The 21st Open Roads New Italian Cinema Festival 2022 is at Film at Lincoln Center for one week Thu-Wed, June 9-15, 2022. filmlinc.org 🇮🇹
21st Open Roads New Italian Cinema 2022
Italian cinema produces some interesting artists who have influenced the entire art form. Even American cinema has many great directors with an Italian heritage. So it’s great to see what Italian filmmakers are doing now.
The opening night film is “Freaks Out.” Gabriele Mainetti’s historical fantasy about Italian circus “freaks” on the run from a psycho 12-fingered Nazi pianist who wants to use their special powers to prevent the Nazi leader from killing himself.
“Freaks Out” won multiple awards at the David di Donatello Awards (the Italian Oscars equivalent) and the influential 78th Venice Film Festival.
There is an obvious corollary to Putin’s insane war with Ukraine. After covering culture for over a decade, we have noticed that great art tends to show up coincidentally at meaningful times. The timing may be pure coincidence because art often takes years to produce, but it shows up when it seems like it was created just for the moment.
“Freaks Out” screens Thu, June 9 at 7pm with director Q&As.
New Italian Cinema
“Freaks Out” isn’t the only film in this season whose topic seems to relate to current events.
Leonardo Di Costanzo’s “The Inner Cage,” a character study about group dynamics in a mostly abandoned prison, has some relevance to how we come out of our self-induced pandemic cages.
Many New Yorkers can relate in multiple dimensions to the housing crisis illustrated in Hleb Papou’s “The Legionnaire,” about the only Afro-Italian member of Rome’s riot police tasked with clearing out a tenement (where his own family lives).
Even the special tribute to late actress Monica Vitti (1931-2022), a screening of Michelangelo Antonioni’s award-winning “Red Desert,” relates to current events. It’s the story of an industrialist’s wife wandering anxiously through a toxic wasteland. Sounds like Donbas or the toxic legacy of our industrial lifestyle.
There are more great movies at Open Roads New Italian Cinema that capture the zeitgeist of our times. Many of them make you think, which is what great art is supposed to do – no matter where and when it shows up. “Freak out, let it go!”