept at drama with this adaptation of his play about how precarious the work-life balance can be in today’s economy. Paola Cortellesi revisits her stage performance as Luciana Colacci, whose simple life with her husband (Alessandro Gassmann) is thrown into disarray after she is fired for becoming pregnant. With Fabrizio Bentivoglio.

In Italian with English subtitles.

more info »

Tuesday, November 22 – 7:30 PM – Aero Theatre – DOUBLE FEATURE

"A terrific comedy-drama about two women in a mental institution that avoids the pitfalls such a scenario could encounter and boasts delicious dialogue with a rare sense of balance."

Jay Weissberg, Variety



2016, Strand Releasing, 118 min. Dir. Paolo Virzì.

Los Angeles Premiere!

Director Paolo Virzì (HUMAN CAPITAL) and his two lead actresses all won well-deserved Nastri d’Argento awards for this delightful dramedy. Donatella (Micaela Ramazzotti) and Beatrice (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) are both patients at a psychiatric hospital and unlikely friends – the former withdrawn, the latter manic. When a van is late to pick them up from their jobs at a local nursery, the two board a bus and embark on a road trip that is by turns amusing and touching.

In Italian with English subtitles.

more info »



2016, Fandango, 118 min. Dir. Matteo Rovere.

Los Angeles Premiere!

After the death of her father, responsibility for a younger brother and the family’s debt-plagued auto-racing business falls on the shoulders of 17-year-old Giulia (Matilda De Angelis). An aspiring Gran Turismo racer herself, Giulia reaches out to her older brother (Stefano Accorsi, playing superbly against type), a once-promising driver now mired in drug addiction. Based on a true story, this inspiring sports drama offers both well-drawn characters and exciting action.

In Italian with English subtitles.

more info »
All films are in Italian with English subtitles, unless otherwise noted.

Series compiled by Laura Delli Colli and Camilla Cormanni with the assistance of Gwen Deglise. Program notes by John Hagelston.

‘Fuocoammare’ is Italy’s Contender for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Oscars

Article about nominee for Oscars from L’Italo Americano – Fuocoammare is a documentary about life on the Italian island of Lampedusa, a major entry point for migrants.

Italy has selected Gianfranco Rosi’s ‘Fuocoammare’ as its submission for the 2017 best foreign-language Oscar race.

The movie was selected on Monday from a field of seven by a committee at the offices of film industry association ANICA.

‘Fuocoammare’ (Fire At Sea) is a documentary about life on the Italian island of Lampedusa, a major European entry point for hundreds of thousands of African migrants. The migrants’ dangerous Mediterranean crossing and arrival on Lampedusa intertwines with the ordinary life of the islanders. The main characters are a 12-year-old boy from a local fishing family and a doctor who treats the migrants on their arrival.

Lampedusa is closer to Africa than mainland Italy and has become a symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis.

Fuocoammare won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival this year. Upon accepting the prize, Rosi said, "It’s not acceptable that people die crossing the sea to escape from tragedies."

The Oscar awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday February 26.

Article published by L’Italo Americano by L’Italo Americano Staff on September 26, 2016:

Mandatory Vegan / Vegetarian options in Italy!!

Photo and article about Vegan / Vegetarian food in Italy from the VegItalyGuide!

Ciao a tutti!

Finally, vegans and vegetarians may be able to eat out once more and have a night off from washing dishes!

14634682-grunge-timbro-di-gomma-cibo-vegan-illustrazione-vettorialeA new law in Italy is currently under review and if the law gets passed all restaurants, bars and cafes will be required to have vegan and vegetarian options in their establishments. This means all public places, work places, like work-place cafeterias and schools will also have to have these options available.

As well, all cooking schools will be required to have nutrition and cooking classes that cater to vegans and vegetarians. Courses in tourism and hotel management would also be required to have classes that share more knowledge about veganism and healthy nutrition.

If you want to know more, you can read about it in Italian, here

Opera: Federico Santi to conduct Madama Butterfly at Teatro del Bicentenario

Ópera Madama Butterfly, de Giacomo Puccini © Teatro del Bicentenario - Fotografía Arturo Lavín
Opera Madama Butterfly, de Giacomo Puccini © Teatro del Bicentenario – Fotografía Arturo Lavín

This November the Teatro del Bicentenario in León, México will conclude its 2016 season with a newly updated production with contemporary staging of Puccini’s classic opera Madama Butterfly, the drama about geisha Cio-Cio San that has captivated the imagination of many generations of opera goers. There will be three performances only: November 6th, 9th and 12th.

The cast will be led by Mexican soprano Violeta Davalos in the role of Cio-Cio San, accompanied by tenor Ernesto Ramirez, in the role of official B. F. Pinkerton. Baritones Suaste and Edgar Jesus Gil, mezzo-soprano Rosa Muñoz, tenor Victor Hernandez, bass Octavio Perez Bustamante, and soprano Liliana Vanessa Salas will accompany them onstage. The Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro del Bicentenario will be directed by Jaime Pineda Castro.

Italian Federico Santi will be the music director. He has led with great success and critical acclaim in prestigious settings such as the Opera of Nice, Het Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, the Royal Opera Wallonia, the Alden Biesen Festival at the Rouen Opera, and the Forest National theatre in Brussels, among others. Federico works regularly at the Mariinsky Theater of St. Petersburg. He is currently working on numerous recitals and concerts in collaboration with the soprano Barbara Haveman and he teaches orchestration, playing from score and knowledge of instruments at the Conservatory of Maastricht.

Ci sentiamo presto, Lina

Check out the latest designs: Bencivenga Couture

img_8818Check out the latest designs for our Bencivenga Couture collection

Polka dots, bows and red flowers: quality that makes you beautiful!

img_8820Originality and creativity starting with the smallest details always unique!

Bencivenga style and elegance you can count on:

Ciao – Oscar Bencivenga

LA Opera Macbeth with Plácido Domingo

Macbeth (Placido Domingo, right) battles it out with Macduff (Arturo Chacon-Cruz, left) in the final scene of "Macbeth." (Photo: Karen Almond / LA Opera)
Macbeth (Placido Domingo, right) battles it out with Macduff (Arturo Chacon-Cruz, left) in the final scene of "Macbeth." (Photo: Karen Almond / LA Opera)

Guest post by Robert Leeburg

Though I have been privileged to enjoy a number of great opera performances over the years, I must admit to having been particularly motivated to attend L.A. Opera’s much anticipated new production of "Macbeth" in order to experience the work of a true "rock star" of the opera world: Plácido Domingo.

And he did not disappoint.

In the lead role of Macbeth, Mr. Domingo sang with a voice both surprisingly youthful and supple. Though known throughout his career for his soaring tenor vocals, Domingo used the lower, darker baritone notes of this role to express a deep sense of torment and guilt. As a member of the audience, I felt simultaneous and conflicted feelings of horror and empathy toward the character.

I was also struck by the beautiful tones and harmonies created by the blending of Domingo’s voice with that of Ekaterina Semenchuk, playing Lady Macbeth, in stark contrast to the dark, sinister content of their words.

Aside from the standing ovation for Mr. Domingo and company at the end of the performance, the most enthusiastic applause of the night came in reaction to Macduff’s aria during the final act, performed by Arturo Chacón Cruz. Cruz delivered a heart-breaking crescendo of anguish and grief over the brutal murder of his wife and children that moved many of us in the audience to tears.

The most memorable and unnerving element of this production for me was the portrayal of the witches, a key element of the story. Dancers with long rat-like tails crept and crawled stealthily around the stage during the witches’ scenes, climbing up the walls of the sets and perching like gargoyles to hold a menacing vigil over most of the performance.

This new production of "Macbeth" is engaging and accessible, as is Verdi’s score, making it an ideal introduction for those new to opera.

Editor’s Note: Robert Leeburg is a Los Angeles resident and opera fan. In this article he has captured his thoughts on the wonderful production of Verdi’s opera Macbeth presented by the LA Opera. He saw the production on 9/21 with Arturo Chacón Cruz as Macduff and Joshua Guerrero is currently playing the role.

One additional note: both of the singers alternating in the role of Banquo are Italian: Ildebrando D’Arcangelo and Roberto Tagliavini.

Placido Domingo (center) in the title role of LA Opera's 2016 production of "Macbeth." (Photo: Karen Almond / LA Opera)
Placido Domingo (center) in the title role of LA Opera’s 2016 production of "Macbeth." (Photo: Karen Almond / LA Opera)

As Robert mentions, there is an interesting interpretation of the witches in this production. Here are some links with more details about this feature of the production:

– Blog post about the witches:

– Interview with Suttirat Larblarb, the costume designer:

– "Behind the Scenes" page :

For more information on the Macbeth production:

FAImarathon: FAI Autumn Day on Sunday, October 16


Once again it is time for the annual Fall events of FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano (the National Trust for Italy).

There will be 600 special openings in 150 cities throughout Italy this Fall with the return of special Sundays dedicated to the rediscovery of Italian artistic heritage and culture organized by the Gruppi Giovani del FAI (FAI Youth Groups).

On Sunday, October 16 be prepared to be surprised: your involvement in the FAImarathon – Giornata FAI d’Autunno (FAI Autumn Day) will change your perspective. Together with the FAI you can open the doors of buildings, churches, theaters, and courtyards of our cities which are often overlooked and little-known, by following the thematic itineraries and participating in special events.

With no goal in mind and no starting point from which to start, you can build your customized journey as you desire based on the opening times that are available for reference on the website.

UEFA Champions Soccer – Italian teams in Group Stage

Wikimedia commons public domain image
Wikimedia commons image of soccer ball

The UEFA Champions 2016/17 championship Group Stage is in progress. This past week was matchday 2 of the Group Stage. There are two Italian teams that are participating: Napoli and Juventus.

Both teams have done well in the tournaments in the recent past. Juventus made it to the Final in the UEFA Champions 2014/15. Napoli made it to the Play-offs in that same year 2014/15.

Both Italian teams did well this week, winning their games:

Dinamo Zagreb 0: Juventus 4

Napoli 4: Benfica 2

Here is a link to the standings:

Here is a link to the list to matches and results so far for the tournament:

The final game of the championship will be played Saturday 3 June, 2017 National Stadium of Wales

Umbria Jazz Concert Musica e(È) Solidarietà in Assisi

Image courtesy Umbria Jazz ©

A series of concerts called Musica e (È) Solidarietà ( a clever play on words “Music is solidarity” and “Music and Solidarity”) will be presented in Assisi by Umbria Jazz 2016 in late September and early October.

Umbria Jazz appealed to the Italian Jazz community to create a tribute of solidarity for the people affected by the earthquake in central Italy on August 24th.

And musicians, the same ones who for years have come the stages of the festival and who have left so many wonderful memories, responded enthusiastically. Phone calls and email to express solidarity also came from the United States and even from Tokyo Blue Note, where Umbria Jazz will soon present the quartet of Fabrizio Bosso as part of the celebrations of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Japan.

At first, the idea was to provide an evening of music to raise funds to be donated to the victims of the earthquake, but as soon as the rumor spread the reaction was overwhelming. So, a true festival was organized in conjunction with the Region and the Municipality of Assisi to form an event that is much grander than originally imagined. In addition to music there will be a get-together featuring typical products of the region.

The musicians will perform without compensation and the Lyrick Theatre in Assisi has been made available free of charge by the Municipality. Every effort has been made to ensure that the organizational costs of the events will be kept to a minimum.

For more information and tickets:

Translation to English of materials from Umbria Jazz by Lina de la Torre.

Slow Food: Carlo Petrini launches an appeal for the population of Amatrice

Ph: Bucatini amatriciana wikimedia commons
Ph: Bucatini amatriciana wikimedia commons

Carlo Petrini launches an appeal for the population of Amatrice, a town in central Italy affected by the earthquake

The town gave its name to the salsa all’amatriciana, a famous pasta sauce.

Carlo Petrini, President of Slow Food and Terra Madre, launches an appeal to support the people affected by the earthquake and to keep them in our thoughts, from today and in the future.

"With a symbolic dish of the gastronomic history of Amatrice, we hope to spread the values of solidarity and sharing all over the world, typical of the farming culture it was born from.

Together with other voluntary initiatives springing up across Italy, we call out to restaurateurs all over the world to take action over the course of an entire year. In this way, we hope that attention will not wane, and will go beyond the emotional wave of the moment: we are overcoming the emergency and beginning reconstruction today. Those who have lived through this trauma should be able to return to a sense of normality as soon as possible, with an ongoing, steady stream of donations available to them."

With A future for Amatrice (#unfuturoperamatrice), we ask restaurateurs from around the world to put the symbolic dish of this devastated town on their menus.

Slow Food’s international network will be involved in raising awareness and securing as much collaboration as possible.

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:internationalpress

Slow Food is a global grassroots organization that envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet. Slow Food involves over a million activists, chefs, experts, youth, farmers, fishers and academics in over 160 countries. Among them, a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members are linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide, contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize. As part of the network, more than 2,400 Terra Madre food communities practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.

Material provided by Slow Food International

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