What Is Normal

Somewhere Amazing directed by Georgia Cecere (Italy) 2015 is about the gradual evolution of a woman.

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Lucia is a young wife and mother who lives a conventional life in an unnamed Italian city. She’s half owner of a flower shop where she works during the day.

However, a jarring incident, during an outing in the country, disrupts her orderly routine and little by little she manages to move beyond the limits of the familiar and venture toward a more satisfying future.

The film was one of a half dozen narrative features by new directors in New Italian Cinema 20.

This year’s festival recently concluded in New York and San Francisco but will screen at International House in Philadelphia 1 – 4 December 2016.

See http://www.nicefestival.org for more information.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

New Italian Cinema 20

New Italian Cinema Events (NICE) opens 16 November 2016 at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco.

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Fifteen feature films will screen during the five-day mini festival, many of them works by emerging directors. This is a joint project of the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco and NICE of Florence, Italy.

Second Spring directed by Francesco Calogero (Italy) 2016 is the opening night film and Like Crazy directed by Paolo Virzi (Italy/France) 2016 is the closing night film.

The Vogue Theatre is at 3290 Sacramento Street in San Francisco.

For more information and tickets see New Italian Cinema.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved

www.nikosdiaman.com

Frameline 40

The premier international LGBTQ film festival turns forty this year. Opening night is 16 June 2016 in the legendary Castro Theatre in the heart of San Francisco.

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There are ten films originating from four Mediterranean countries. France: Being 17; Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo; and Summertime. Israel: One Last Night and Who’s Going To Love Me Now? Italy: Arianna; Irrawaddy Mon Amour; and Me, Myself And Her. Spain: Girl Gets Girl and Victor XX.

For more information and tickets contact www.frameline.org.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Mother Daughter

The Meddler written and directed by Lorene Scafaria (USA) 2016 is about a widow who moves from New Jersey to Los Angeles to be with her daughter.

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Marnie is well-provided after the death of her husband but at a loss emotionally, however the constant attention she showers on her only child is overwhelming.

When the two are temporarily separated, Marnie tries to help several people she meets in the neighborhood.

The leading character elicits lots of laughter and even some tears.

Along the way she deals with the Italian family she married into and the soundtrack even includes a familiar Greek tune. While the Mediterranean touch is incidental to the film, the marvelous performance by Susan Sarandon is a delight.

The Meddler opens 29 April 2016 at the Century 9 in San Francisco. And 6 May 2016 at Landmark Albany Twin in Albany, Century 16 in Pleasant Hill, Landmark Aquarius Twin in Palo Alto, Cinearts at Santana Row in San Jose, and Regency Cinemas Six in San Rafael.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

SFIFF 59

The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival takes place 21 April to 5 May 2016 at six Bay Area venues.

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France: The Apostate, As I Open My Eyes, Blood Of My Blood, Cowboys, Dead Slow Ahead, The Dream Of Bottom, The Innocents, Journey To The Shore, Love & Friendship, Microbe And Gasoline, Neither Heaven Nor Earth, Nephtali, No Home Movie, Phantom Boy, Suite Armoricaine, Welcome To My Life, The White Knights, Winter Song, and A Young Patriot.

Israel: Mountain, Mr. Gaga, and Presenting Princess Shaw.

Lebanon: Abu Ammar Is Coming and Very Big Shot.

Spain: The Apostate, Dead Slow Ahead, and Night Without Distance.

Turkey: Frenzy and Sept-Oct 2015 Cizne.

Also: Chevalier (Greece), Blood Of My Blood (Italy), False Start (Morocco), and As I Open My Eyes (Tunisia).

The San Francisco venues are Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, Castro Theatre, Gray Area, Roxie Theater, and Victoria Theatre. Plus the new BAMPFA in Berkeley.

For more information and tickets contact San Francisco Film Society.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

http://www.nikosdiaman.com

Island Crossroad

Sicily: An Island At The Crossroads Of History by John Julius Norwich, Random House, 2015 covers the history of an island situated along what was once an important Mediterranean sea route. Its past included a large presence of Greeks, Romans, and Amazighs brought to new heights under Norman rule.

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It’s long been denigrated by northern Italians and Americans as well because of its association as homeland of a notorious criminal element. However few people are aware of the complexities the author reveals.

Norwich wrote two earlier books about Norman rule as well as numerous other volumes about the region I’ve read and recommend. These include a two-volume history of Venice and three-volumes on the Byzantine Empire. But his history of the Mediterranean Sea remains on my bookshelf only partially read.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com

Stealth Attack

Director Michael Moore begins his reconnaissance mission in bella Italia armed only with an American flag in his delightfully funny new documentary Where To Invade Next (USA) 2015.

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This one-person venture plus the requisite film crew is undoubtedly a bargain compared to the huge Pentagon budget and no lives were lost in its execution. However, the value of what he brings back is priceless and of benefit to many rather than just the few war profiteers currently benefiting from the endless wars and bloodshed funded by US taxpayers.

The openings of the film are strategically scheduled to impact the 2016 primary election campaign.

Moore makes one embarrassing mistake, confusing Slovakia and Slovenia. Aside from that slipup, I highly recommend it. Most of the treasure he uncovers has surprising origins.

Where To Invade Next opens 12 February 2016 in over 200 US theaters lncluding: Angelika, Kips Bay, and Lincoln Plaza in New York, Westlake Village in Los Angeles, River East in Chicago, Sundance Houston in Houston, Bijou at Crossroads in San Antonio, Angelika Carmel Mountain in San Diego, Look Cinemas Evolution in Dallas, Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Tinseltown 20 in Jacksonville, Metreon, Sundance Kabuki, and Alamo Drafthouse in San Francisco.

See Where To Invade Next for a complete listing.

copyright © 2016 by N. A. Diaman, all rights reserved.

www.nikosdiaman.com