The road to the home of Martha De Laurentiis is a lot like Europe’s Upper Corniche. While Embassy cars from the Italian Consulate and professional drivers in tinted town cars whizzed along — we were amused by the many others pulled over along the route to check their GPS and call their assistants. But everyone had the same goal – to get to the Cinema Italian Style kick off brunch and press conference by noon.
Cinema Italian Style (pronounced “Chin-e-ma” by the Italians) is a six-day festival in Los Angeles where a selection of Italian films are screened at the Egyptian and Aero Theaters (November 10-15). The annual celebration of Italian cinema is always dedicated to a particular outstanding Italian in film and this year they chose to honor the late film producer Dino De Laurentiis, who died exactly one year ago from the opening day of CIS 2011, at the age of 91.
CIS highlights include a special presentation of Terry Gilliam’s new short “The Wholly Family” at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica, film industry panels on tax incentives for filming in Italy, the opening of Dress in Dreams exhibition “Star Wigs” (including Italian film director Sofia Coppola’s 2006 Marie Antoinette wig worn by Kirsten Dunst) and film presentations at local universities and cultural centers to introduce the best Italian movies of the year to film students.
Dino’s wife Martha opened up her home to over 100 Italians in town for the weeks’ events and had her in-house chef prepare a brunch of lasagna, grilled shrimp, penne and champagne in her backyard overlooking the city. We at the Truffle sat next to a woman from the Italian Consulate in Century City to our left and a woman from the Italian Film Commission to our right. We also met the Los Angeles Consul general of Italy Giuseppe Perrone, photographer Douglas Kirkland, and the wife of the honoree, event host and producer Martha De Laurentiis who tells us she is about to embark on a private TRUFFLE! hunting trip to Italy soon (note: fall is White Truffle season in Italy).
Another new face to us we met is Italian actress Vittoria Puccini who is hosting several of the Cinema Italian Style events this week in L.A. — including the opening night gala, and who also hosted the entire 2011 Venice Film Festival this summer in Italy.
Other remarkable characters from the brunch include Terry Gilliam who is receiving the BVLGARI Cinema Italian Style award they give annually — Terry penned and directed all the Monty Pythons movies as well as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and just finished a short film in Napoli (Naples), Italy called The Wholly Family.
BVLGARI hosted a cocktail party for Terry on Saturday night (note to L.A. locals: Louis Vuitton will soon be expanding into the BVLGARI space while BVLGARI will take over the former DeBeer’s store, which is leaving town altogether). He was presented with the award at a pre-opening event Thursday at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica where he screened his 1985 Oscar-nominated film Brazil and his short film The Wholly Family (shot on the streets of Naples) for the audience.
CINEMA ITALIAN STYLE 2011 OPENING NIGHT on Friday was dedicated to the memory of Dino De Laurentiis and featured the U.S. premiere of TERRAFERMA – Italy’s official Oscar submission for Best Foreign-Language Film — which won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Venice Film Festival. Martha brought along her daughter Dina De Laurentiis to the gala — one of two children she has with Dino. Prior to the screening Gilliam was presented with the CIS BVLGARI Award. The Cinema Italian Style celebrations continued with a gala dinner at the W Hollywood with guests including Dita Von Teese (wearing Dolce & Gabbana with jewels by BVLGARI), director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, TERRAFERMA director Emanuele Crialese and TERRAFERMA stars Donatella
Dolce & Gabbana also hosted a cocktail party for the TERRAFERMA cast on Wednesday at their Rodeo Drive store. The Italian design house dressed many of the cast and party guests in their Rodeo Drive showroom — one block north of the store which lies discreetly in an unmarked office building — including Dita Von Teese, Lydia Hearst and Rose McGowan.
CINEMA ITALIAN STYLE is organized and produced by Cinecitta’ Luce and the American Cinematheque. This year’s selection includes director Emanuele Crialese’s TERRAFERMA, Nanni Moretti’s Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope), Mario Martone’s Noi Credevamo, Cristina Comencini’s Quando la Notte (When the Night), Gianni di Greogorio’s Gianni e le donne (The Salt of Life), Paolo Genovese’s Immaturi (The Immature); Sergio Castellitto’s La bellezza del somaro (Love and Slaps); Francesco Bruni’s Scialla (Easy!), Giuseppe Gagliardi’s Tatanka, Alba Rohrwacher’s Corpo Celeste and Ricky Tognazzi’s Il Padre e lo Straniero (The Father and the Foreigner). Each film will feature an introduction and Q & A led by La Repubblica correspondent Silvia Bizio.
For more information: http://www.cinemaitalianstyle.it
Full Film Series Program: