Melucci Group Launches Student Study in Italy

Many wonderful things take place at Italian Fest – sometimes behind the scenes.  This year, the Matt Melucci Italian Studies Fund Committee at SIUE, working with the Italian American Club of Southwestern Illinois, invites you to contribute to their special cause – helping to finance Italian language student study in Italy.  Your contribution to their special fundraiser enters you for special prizes and helps a student benefit greatly.  $5 (3 for $10) raffle tickets purchased at the Italian American Club’s Italian Fest booth include two chances – one for the 50/50 drawing, the other a gift basket of one hundred $1 lottery tickets. Winners need not be present.  For more information on the chances, raffle, or to donate, contact Kyle Moore (618) 650-5048, send to the Matt Melucci Italian Studies Fund, Box 1608, SIUE, Edwardsville, IL 62026, or call Judy Nelson at (618) 363-6400.

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Italian Film Night and a Taste of Gelato in Collinsville, IL

On Thurs., Sept. 14 (6 p.m.), come join us for Italian Night at the Movies.   Sit back, relax, enjoy a little gelato, and watch some great Italian cinema.  This year, we’re screening the award-winning comedy BELLI DI PAPA’ – free from Colorado Films of Milan.  It’s about a successful Italian businessman whose three children keep him up nights.  They live an easy life with no responsibilities.  To bring them back to reality, he plots a scheme to help them do what they’ve not done before – WORK!  But will it last?  Location:  Community Room, Collinsville Library.  In Italian with English subtitles.  Free. Not recommended for young children.  Gelato courtesy of Spirito’s, the Italian Store on Main StreetThe exhibit and film are sponsored by the Collinsville Library and Italian Film Festival USA (St. Louis).    by: Annette M. Graebe    

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Italian banners line Collinsville’s Main Street

A colorful reminder that Italian Fest is coming soon. This year, our celebration is bigger than ever.  Launched by an Italian exhibition about Rome, it continues with Italian Film Night, the big, two-day Main Street Event and Bocce Tournament, culminating with a parade that’s better than ever!  Please join us as we celebrate our rich, Italian heritage!  For more details, visit us at .

 Rome Exhibition Opens

Fasten your seatbelt for a special trip to Rome!  This year’s Italian Fest exhibition  GET YOUR TOGA ON! (A Visit to Rome) is rare indeed as we take you inside this fascinating 2,500-year-old city – a destination for thousands around the world.  In Collinsville Library’s east and west wings, we’ll show you the highlights of Ancient Rome – the Colosseum, Pantheon, and other sights.  You’ll learn about Rome’s history and secrets from Rome scholar/historian Bernie Kolo.  You’ll see award-winning Roman mosaics made by Collinsville High School Latin students.  You‘ll marvel at Roman coins (replicas) and the Vatican.  You’ll learn where you can see Michelangelo’s Pieta’ in St. Louis and what happens to the coins tossed in the Trevi, and your child can enjoy a fun “quest for truth” (Bocca della verita’). Check out Toga Man, children’s activities, and register for a free giveaway – with some prizes from Rome itself!  Open now through Oct. 15.  Library hours: Mon.-Thurs. (9 a.m.-8 p.m.), Fri.-Sat. (9 a.m.-5 p.m.), Sun. (1 p.m.-5 p.m.).  Open 1 p.m. (Sept. 22), closing 3 p.m./in parade (Sept. 16), closed Oct. 9More information at or by calling (618) 344-1112. The library is located at 408 West Main Street.

 Ciao!   Hope to see you at Italian Fest!

                                                                   Annette M. Graebe    

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“We’re bringing traditional Neapolitan musical drama to the world of cinema”

Marco and Antonio Manetti • Directors

by Camillo De Marco

 VENICE 2017: We chat to Marco and Antonio Manetti, creators of the first Italian musical to be presented in competition at Venice, True Love

Marco and Antonio Manetti • Directors

(© La Biennale di Venezia – foto ASAC)

The first Italian musical to be presented at the Venice Film FestivalTrue Love [+] by Marco and Antonio Manetti, also known as the Manetti Bros, received a positive reception on the Lido and is due to be released in Italian cinemas on 5 October. Starring Giampaolo MorelliSerena RossiClaudia Gerini, Carlo Buccirosso and Raiz, the film is set in Naples, and resembles something between a thriller and a love story. The film will be distributed in Italian cinemas by 01 from 5 October.

(The article continues below – Commercial information)

Cineuropa: Why a musical?
Manetti Bros:
 The film was born from a desire to bring traditional Neapolitan musical drama to cinemas with more contemporary music – a musical drama that’s more in-tune with our tastes. It’s one of our films; we didn’t reformat it, even if we did watch Grease to get a sense of the balance between songs and dialogue.

How did the idea come about?
Carlo Macchitella, who produced the beautiful documentary Passione, suggested that we create a sequel to John Turturro‘s film on Neapolitan music. We’re not documentary filmmakers, but we liked the idea and over time it slowly morphed into a crime and love story. Franco Ricciardi’s version of Pino Mauri’s ‘O motoscafo ignited something in us. Franco is also one of the film’s main characters.

Were you at all influenced by La La Land or To Die for Tano?
We actually shot and edited the film before even seeing La La Land. Although it’s definitely made musicals fashionable, which could potentially help our sales. We loveTano, but we’ve taken a completely different path from Roberta Torre, who is the queen of the Italian musical.

Naples takes centre stage in the film.
Naples is so exuberant: a combination of strong emotions, some negative but many that are positive. For us, above all, it’s the capital of culture. Unfortunately it’s also famous for other reasons, but from a theatrical, musical, architectural and cinematic perspective, it really has come out on top for many years. As we’ve witnessed here at Venice withCinderella the Cat [+], which is very highly artistic.

In the film’s first scene a tour operator shows tourists around Scampia …
We were kind of making fun of the idea of “gomorrah” because, despite having a panoramic view of the gulf of Naples, which is one of the most beautiful views in the world, the city seems to be known for the Le Vele buildings in Scampia. The Naples we know isn’t just this gloomy and desperate city that you see in films or on TV, it’s a place that stimulates people with its cultural buzz and inspires with its human empathy, despite having problems.

Pivio and Aldo de Scalzis’ work on the film’s music and location is absolutely remarkable.
We worked on the score with musicians but also with Luca Tommassini who curated the choreography. Maurizio Gemma, director of the Campania Film Commission helped us out a lot with locations. He’s a man who is completely in love with Naples and offered us some beautiful and unusual settings.

(Translated from Italian)

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