Archive for the ‘Bergamo Film Festival’ Category

BERGAMO Film Meeting | 9-17 March 2024

Bergamo Film Meeting unveils its 42nd edition from March 9 – 17, 2024. One of the most important events in the Italian festival calendar the meeting draws thousands to its annual celebration of auteur and arthouse cinema in the mountainside venue just north of Milan in the Italian Dolomites.

Home to the Duomo di Bergamo, the city is also proud of its Romanesque Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore and the grand Cappella Colleoni, a chapel with 18th-century frescoes by Tiepolo.

Bergamasco is one of Italy’s most intriguing dialects and food-wise the town boasts a wealth of gourmet restaurants and bars where you can savour saffron-flavoured risottos and a legendary pancetta-laced pasta dish called casonelli alla bergamasca served in a rich butter sauce accompanied by the local wines – including the famous red Moscato di Scanzo. BERGAMO is also well known for its wealth of ice-cream parlours based on regional ingredients – including liguorice and zabaglione – with stracciatella a speciality. 

Film-wise there’s a really exciting line-up that includes a retrospective on the work of French director and leading proponent of the Nouvelle Vague Eric Rohmer, including his seasons series: Conte de printemps, d’automne, d’hiver and d’ete, Le Rayon Vert; and Ma Nuit chez Maud to name but a few.

St Petersburg-born French actor, director and screenwriter Sacha Guitry (1885-1957) will receive a Tribute as one of the most fascinating and versatile film personalities of the 20th Century. The honour will include screenings of his 1935 director debut Bonne Chance!, Donne-moi tes yeux (1943) and La Poison (1953) amongst others.

A Tribute to Walter Matthau will highlight an American Comedy Classics strand featuring director Elaine May’s A New Leaf, Billy Wilder’s The Front Page. and Gene Saks’ 1966 outing The Odd Couple starring Matthau and Jack Lemmon.

There will also be a chance to see the latest arthouse films fresh from the festival circuit including a selection of world premieres in the Festival’s Main Competition. @MeredithTaylor

Power Alley | Levante (2023)

Dir: Lillah Halla | Brazil, Portugal, Spain | Sports Drama 92′

There’s plenty of energy and a queer vision behind this female-centric volleyball drama. Even the shower scenes fizz with a fast-moving tomboyish vibe and a thumping score from Brazilian band ‘Badsista’.

Playing in the Cannes Critics’ Week line-up, Brazilian director Lillah Halla’s colourful debut feature follows a teenage volleyball player who discovers she is pregnant in the run-up to an important championship match in a country where abortion is illegal.

The tone then turns more downbeat as 17 year old Sofia (Ayomi Domenica Dias) reflects on her options, not knowing who to turn to given the country’s termination ban. Blocked in her attempts to seek an illegal termination Sofia realises her career is now in question and she fears the worst when Gloria and Dr Elias confirm the pregnancy is well on the way.

There is a positive way forward for Sofia but it will involve telling her widowed father Joao (Rômulo Braga) who is equally invested in her future and proud of her achievements. He flies into a rage when he finds out the news, and is naturally opposed to Sofia’s wish to terminate. As the pregnancy develops the colour-scape becomes more vivid, shot through with a surreal neon aesthetic reflecting Sofia’s wildest fears.

Halla’s narrative never opts for the predictable instead there’s a complex set of circumstances in the mix as her central character’s dramatic arc develops with Sofia experiencing a sudden and unexpected transformation.

The story gradually unfolds to reflect that well-worn maxim: “life is what happens when you are making other plans”. Punchy and well-put-together Power Alley gets its message across in a drama that is both educational, tense and watchable. Lillah Hilla is certainly a talent in the making. MT







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