New Authors of Italian Cinema
The Commander and the Stork (Il Comandante e la Cicogna)
dir. Silvio Soldini, Italy, 2012, 108 min.
(a.k.a. Garibaldi's Lovers)
Scattered around the streets and gardens, the statues oversee the city as it wakes up. If you get close enough, climbing up to them, you can hear them think or even speak. Giuseppe Garibaldi (Pierfrancesco Favino), for example, is sitting on his horse at the center of a large square and can't reconcile himself to the sight of his increasingly degraded and vulgar country. Among the traffic and all the people walking under it, Leo (Valerio Mastrandrea) a plumber with two children to raise, and Diana (Alba Rohrwacher), a young artist full of ideas but without a penny, stroll by. They will meet in the office of Malaffano (Luca Zingaretti), a powerful and fraudulent lawyer, whose waiting room walls she is asked to paint for a song, while Leo is looking for help for his daughter, who unknowingly has become the star of an erotic film broadcast on the internet. Their destinies are intertwined with those of a “chorus” of characters: Elijah (Luke Dirodi), a young boy who doesn't do well in school and who secretly has bred a stork, Amanzio (Giuseppe Battiston), who gave up work to live as some kind of urban hermit, Teresa (Claudia Gerini), Leo's deceased wife who visits him every night for a chat, and then a Chinese man called Fiorenzo (Yang Shi), a slipper manufacturer and a mysterious private investigator. With such background, Diana and Leo gradually shift from being strangers to becoming a loving couple.
The 2013 edition of
New Authors of Italian Cinema is presented by the Cinema Studies Program and
the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, in
collaboration with the Consulate General of Italy in Philadelphia, N.I.C.E. New
Italian Cinema Events, and International House Philadelphia. This four-day
festival has been curated by Nicola M. Gentili (Penn, Cinema Studies) and aims
at promoting new Italian Cinema abroad. Recently released feature films
directed in the past two years by Italy’s most promising filmmakers will be
presented and discussed by our Penn’s Italian Ph.D. students. The final remarks
will be addressed by Stefania Benini, Professor of Italian Cinema at the
University of Pennsylvania.