Italian movies at the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival

The ICFF is back with a new format: the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival is about to start and we want to give you some advice on the Italian films on schedule

Outdoor cinema is one of the unique ingredients of summertime in the city. After all, what’s more fun, engaging and social than grabbing some street food and watching a movie under the stars with your friends or your significant other on a warm, starlit night? In these uncertain and unprecedented times, the drive-in has returned as a safe and equally entertaining alternative to the classic all’aperto movie festival. Complying with the current need for social distancing, the iconic Ontario Place will host the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival, a film series that, “in celebration of Canada’s diversity, will feature an incredible line-up of the latest international films representing countries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Running from July 20th through July 31st, the festival will feature a selection of works from France, Spain, China, Russia, the US, the UK, Brazil, India and Canada, with a special “Focus sull’Italia series, presented in collaboration with the Italian Institute of Culture in Toronto.

Undoubtedly, the twelve titles on the schedule are all worth a view, but now let’s focus on the four Italian movies included in the series.

Domani è un altro giorno

The protagonists of Domani è un altro giorno
Marco Giallini and Valerio Mastrandrea are Tommaso and Giuliano in Domani è un altro giorno

The first Italian movie to be screened, on Tuesday, July 21st, is Domani è un altro giorno (Tomorrow’s a New Day), directed by Simone Spada. This comedy drama is a remake of 2015 Truman, by the Spanish director Cesc Gay, and tells the story of longtime friends Tommaso and Giuliano who grew up together in Rome. Tommaso returns to Rome from Canada for four days only to discover that Giuliano, after a year of struggling against a terminal illness, has decided to abandon treatment and surrender to his fate, leaving the two friends only four days to say goodbye. We love this film for its beautiful shots of the Eternal City and for the bittersweet dialogue characteristic of Romans on the precipice of difficulty. The friendship dynamic between the two main characters – the actors are good friends even in real life – illustrates what it means to be Italian and to live in Rome.

Se mi vuoi bene

The cast of Se mi vuoi bene
The cast of Se mi vuoi bene

On Saturday, July 25th, it will be the turn of Se mi vuoi bene (If You Love Me), by Fausto Brizzi, based on the eponymous novel written by the director himself. Diego, a successful lawyer, is depressed and attempts suicide. After failing in his dark purpose, he finds a new purpose in life helping his family and friends, but he ends up destroying their lives entirely. His chance encounter with the eccentric Massimiliano allows him to understand how he can fix all of his mistakes and actually help his loved ones. A comedie dramatique that makes us reflect on how our actions can affect others’ lives.

Odio l’estate

A scene of Odio l’estate
Giovanni, Aldo and Giacomo in a scene of Odio l’estate

Odio l’estate (I Hate Summer), the third Italian movie of the series, will screen on July 27th. The infallible trio of Aldo, Giovanni and Giacomo tell us a story of friendship and feelings as only they can. In this hilarious film, the three popular comedians play a hypochondriac with an obsession for Massimo Ranieri, an obsessively organized man who is dealing with bankruptcy, and a successful doctor, who all cross paths during summer holidays, as they find themselves sharing a rental house on a small island on the Italian coast. The encounter between their three wildly different personalities will have unexpected and highly humorous implications. ScuolaScuola instructors recommend this movie mostly for the summer setting and the dialogues focused on holidays and the warm season!


Riccardo Scamarcio and Alba Rohrwacher re Carlo and Benedetta in a scene from Magari
Riccardo Scamarcio and Alba Rohrwacher in a scene from Magari

Fourth and finally on the Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival screen is the closing night screening of Magari (If Only), a semi-autobiographical drama by Ginevra Elkann. This sophisticated film presents family tensions and divisions that are at once universally recognizable. The story is centered around nine-year-old Alma, on vacation with her two brothers, her father and his new wife in Rome. An unforeseen accident will force Alma’s divorced parents to come together, revamping the children’s hopes of their parents reuniting. In our opinion, a good cinematographic debut with an interesting and original title: magari is a typical Italian expression that is quite untranslatable, oscillating between “hopefully” and “maybe” (a bit like ojalá in Spanish), a fact that our students find particularly fascinating.

This reflection on ‘magari’ has set the mood for our little glossary, hasn’it? Let’s see some useful words to talk about cinema.

attore/attrice: actor/actress

controfigura: body double (but for dangerous scenes we also say stuntman/stuntwoman)

costumista: costume designer

direttore della fotografia: cinematographer 

produttore: producer 

regista: director 

sceneggiatore: screenwriter

scenografo: set designer

tecnico del montaggio: editor

truccatore: make-up artist 

colonna sonora: soundtrack

ripresa: take

scena: scene

sceneggiatura: screenplay

trama: plot

inquadratura: shot

primo piano: close-up

primissimo piano: extreme close-up, Italian shot

piano medio: medium shot

piano americano: American shot

figura intera: full shot

soggettiva: point of view shot

panoramica: panorama, panoramic view

fotogramma: film frame

ciak: clapperboard

ciak!: action! (used by a film director as a command to begin)

Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival
The Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival is in the spotlight!

The exciting event is brought to the Toronto audience by ICFF, presented by IC Savings, and CHIN Radio/TV, partnering with Ontario Place and the Embassy of Italy in Ottawa, in collaboration with Rogers and Christie Digital. Part of ticket sales will fund the Canadian Red Cross to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts. For info and tickets: https://icff.ca/.

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