The Art of Happiness
The Art of Happiness

By Janine Gericke.

The San Francisco Film Society’s fall season completes its three weekend season with New Italian Cinema. The weekend offers dysfunctional families, supernatural horror, romantic comedies, and much more as part of its stellar lineup.

Sofia Loren makes an appearance in director Edoardo Ponti’s short film Human Voice. The special screening also includes Julian Sands and Nastassja Kinski in The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars. Ponti is expected to be in attendance for this opening night event. Asia Argento returns with her second feature film Misunderstood (Incompresa, Italy/France 2014, 110 min.). The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Gabriel Garko as the sparring and neglectful parents of a 9-year-old girl.

Roberto Ando’s political satire Viva la liberta (Long Live Freedom!) (Italy 2013, 92 min.) screens on Thursday. The film involves a politician who disappears and crazy his twin brother taking his place. Though Halloween is now behind us, that doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate with a good old-fashioned ghost story. Rossella De Venuto’s Controra – House of Shadows (Italy/Ireland 2013, 85 min.) is also making its North American Premiere at this year’s New Italian Cinema, with the director in attendance.

Per Ulisse
Per Ulisse

Friday brings Per Ulisse (Italy/Belgium 2013, 90 min.) from director Giovanni Cioni. This is also the film’s International Premiere. This documentary is about the working class of Florence and the people who meet up at Project Ponterosso. Up to the World (Il mondo fino in fondo, Italy 2013, 95 min.), from director Alessandro Lunardelli, is the story of two brothers who develop a bond during a road trip to Barcelona. Paolo Genovese’s Blame Freud (Tutta colpa di Freud, Italy 2014, 120 min.) is a comedy about a father who takes a little too much interest in the love lives of his three adult daughters.

The Art of Happiness (L’arte della felicita, Italy 2013, 84 min.) is director Alessandro Rak’s animated feature about a Naples cab driver who spends time reminiscing on his life and choices. Rolando Ravello brings the romantic comedy Remember Me (Ri ricordi di me?, Italy 2014, 88 min.) about the love story between a kleptomaniac and an amnesiac. The Medicine Seller (Il venditore di medicine, Italy/Switzerland 2013, 105 min.) from director Antonio Morabito is about a pharmaceutical salesman who will do anything to sell his company’s product. Morabito is also expected to be in attendance. I Can Quit Whenever I want (Smetto quando voglio, Italy 2014, 100 min.) is being touted as the comedy version of the AMC hit Breaking Bad. The film follows Pietro, a chemistry teacher who tries to come up with a smart drug that will make millions.

Closing night of the New Italian Cinema weekend begins with Stefano Incerti’s In the Snow (Neve, Italy 2013, 90 min.). Donato, once involved in a robbery, offers a ride to Norah, who is running from threats of her own. Border (Italy 2013, 95 min.) from director Alessio Cremonini, is a suspenseful story of two sisters attempting to escape Syria. Cremonini will be in attendance. The weekend closes with Human Capital (Il capitale umano, Italy/France 2013, 110 min.) from Paolo Virzi. The film is a three-part story about the wealthy Bernaschi family and how a tragic accident caused by a family member affects everyone.

Janine Gericke is a Film International ‘In the Field’ writer.

More information about New Italian Cinema and the San Francisco Film Society can be found at All screenings will be held at SF’s Vogue Theatre.

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