I got my wish. Just when I was missing my beloved Italy, I had the opportunity to travel there last night...Well, amend that to --I was taken there courtesy of the silver screen.
"Cinema Italian Style 2010" produced by Cinecittà Luce and The American Cinematheque* is currently running at the Egyptian (Hollywood) and Aero (Santa Monica) Theatres.
Fortunately for me, Alex had the foresight and initiative and had purchased our tickets in advance. Both of us, however, had completely forgotten it was the night we were to go. We were out and about running errands when she suddenly remembered and we rushed home to get ready.
Traffic was light and we actually ended up arriving early which was a good thing as it turned out. The theatre was filled to capacity shortly after we were seated. Conversations in Italian were happening all around us and I sat blissfully amidst it all feeling like I had been transported abroad even before the film began. The fact that it started some 15 minutes later than scheduled only added to the illusion that I was indeed ensconced in a theatre somewhere in Italia.
It was the Los Angeles premiere of Baciami Ancora (Kiss Me Again), written and directed by Gabriele Muccino and for the next 139 minutes, I was whisked away to Rome for an intimate look into the lives of five friends and their wives, children, girlfriends and lovers.
Gabriele Muccino is well-known for directing The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds here in the States. He also wrote and directed the prequel to Baciami Ancora/Kiss Me Again called L'Ultimo Bacio (The Last Kiss.) (Not to be confused with the American version of the same title.)
Though they assured us you can enjoy Kiss Me Again without having seen The Last Kiss, I liked having the perspective of first meeting these characters earlier in their lives. It was interesting to see how each character had evolved and was dealing with another stage of life and relationships some 10 years later.
We stayed for a discussion following the film with Gabriele Muccino and actor Pierfrancesco Favino. Gabriele sometimes struggled to find the words he was seeking in English, but his wit and artistic sensibility came through clearly nonetheless. It was especially interesting to me to have him verify and expand on the symbolism we had seen woven throughout the film.
I found Pierfrancesco funny and charming. His English is almost perfect and both he and Gabriele appeared gracious, humble and untainted by fame or ego. Very nice to see.
Kiss Me Again is not yet available in the format compatible for most DVD players in the U.S. and Canada. --so if you haven't seen The Last Kiss, you have time to get all primed and up-to-speed while you wait for its release. Baci!~